Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Carry On: Polaroid SX-70

Tough Kids 2005 © Brian Adams

In 2004, when I first started working for photographer Clark James Mishler, one of my first assignments was to scan, tone, and print his SX-70 polaroids for a show he was preparing for later that year. I fell in love with the little square images that he had created and manipulated on location in Mexico. He explained to me that when the SX-70 Polaroids were in temperatures of 80˙ and above, the emulsion was easy to manipulate, which allowed him to create photographs that looked like paintings; the images were slightly distorted with rays of color like brushstrokes. They were beautiful, almost like looking at water.

I bought my first SX-70 camera soon after at a garage sale in Bird Creek, Alaska for $20.00. I felt like I had struck gold, and I didn't even know yet how expensive and hard to find the film was at the time, which it is even more so now.

In 2006, Polaroid discontinued SX-70 film. For a long time, I thought I would never use my SX-70 camera again, but I am happy to say that The Impossible Project has stepped in, and is now manufacturing SX-70 film. I haven't had the chance to try out their film yet (it's on it's way!), but I have enjoyed seeing Luceo's Kendrick Brinson's results, and I'll be sure to share mine. The Polaroid SX-70 is a luxury item but definitely one to Carry On!

Check out Clark's Roids book here!

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