An Impossible Fetish

An Impossible Fetish

OK, I admit it... I love instant film.

I know, I know, I am wayyyy late to the party on this one. AND at about $24 per eight-pack of exposures (yes, thats $3 each) I am feeling the pain.

So, instant film was not only cheaper 4 decades ago, but it was much better as well. Just comparing impossible project film to fuji instanx and the results are vastly different. For the sake of this post, I'm going to be talking about gen one Impossible Project Color 600 film.

According to the internet... this is 640 ISO film, so that's what I assumed, when metering for each shot. What else can I say, the film is flawed, it doesnt reproduce color naturally, and it is completely unpredictable. But like every other boundary to the creative process, I work with it and use it to my advantage, rather than as a limitation. alt This first image was the first all available light image I tried. I killed the flash and put full faith in the internet's information this film is ISO 640. So, thats what I metered for and this was the result. alt above: Arielita at the Baltimore studio space. I really love the colors, even though they are completely unatural. Is that just me being in denial that I spent too much? Below is one of the images that was taken with on camera flash. I am not a fan of what it does to skin when shot so close, but at the proper dstance, and with the subject a proper distance from the background, it CAN work well. It just takes some expensive experimentation. Hooray for that denial thing again. alt above: Arielita in the old kitchen set. I should have just snapped another image without flash at the same time, but hindsight is 20/20 right? The autofocus KILLED me on this one. Oh well. She does look fantastic in the new wardrobe piece though doesnt she? Below is my favorite polaroid to date. An image of Sarah Voss taken during her stay at the studio oin April 2014. Everything rendered perfectly. I would not change a thing! No flash, good light an the autofocus worked out. Having a pretty model and an interesting set also helps, and I am getting better at framing through the veiwfinder. Its so 3D! alt above: Sarah Voss during her stay at the studio. So without geeking out too much about the above image, lets move on to the next one. I did use on camera flash for this one and luckily the focus found her. Theres clearly something going on with the chemicals in this exposure because of the weird green spot towards the top where the colors didnt render properly. alt above: Sarah Voss during a wardrobe fitting for her workshop. OK I admit that the greens are a bit distracting, but ironically, that type of organic mistake is what people LOVE about polaroids. I'm not an image quality nut, infact I love flaws and imperfections. Perhaps that is my draw to this film and process from impossible project. Perhaps the largest dissapointment is the developing time. Expect the color images to take the better part of 45 minutes to come in. And do not forget to keep them in complete darkness while they process! alt above: Morgan poses in windowlight during an improvised fitness photography shoot at the studio. This final image is the most recently shot. As you can see, I still struggled a bit with exposure. The falloff was pretty significant, but I could have improved this image greatly just by posing her to the light better. Live and learn. I will certainly continue to buy and shoot Impossible Project color film until I figure it out and can make it do EXACTLY what I want it to do! Stay tuned for more images to come via instagram @atomiccanary.
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Post by Atomic Joshua

Photographer + Filmmaker turned studio owner.