| Oct 22, 11:00 AM
Welcome back to 8 Exposures, our popular instant film Q&A series! This week, we are proud to present you with Florida photographer Ritchard Ton…
1) What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?
I have several sx-70s, an automatic 100, 195 land camera, numerous plastic One Steps, and a modified one shot into a pinhole.
2) Why do you like instant photography?
First, it was about watching the photo develop.
After that, it was about instantly having a photo to document the moment.
And then it was the ability to manipulate the photo.
And then it was the camera. The SX-70 is the best camera ever built. Yeah, I said ever.
And then it was the excitement of being a part of the creation of a new film and process of perfecting the film.
Now, it’s all of the above.
3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?
As a child, my family had a Kodak Handle instant camera. To me, watching instant photos develop was amazing. Not having to take a roll of film to local photomat kiosk in the A&P parking lot and wait a week to see the photos was really something special.
4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?
I love all of the impossible films. From the first PX 100 First Flush to PX 680 Cool, I like the fact that the company has included us on the process of perfecting the film. I was amazed at the tonal quality of their black and white film and love the color palette of the color shade. And, they all can be manipulated! And lifted! I appreciate the fact that they considered manipulation as a factor for engineering the film. It shows they know their market.
5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I have multiple favorites. I’m always packing multiple cameras loaded with different film when the family goes to an amusement park or county fair. I like the idea of large mechanical devices hurling bodies through the air, flipping, spinning and tossing to the delight of the passengers and the anticipation of the people in line. I also like to photograph nature, family and objects around the house.
6) Tell us about a project you’re working on.
I like to use the manipulation ability of instant film to create short animations. The process involves manipulating a single photo and scanning each manipulation to create a stop-motion film. I’m currently working on a stop-motion animation that is combined with live action. I have the rough portion of the animation complete but there are some minor logistic factors keeping me from filming the live action sequences. I hope to work these problems out and finish filming soon.
7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?
An article in Popular Photography magazine about Michal Going’s Time Zero manipulations of the US Open that first introduced me to the SX-70 manipulation process. His images led to my manipulation addiction.
Larry Burrows’ image “Reaching” from the Viet Nam War opened my eyes to the power of the still image.
There are many photographers on Flickr are sources of inspiration. I’m constantly astounded at the talent on that site.
8) If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?
Back in the late 80s I traveled to Paris and fell in love with the city. I’d like to go back and shoot the city streets and sites.
Originally from NOLA, now living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I was a full-time professional photographer for about 15 years (back before all this digital mumbo-jumbo), then part-time for another 5 while earning a degree in computer science.
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