January 2012

No. 255

Impossible's Analog Travelog - Azuree Wiitala in Minneapolis

Patrick Tobin, | 1728 days ago

Welcome back to the newest addition to the Impossible Blog: Analog Travelog. We’ll be sharing with you fantastic instant photos taken on voyages the world over. This entry focuses on our good friend Azuree Wiitala and her recent visit to Minneapolis…

My Mom had come to visit from Puerto Rico for my birthday. I only had a few days off in a row while she was in town and being the spontaneous person that she is, she saw those days as plenty of time for a short, sweet little adventure. Minneapolis is only about an hour long plane ride away from Chicago (where we live) so she booked tickets for us and off we went! Once we landed in Minneapolis we became a little weary of our decision, seeing as one of the magazines we read once there cited “going to Target to see the cart escalator” as one of the attractions, we wondered what exactly we had gotten ourselves into!

Seeing as it was my birthday week and I was raised in the suburbs it was only appropriate that we head over to The Mall of America for some shopping and for the sake of nostalgia. That place is a child’s dream come true. A theme park inside of a mall. I loved the carousel there, I have an affinity for them! We also visited a little town called Edina that was really cute and The Minneapolis Institute of Art. I L O V E museums. There’s something so surreal about seeing famous works of art in the flesh. I get especially thrilled about seeing my favorite photographs printed large and hung on a bare wall. It was at the MIA that I saw the famous Dorothea Lange print and my very favorite of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s prints. I couldn’t help myself, I shot a picture of it to take home with me when no one was looking!

I ALWAYS take my SX-70 with me on trips and this one was no exception. I brought two special editions of film with me, the Pigeonhole PX 680 and the Holden Edition PX 680 film. I liked the challenge of finding things that would look nice within the colorful borders of the Pigeon film and was very happily surprised at the more subdued little drawings of the Holden Edition film. That film was especially fun to shoot because you didn’t know what border you would get with each photo, but somehow they all seemed appropriate to the subject. I love shooting Impossible Project film. I love the dreamy quality of the film, the little imperfections and most importantly – the preservation of memories that are made, instantly!

Minneapolis was a fun place to visit and the time spent on this little adventure with my Mom was priceless. I’m so thankful that The Impossible Project has taken it upon themselves to continue the integral film legacy and allow us to continue to capture our favorite moments on instant film!

About Azuree

I live in Chicago with my husband and two rabbits and love shooting Impossible Project films, traveling and listening to Ryan Adams.

Thanks to Azuree for taking part! Be sure to visit her Etsy shop at xoazuree.etsy.com

No. 256

Oskar Landi – Also in India

Jon Campolo, | 1728 days ago

January 12 - February 9, 2012
The Impossible Project Space NYC
425 Broadway
5th Floor
New York NY 10013

Amassing four separate worldwide journeys over the past decade, Oskar Landi translates multiple communities of India with a unique visual language, when discovery through spoken word was insufficient. Landi was born and raised in Italy and has lived and worked in New York since 1998. His personal projects have been recognized by the International Photo Awards and Prix de la Photographie Paris as well as numerous publications worldwide.

On Thursday, January 12th, Oskar Landi’s “Also in India” opens on the south wall at The Impossible Project Space NYC. With “Also in India,” Landi portrays the country through dry image transfers of original Type 679 Polaroid film, revealing imperfections and faint colors reminiscent of early photographic processes and hand coloring techniques. Conditions such as uncontrollable humidity, heat, dust and expired photographic chemicals caused unexpected but enchanting consequences even for the artist. The resulting exhibition is a visual introduction to the rich cultures of India dependent on Landi’s astounded curiosity.

Oskar Landi – Also in India
At The Impossible Project Space NYC
January 12, 2012 – February 9, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday January 12, 2012, 6pm–9pm
RSVP: rsvp@theimpossibleproject.com

Open to the public during open hours M–F 11am–7pm and Weekends 12pm–5pm
The Impossible Project Space NYC, 425 Broadway, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10013

No. 257

Fixing a 'Super' Sticky Pack

Frank Love, | 1727 days ago

Did this ever happen to you? You take 1-2 pictures out of a pack and then – nothing. The pictures just won’t exit the camera anymore.

The reason for this so-called “Frame Feed Failure” (aka Sticky Film Pack) is that, during storage, frames in the pack tend to bend downwards, and the camera’s roller system can no longer reach them.

In our other Sticky Pack video here we offer a quick solution that works for some packs and is faster, but for the more stubborn packs here is one to try straight from the experts in the factory. According to them, this is a sure way to get your pack back to working.

No. 258

The Polaroid Classic Line

Frank Love | 1726 days ago

We are deeply in love with the inventions of Dr. Edwin H. Land, the inventor of instant photography and founder of Polaroid, and have always believed in the magic and importance of analog instant photography. That’s why we teamed up with Polaroid to bring you a new product line that incorporates some of the most memorable products and designs in Polaroid history – the Polaroid Classic line.

Impossible and Polaroid are carefully selecting, producing, presenting and globally distributing an expanding selection of iconic Polaroid Classic branded products. Each year Polaroid and Impossible will introduce 6 to 10 meticulously chosen items – for everyone who believes in the magic of analog instant photography and wants an item that both celebrates the past and supports the future!

