October 3, 2012

Polaroid: Gone but never forgotten

When I was a kid Polaroid was magical. I mean who wouldn't love taking a picture and having the camera spit out a fun print. One of my childhood friends father worked for Polaroid, and I just thought "wow he has the coolest job ever, he gets to work with the magical camera all day long." I am sure we all have some great polaroid memories.

I started my professional career using polaroids as test shots for lighting and double checking set ups. I will never forget that smell of of a freshly processed polaroid. I must have thousands of reference polaroids. It was something I did every shoot without thinking twice, shoot a polaroid. It would make clients happy being able to see some idea of what the film would look like. It would satisfy me, knowing my film should come out the way I want it to. Every professional photographer I know at one point used polaroids to test set ups before shooting the film. I remember being on location having assistants rubbing to keep the polaroid warm, holding it under their arm for warmth,  so it would process faster. Once digital came in full force we had no need for polaroids. Digital can do it all, give the preview and the final result. It makes me sad knowing that Polaroid is gone. At one point it was revolutionary being able to shoot a picture and get an instant print. Now it is expected.

Edwin Land, the man behind polaroid, was a genius. From his business ideas to his product execution. In fact, he predicted we would have some type of mobile camera device (cell phone) we take everywhere and share pictures with. When he had this idea people thought he was crazy, and now look... it's here. Christopher Bonanos just released a book, Instant; The story of Polaroid. I cannot wait to read it. Above is the trailer for the book. It is terrific!

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