| Oct 1, 11:00 AM
Hello again, friends, and welcome back to 8 Exposures, our popular instant film Q&A series. This week, we are happy to bring you marketing director and photographer Tim Logan…
1) What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?
Most of the time I use an SX-70 or SX-70 sonar. I have a variety of other Polaroid cameras and backs as well, though, and will often use one of those. It’s not uncommon to see me out with a Polaroid Spectra, Polaroid 250 or my Graflex Crown Graphic with a Polaroid 545 or 550 back. I enjoy shooting as many instant film formats as I can get my hands on so I tend to have a lot of different cameras with me at any given time.
2) Why do you like instant photography?
As strange as it may sound, one of the biggest reasons I enjoy instant photography is because of what it has taught me – Patience. Whether you are shooting with Impossible’s films or some the remaining expired Polaroid stock you really need to be much more mindful of how you work. It’s become very easy to shoot in excess because of digital technology, but, because I don’t want to waste a single frame of instant film I’ve really learned to slow down and take more into consideration before I release the shutter. Ultimately, I think that lesson has made me a better photographer regardless of the format I’m shooting.
Outside of that, I just think this is a really exciting time to be involved in instant photography. I was amazed when I read the opening chapters of From Polaroid To Impossible. So many great artists were involved in the early stages of Polaroid. Their work, images and experimentation with Polaroid film became iconic. They were the Pioneers, and, in a way, they were the ones who helped shape Polaroid into what it eventually became. I think as an instant photographer it’s very exciting to be a part of something similar with The Impossible Project. As they continue to grow and develop the new generation of instant film we are lucky enough to be involved and a part of their story.
3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?
Unfortunately, I am one of those photographers who came late to Instant film. Growing up I wasn’t really around photography much. Except for some 35mm film and a couple disposable cameras used to shoot childhood birthday parties or family vacations there weren’t a lot of cameras around. I didn’t know anyone who owned a Polaroid camera and I never shot any of the original Polaroid films until long after they had stopped producing them. Now, I often scramble to find as many of the original film types as possible just so that I can experience them once before they’re gone. It’s funny to find myself missing something that I’ve never known, but I continue to watch film stocks disappear or be discontinued just as I am expanding further into film photography. I think it’s unfortunate for all young photographers and I think it’s just another reason why companies like The Impossible Project are so important.
4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?
Currently, and for very different reasons, I think it’s a toss up between the PX 100 film and the PX 600 Black Frame Poor Pod. I think the PX 100 has been one of the sharpest and most consistent films from Impossible. It has great tones, is quick to develop and I’m always confident in what my end result is going to be. The PX 600 Poor Pod on the other hand, is a film that I love because of its lack of consistency. The undeveloped divots and occasional brown streaking throughout the film are unpredictable and have made for some of my most unexpectedly beautiful photos.
Considering the exciting advancements to the opacification layer of the new PX 680 and PX 70 test films though…I think there are some really great Impossible films on the horizon and that my answer to this question will soon change.
5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
No matter what format I’m working in I would almost always choose to shoot a person over anything else. I find the experience of working with a person rewarding and, personally, I find that photographs with people are more interesting. I think the human element creates emotions and personality that you can’t get in a lot of other places. Of course, it’s not always easy to find someone to shoot with, so, I have shot my fair share of other things over the years. And really, even if I do prefer to photograph people, I love photography so much that I could never limit myself to just a single focus. So… I guess my favorite subject to photograph is the one that is current.
6) Tell us about a project you’re working on.
I’m currently working alongside two close friends and fellow artists in an effort to bring about a large, all-analog photography festival here to Cleveland Ohio in 2013. I can’t give out too many details of the event just yet, but if all goes as planned you will be hearing more about that event soon.
7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?
Choosing a few favorite photographers is a very difficult task for me. I look at so many photos in the course of a week and draw inspiration from so many different styles that it’s hard for me to pinpoint favorites. I have always been a huge fan of Helmut Newton for his style of photography, his approach to art and his ability to live up to his own expectations over the expectations of those he was working for. I find the work of Sally Mann to be truly beautiful and inspiring in the face of controversy early in her career and think that her later work is a great example of how an artist can infuse their beliefs and explorations into a piece of art. I admire Richard Avedon for his accomplishments, his simplicity and the unbelievable ease in which he directs his talent. And then, more recently, I have been admiring the work of Jan Scholz, a more current and perhaps lesser known film photographer, because of the depth and emotion he get’s his models to convey and because of how beautifully he uses natural, available locations and light in his work.
8) If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?
I love Americana. I’ve always been nostalgic and enjoyed the small, fading away places that you happen across when you take the less-traveled route. Little town squares, the unchanged amusement park and carnival-like towns like Coney Island are my favorite kinds of places to spend the day and capture on film. I’d be happy to travel the country some day photographing those little places that time has forgot before they all disappear for good.
I am a selt-taught, slightly obsessed, photographic hobbyist from Cleveland, Ohio. I enjoy cycling, my three cats, black coffee, my lady-friend, growing a beard, and of course, all things photography. In my free time I work with a full-service marketing agency as an Associate Creative Director for an internal production studio.