We are kicking things off with two Polaroid Classic products that represent the essence of analog instant photography: film and cameras.

No. 259

8 Exposures...with Ben Shuster.

Patrick Tobin | 1724 days ago

Hello again, instanteers, and welcome back to 8 Exposures! This week, we spoke with Washington, DC-based Ben Shuster…

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

A: I have a couple SX-70s – the Original and the Sonar Onestep – and a Spectra for the current and past integral packs. For packfilm I go with either the Model 340 Land Camera or my Kiev 88 fitted with the Polaroid magazine. I also still have a fair amount of Type 80 series packfilm, and those go straight into my Holgaroid.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: Like so many other people, I love its vintage coolness, nostalgia-soaked colors and analog unpredictability. It sets your shots apart from everything else out there. It can take a perfectly normal snapshot and make it perfectly unique. The variety of manipulation and lift techniques really make creative possibilities endless. AND! Name someone you know who doesn’t have a “make my photos look like instant film” app on their phone – you can’t do it. WE know what’s up. WE have the prints to prove it.

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

A: I have a Polaroid sitting in a stack of prints somewhere with “X-Mas 1989” written on it. I remember we would take pictures of the tree when I was a kid – I mean, when you think about your childhood, what’s more nostalgic than that?

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

A: Right now it’s the Black Frame PX 600. It’s simple, it’s classic, and I may be in the minority here but I can’t wait for some nice freezing, snowy white weather so I can get out there and “monochrom-atify” my life.

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

A: I never really go out with a plan because I don’t like to limit myself and I enjoy shooting spontaneously. Living near the colors and chaos of Venice Beach the last few years really spoiled me. I loved everything about it. There was never a shortage of odd characters and sherbet sunsets. When I look at my stuff now, I guess I was trying to photograph a general cross-section of the counter-culture…I threw in the “beachy” stuff for my own comic relief.

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

A: Well, I mentioned Venice Beach…I actually just moved to Washington, DC and have been trying to get a feel for city. I’ve traded my California mountains for monuments, and celebrities for politicians. Of course I want to photograph the city, but not so much the typical, historical DC. That may come later when I can try an unusual take on it. It’s a mobile city, and through the metro alone I’ve already discovered many great “pockets” that I’d like to continue to explore.

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

A: Aside from Grandpa? I really enjoy Rock ‘N’ Roll fine art photography and am a huge classic rock junkie. Gered Mankowitz is one of my favorites – the shining jewel of my apartment walls is a Rolling Stones print from his “Between the Buttons” shoot with the band. Henry Diltz is another favorite because his photos manage to create such a strong connection to a era in music that happened 20 years before I was even born. His images are just so iconic, my favorites being the “Morrison Hotel” and “Crosby, Stills & Nash” album art. Art Kane is great because his music stuff is so different in a conceptual way. For a quick instant film nod, check out Bobby Klein’s John Belushi/Blues Brothers Polaroid transfer!

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

A: Without a doubt, it would be the remaining members of The Doors – Densmore, Krieger, and Manzarek. If we’re allowed to include time travel and/or members of the “27 Club” in this fantasy scenario, let’s get Morrison there too! John, Robby, Ray: have your people call my— me.

Thanks so much to Ben for taking part in 8 Exposures!

No. 260

Brandon Long Exhibited @ Photobooth SF

Jon Campolo, | 1721 days ago

Photobooth, the world’s only Tintype and Polaroid portrait studio, exhibited our good friend and fellow Impossible photographer Brandon Long last Friday, January 6th, and Brandon has been kind enough to share a sneak peek of his SX-70 shots with those of us that couldn’t be in San Francisco!

See more of Brandon Long’s dreamy portraits on his flickr!

No. 261

Dr. Love's Tips – To Maintain or Not To Maintain

Jon Campolo | 1720 days ago

The good doctor.

We put out the question to you all about what kinds of tips you all would like to hear. One topic we heard several times was about cleaning and maintenance of your folding SX-70 and SLR 680 cameras.

There are a few simple things you can do to help keep your cameras running well and looking good. Now not to sound like a broken record, but I again cannot stress keeping your rollers clean. You can refer back to our Door swapping post about how to get the door off your camera to make cleaning easier and safer. Then you can go back to our first video with Dave about cleaning rollers for how to do this.

After that you can keep the inside of your camera clean with a can of compressed air or an air blower some of you may have for keeping lenses clean which can help keep dust out of the film compartment of the camera. Don’t forget that mirror you can see inside the camera is like another lens element because the image is reflected off that mirror to expose the film. A hair or smudge on this mirror may show up on your shots, and if there is a smudge, try cleaning it with a lens cloth taped to the end of something long and thin like a chopstick or handle of a dinner knife. Just be careful of the picking arm in the back left corner, and don’t apply too much upward pressure on the mirror.  

A lot of people have asked about cleaning bellows as well. Using Windex is actually a great tool for this. Apply to lens cloth or something lintless and soft, and here again, do not apply too much pressure and of course avoid anything pointy or sharp as you wipe it over the bellows to get them shiny and black again.

