A rather nice article on the story of Polaroid and it’s future caught my attention on the Guardians site today. I did remember the Company which was set up in 1937 announced it would stop production of film and this was some years after they stopped making the clunky cameras themselves.
I did own a Polaroid camera many years ago and didn’t really like the quality of the images it produced but I still get the idea that it paved the way for what we now consider normal which is phones having a camera and therefore the ability to see what we shoot now as opposed to the waiting on films to come back from the one hour place. Up until digital cameras could be connected to capture software enabling instant views of shots taken in studio, it was normal to use a Polaroid back on a medium format camera as a part of the preview look of a shoot set-up.
On big commercial shoots you’d need to see how the lighting worked and get a sense of where the shoot was going, I’m sure most pros have moved away from this now and onto a complete digital set-up.
Alongside the re-emergence of the beloved Holga and it’s unusual results (on the less used 120 film format) what’s still encouraging and sometimes overlooked is that we still feel the need to take photos as a human race, maybe because of disaster and our perception that life for us is very short, we use this medium of expression to capture now and in turn to be remembered for all time.
I love old photographs and I know that it makes up a great deal of the reason for why I do take photos knowing that some day they’ll be old photos themselves and I will remember those life-times well because of those same photos and the memories connected, is this not the main reason we shoot.
Maybe it’s for the same reason that we are still in love with taking photographs with friends doing the simplest of things like having too many drinks in a bar and forgetting it ever happened, in that case it can be both handy and embarrassing to have had photographic evidence. Be careful but be creative.