Instant Success

4I’m a naturally impatient person, so from the outset I always imagined that digital photography would be my ideal medium, but that hasn’t really been the case. For the last few years digital photography has been an itch that I’ve never quite been able to scratch, there’s always lacked the sense of total satisfaction that I only ever get when I shoot film. At the moment I’m very itchy, and there’s only one thing that can get up the back of my t-shirt with both hands and sharpened finger nails – instant film!

img683-Edit-2I’ve been shooting Fuji Instax film , on and off, for a few years now, I love the cold blueish tones and creamy highlights, but mention instant film to anyone and the first thing they’ll think of is Polaroid, almost a generic name for any kind of instant film. Polaroid stopped making film a few years back, but the factory was taken-over by a company called The Impossible Project. I never tried any of IP’s early emulations of Polaroid film, I’d read all kinds of horror stories about it, about how difficult it was to use and its instability, so I was never willing to part with my cash…but IP’s latest incarnation of Polaroid 600 color film is different, and I love it.
To be honest, I wasn’t really one of those die-hard fans of the original Polaroid film, I always found it a bit dark and ‘wishy-washy’, maybe it was just poor technique? IP’s version is everything I wanted Polaroid 600 to be – punchy colours and weird hues, sharp, but not too sharp. Development time is between 30 and 60 minutes, so still not actually ‘instant’, but worth the wait!
The one down side is the price – every time I press the shutter it costs me £2.25…but I want to keep pressing the shutter.

All square images were made using a Polaroid 600AF camera (circa 1999) and The Impossible Project Color 600 instant film. All rectangular images were made using a Fuji Instax 210 camera and Instax Wide film.

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16 comments

  1. Digital photography makes the image taking process a bit too impersonal in my opinion. With film, there is always a connection to the subject that I just haven’t been able to replicate with digital. That said, I love that we have very accessible digital cameras these days. I’ll have to give this film a try.

  2. Amanda Murphy

    I agree with Andy – your work is always diverse, but you always manage to keep your own unique style – that’s a very rare talent.

    I absolutely adore these instant film shots!

  3. rebelsatellite

    Good stuff Phil as always. Have you seen the new Fuji Instax 90 Neo? It’s really tempting me right now because my Istax 100 is awfully bukly to lug round. As for digital I agree totally – though I’m a big fan of Fuji’s X-trans sensor and their jpeg engine is outstanding. I’ve sold all my Nikon system and I’d never go back. That said, my I ran a film through my granddads Leica IIIa the other day and the results were fantastic, so much more engaging and satisfying than digital.

  4. I was thinking along similar lines today having just posted off another load of film for developing at Peak Imaging, and ordering up more from Silverprint. But then when it’s a personal project those costs slip down the list of priorities, below the process of taking pictures, the “look” and most importantly the final imagery, so you keep shooting the way you want and with what you want. Love the colours on the instant film.

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