As to the lens you can clean like any other camera’s, same with the lens of the VF. Now if the VF mirror needs cleaning, you can lower the skirt of the VF by pressing up slightly at the center at the top of the front of the skirt whirr these two clips are that hold it there, then lower it allowing you access from the sides and do the lens cloth on a chopstick again, knife handle is likely too big. Be sure not to not the spring off, or if it is off simply put the hook back over the side of the mirror like in the included picture. To put skirt back into place simple raise the skirt back up and tuck the clips back under, and you can press the VF down as if to close it, and upon closing it should snap back in just as it was.

If you have a need for cleaning anything internally like the mirrors aside from the film compartment or the VF, we recommend sending it to a professional repair shop as the only way to access these is to take the camera apart. This most likely isn’t necessary, but for this we recommend PHOTOTECH here in NYC if you’re in the US.

Lastly, for general maintenance on the camera, the best thing for it is to be getting used with some regularity. If your camera hasn’t been picked up in a while, if it’s empty load an empty pack into it and fire off some ‘blanks’ to ‘warm it up’. If the camera isn’t responsive initially, refer to our SX-70 CPR post and make sure the battery in the pack is good. If your camera sounds whiny, this is often caused by carbon build up on the motor or the lubricant drying a bit, and firing the camera is the best way to get this worked out. Note however if the sound does not improve after a couple of days of periodical exercise for 5 minutes at a time a couple times during the day, or in fact worsens, the camera likely needs repair. If you already use your camera nearly daily, this shouldn’t be necessary and if anything you should try not to ‘overuse’ the camera, if you have more than one you can rotate them.

Hope this info helps and as always, keep your rollers clean, -f

No. 262

Dr. Love's Film Tips - Cold Weather

Patrick Tobin, | 1720 days ago

The good doctor.

We’re proud to introduce a new feature on the Impossible Blog: Dr. Love’s Film Tips. Each week, Frank Love, Impossible USA’s Camera Resources Manager, will provide guidance on how to get the best from your Impossible images. This episode concerns shooting Impossible film in cold weather…

With the temperatures dropping, there are some things to keep in mind when shooting instant film in cold weather. Since instant film is a film lab in each frame, the temperature you’re shooting in can greatly affect each frame you shoot, for good or bad. Something to keep in mind is any instant film needs to be at at least 50ºF/10ºC for processing. This means if you’re shooting in temperatures below this, you have to get your film warm once it’s out of the camera.

The easiest thing you have at your disposal is your own body heat. Using an inside coat pocket or putting it under your arm under your jacket work great. Using an Impossible Cold Clip can also help ensure a warm place for putting the film for processing. The main things to remember is get your film warm as soon as possible while keeping it covered, and be careful not to bend the frames when tucking them away as this can tear the film sheets and damage your image.

Revisit our video offering tips for shooting in cold weather as it does illustrate these practices in action.

-Dr. Love

No. 263

Dr. Love's Film Tips - The Undeveloped Patch

Patrick Tobin, | 1719 days ago

The good doctor.

This week, Impossible USA’s Camera Resource Manager Frank Love speaks about the dreaded divots!…

Something all of you have most likely seen by now, either in your shots or in shots we’ve posted, is that little patch that can occasionally show up on the top of our films. Depending on who you talk to, this can be called a ‘divot’, ‘undeveloped patch’, or even a ‘mushroom’ or ‘snowflake’ depending on its appearance.

Now, this phenomena is certainly not new with Impossible films, it’s simply that most people have either never used or forgotten about Polaroid’s earlier films that would have experienced coverage issues, or are only used to seeing it in expired film, that it’s gotten a little more attention of late.

What this is comes down to the fact that the developer paste, also called reagent, did not spread over the entire surface of the film, and that ‘patch’ is the place where it did not cover. That brown or grey patch is the negative you’re seeing. It earns its ‘snowflake’ nickname from the kind of starburst around it that sometimes happens.

The reason behind the developer paste not spreading fully is simple, however the cause is not always so clear-cut. The reason is uneven spreading of the paste. The paste will spread more thickly in some areas than in others, thus running out before it can cover the full frame. The opposite of this shortage can result in the paste leaking out of the top back when the paste spreads a little thin.

As for the causes, there are several variables that affect the spreading of the paste. The first and most direct is the rollers. Rollers from one camera to another can be slightly different in their ‘gaps’, and certain models have typically tighter or wider gaps in general. A camera with a lot of use or that’s not been cared for well may have rollers that lose proper alignment so they aren’t even to begin with. I’d say the most common issue with rollers however is when they get dirty. If there is a build up of paste on rollers this can cause uneven development, not just resulting in little spots on the film, but it can make the entire frame spread differently sometimes, so as I’ve stressed before, keep your rollers clean. Aside from the rollers, temperature can also be a factor in the thickness of the paste spreading, so shooting in more extreme temperatures can cause either the patch or paste leaking.

Essentially this is due in part to the new films being still more sensitive to these factors. Polaroid had engineered their films to be very resilient to all of these factors over decades of research with their formula, so that in time, the new films can also build up a resistance to them. In the mean time, the best things you can do is keep your rollers clean and avoid extreme temps for processing. If the problem is persistent, you can try this trick (with caution) from our video: Avoiding The Notorious Undeveloped Patch, or if you use a 680, you can try swapping your film door with that of another camera (680’s generally have a wider roller set so swapping its door with that of an older SX-70 can also help).

