Monday, July 23, 2007

Polaroid (d)Evolution

In honor of my purchase of a Polaroid Spectra camera from the ultimate classifieds website craigslist, I want to show some interesting polaroid galleries to demonstrate what they can do. Behold the power of Polaroid.

One of the shots taken with my new camera (the scan doesn't do justice to the clarity)

My new camera, a Polaroid Spectra, is an older model, popular just before the current standard 600 film models came to flood the market. Interestingly enough, as I've found in my research and experimenting with Polaroid cameras, it seems that the older models are (and sadly in some cases were) capable of better quality images than the current versions that are most widely available today. The Spectra camera takes Image film, a film much its more popular 600 film cousin, but with supposed increased clarity. The camera itself is more adept at focusing than the 600 cameras because its autofocus actually tells the shooter how many feet away the subject in focus is and that number can be changed as desired.

Manipulated Time-Zero Film

While I'm currently experiencing the joy that goes hand in hand with Polaroid cameras as I use my Spectra, I fear the demand will not be enough to sustain the production of its film far into the future as Polaroid struggles to compete with its also-instant rival, the digital camera. The same fate fell upon the much loved, alterable film Time-Zero, used in the cult classic SX-70 cameras.

A series of polaroids found on polanoid

While online havens like, Polanoir and have kept the spirit of polaroid photography alive, the whole entity that is Polaroid could fade away as digital takes hold in future generations, rendering any kind of film as archaic. That's a bit drastic, film will live on for quite some time, but companies like Polaroid may be left behind as earnings and interest plummet. In the meantime, there are a number of truly remarkable Polaroid images and series' that deserve to be mentioned.

The beautiful look of a large format polaroid, recognizable by the trademark dots

Here are a couple of projects found on the photo site File Magazine:
Matchmaker-by Alison Garnett

and Two Thirds Primary-by Rod Hunting and Tiffany Paige

Finally, a guy that goes by the Polaroid Kidd has another cool gallery at


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