| Jan 21, 11:00 AM
Welcome back to 8 Exposures, our popular instant film Q&A series. This week, we are happy to bring you California photographer Erin McGuire…
1) What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?
The types of Polaroid cameras that I have are an SX-70, Spectra, and a few OneStep 600 box type camera. I also have a few Polaroid backs for large format and pinhole cameras that I like to use, and one Holgaroid.
2) Why do you like instant photography?
There are a lot of reasons why I like instant photography but what it all really boils down to is the quality of the images taken on any kind of instant film. They have their own special look and personality, especially Impossible Project film. No matter what you do with an Impossible Project image, whether it be an emulsion lift, drawing on it, or manipulating it in the digital darkroom, you can tell it’s an IP image because of its distinct characteristics.
3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?
I was born in ’65 and it seems like instant film was always around, but my own personal experiences with the film came when a coworker gave me her old Spectra camera and I took pictures of my boy when he was just a toddler. I still have some of those pictures and the very first IP picture I ever took was with that same Spectra camera.
4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?
Right now, that would have to be the new PX 70 Color Shade film. The colors I get with that film just blow me away. After that, it would have to be PX 600 Silver Shade Black Frame. I love how the film can shift tones from pure black and white to sepia.
5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Landscapes. Any kind of landscapes, but a current favorite with the PX 70 film are the fantastic sunsets I see here in the desert.
6) Tell us about a project you’re working on.
I am currently working on a new series of image composites titled On The Surface. It is based on deception and how the things we see at first glance, and usually take for granted as being the whole truth, are really only one small part of a much larger story that we have to dig deeper to get to. This series has come about due to the recent discovery of a life-threatening illness that a beloved family member has actually had for some time now. In looking at photographs from a few years ago, I realized, in ways I never dreamed of, that even straight photographs can lie, no matter how truthful the photographer and subject hope to be. Working with many different modes of capture, I am combinging images in Photoshop to create landscapes that appear factual at first glance, but that will begin to reveal a greater truth upon closer examination and thoughtful reflection.
7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?
Aha, this is my favorite part!
To start off with, some well known choices are Keith Carter, Rocky Schenck, Ken Rosenthal and Susan Burnstine. Some of my new favorites are Gary Isaacs, Michael Kirchoff, Astor Morgan, and Alex Stoddard. I have so, so many more favorites. Please check out my favorites list on Flickr to find them. Most of my favorite photographers can be found on Flickr, including This Fleeting Life (Janine Matheson), Moominsean (Sean Rhode), TobySX70 (Toby Hancock) and The Gentleman Amateur.
8) If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?
I would love to go to Alaska with a thousand packs of various types of Impossible Project film and take pictures of everything, but mostly, the aurora borealis. Could you just imagine the aurora on the new PX70? I sure can!!!
I live in the Palmdale/Lancaster area of Los Angeles county, also known as the Antelope Valley. I am a student at the Academy of Arts University, San Francisco, online and am a full time computer support specialist with a software company in Fountain Valley, CA.