Hope this helps some of you get better coverage out of your shots, and as always, keep your rollers clean,


No. 264

Viewfinder: Portroids

Jon Campolo | 1719 days ago

Jimmy Pardo

You’ll find Rick DeMint, founder of Portroids and his Spectra camera behind every red rope and at every press conference worth photographing. For this installment of our “Viewfinder” series, we take a look at only a few of the thousand (!) instant images he’s shot of inspiring personalities over the past decade.

“My name is Rick DeMint and for over 8 years I have been documenting my life and the people I’ve met by taking Polaroid portraits of them and having the photos autographed. I call them portroids and have collected almost 1,400 so far. From my home in Fort Collins, Colorado, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel to many places and I always make sure to have my Polaroid Spectra camera with me, plenty of film, and a Sharpie. I enjoy attending film festivals, comedy events, theater, and just seeing who I may meet by exploring various cities.

In association with the comedy podcast Never Not Funny, for the past two years I have taken portroids (Polaroid portraits) backstage at their 12 hour marathon podcast Pardcast-A-Thon. For this year’s event I exclusively used the Impossible Project PZ600 UV+ Silver Shade Black Frame film to take portraits of each of the guests, the hosts, and associated crew. The Pardcast-A-Thon is a fundraiser for the charity Smile Train, so I also auctioned off the original photos, made a poster for their studio wall, and created a book of the event to be sold to raise additional money for the charity.”

Special thanks for Rick for taking part in our “Viewfinder” series, and for making everyone look so darn good on Impossible film! To see more of Rick’s portroids, visit his Flickr or Facebook pages.

No. 265

8 Exposures...with Jessica Hibbard Elenstar.

Patrick Tobin | 1717 days ago

Hello again from 8 Exposures! This week, we’re highlighting Maryland Event Planner and photo genius Jessica Hibbard Elenstar!

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

A: My collection is always expanding, but my favorites are SX-70s, Spectra ProCams, and Super Shooters. I always have at least two of each in case one breaks, and multiple cameras also come in handy for shooting different film types at the same time.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: I’m drawn to the beauty of vintage cameras, the warmth of film, and the uniquely imperfect nature of each image. Even “bad” polaroids are good, and a nice reminder for a control freak like myself to be open to surprises.

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

A: My grandmother’s Spectra camera. I still remember her opening the crinkly silver package of film. She insisted on taking a picture of the entire family at the dinner table when we were all together, so there are many vintage shots of me as a kid with food in my mouth.

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

A: I went on a PZ 680 shooting binge this summer. I absolutely love the colors, and in my opinion, it’s the easiest Impossible film to use. I’ve recently been shooting the new PX 100 test film, and I’m head over heels …I’ve always been more of a color film enthusiast, but the spectacular tones and contrast are making me reconsider black & white photography.

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

Daily life — Mostly my cats, weekend breakfasts, plants in our garden, and little scenes I discover while walking around town. I also find any change of scenery to be hugely inspiring. Some of my favorite photos were taken in the rural mountains of Pennsylvania, the busy streets of New York City, and the scenic beaches of Oregon.

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

A: It’s kind of lonely being one of just a few instant photographers in my small city. My background is in event planning, so I’d like to organize a fun weekend of instant photography with like-minded friends. Maybe a meetup here in Frederick, or an “analog girls” weekend in NYC.

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

A: I love studying the work of female photographers of the past. I’ve followed the discovery of Vivian Maier’s photos with great interest. And I’m completely enchanted every time I pick up a book of Linda McCartney’s photographs.

I think today’s instant photography community is perhaps the most talented group of photographers ever. Jake Messenger, Heather Champ, Rommel Pecson, Jeff Hutton, and Amanda Mason are some of my favorite instant talents. I’ve learned almost everything I know about instant photography from Anne Bowerman and Dave Bias, who are the the world’s best photowalk companions.

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

A: A couple months ago, I flew in a hot air balloon for the first time. The logistics of the flight were such that I couldn’t take instant photos … So I’m dying to fly again with a polaroid camera and Impossible film. I think I’ll get my chance this spring when I fly with Tailwinds Over Frederick, a local balloon company. Anyone want to join me?

Heaps of thanks to Jessica for taking part in 8 Exposures! To view more of her work, please visit her Flickr Photo Stream

No. 266

Oskar Landi – Also in India Recap!

Jon Campolo, | 1716 days ago

This past Thursday, we were so grateful to celebrate the opening of Oskar Landi’s Also in India exhibition at the NYC Space! With his debut show at Impossible, Landi portrays the country through dry image transfers of original Type 679 Polaroid film, revealing imperfections and faint colors reminiscent of early photographic processes and hand coloring techniques. Attendees took in the many textures of India as portrayed by the artist and enjoyed delicious artisan chocolate from FINE & RAW!

Those wishing to see the exhibition may visit the Impossible NYC Space any time during store hours: Monday through Friday 11am–7pm and on Weekends 12pm–5pm until February 9th. Thanks so much (and congratulations!) to Oskar and everyone who attended!

No. 267

Shield images in Spectra/Image cameras

Frank Love | 1715 days ago

Impossible images are super sensitive to light after exposure, pictures have to get shielded from light IMMEDIATELY as they get ejected from the camera – the first few seconds are crucial!!

Insufficient shielding will typically result in very light, low contrast images – learn how to shield your PZ images in Spectra/Image cameras.

