If you haven’t heard, there is a new company called Impossible made up of 10 former Polaroid employees. They started Impossible after Polaroid went out of business. They managed to save the last Polaroid production plant, located in the Netherlands. Now they make Polaroid-type products as well as totally new instant films.
Among the rescued production machinery was the one that makes 8 x 10 polaroid. Now this kind of intrigued us because we were taught on 4 X 5 cameras in our first semester in photo school. The 4 X 5 and 8 X 10 cameras are called view cameras. They consist of a lens, bellows and place to hold the film. No fancy electronics, just a straight up box. It’s the vintage camera that you have to put a cape over your head to see the image on the glass viewer. Oh, and the image you see though the camera is upside down and laterally reversed, just to make it even more meticulous.
Even though they’re designed mainly for product and architecture, we’ve always like photographing people on our large format cameras. The trick is the subjects have to stay still while you compose, focus, close the camera, load the film and then finally press the shutter. As you can imagine, doesn’t lend itself to sports.
We managed to track down some Impossible film and an 8 X 10 camera, along with the very heavy but portable machine that magically processes the film. All you have to do is slip the exposed piece of film into the machine along with a clear envelope. Then press the button and in seconds is shoots out the other end. Then you wait four minutes for the image to develop. Instant… but not quite as instant as we’re all used to now shooting digitally. There are many things that can go wrong with the process, but that’s what makes it fun.
Here are some of the photos taken.