Posted on January 31, 2014
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with Impossible Project instant film, I’ve shot a few boxes of the new colour version, and I have to say it was love at first sight. The whole look, the weird hues and colour casts are everything I’d expected. I’ve ordered a few more boxes of the colour version – we’re going steady.
Now then, the black and white type…I’m not so sure, I certainly didn’t rush out and buy an engagement ring the second the first photograph developed. This stuff is £18 a box, that’s £2.25 a shot! For that price I’m afraid I expect something a little less ‘unpredictable’…but the tones are very pleasing, we have deep shadows and creamy highlights. I like the look, but what’s with the dark blur around the edge, it looks almost artificial.
Will I buy more of the black and white version? Probably, however I’d like to try it in a camera with better manual controls, or at least a model that I can turn off the flash (The 600AF that I’m using would fire the flash even if you were actually standing on the surface of the sun). Impossible Project, if you do happen to read this – £18 for 8 pictures is a piss-take, please try to substantially reduce the cost, because I really like this film…or at least I think I will.
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For the benefit of a couple of people who think these aren’t actually real instant images, I have added a photo of my pet Cocker Spaniel, Leica, and said Polaroids.
Posted on January 21, 2014
I’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!
I’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.
Posted on December 17, 2013
Posted on November 22, 2013
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Posted on July 31, 2013
I live on an island, the Isle of Man, perched in the middle of the Irish Sea. If there’s something we have a lot of here, it’s water; it falls from the sky, regularly, and we’re surrounded by it, I’m never more than a 20 minute drive away from the sea.
I’ve always loved water, I learned to swim when I was 18 months old and since than I’ve spent most of my life in it, underneath it and on it. I kayak, snorkel, swim and use the Isle of Man as a giant photographic studio, 365 days a year…
Posted on February 13, 2013
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been sorting-out what gear to take, or more accurately, what gear NOT to take to Canada in 6 weeks time. I took far too much gear last time, too many different formats and 4 different types of film. I was shooting on 6x7cm, 6×4.5cm, 35mm and Fuji Instax instant film, using colour and black and white with 3 different film speeds. In April I’m taking a Mamiya 7II, 80mm lens, a sekonic light meter and 60 rolls of Kodak Portra 160. I’m also packing my trusted Olympus Mju II and a small flash, just in case.
I’m going back to Yellowknife to work on an on-going project which started last September, this could be my second of many trips to the area, or it could be my last, I’m still not sure…
An Apple a day…
I’ve had the same 21″ iMac for 5 years now, I’ve always been happy with it, but 5 years is a long time in the life of any working computer and it had started to show it’s age. So, I ordered a new one, this time a 27″ version, I also decided that if I was going to invest another 5 years into the Apple Corporation, I may as well do it properly and maxed-out all the specs – 3.4GHz processor, 32GB of RAM, Thunderbolt storage,etc,etc….then I had to wait nearly 6 weeks while Apple used the slowest employees in China to assemble said iMac and then send it off for a 9 day trip around the world via Shanghai, Dubai, Germany, Ireland and England, all courtesy of UPS. But I knew the wait was going to be worth it…
…My new Mac was delivered last Friday, the same day that I came-down with the worst bout of ‘flu I’ve had in years, it was the best I could do to carry the 17KG box down to my basement without passing-out. I un-boxed it, plugged it in, then passed-out for 3 days.
I have finally got to play though, and the wait was well worth it, the new Mac makes my old one look like a pocket calculator. I can now scan 4800dpi files from 6x7cm without any problems, in an instant. I’ve also invested in Adobe CS6 6, which runs like a dream, as does Lightroom 4.
The best thing though is the huge 27″ screen, size certainly does matter!
Posted on December 23, 2012
Posted on November 15, 2012
If Kodak Tr-X is my heroin, then Fuji Instax is my Methadone. Instax keeps me going in between hits when I’m waiting for film to be developed. Fortunately, Instax isn’t anywhere near as expensive as class A drugs and it certainly isn’t as damaging to your health – you can pick-up a good second-hand Fuji Instax for less than £50. I get my film off Amazon for £15 for a pack of 20 shots. Each shot is a truly individual.
A technical note to anyone wishing to experiment with class A analogue – although Instax is an ‘instant’ film, the image can take up to 2 hours to fully ‘come-up’ and show all the colours and tones.
Posted on September 28, 2012
I took a Fuji instant camera to Canada with me, mainly to use as a photographic ‘sketch book’, but it also came in very handy as an icebreaker – you can’t give someone a photo straight away if you’re shooting on film or digital, not easily, but you can with an instant camera. One of my highlights in Yellowknife was watching the look of utter amazement of a four year old kid as his face slowly appeared on the sheet of plastic. I don’t have any of the portraits I took with this camera because everyone, of course, wants to keep them!
Here’s a few of the photographic sketches…