Welcome back to Viewfinder, our series in which we chronicle interesting projects that incorporate Impossible film. This week, we’re happy to bring you J. James Joiner documentation of the Newport Folk Festival…
It wasn’t until I loaded the backpack full of film onto my already sweaty back that I started to worry I may have made a mistake. Not only was it well over 80 degrees – and pushing 100% humidity – but I now had two days of serious shooting ahead of me with two cameras that were past the 30 year mark.
When I decided to do the Impossible Folk Project – the name an amalgamation of the project’s primary subjects, Impossible Project instant film and the venerable Newport Folk Festival – I made the determination that I had to commit fully to the concept, and left my usual digital SLRs on a shelf back home (In all fairness, I should admit that I did, at the last minute, slip my Fuji x100 in the glove box. But only as a “break glass in case of emergency” contingency. Or if I found myself out of instant film and with the time to take several minutes manually focusing each frame). Now here it was: go time, so to speak, and I was definitely having a moment of panic. Not only was I not well-versed in the way of instant photo taking (I generally shot my Polaroid cameras as a hobby, not in the so called professional capacity), much of that shooting had been done on expired film, which as you know can be, um, unpredictable?
After checking in for our press stuff and firing a few shots of the waiting crowd, shots I suddenly realized I couldn’t preview for at least a few minutes to make sure I had “caught” the moment, it dawned on me just how dependent we’ve all become on instant gratification (which is, of course, ironic since I was shooting with the OG “instant” format). Here I was, supposedly a seasoned “professional”, and I was getting panicky over whether or not I had managed to get a decent photo. Deciding that peace of mind (and restoring a suddenly shaky self-confidence) trumped any late-onset light damage, I pulled the pics out of my pocket (don’t worry, I have museum-quality pockets) and gave ‘em the mid-development once-over. Lo and behold, and with a great deal of the credit owed to the wonderful folks at the Impossible Project, they looked great. Read all