No. 170

8 Exposures...With Charlie Wagers.

Patrick Tobin, | Oct 14, 12:43 PM

Welcome to a new feature on the Impossible Blog: 8 Exposures. We’ll be asking artists and photographers 8 questions revolving around photography, especially instant photography. Also included will be 8 Impossible images submitted by the featured artist.

Our inaugural edition of 8 Exposures focuses on Charlie Wagers, an Ohio-based graphic designer, art director and illustrator, and a founding member of Three Bears Design.

1) Q: What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?

A: I have a vintage folding SX-70 that I prefer to use, in addition to a bunch of old thrifted 600 cameras. I like the SX-70 because I can use 600 films in it, with a filter. And it folds up nicely, which makes it easy to carry around with me.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: I always prefer analogue photography to digital. I most commonly photograph with 120 films in my Holga, so using instant cameras is a treat to see the photos within minutes. I especially appreciate the colors and new effects that come with using Impossible’s film types.

3) Q: What is your earliest memory of instant film?

A: Probably my parents telling me they wouldn’t buy me a Polaroid camera, because the film was too expensive when I was little. Another good memory (not very long ago) was in 2008, my friend Phil and I were living in Pittsburgh. When we found out Polaroid was discontinuing their instant film we drove 45 minutes outside of the city to buy $300 worth of 600 film.

4) Q: What’s your favorite Impossible film type?

A: This is a tough one. My favorite film was the PX-70 Push!, for the colors. I shot a pack of it on tour in March, and loved it. But also I really like borders on the Black Frame version of the PX 600 Silver Shade. Make a color film with black borders, and that will be the ultimate for me.

5) Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

A: I have a weird obsession with old neon signs. I think I just really like to take present-day photos that look like they are from another era. I love using texture and vintage imagery within my graphic design work, and I try to find opportunities to utilize my (amateur) photography within my design work.

6) Q: Tell us about a project you’re working on

A: Right now I’m designing for some secret tour swag for Josh Ritter. I can’t say what, but it is based off of his lyric, “I’m still waiting for the whiskey to whisk me away.” And I love whiskey, so I jumped at the opportunity to create some appropriate imagery.

7) Q: Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?

A: Last year I saw a show at the Akron Art Museum called Detroit Disassembled by Andrew Moore. The photos were all humongous prints, and the subjects were abandoned buildings in Detroit. I am guilty of enjoying urban-exploration photography, and this show blew me away. I think it was the scale; the photos were very wide, and incredibly detailed. I also really appreciate work by Gregory Crewdson & Diane Arbus.

8) Q: If you could take any photo of anyone or anything what would it be?

A: Probably a shipwreck. I am obsessed with underwater photography, and love swimming. I’ve even tried the Holga in-a-plastic-bag technique. Additionally, I am a certified scuba diver, so maybe this goal is attainable.

Thanks very much to Charlie for participating! Stay tuned for future episodes of 8 Exposures featuring more interesting people from the analog community!

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