No. 268

Shield images with folding type cameras

Frank Love | 1715 days ago

Even though the development of our film’s post-exposure-light sensitivity is getting better and better, you are still well advised to shield your current Impossible images from light as soon as they are ejected from the camera. There are several ways to do this easily, but here is our most recently developed and beloved trick to easily enhance the performance of the Impossile films.

Note that this technique only works with folding SLR cameras. For shielding techniques with box type 600 cameras please see the separate tutorial video.

No. 269

Viewfinder: Jorge Valle

Jon Campolo | 1715 days ago

Analog instant film has been an integral part of the fashion world for decades. For this installment of our “Viewfinder” series, our featured photographer Jorge Valle sheds light on how Impossible films can not only refresh a photographer’s attitude, but also help communicate a unique style in an industry so dominated by digital photography.

“I’m 29 and I live in Madrid, Spain, but I’m moving to London in a few months. I work as a graphic designer, but my big passion is photography. That’s the reason why I left my job in Madrid and moved to New York City, where I spent the last three months of 2011 taking some courses and workshops at the International Center of Photography. While I was in the Fashion Photography course I noticed that almost every picture was taken with digital cameras, and at that time I was a little bit tired of digital. I needed to make something different. So inspired by my teacher Andrea Blanch, who always wanted us to go further, I created for my last assignment a fashion editorial with pictures taken with Impossible Film. And the result was exactly what I wanted, something fresh, natural and with attitude. It’s funny how instant film is considered something refreshing now, when it was so common in the fashion industry not so long ago!

All the pictures were taken in Williamsburg, which is where I lived while I was in NYC. Coming from Europe, a borough like Brooklyn can be very inspiring and kind of “exotic”. It’s completely different (the people, the architecture…) compared to Madrid, and I’m sure most of the people here couldn’t even imagine that this is part of New York, since everyone has that picture in their mind of a city with the biggest skyscrapers. I love Williamsburg, and I think it’s an important part of this project, as well as the help of Álvaro, who was my “model” and fellow traveler!

I think that moment was a big step in my photography, because it made me appreciate every format as a unique way to tell something. I’ve worked with medium format and 35mm cameras a lot, but that was the first time I considered making a real project with Impossible film and I couldn’t be happier. I really loved the experience and I’m sure it’s going to be an important part of my work as a photographer in the near future.”

Thanks so much to Jorge for taking part in our “Viewfinder” series, and for sharing his experiences with us. To see more of Jorge’s work, visit his official website.

No. 270

Shield images with box type cameras

Frank Love | 1715 days ago

Impossible images are super sensitive to light after exposure, pictures have to get shielded from light IMMEDIATELY as they get ejected from the camera – the first few seconds are crucial!! There are several tricks how to shield the image from light upon its ejection from the camera – see all tricks when using a box type camera here.

Insufficient shielding will typically result in very light, low contrast images. With the PX 70 PUSH and PX 680 film, poor shielding will also result in a strong pink or orange haze over the picture.

No. 271

Dr. Love's Tips – Mirror Mirror In My Camera...

Jon Campolo | 1713 days ago

The good doctor.

Another topic we got requests for was when the mirror in the camera gets stuck up out of place or mid cycle for one reason or another. This can often be recognized by a black VF and a camera that won’t close all the way.

There’s actually a couple tricks to getting your mirror back in place. If your camera is empty and you have an empty pack, you can try to put that in the camera and fire it a few times, or put the pack in, pull it out, back in, out a couple of times letting it cycle each time you close the door. This may get the camera back into the proper rhythm of things so that when you put a full pack in, everything is where it should be for proper operation to take pictures.

If this doesn’t work, or if the camera cycles but is still ‘off’, there is a more manual way to reset the mirror. Open your camera and look to the side of the camera behind the shutter button. You’ll see there’s a long strip of black plastic that runs the length of the camera next to the bellows. This plastic covers the drivetrain or gears to the camera that moves the power from the motor to the rollers and controlling the pick arm and mirror movement along the way as well.

To access the gears, you remove the plastic by pulling up from the front first, it will come up slightly in the front, then move a little further down and pull the rest up with a little ‘wiggle’ so as not to pull too much as to break it. Once the cover is off, you’ll see the series of gears. To reset your mirror, find the last gear towards the back of the camera that you can comfortably put your thumb on. Start winding the gear in the direction of least resistance. If you wind and after a few turns it suddenly has more resistance, wind the other direction. It could take about 30+ seconds to hand wind the mirror back in to place so be patient. Simply wind until you hear that usual ‘snap’ which is the sound of the picking arm resting, and what you hear when you normally take a picture. Once you hear this, look through the VF and you should see clearly though it, the camera should be able to close completely, and if you open the film door you should see the mirror on the top flat and flush with the top.

To put the black plastic cover back on, start at the back, and it should fit neatly back into place without forcing anything, and make sure nothing is outside the chrome or plastic outer body. This may take more than one try, but the main thing to remember is don’t force it.

Once the cover is back on, the camera should be able to close freely and completely, and you can again try the camera. If the VF is still black but the camera closes completely, be sure the top VF is fully extended for if it isn’t, the mirrors do not align properly to see an image. You can test the VF by pressing down on the top front and making sure it has a ‘springy’ response to your pressure. If the VF doesn’t spring back, you may need to put the spring back on the mirror as described in the cleaning and maintenance post.

