In an Instant


Anyone who follows my blog regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of the acute gratification derived from instant film, whatever its form. I like Impossible Project’s reincarnation of Polaroid, but it’s expensive for what it is: troublesome and unpredictable. I do like the slight element of surprise inherent in any type of analogue film, but the least I expect is a vaguely well exposed image from most lighting conditions – and this isn’t always the case when shooting Impossible Project. For this reason, my ‘go to’ instant film has always been Fuji Instax. I’m currently using the 300 model, however, I’ve noticed that a few independent manufacturers have started producing cameras that use the film, although I think most of them use the smaller ‘Instax Mini’ film, as opposed to the more practical and larger ‘Instax Wide’. I’d like a fully manual version of the camera though, as the only control you have over exposure, even on the more advanced 300, is a ‘lighten’ and ‘darken’ button. Also, the flash is fully automatic – there’s no option to turn it off. You can force it to fire, but you can’t stop it from firing. I’ve found a way round this though – if I don’t want flash, I set the button to ‘lighten’ and simply place my finger over the flash (in some situations this gives a pleasing red tint, which can be seen in a couple of the images below).

Instant cameras are a bonus on shoots, they are excellent ‘ice-breakers’ and it’s always nice to give models something, other than borderline hypothermia. I always have a bit of a dilemma when giving instant photos away… I don’t want to insult the model by giving her the worst photo of the set, but I certainly never want to give them the best…

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  1. Albrecht Altdoofere

    I love the way you move in and out of genres – serious photojournalism, portraiture, urban landscape, fashion – yet you still manage to keep your own individual and unique style attached. These Instax shots look nothing like I’ve ever managed to achieve from my own 210! Really superb work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 99.9% of us photographers are out there experimenting with software and new technology. Here you are experimenting with the wonder technologies of the past and making absolute sense of them. The Polaroid thing is quite a delma for you. Billions of dollars spent on digital camera development now allows us to share the instant gratification that started Polaroid. It just doesn’t look the same as a Polaroid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: In an Instant | lakeso

  4. Completely agree on the ‘ice-breaker’ of working with models, as it’s nice to have an Instax to show just a couple of minutes later, which I sadly don’t get when using my polaroid and why I’ve gone back to Instax. Ta for the tip on trying to eradicate the flash. I’ll give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

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