No. 243

8 Exposures...with Dan Meade.

Patrick Tobin | Dec 16, 11:15 AM

Hello, Impossibles! We’re back with another warm and fuzzy entry in our 8 Exposures series. This week, we highlighted NY-based Graphic and Web Designer Dan Meade

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

A: All of them! No, really…I have this thing where I have to try everything. I probably have at least one of every style and format of Polaroid camera, from Spectra and peel-apart cameras to 500 and even I-Zone!

I really enjoy my SLR cameras (several SX-70s and an SLR680) most, but I’ve also built a few home-made cameras including instant pinhole cameras and a custom rubber-coated “Holga-roid.” I also just got a Crown Graphic, which is just fascinating when used with instant film.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: I was initially drawn to instant photography for the nostalgia.

However, I quickly became hooked on the “instant gratification” and the unpredictable nature of instant photos. I love how this process uses chemicals – they can decay and expire or be manipulated to create something that has elements of both intentional and unexpected at the same time. The images are so unique, that it would be Impossible to do this with digital. see what I just did there? Impossible? ;)

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

A: I remember mostly the boxy plastic Polaroid cameras of the 80s and 90s. I think more than the cameras, I remember the little white-bordered 600 and Time Zero photos that used to be taken and shared at events like birthday parties, and that magic of watching the photo appear so quickly.

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

A: Here comes my “need to try them all” thing again. I like them all for different reasons.

The color films have really evolved and I am excited to try each release, but the PX680 Beta was a favorite of mine for the saturated colors and raw, “unfiltered” look.

As far as the Silver Shade films go, I found PX100 First Flush was really superb for the exact reasons that some may have found it challenging to work with. There was amazing potential in the ability to purposely exploit the temperature sensitivity to create wildly varying tones and other effects. I am hoarding a few packs still, thank goodness! But I also can’t argue with progress, and the PX 600 UV+ really is just gorgeous with tones that are less sepia and more silvery. Is that a word ? Silvery?

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

A: I like to try and find the hidden beauty in everyday objects or scenes that we pass by without ever stopping to notice. Even things that are not traditionally considered beautiful can become interesting if you look at them the right way. So I tend to take a lot of photos of decay in both urban and rural settings. But I would really like to spend some time improving my skills with portraits and people.

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

A: I have been working on a series of abstract instant textures. The process involves injecting chemicals, applying extreme temperatures, and using other types of manipulation to alter the chemistry and development to make unique, one-of-a-kind abstract compositions of color and texture. The results from each experiment tend to be “Impossible” to duplicate so each one is special. See how I did that again?

7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise!

A: There are so many talented people on sites like Flickr and Polanoid who inspire me to keep trying new things and see things in new ways. Anyone whose work I have seen has influenced me in some way, so there are really too many people to list.

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

A: Well, I just recently became a Dad, so I suspect I’ll be getting plenty of chances to get some practice with portraits!

If I could just get her to sit still long enough, I’d really love to have lots of those nostalgic instant photos of my daughter.

Thanks very much to Dan for taking part in 8 Exposures! Be sure to check out his Flickr Photo Stream for more instant magic!

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