I have been shooting polaroids since October 15th, 1995 on various polaroid land cameras. I shot them when polaroid stopped making film, when fuji picked up where polaroid left off, and recently stopped when fuji stopped making the film I used in my camera. I truly didn’t know what to do when my film was gone and I refused to buy discontinued film at twice the price. Somehow that just took the freedom away. It was time to move on.
I love film and analog creative materials in general but there was something I really missed about making polaroids. I had been shooting street photographs with the handicap of a cumbersome, competitively slow polaroid camera suck on timer. I loved the way what caught my eye is never what I got in the end, the waiting for the image to develop, the instant gratification, the feeling of Christmas when peeling back the paper to see what I did get, and the way each is one of a kind.
Eventually an even older, more finicky, time-consuming way of making “instant pictures” caught my attention, wet plate collodion tin types. Somehow the much slower but still instant process ofwet plate photography holds the same magic. When the exposed and developed plate sits in the fixer, a negative image appears, then slowly shifts, in a cloud that is kind of blue, into a positive and the created image magically appears! The excitement for making images was back for me and I never cease to marvel at the surprising miracle it seems to be.