If you still experience issues, your camera may need repair, but at least you now know how to reset the mirror so that you can close the camera and it can travel safely to a repair shop.

Keep your rollers clean, -f

No. 272

(Lengua)ge by Ana Marva Fernandez

Patrick Tobin, | 1712 days ago

(Lengua)ge is a participatory piece by NYC artist Ana Marva Fernandez on display for Unhappy Readymade, a group show about instructions curated by Jessica Hamlin and Sarah MacWright.

(Lengua)ge involves viewer participation, asking visitors to the gallery to rearrange five objects in a provocative manner, then take an instant snapshot and pin it on the wall. The idea is for participants to enact a transformation of meaning by arranging the objects. The process mirrors the shift in meaning that words undergo when they are arranged in a sentence, especially when more than one language is at play.

Ana will be using Impossible PX 680 Color Shade film during the exhibition’s opening reception, which will be held on January 25th from 5-7 PM.

Unhappy Readymade is on view at the Commons Gallery, NYU’s Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant St. from Jan. 18th to Feb. 4th.

No. 273

Impossible No More…An Instant Workshop at Aperture!

Jon Campolo | 1711 days ago

Feb 4th, 2012
Aperture Tremont
2541 Scranton Rd.
OH 44113

As one of the few and privileged Impossible “Partner Store Plus” spaces in the USA, our friends at Aperture Tremont are hosting their first workshop ever, offering you an exclusive perspective on new Impossible films, tricks and tips.

During this hands-on workshop they’ll be covering techniques of working with Impossible film and vintage Polaroid cameras. The workshop will be ran by Aperture owner and photographer, Scott Meivogel, plus Cleveland Polaroid expert, Tim Logan. Tim shot for our One Hundred Impossible Portraits event last year, with fantastic results!

Finally, 1/3 of the workshop will be spent photographing two live models dressed in perfect vintage attire. Participants are guaranteed to leave with photographs that’ll knock their socks off, taken with the latest Impossible film! If you have your own Polaroid camera, please feel free to bring it. If not, they’ll have loaner cameras for you to use while you’re there.

Registration is $39.99 and includes a pack of Impossible film as well as refreshments. Registration can be completed by calling 216-574-8977, or purchasing on Aperture’s website HERE.

No. 274

8 Exposures...with Kristen Perman.

Patrick Tobin | 1710 days ago

Hello, friends! We hereby present you with another entry in our instant film Q & A series, 8 Exposures. This week, we profiled California photographer Kristen Perman

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

A: My favorite camera is my SLR 680. I actually have two of them, both in a delicate state from being dropped. I also love my Spectra camera, gifted to me by a good friend, who found it by her apartment dumpster in Philly. It’s clear, so you can see all the inner workings and it has proven to be a great conversation starter.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: Instant photography taught me how to frame a photo and of course, to slow down. I’ve learned that the first shot is always the best, even if that first shot is not the best or your favorite.

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

A: We always had a Polaroid camera around. There are random family photos throughout my childhood proving its existence even though I don’t remember it much.

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

A: I love PX 680 Color Shade right now, especially the Gold Frame Edition.

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

A: I love to shoot at the beach and I love to shoot on the street. I’m inspired by architectural details and by the colors here in Los Angeles. I’m a sucker for shop windows and who doesn’t love a good still life soaked in light?

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

A: I just finished shooting all twenty-one of the California missions with my Spectra and it’s a beautiful project. I really want to push through feeling shy and finish my 100 strangers project. I find that shooting a polaroid portrait is easier because my camera gives me a way to break the ice.

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

A: Right now, I’m completely enamored with the work of Wallace Berman after finding a book on his work in a museum bookstore. And always my self portrait heroes, Francesca Woodman and Cindy Sherman.

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

A: I would love to take two polaroid portraits: Cindy Sherman and Kristen Wiig.

Thank you for taking part in 8 Exposures, Kristen! To see more of Kristen’s work, please visit her Flickr Photo Stream.

No. 275


Frank Love | 1710 days ago

prism Photography Magazine dedicated its first special issue entirely to the instant photography phenomenon. We at Impossible heartily recommend this inspiring reading, featuring carefully selected works from over 30 instant photography users from all around the world.


Beyond that, we recommend you visiting the show INSTANT LOVE – the result of collaborative effort of prism Magazine and MadArt Gallery. This unique, inspirational and international exhibition is on display until February 2 at MadArt Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.

No. 276

Viewfinder: Christopher Robleski

Patrick Tobin | 1708 days ago

Welcome back to Viewfinder. Our current entry focuses on an ongoing series of instant images of old Route 66 by Christopher Robleski, co-founder of the website Fading Nostalgia. Christopher has recently compiled his images into a book entitled, “Polaroid Photos from Route 66”…

“My passion for photography is matched only by my love of road trips, with traveling Route 66 at the top of that list. While heading out of my current hometown of Milwaukee, WI, to explore America’s roads, I’ve been troubled by how quickly our nostalgic past is fading from the landscape. It is my personal mission to travel this country and capture what still remains, and I have joined the ranks of many who seek to preserve these memories. I see Route 66—a 2448 mile stretch of meandering road from Chicago to Los Angeles—from a completely different perspective through the lens of a Polaroid camera. The old road once bustled with life, but the modern-day interstate diverted traffic away from the small towns that dot the landscape.

