Judging by the expiration date on the side of the film’s box – 07/15 – I’ve had two packs of Impossible Project polaroid film in my fridge for at least five years. Probably longer. One is SX-70 color, the other 600 color, and I have no idea when I bought them or how long Polaroid film lasted five or six years ago. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I took a Polaroid picture. Presumably in Jamaica for my 40th birthday, but I seem to remember taking a random assortment from a couple other trips later that year.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I do recall treating myself to these two packs of film for Christmas or another birthday, but truthfully I’ve haven’t the faintest idea when. Probably 2014. Probably to take on another trip. But as with most irregular extravagences, I held off shooting these instant exposures – only 8 frames to a pack long forgotten behind the martini olives and jam – until this afternoon, when I began racking my brain for something creative to do.
Considering my rusty Polaroid skills, the results aren’t entirely a wash. I’d limited myself to three exposures with my SX-70 OneStep, but then couldn’t help snapping off a fourth; it’s so addictive, but extremely precious at over $2.00 per frame. My results were spotty. One’s washed out. One’s blurry. Two are slightly overexposed. But all are delicious with those creamy undertones and deeply dive-in-able, beautiful blue greens. I’ll always remember my garden, captured on Polaroid Impossible Project film – does that even exist any more? – frozen in time, taken in the middle of a pandemic.
As with any uncertain medium, I can’t say that I was overly impressed. My initial disappointment eventually shifted the following morning into a happy lightness for having simply captured them. For having created.
Truthfully, these scans don’t do them justice; they seemed to have developed deeper the longer they sat, and while I might not have liked them immediately, I can say that I loved them for what they represent: I picked up a camera today and shot some film.
And that, in and of itself, is really all the matters. Creative juices were flowing; I crafted four photos with much thought. I’ll let you decide for yourself what you think. But I have a feeling you might love them too.