This Sunday I pulled out a few very, very special boxes of expired original stock Polaroid instant film, set up the large format 8x10 and 4x5 cameras, put up my favorite hand-painted cloudy background, the big soft box, and awaited a special guest: Gator the Deaf Circus Pittie to arrive for his polaroid dog portraits. As an official Impossible Project 'Pioneer,' I was invited to be one of the first people in the world to test their first-run 8x10 instant film- a rebirth of Polaroid's incredible large format peel-apart film which was discontinued years ago. Of course I jumped on the opportunity and quickly bought my very own box of 15 instant exposures. The incredible detail and sharpness of an 8x10 negative is simply amazing. An 8x10 negative is literally six times bigger than the 120 format negatives I get with my Hasselblad. The dual-plane focusing system of the 8x10 camera brings a sense of incredible creative power and ability to selectively focus on the most minute areas. Simply said- it is a superior system.
Unfortunately, as I was about to develop my first Impossible Project 8x10 exposure, the machine that processes the instant photograph literally blew up in my face. It was old, and dusty, and poorly taken care of. After putting out a small electrical fire and having a quick melt-down in the studio, I simply pushed the 8x10 aside and set up the 4x5 Horseman field camera- a miniature version of the 8x10, with the exact same mechanics. As Gator the Deaf Circus Pittie was about to arrive, I set up the 4x5 Polaroid back with some of my very last Polaroid Sepia pack film and created a series of beautiful polaroid dog portraits. But before that, of course I had to do a test with my usual suspect: Pancake.
This portrait has quickly become a favorite. It was taken with the Horseman field camera and Polaroid T55 pos/neg film. A little under exposed, but magical.
These two portraits were taken with the Horseman 4x5 field camera and Polaroid back (with Polaroid Sepia pack film).
Thanks to Reed and Gator the Deaf Circus Pittie for sitting for my camera, once again. Can't wait to see what we'll do next time!