Monday, 7 September 2009

Polaroid, My Long Farewell...

© Jo Bradford 2009
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As the last ever Polaroid film reaches it's expiry date next month, the long farewell to a lifelong friend has begun for us Polamaniacs. I say long farewell because I have stocked up on over 100 boxes of (mostly out-of-date) Polaroid pack film. Due to it's age and the delicate nature of the chemicals, the film needs careful care to preserve it for as long as possible. I am not in a position to treat it to a cryogenic solution, so I have had to get an extra refrigerator for my studio, especially to store it all in. I will take my time using it - making sure each shot really counts and thereby dragging out my long goodbye for as long as possible.
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© Jo Bradford 2009
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For lovers of the integral type of Polaroid film (the consumer kind that pops out immediately and after a few seconds the exposure is ready), you can relax. As those ambitious guys of The Impossible Project have bought the Dutch integral film factory and are planning to put a new and improved version of the old Polaroid integral film into production in 2010. That's if they can get the design and manufacture sorted... they are currently having a hard time getting all the components to fit together and work as a whole.... If you have a mind for science, or know exactly where the guys can get their hands on a 2 micron thick layer of latex that can easily be coated onto a gelatin base, then get on over to their website and offer them your help. They are calling out for it... http://www.the-impossible-project.com/.

© Jo Bradford 2009

Sadly, for lovers of the good old peel-apart variety of Polaroid film, (professional pack film as it's also known), our days are numbered. The peel-apart factory in Mexico has not been bought by anyone, nor does it look like it can be salvaged now having been abandoned months ago. So it appears unlikely that this type of film will be resurrected. I am very sad indeed :(



© Jo Bradford 2009

So that is why last summer I bought up such vast stocks of it (basically every box I could get my hands on) before it disappeared from my life forever. And that's why I plan to use it slowly and wisely... it is already one or two years past it's expiry date - hence the dodgy colours and the mistyness, but I love it... and that's that!!© Jo Bradford 2009
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And finally, the Observer Newspaper, this weekend, gave eight of today's leading photographers a Polaroid camera for the day, and asked them to capture their final instant images to celebrate the fact that the last Polaroid films expire next month. Take a look at what Mary McCartney, Nan Goldin and Martin Parr did with theirs
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Have a good Monday my friends, Jo xoxo

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8 comments:

marianne said...

Jo, I was so desperately in love w polaroid I bought a slide printer from San Francisco. Whatam I going to do with that now?
I too mourn this loss. Its huge, I have kept all my original polaroids and transfers and doubt I will ever give them up. Unlike you, I have one last pack in the camera of my one of 3 polaroids and am afraid to use it due to the "last one" issue. We must mourn together...we are not alone and I believe a company will be born of the need...

Jo Bradford said...

Tell me about it Marianne. I am a proud owner of a polaroid daylab slide printer myself.... there is a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel though... My recent experiments making emulsion lifts with the fujiroid fp100 peel-apart film has not been a complete disaster - although the general thinking is that it can't be done on the fuji stock. I really hope someone can ressurrect the peel-apart factory for all us artists out there.... Glad to hear your thoughts on the subject my friend xx

Char said...

I never got my hands on one since I've become a "photographer" but I can remember many portraits when I was a child. I lost all of my photographs from childhood - what I wouldn't give for them now.

Gorgeous shots - I can't wait to see more of them. There is a special magic to them.

marianne said...

Jo that is the same slide printer I have a day lab.. ah that was my friend for an entire summer, roller in hand cramping as I ran it back and forth across the peel apart onto the arches watercolor paper.. I have fond memories and some interesing polaroid transfers as well.
thanks for stopping by my blog.
all the best.
marianne

Caio Fernandes said...

hi Jo Bradford !!
to know your blog was a real pleasure to me today .
your work is realy lovely .
i love the way you can capture the colours . it fascineted me !!!
see you !!!

magicpolaroid said...

hello! wow my fav. cameras all in the same shot! fantastic! long life to polas!
Luis

Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

What a wonderful post... I'm almost ashamed to say it's been many years since I played with Polaroid... this made me miss those days, especially now that they won't return. You know the old adage...

Karen Faulkner said...

I can understand why you are so sad. Quite a part of history.

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