I was struck recently by how much I miss old Polaroid instant film. I’m talking about the old SX-70, 600 and spectra films that I used to play with when I wasn’t pursuing “Serious” Photography. I remember working at the film shop back in the early nineties I used to take out the rental camera and pop a cartridge in and just snap away in my spare time. Then I’d smush the emulsion around with the end of a ball point pen or anything that wouldn’t break the surface of the print while the image was developing out to goof up the image. This was pure play. Also this was instant gratification the old fashioned way.
My wife was sitting in the car today and was looking at a Polaroid of her and her niece that was shot about 13 years ago by me, at least I think I took it. It occurred to me that the generation after mine and the ones to follow won’t have the same appreciation for the final image now that they can carry tens of thousands of photos on one device. The problem I see with this is that the image is only as good as the battery that powers the device that it is viewed on. As soon as the power goes out the power of the images goes out also. I have this vision of the next generation staring longingly at their memory cards just as my wife was staring at her Polaroid this morning.
Did I mention that I miss Polaroid. Thankfully The Impossible Project has continued to produce some of the old technologies that Polaroid has abandoned.