My One Hour Photo Shoot

In Film
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It’s Polaroid Week so I knew I had to keep my promise to myself and make something happen. I bought my first Spectra camera in 2011. I loved that camera and it reintroduced me to the magic of film shooting. But something happened along the way and the camera just stopped working. I put it on a shelf and, well, forgot about it. And instant film photography along with it.

But I wanted to get back into it so I took the plunge and purchased another Spectra camera a few months ago. A gamble since the listing on eBay said it was only tested with an empty film pack but not actual film. So I was buying something that I knew would click and make whirly sounds when I pressed the shutter, but whether that would actually result in an image was unknown.

So I took my camera out this morning with a fresh pack of Impossible B&W film and just shot the whole pack.

spectra_dOne after another. In less than one hour. Until all 8 exposures were gone.

spectra_fAm I over the moon about these photos? No. Some spots are totally blown out. I’m not getting great tones and contrast and I’ve got those blasted white lines on the edges from improper shielding. Over the years I’ve had my struggles with getting good results from instant films. They don’t call it Impossible Film for nothing. But the challenge is what makes it so fun.

spectra_eIf you know me you know I love to shoot the George Washington Bridge. A test photo shoot on my new Spectra wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of my favorite spots for a shot.

spectra_aAnd my favorite companion was with me for the entire ride. Thanks for your patience this morning little sweet petunia! I know you were tired (evidence below)…

spectra_cSo I’ve clearly got some work to do but I am happy to at least find out that my Spectra is in working order. What I really need to get is some Impossible Generation 2.0 B&W film for my Spectra! At the moment they only have this film for 600 cameras, but I am patiently waiting.

In the meantime, would you like a pack of film for free? The IMPOSSIBLE Project has kindly given us five packs of their new black and white film to giveaway to you, our Viewfinders readers. For your chance to win a pack of this film, leave a comment to this post by Friday, April 24th at midnight EST!

Good luck!

~Christy {Urban Muser}



  1. These are fabulous, Christy…I know you said you’re not over the moon about them, but I love their look and grain…the GW bridge shot is wonderful and your beautiful babe is growing up so fast!

  2. Hi Christy-yes-they don’t call it impossible for nothing. I received my first SX-70 over the holidays-I think “tested” means different things to different sellers. My DH took the camera apart and figured out what was wrong with it. So winning a pack of film to try it out would be awesome. I love that bridge and your companion is growing so fast and is a cutie patooti.

  3. I love the images Christy! Especially the one of the bridge. You know, I think it takes just as much getting used to changing our own preferences for those contrasts and perfection a as it does the film! I quite like the blown out areas and lack of contrast for these….things seem dreamier ❤️ Thanks for the chance too to win some film!

  4. Lovely series and great that you got out and shot! I love that about Polaroid Week- it gets me excited about shooting again.

  5. i love these photos. and actually i just loaded up my own spectra with b/w and i’m heading out soon to empty the pack. the first camera that i ever held was an sx70. my father put it in my hands before i could hold anything. i wasn’t even holding it, his hand was beneath my tiny little hand holding the camera, he pushed my finger and i suppose i sort of pressed the shutter button but not really. and then that lovely sound of the film ejecting. etched into my memory forever. and i’ve used polaroids ever since. i have far too many, especially because i just started buying them like mad when impossible came around. a while back i started giving them away, mostly to kids, who seemed amazed by them. maybe like i was. i kept a few for myself, perfect examples of each, some built to spec for me. those are probably my two favorites, a matching pair, all black (really, all black, everything, all black), one is an sx70 and one is an sx70 properly modified to take 600 film. i couldn’t tell them apart, they look exactly alike, then i found a company that laser etches coverings, so i had them make me a cover that discreetly says sx600 and instructions for best results in the form of a poem, more or less. it gives perfect results if you shoot something bright from a shady spot, like, say, out a window from inside a room. so etched into the cover are the words “from shadow, afar the piercing light”

  6. The one of the bridge just slays me. Tooooo good! They’re all just marvelous, there is something about B&W that just transcends, then add on the Impossible and it’s just a recipe for happiness. I use to take out my pack film camera during lunch and do this (at $9 a pack, it was a little easier on the wallet to do often). I’ve done it a few times with my SX-70. I love the time limit and the focus it takes to shoot the whole pack!

  7. Yes that GW bridge one is awesome! It is quite a challenge to shoot Impossible – but I think that’s part of the fun. I’ve shot 3 different packs from 3 different batches and each needing to be tweaked substantially. However, when you get that one magical shot – you’re over the moon lol.

  8. love that fire escape shot, and you have a lovely companion!

    really, these all have a feeling from another time… which is one of the main reasons I love this unpredictable film. Happy Polaroid Week!!

  9. Christy, these images are stunning. Timeless. Classic. I feel like they could have been taken 100 years ago. So glad that you took the plunge on that Spectra! Cant’ wait to see what else pops out of it in the future.

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