No. 1210

Exhibition Focus: アウトサイダー / OUTSIDER.

Amy Heaton, | Nov 24, 06:00 PM

アウトサイダー / OUTSIDER.

GALLERY HANA SHIMOKITAZAWA
〒155-0031 東京都世田谷区北沢3-26-2

jdx is a street photographer, writer & documentary photojournalist. Much of his photography chronicles the street art, architecture & transience of New York City’s Lower East Side & the East Village. When he was invited to exhibit his photographs in a Tokyo gallery, seven months ago, he was compelled & intrigued by this idea of bringing the NYC streets to Tokyo.

“Tokyo. The neon metropolis fourteen hours in the future. A parallel world. So cool.

The exhibition was a fascination. Shimokitazawa reminded me of an East Village that no longer exists — young & affordable, favoring creators over consumers — & welcomed the exhibition with open arms & mind. The Gallery Hana, a venue situated among vintage clothing stores & indie vinyl shops, was the absolute perfect location & space to showcase the pictures.

As they entered the gallery what many visitors experienced, for the first time, was New York’s Lower East Side at street level: graffiti, architecture, street art, the collisions of old & new Manhattan, gleaming spires & derelict autos, a Lower East Side at odds with itself.

“Just like here,” they told me.

Alongside digital chromogenic prints, I included several Impossible Polaroid montages — developed on color + b&w SX-70 film — that became the most sought after pieces in the exhibition. We ultimately picked one such montage for the show’s key image: an intimidating line of taxis called ‘Death Race’. Ultimately it was the final montage, rendered from an original 35mm print shot from my roof on the morning of the September 11th attacks & titled ‘Fiery The Angels Fell’, that was the most talked-about & contemplated piece in the show. The broken apart image depicts the World Trade Center on fire, minutes before the collapse, & was in so many ways the beginning of my career as a photographer & photojournalist.

Full circle, 7000 miles from home.”

jdx’s work can be explored further via his official website, his facebook page and instagram.

No. 1209

Impossible Workshop at Salon de la Photo, Paris

Amy Heaton, | Nov 21, 05:04 PM

Last weekend, the Impossible Project Space Paris team joined the Réponses Photo Magazine’s stand at Salon de la Photo. As a forum for both photographers and manufacturers alike, the Salon de la Photo is an eagerly awaited event amongst a growing number of amateur and professional photographers who join to meet and share their experiences.

As well as being a place where all the various aspects of photography come together under one roof, the event provides an opportunity to discover technological innovations, share experiences, and appreciate artistic talent in a single space.

“It was a great experience and an opportunity to show the French public the evolution of our film and the new options we are offering as well as what is coming up next,” Impossible’s Shop Manager in Paris Eglantine Aubry explains. “In general participants were aged anything between 16 and 70, and I would say 50% of them were discovering our products for the first time. The 8×10 portraits in the morning were a huge success, a lot of photographers and large-format enthusiasts came to see us — everyone was amazed by the quality of our new black and white film, those who had seen us last year at the Salon could really notice a big difference.”

Across the weekend, a range of workshops and studios provide opportunities to interact with photographers eager to share their expertise. The popular Grandes Rencontres allow visitors to attend presentations given by big name photographers: an opportunity to go beyond the technical features showcased by the exhibitors.

“The afternoons were dedicated to 600 / Instant Lab portraits and emulsion lift workshops. People were queuing for around 15 minutes all afternoon to get their « Coney Island Souvenir » picture. What had originally been planned as a series of small, short workshop evolved into a crowd of eager participants staying around 1 hour on the stand to try emulsion lifting themselves!”

If you’re interested to learn more about Salon de la Photo, or maybe even to attend yourself next year—then you can read full details on their official website. Paris-based? Why not drop by to meet Eglantine and her team at the Impossible Project Space Paris this weekend.

No. 1208

1,000,000th Film Competition: Find The Golden Darkslides

Amy Heaton, | Nov 20, 03:15 PM

On Tuesday this week, we produced a million packs of Impossible film within a calendar year for the very first time. We want to celebrate this important milestone with all of you!

In just three films from the run that resulted in our 1,000,000th film, we’ve replaced the protective darkslide with special golden ones stamped with identifying serial numbers.

They have now been shipped from Enschede to our international warehouses and might turn up in the next film you buy from your local photographic retailer or Impossible’s own online shop!

If you are lucky enough to come across one of these films and find one of the three golden darkslides, e-mail us an image of the slide showing the serial numbers imprinted on it, along with your full name and snail mail address before the 31st December 2015.

In addition, you must answer the following questions correctly:

1. In what year did Impossible buy the last factory in the world making Polaroid instant film?

2. In which country is this factory located?

Once your golden darkslide serial number is verified – and if you have given the right answers to the questions above – you will win one of three sets of great prizes each valued at more than EUR 1,000 / USD 1,300 / GBP 800 each:

Here’s what you could win! Each of the sets contains:

Three artfully refurbished classic Polaroid cameras: an SX-70, a 600, and an Image Spectra, all with one year guarantee

A new Impossible Instant Lab Universal (for both Android and iOS smart phones or tablets).

