No. 687

8 Exposures...with Lee Summers

Patrick Tobin, | Dec 21, 11:00 AM

Welcome back to 8 Exposures, our ongoing instant film Q&A series. This week, we are happy to bring you Georgia photographer Lee Summers

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

My first love, the SX-70 original. An SLR 680 SE that saved me in the dark days of Time Zero discontinuation. And the beautiful, translucent Spectra Onyx for when I want to roll wide.

2) Why do you like instant photography?

It’s like the difference between a tamagotchi and a real pet. It’s one of a kind and unpredictable. Tangible. It’s a conversation starter. It’s been said so often before but this is real magic right here and we need more of that in this world. Plus, when my hard drive eventually dies and I lose all of my digital photos, I’ll still have my Polaroids. And someday, someone else will have them and wonder why I’ve kept so many blurry photos.

3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?

For some reason, I can’t recall ever growing up with a Polaroid camera in the family, though my parents have albums of them that run counter to my memory. The turning point in my adult life was when I was given a donated original SX-70 by a manager at a thrift store I used to work at in the early 2000s. I fell in love with the mechanics and design and since Time Zero was still readily available at the time, I was instantly hooked.

4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?

PX70 Color Protection and PX100 Silver Shade UV+ but I’m sure that will change as soon as the next wondrous film is released.??

5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

My beautiful wife, our cat, my friends and family, and the beach, always the beach. In all, just the act of shooting instant film and that slowly unfolding end result is what I ultimately prize.

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

There are a couple things that I have mental notes in check for. I’d like to do a series on the grey graffiti-buffing squares that appear on the walls around Atlanta in Silver Shade film. Maybe I’ll call it 50 Shades of Grey. Also a series around church and fast food sign sayings in our surrounding neighborhoods. There is one that says “god only reads knee-mail” that I always chuckle at when I pass by.

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

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Johnathon Kelso, Matthew Moore, Amy Stein, Mike Brodie. And the community of photographers and instant lovers on Flickr that I’ve followed and been inspired by for ages.

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

The landscapes of Mars.

About Lee

I’ve lived in Atlanta, GA for the last decade but was transplanted here by way of New Mexico, Malaysia & Missouri. I’m an Art Director at an ad agency by day. I’m also a passionate Arsenal Football Club & Atlanta Braves supporter, both sources of extreme depression. Lastly, I co-run and design for a small record label called Geographic North.

To see more of Lee’s photography, please visit his Flickr photostream. You can also follow him on Twitter at @wakeupcall.

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