ghosts of Rembrandt

Another festive occasion, Fiona’s birthday, so we broke out the Polaroid 600 One camera she got me for Christmas. Everybody just loves it , the process, the instant results and the iconic packaging, it’s an unbeatable combination at a party – the Impossible project has to be on to a winner – but the resulting images this time around are, shall we say, “interesting”.

The film packs are pretty old, some of them maybe eight or nine years old, although they have been kept refrigerated all this time. Amazingly the battery still works and easily provides enough power for the camera and flash. But the film’s sensitivity is unpredictable. I liked 600 film for it’s nice tonal gradation and muted colours and these images are certainly muted and mostly dark. But I wasn’t prepared for the “olde worlde” feel of some of the images. It’s a mixed batch – well, we had been drinking – but some of them showed potential, low contrast, deep tones and a warm overall colouration – some of that down to the mixed lighting sources, but not all of it. None of them are keepers – except for the use in a diary, but there might be a glimmer of an idea for a future project.

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I’ve a few packs of 600 film left, including some matte, it’s got to be worth experimenting with it to see if I can produce a modern “old master”. I might even try a 600 pack in an SX70 camera, to see what a longer exposure does to it.

If you really want to, you can see the full gallery here (And yes, I have messed with the contrast.)

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