So many people are working endlessly to revive Route 66, but much abandonment still remains. I can’t help but find beauty in the decay of an old motel or diner sign, bleached by desert sun or rusted by midwestern rain. As the photo sits on my car dashboard and I wait for the film to slowly fade into view, I travel back in time when this experience was popular amongst families driving the main street of America. This past December, I published my collection of nearly 275 Polaroid images spanning five years of my Route 66 travels. My hope is that anyone who stumbles upon my book has a similar experience: whether they remember taking Polaroid pictures when they were young or are simply trying to revive the old medium as I am. In addition to the book, my partner Katie Nelson and I started the website fadingnostalgia.com to reconnect people to these memories of old Americana. We show photos and share experiences and encourage others to do the same. It is ironic, but without this digital connection, the past and all of its rusty glory would likely be forgotten”

To read about the making of Christopher’s book, and to pick up a copy for yourself, you need only click HERE

And to stay updated with Christopher’s quests, visit http://fadingnostalgia.com/

No. 277

Bi-annual Sample Sale @ The Impossible Project NYC Space!

Jon Campolo, | 1706 days ago

January 28th & 29th, 2012
The Impossible Project Space NYC
425 Broadway
5th Floor
New York NY 10013

The Impossible Project NYC Space will host it’s Bi-annual Sample Sale on January 28th and 29th, featuring all day bargains only available in store. On this very special weekend, analog enthusiasts are invited to dig through our boxes of seriously discounted Impossible stock! This includes 600 Cameras from $15, Spectra system cameras from $25, discounted film, rare accessories, limited edition prints, art books, and our famous Impossible Bruch film bags, including matured film mix 5 & 10 packs for 600, Image/Spectra and SX-70 cameras!

5 Pack (for $55!) & 10 Pack (for only $99!) Film Bundles of everyone’s favorite Impossible film types, including:

PX 600 UV+ (Japan edition)
PX 680 (manufactured 08/11)
PX70 PUSH! (manufactured 08/11)
PX 70 Triple Packs

If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to visit the NYC Space now is the perfect time!

No. 278

Adam Goldberg's Ana-log

Patrick Tobin, | 1705 days ago

Our favorite actor/musician/photographer Adam Goldberg recently took to the road with his lovely muse – illustrator/designer Roxanne Daner, heading for their home on the west coast after spending several months in NYC. He must have been a boy scout, because Adam was photographically well-equipped when he and his lady fair set out across America. What follows is a record of his travels, which he refers to as his Ana-log

“The trip began in earnest and trepidation in the afternoon of December 29, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY and concluded in Los Angeles, CA on 5 January, 2012. We obviously crossed some sort of space-time continuum. Or some sort of New Year transition took place. We travelled in a Prius stuffed to the gills but somehow still functional as a road vehicle with:
my ladyfriend Roxanne Daner;
a suitcase filled with far more over-the-counter pharmaceutical items and toiletries (largely mine on both counts) than with clothes;
a Toyo 45a (200mm lens);
Mamiya Universal Press (100/2.8 + 50mm lenses, 2 Pola backs);
Mamiya 7ii (43mm and 150 mm lenses);
Bessa III;
Leica M6;
2 Spectras;
1 SLR 680;
1 SX-70;
a huge bag of 120 film, Polaroid film, Impossible film;
an Olympus Pen 3 that I impulsively purchased on the way out of town, my ambivalence regarding documented extensively on our travel blog;
2 Brinno time lapse cameras mounted on the dash, one facing in, one facing out;
a baby Martin guitar;
and 3 dogs—Simone, The Sheriff, & Ludlow—ranging in size from 9 – 95 lbs.

We took what is generally known as the Southern route. With little time for deviation, what we saw, what I shot and what we ate was left largely to gas stops and the happenstance of 6 hour driving intervals. Roxanne would have preferred to drive more than 6 hour days but between my penchant for motion sickness, staying up much too late shooting, scanning and blogging, and very late starts each day that were entirely my doing, I had to draw the line at 6 hours.

