Just a really quick post with some photo experiments I've been doing with Polavision, Polaroids (or Impossible Project film), and subminiature photography!
Ok so I've been experimenting lately, it has been brilliant fun! First off is...
Polaroid's financially disastrous move into the cine market came in the early '70s. They developed this incredible thing over about 15 years which was basically a Super 8 film cartridge that could be instantly developed inside the cartridge through rewinding it after shooting it. Totally amazing invention. It only bombed because they kind of missed the 'home movie' boat in a way - digital was the way the market was headed (even then eh!). They had paired up with Eumig, who also took a massive financial hit. Even though it was a financial failure, I reckon it was a brilliant artistic invention! I came across a Polavision viewer (amazing retro brown thing!), repeat play button, 2 Polavision cameras, a really strong flashlight to go on top of the camera for indoor filming, 6 unused cartridges, and 1 cartridge marked 'Flamingo Land 1980' with a little girl looking at the animals on it, it's beautiful (and extremely messed up with age - what looks like mould on the emulsion, makes it even more gorgeous).
My imagination has been spinning out over this, and I definitely feel this is the beginning of a creative project. I shot one cartridge spinning around downstairs at Patrick Studios, by the piano and the lift, and 'processed' it using the playback machine. What I got was a joyous blue analogue static - no definable images there, but wow it is beautiful. Like being underwater. I then shot some more and tried developing it in black and white developer (as the film stock seems to be essentially a black and white film with colour layers added), but no joy - just lots of black emulsion bits. What I did discover however is that the film itself has this stunningly colourful prismatic effect when you hold it up to the light and look through it, so I've started using this on the JK optical printer in front of the gate with other footage in the gate itself, and it renders this spectrum of pastel type colours, it's amazing. Definitely pleased with this new discovery, it has sparked lots of ideas!
Polaroid Macro 5 SLR, Spectra-Pro, and Photos!
This was made for dentists! It's a beast of a machine (as my friend Adam said, trust the bloomin dentists to make a camera that's really scary!). You can focus up to 3 inches with it! It is huge. I took it out shooting around Leeds and got lots of weird looks, it looks like a sci-fi weapon from some late 70s B-movie. It takes Polaroid (or Impossible Project) 1200 film, which I have just acquired a whole bunch of (expired in 2005, has a really beautiful vintage look to it), and I also got a Spectra-Pro which is a very decent Polaroid camera that takes the same film, and not as big as the Macro one! You can even do multiple exposures with the Spectra-Pro. I'm really enjoying using instant film. I got some 4x5 expired stock too, to use in my large format camera, so I'll test that soon and see what I get.
This is a Russian-made spy camera! Based on the Minolta, it is really sturdy and they very rarely go wrong, apparently, since there's not much that can go wrong! I used Agfa microfilm in it, and processed it in D-19 (very high contrast) and I love the results - high contrast black and white film definitely does it for me. I shot the big ferris wheel in Leeds, streets in Shipley and Leeds, a burger van in Leeds Market, and lots of trees. Tiny cute negatives. Am thinking about maybe making some miniature contact sheets, or even contact printing onto black and white 16mm cine print stock - it would create some interesting rhythms where the frames separate.