Polaroid: End of an Era

I don’t think there will ever be anything like the magic and surprise of taking a photograph with the Polaroid camera. The very idea of snapping an image and seeing it instantaneously come to life was nearly breathtaking in its day, inspiring generations to try to capture some of the ordinary beauty of day-to-day moments.

I remember one of my first jobs out of college being sent to scout a location with a Polaroid. The director carefully instructed me on how to build a detailed composite of a room, snapping it as a whole and then going back to shoot it incrementally in side by side images to approximate production space, lighting, equipment, etc. That instant delight (and its signature look) can’t be matched by any digital process today and never will again with the announcement that Polaroid Corporation will stop making its instant film this month.

A long, loving, and intelligent advertisement introduced the SX-70 camera in 1972. The ad was designed and created by Charles and Ray Eames. (Of Eames chair fame). What an endearing tribute. Is it my imagination, or did advertising have much more substance and integrity back then, too?

 

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~ by eaesthete on 01/13/09.

One Response to “Polaroid: End of an Era”

  1. The demise of Polaroid I find sad for the photographic community. I will not miss the Polaroid cameras, but the film they produced. There was amazing creativity in using large format Polaroid film. Emulsion transfers became very accepted,and will be missed by me. The digital revolution continues.

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