Have an old Polaroid camera lying around collecting dust? Did you know that you can use it for wet plate collodion photography? AlternativePhotography writes,
Most collodion photographers are using dedicated wet plate cameras, because wet plates are not nice to put into any ordinary modern cameras. There are instructions on how to use some normal medium and large format film cameras in the wet plate process. Most modern large format cameras are readily usable; only a special wet plate holder is needed. The drawback is the silver nitrate, possibly dripping from the holder inside the camera and eventually ruining it.
There are, however, certain types of cameras that you can use as is, without any modifications. Polaroid 100 – 400 series cameras were designed for Polaroid instant pack film, and the empty film holder can be converted to an excellent wet plate holder.
Once your film holder is modified to hold wet plates, you’ll also need to give the camera a makeshift “bulb mode” by covering its ‘Electric Eye’ light meter with black tape. The tutorial also discusses how you can expose wet plates using an enlarger and/or digitally printed film.
Wet plate collodion with a Polaroid camera [AlternativePhotography via Pixel Análogo]
Image credits: Photographs by Jalo Porkkala/AlternativePhotography
Since 2006, Brooklyn-based artist Patrick Winfield has been creating incredible photo collages by photographing and recreating scenes using a large number of individual instant photo prints. Some of his pieces are composed by more than over one hundred instant photos! Although his work mostly featured Polaroid films early on, Winfield branched out into other types as well (e.g. The Impossible Project instant films) after Polaroid bowed out of the industry.
Here’s an interesting piece of photo trivia for today: did you know that Apple’s similarities with Kodak don’t end with Steve Jobs modeling his career and his company after Polaroid? The ongoing dispute between Apple and Samsung is strikingly similar to the battle Polaroid had with Kodak many decades ago.
New York magazine editor Christopher Bonanos has written a new book titled Instant: The Story of Polaroid, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of Edwin Land’s revolutionary company. In the video above, Bonanos offers a brief history of Polaroid, including how Land’s ideas inspired entrepreneurs to follow:
[Edwin] Land did no market research. He once said that marketing is what you do if your product is no good. Instead, what he believed was this: you had to show people something they had no idea they wanted, but that was irresistible. To that end, what he would do was turn Polaroid’s annual meeting into sort of a show. He would get up on stage, he would show the new camera, he would demonstrate whatever the new product was, and by the end of the meeting you completely had to have one. You were drawn into Polaroidland.
Remind you of someone? If you’re thinking Steve Jobs, you’re right. The similarities were not a coincidence. As we shared last year, Steve Jobs considered Land his role model, and used many of his ideas in turning Apple into the juggernaut tech company it is today.
Now that The Impossible Project has succeeded in reviving Polaroid-style instant films — even giant ones — the company is expanding its horizons and branching out to new products. Today, it announced a crazy new device that’s dedicated to turning your digital iPhone photos into analog instant photo prints: the Impossible Instant Lab.
San Diego-based photographer Tim Mantoani, the guy who shot giant Polaroid photos of famous photographers holding their works, recently got his hands on Lot #1 of The Impossible Project’s new 8×10 instant film. To test it out, Mantoani busted out his large format camera and 8×10 processor, and then visited a local surf shop to create a multi-shot panorama.
Guess who’s back? Back again. 8×10 instant film’s back. Tell a friend.
After successfully reviving various lines of instant film for Polaroid cameras, The Impossible Project announced today that they’ve created a new line of 8×10 instant film for large format cameras.
The subjects in portrait projects are often selected for something they all have in common. The people seen in Brooklyn-based photographer Caroll Taveras‘ project You Are Here have this in common: they were lost at the Olympics. Commissioned by Mother London, Taveras finds tourists at the Olympic games who are hopelessly lost, and then guides them to their desired destinations in exchange for a portrait.
Polaroid the company was named after the inexpensive polarizing film developed by founder Edwin Land back in 1929. Over the years it became an iconic brand name associated with easy-to-use cameras and instant photos. After the company went bankrupt in the early 2000s, the brand name was sold off to a holdings company, which began licensing the name to third parties.
Up until now, the brand name has been used for mostly photography-related products, but that’s set to change: Polaroid has partnered with British retail chain Asda — owned by Wal-Mart — to branch into other electronics, including televisions and media players. The gadgets will hit store Asda shelves by the end of the month.
As you already know, we’re pretty obsessed with Polaroids, and all the creative photography we can get our hands on. This tutorial will teach you how to make a pop-up Polaroid camera card that “prints” out a miniature Polaroid picture.
The pieces of card stock for this project are about 7-1/2 inches long by 4-1/2 inches wide. To create a mini Polaroid you can print, we recommend using the Shake It Photo iPhone app. Send the image from your phone to your email, drop it into Preview, Photoshop or Word to resize, and you’re good to go.