Day/Night 1: Drove to Harrisonburg, VA, stayed the night at a particularly photogenic Village Inn after a rather disturbing dinner at a formerly 24-hour truck stop replete with blinding overhead lights and Fox news blaring from several televisions to which at least one angry trucker spoke back something about Obama taking all his money. Photogenic though.
Day/Night 2: Drove to Asheville, NC, where fortuitously, a dear old friend of mine and his family now reside. We stayed with them and had lunch in town, very lovely.
Day/Night 3: Beautiful drive through Tennessee, land in Nashville that night, just in time for a momentous new year’s celebration—first at the only hotel with a vacancy, a Sheraton on the outskirts of town, where we ordered and promptly discarded the worst food I’ve maybe ever eaten anywhere ever, then topped off at the only open restaurant within fainting-from-hunger distance at nearly empty Ruby Tuesday, where my blood sugar had dropped so low I could barely manage to make my way through the chicken breast I ordered.
Day/Night 4: Get into Little Rock, AR, at night. Almost ghost-townish. Felt like we owned the place. So much so I’m still waiting for the tea I ordered at the Peabody Hotel, where we spent the night and took some of my favorite photos.
Day/Night 5: Make it to Oklahoma City, OK, where I have some buddies in the rock and roll outfit: The Flaming Lips. We have dinner with Wayne, his wife Michelle, Michael, and others, then see and photograph their gallery “The Womb” and then hang out at their psychedelic digs. Next morning, visit pal Steven on the other side of town in a sort of stopped-in-the-‘70s neighborhood with a decidedly retired Republican bent, but great ’60s/‘70s ranch style houses and some fantastic trees.
Day/Night 6: Extraordinary drive chasing sun in vast flat Oklahoma. Eternal sunset. Beautiful. Amazing roadside Shell station where I shoot with nearly every camera I have. Then land in the place where I may retire, Tucumcari, New Mexico—a stopped-in-time half ghost town/half functional old route 66 Edward Hopper painting/Sam Shepard play/Wim Wenders movie. I stay up late shooting, scanning, shooting, uploading, blogging, grogging.
Day/Night 7: After taking more photos in Tucumcari by far than any other stop, we set off to Flagstaff, AZ, stopping at the shooting ducks in a barrel photogenic El Rancho Hotel to eat in Gallup, New Mexico.
Day/Night 8:. The Radisson in Flagstaff is our last stop and though not particularly photogenic, we wake and realize a forest is essentially outside our window and we see snow—albeit 2 weeks old and effectively dirty ice by this point —for the first time this winter other than a brief snowfall in New York in October. This time we chase sun through the Mojave Desert, another stunning sunset, documented while at the wheel with my Spectra.

Then, sleep in our bed for the first time in 5 months.”

Adam used several types of Impossible film including PZ 600 Silver Shade, PZ 680 Color Shade, PX 70 Color Shade and the new PX 100 Silver Shade UV+. To see more of Adam’s extensive collection of amazing road tip images, please visit his own travel blog at http://adamgoldbergasunwittingkerouac.tumblr.com/

No. 279

8 Exposures...with Andrew Millar.

Patrick Tobin, | 1703 days ago

Hello again, 8 Exposures fanatics! We’re back with another splendid entry in our instant film interview series. This week, we spoke with Andrew Millar

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

A: I have quite a few SX-70 cameras; some work better than others but I mostly tend to use my trusty old brown SX-70 Land Camera 2.

2) Why do you like instant photography?

A: It can be unpredictable and love it when you try to control or play with the outcome and end up with something unexpected and unique.

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

No one in my family owned an instant camera so my earliest memory would be going to get my passport photos done when I was a child in an old-fashioned photo booth.

4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?

A: I enjoy experimenting with the new film types. I’m particularly fond of the PX 680 Colour Shade and the PX 600 Silver Shade Gold Frame and Black Frame.

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

A: Where I live the everyday crowds force me to find places where there are no cars, people or noise. Old seaside towns are very romantic and nostalgic, as if time has stood still.

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

A: I’m currently working on a series of images for an expo that I have at En Face in Paris next February so I’m busy getting ready for that.

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

A: When I was at Uni and saw destroyed photographs by Arnulf Rainer, the destructiveness of his images really related to how I felt at that time, luckily Bob Ross’s joy of painting taught me to relax. I’m also a big fan of Gilbert and George. I love their large photo pieces from the seventies. Also, work by Diane Arbus and the talented Raul Diaz.

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

A: Keith Richards.

Thanks very much to Andrew for taking part in 8 Exposures this week!

No. 280

Dr. Love's Tips - Hold Onto It!

Patrick Tobin, | 1699 days ago

The good doctor.

Two simple tips to help you whenever you experience trouble with your camera or film are…

1. Hold on to dark slides
2. Carry an empty film pack

When ever you run into trouble with your camera, having these tools with you can be invaluable to trouble shoot your camera without wasting precious, valuable film.

Upon the moment of realizing something isn’t quite right with your camera, you can simply grab a dark slide from your camera bag or pocket, and slide it into the camera over the top frame of film just like we show you in the pack-swapping video HERE, and pull your pack out safely without wasting the top frame.

You then take an empty film pack and insert it into the camera. Ideally, you’ll want to rotate this empty pack occasionally, as the battery will die eventually, and you’ll want to ensure you have a good battery to make sure you’re testing your camera in the best conditions. If you have access to a voltmeter, the battery should likely read between 5.75V-6.2V. Anything below 5.75V will likely not operate a camera.

Using this empty pack, you can fire off a bunch of ‘blank’ shots and try to get an idea of what isn’t working just right with your camera. Sometimes a camera can get out of cycle and putting in an empty pack and cycling it a few times helps it reset back to the intended cycle.

Once your camera seems fine again you can simply reload the pack you pulled before and resume shooting your pack without unnecessarily losing film. In the end, having these on you can probably save you money and aggravation in the event of camera mishaps.

As always, keep your rollers clean,


No. 116


Frank Love | 1900 days ago

The Impossible ND Film Pack filter was developed to use Impossible 600 Film in Polaroid SX-70 cameras. Inserting this filter on top of the Impossible film cartridge will adjust all 600 films to approximately 100 ASA and make them compatible with your SX-70 camera. This filter is easy to attach, detach and use and does not require any changes to the camera itself.