Polaroid project – film

Old camera, new film –

Excitement and nervousness were my watch-words as I started to peel open the box that contained the polaroid film.  Impossible Project have allowed photographers like me to continue to explore the unpredictable world of polaroid emulsion lifts.


When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, Impossible stepped in to buy the last remaining factory, days before it closed down. The machines had been dismantled, there were no formulas to follow and the supply chain had already been destroyed. If we wanted to keep instant photography alive, we had to reinvent instant film from scratch.


Eight years later, with the help of some incredible chemists, engineers and photographers, we’re the only people in the world who make original format instant film. We make film in both color and black and white, for Polaroid 600-type, SX-70 and Image/Spectra cameras, as well as large format 8×10 film.


I bought this Polaroid SX-70 camera (which is almost 40 years old!) to explore creating wonderful images through emulsion lifts. As the camera does not have a battery of it’s own, it wasn’t until I inserted the film pack that I would know that I had bought a working camera!
These polaroid cameras were developed without an internal battery, meaning each film pack contained a ‘fresh’ power source. This feature powered the camera motors and exposure control, ensuring that a charged battery would always be available as long as film was in the camera. This also meant that these old cameras never had battery acid leaks whilst being stored away in someones cupboard for over 30 years. So what joy for me to hear the mechanical clunk and whirring sounds that came magnificently from the retro camera!


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