Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Polariod Land Camera -- Results Are In

I've shot all of the film I bought for the Polaroid Land Camera I bought this past summer.  The first batch was taken in October on the Great River Road in Illinois.  We drove the road up to Grafton and Pere Marquette State Park, took the Brussels' Ferry to Brussels, Illinois (imagine that) and stopped (but didn't eat) at the Whittmond Hotel.

Some pictures developed better than others.  Temperature and duration of development are key, I think.  Also, sun positioning, as I learned later on.  Another thing I will note about developing Polaroid Land Camera pictures -- it's messy.  You'll get the develoment chemicals on your hands.  They're not dangerous, but bring a rag or paper towel to wipe you hands off.  Also, I don't recommend stacking the pictures, even days after they've been taken.  They have a tendency to stick together.

This first picture was taken by my son at the Piasa Bird painted on the bluffs of the Great River Road.  I'll add that framing with a Land Camera can be a challenge.  What you see in the viewfinder is definitely not necessarily what will appear in the photo.

Pere Marquette State Park

Below is a demonstration of what not to do with a Land Camera (really, any camera, I guess).  I'd forgotten about sun positioning when shooting with film.  I think digital is a little more forgiving.  The sun was to our right in the background, so the foreground showed up dark.

The Brussels' Ferry.  The two ferries are a little hard to see in the distance.  I was trying to capture the dance they perform when exchanging sides of the river.  It's a different experience taking a car on the ferry and the kids loved it.  Unfortunately, there's not a lot to do when you get to the other side and in fact, many people turn right around and take the ferry back.  It's more of a novelty for most people and honestly, I'm surprised the state continues to operate it at no charge.

One thing you can do in Brussels is eat at the Whittmond Hotel.  However, in the Fall particularly, you'd better have reservations.

I shot the remainder of the film this past week.  We were at Meert's Tree Farm in Festus, Missouri picking our Christmas Tree.  Yes, I know it's early, but the kids couldn't wait.  And cutting a fresh tree, as long as you keep it watered, should guarantee green through the holidays.  It was cold, about 44 degrees.  Recommended shooting temperature for Polaroid pictures is above 65 degrees.  Below that, you use a Cold Clip.  The color was muted and the picture also had a strange anomaly on the left side where it appeared the coloring had lifted off when I peeled the development paper back.  I'm not sure if this was a flaw in the film or due to the cold.  It continued in the picture after that as well.

This final picture was taken the day prior when the temperature was a little warmer in the 60's.  A Bradford Pear tree in our side yard in it's full Fall glory.

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