One each of all our current integral instant films (around 30 films in all!) We wish everybody the very best of luck!

No. 1204

1,000,000 Instant Films – An Historic Impossible Milestone

Amy Heaton, | Nov 18, 04:00 PM

1 million films

Today, for the first time in our brief five year history, we are proud to share the news that we have produced one million packs of instant film within a calendar year at our historic former Polaroid factory in Enschede, in the Netherlands.

We purchased the Enschede factory, the last in the world manufacturing Polaroid instant film, in 2008. It took two years to re-engineer the film – not surprisingly, Polaroid did not leave behind its formulae or key chemicals – and to rebuild the factory’s assembly machinery. We produced our first film there in March, 2010.

Now the Enschede factory produces more than 35 different films for three classic Polaroid camera formats – SX-70, 600 and Image/Spectra – as well as for large format 8 × 10 cameras and Impossible’s own, revolutionary Instant Lab, supported by an Impossible-owned coating plant in Monheim, Germany.

As Stephen Herchen, our Chief Technical Officer, notes, “In addition to ongoing investment in film chemistry improvements for both our B&W and color films, significant investment has been made to improve our film manufacturing processes and increase our production capacity, enabling us to triple our film output. The stage is set for significant film quality improvements and still higher production volume in 2015.” Mr Herchen is the former Chief Technology Officer of Polaroid and worked for many years alongside Polaroid’s founder and inventor, Edwin Land.

Dr. Land once noted that the processing of an instant photo is one of the world’s most complex man-made chemical reactions. Hundreds of chemical interactions occur as it develops in the palm of your hand.

Everyone within Impossible is very proud of this accomplishment, but none more so than the 70 people who work at our factory in Enschede. Prior to this year, we produced around 650,000 instant films a year.

Polaroid-type instant photography has enjoyed a startling resurgence of popularity in 2014, with a 70% increase of sales to consumers aged 17 to 24 and continuing strength among both male and female users aged 25 to 34, who account for 40% of Impossible’s total sales.

This milestone marks a landmark for the analogue revolution in our digital age, with more and more people seeking physical, tactile and meaningful means of expression in a predominantly tech-driven world.

No. 1200

Impossible Impressions: Berlin Wall 25 Year Anniversary

Amy Heaton, | Nov 11, 08:54 PM

Photo: Lucile Le Doze

In a press conference on 9th Nov 1989 the central committee spokesman for the GDR, Guenter Schabowski, unintentionally announced that citizens could travel to West Germany. It was the beginning of the end for the German East-West divide, and the Berlin Wall fell shortly thereafter.

Being Berlin-based, last weekend was an important date in the Impossible HQ calendar—as 25 years later Berlin commemorated this momentous occasion with a unique light installation by artist Christopher Bauder specially designed for the Fall of the Wall 25th Anniversary.

As well as sharing a collection of the photographs we took across the weekend with Impossible film, we also wanted to share a few impressions from members of our team, and their own personal attachment to this important period of European history.

Nina Schandock, our Head of Accounting and Administration, grew up in West Berlin. Her mother was originally from the East of Germany, but settled in West Berlin because she found work there. When the wall was built she decided to stay, but in doing so she also had to take into account that she would be separated from her mother and sisters, as they lived in Senftenberg, 2 hours away from West Berlin on the other side of the wall.

“The 10th November (the night after the wall fell) all of our family was reunited again, we all met in West Berlin, Tiergarten and had dinner and had lots to talk about. I cannot remember ever seeing so many tears of joy in my life as on that one evening.”

“When people ask me about my best moment in life I can only say it was the fall of the Berlin Wall. The wall had already existed for 10 years when I was born and I would never have expected to see the fall of the Berlin Wall when I passed my driving license in May 1989, who would have known that several months later we would be part of a historical moment.”

Similar to Nina, our Head of Legal affairs Veronika Scholz has her own connection to the history of the Berlin Wall. She grew up in the Eastern part of Germany near the former border, and last weekend took a very special flight over Berlin with air berlin to see the balloons illuminated from the air. “The wall coming down was a key experience for me. And the Berlin wall symbolized the whole wall separating Germany. When I learned about the wall of light in Berlin for the 25th anniversary I got really excited. From where will I be able to see it? From above. That’s why I decided to take the chance and book the sightseeing flight above the wall of light with a prop airplane in only 1000 m altitude. The perspective allowed to see the dimensions of the former wall. Fortunately, Berlin is not a divided city anymore and often you can’t see where the wall was. So it is even more important to remember that it took a huge effort to grow together – but it was worth it.”

Peter Boesch, Impossible’s Partner Relationship Manager, has recently relocated to Berlin from Paris, and was keen to make sure his two young twins were present at this historic event. “Now, they are too young to remember” Peter explains, “but it’s a huge event in European history and I remember following it as a teenager. Even though they won’t remember it, my kids have these Instant film photos now and will remember that they were there—maybe later by having the picture they will remember some elements of the experience, and of course, they love balloons.”

Should you wish to, you can read more about the official Berlin commemorations in our earlier blog entry. If you were also visiting Berlin last weekend and happened to capture your own experiences on Impossible film, remember to share your own images with us at the Impossible Gallery!