Tag Archives: Polaroid

The Time Before Time

Last autumn (2009) I shot a pack of exquisitely expired Time-Zero film, and the results were primordial.  At about that same time I was reading up on Dreamtime.  The photos coincidentally reflected the materials I was reading, and so the series ended up with The Time Before Time as a title.

The Time Before Time

The Time Before Time, 2

The Time Before Time, 3

The Time Before Time, 4

From Out of the Darkness

Recently, I began shooting the last of my Time-Zero.  Polaroid photographers know just what a painful statement that is to make.  The film is rapidly becoming degraded, though, and any effort to save it at this point is only an opportunity for loss.  The last pack I shot had an expiration date of December 2006, meaning it was a fairly new pack of Time-Zero, and I had arranged to film these shots during their developing process with a fellow artist.  The initial shots I got from it were quite black and rose, and those are the shots from the pack that I’m including here.

To shoot this pack of film, I visited the home of an artist who is a musician, painter, and actor, who is very photographable and who had agreed to help me film the Polaroids.  Chad is the upright bass player for a Twin Cities band Hot Rod Hearse, and the painting in the second portrait is his own.

a portrait of a musician

a portrait of a musician

portrait of an artist

portrait of an artist

It was enjoyable to photograph someone who was not part of my list of usual suspects for models (my daughter, my son, their playmates, or my friend Lindsay).  I liked the experience so much that I am thinking of beginning a project of photographing artists of all kinds in their natural environments.

Anyway, because we were filming the the Polaroids in their developing process, I wanted to do a few still life photos which would be simple and visually pleasing to watch develop.  We took a few objects from Chad’s shelves, beginning with a ballerina figuring presumably belonging to his wife and finishing up with an evil little gnome.

a dancer for sophie

a dancer for sophie

another little dancer

another little dancer

There were a few characteristically blue shots from this pack of Time-Zero, but I will include them in a separate blog entry, since they do not belong visually with these.

Thanks for Visiting,
Elinor
elinor@equivoquephoto.com
equivoquephoto
My Flickr Photostream

opalescence

I’ve been experimenting with ways to get color with which I can live from Artistic Time-Zero film.  Sometimes it takes more than just a little of this, that, or the other to get the Polas to develop into something I like.  This last batch of experiments rendered some results I love, in terms of color.

Here’s my favorite of the last set of experiments.  Traces from a past life…

Traces of a Past Life

Traces of a Past Life

A Phalaenopsis (moth orchid)…

Opalescence

Opalescence

Opalescence, 2

Opalescence, 2

Another portrait of my daughter…

Surfacing from Dreams

Surfacing from Dreams

Thanks for taking the time to look,
Elinor
www.equivoquephoto.com
equivoque.etsy.com

Addictions and Obsessions

This winter has been very long.   I had been leaving to work in utter darkness each morning and returning home to greet dusk, but, yes, there is finally daylight when I get home from work at the end of the day!  Winter has made it  difficult to find opportunities to shoot.  Recently,  however, I bought a Phalaenopsis (a moth orchid)  as a prop to phot0graph in the late afternoon light in the kitchen.  I also cracked open a Magic Pack of Time-Zero given to me by a special friend in addition to a pack of 100 Chocolate film that I bought from Polapremium.  Shooting both types of film definitely brought a bit of levity back to my life, and the Choco turned out to be something I love.

The Chocolate Addiction: Composing with the Land camera, especially with a closeup attachment (as was done here) is not an easy thing.  There is a lot of parallex error, and it takes time and a considerable wastage of film to learn to compose with the mind’s eye rather than with the viewfinder.  Anyway, this 100 Chocolate film, with its rich contrast and lovely crackelure, has earned my affection along with my other favorite film types, Neopan and Time-Zero.  My newly acquired love of chocolate.

Child of Mine

Child of Mine

The Obsession: I’ve been inclined towards nurturing my own obsessions throughout the course of my life.  I used to have a wild passion for orchids and owned and cared for hundreds of them!  Now they find their place in my life as occasional props for Polaroid photography.   Time-Zero film has been been the object of my affection for a long time now, though.  I hope I’m not like the fellow in Adaptation who says, “Fuck fish“.  I probably am, just a little, but I think my passion for photography is going to stick.

Sea Butterfly

Sea Butterfly

Sea Butterflies

Sea Butterflies

Obsession

Obsession

Thanks for looking at my photographs,
Elinor

elinor@equivoquephoto.com
equivoquephoto
my etsy shop

We Play at Paste

We play at Paste —
Till qualified, for Pearl —
Ms. Emily Dickinson

Ms Dickinson

Ms Dickinson

I have loved the words and works of Ms. Dickinson since high school when I encountered the poem To make a prairie, but her words have never had such direct application to my life as last night when I began helping my daughter make jewelry.  Mind you, I do not know how to make jewelry.  My ten year daughter, however, desired to make necklaces, earrings, and so forth from glass beads.  She also wanted to open an Etsy Shop called Clementine’s Corner where she might eventually sell her creations (with me overseeing her shop, of course).  Knowing that my daughter’s goal was well within her artistic capabilities, I agreed.  In any case, I had already decided that I wanted to learn to make jewelry so that I might incorporate my Polaroid photography in those creations.  Last night we went to Michael’s to get some framing done and decided to look for beads there.  Oh, we contemplated the beautiful and expensive beads we saw there but eventually settled on an inexpensive kit that came equipped with most of the supplies we needed to begin.  We definitely need to play with paste before we graduate to pearl!

Portrait of a Polaroid: Memento

Whenever a photographer uses expired film, surprise will be an element of the result.  While the photographer cannot place all his or her hope in interesting effects, however, he or she cannot count on entirely controlling the result either.  Before I began this little series on working with Time-Zero film (both fresh and expired), I had written an entry about a very special pack of Time-Zero that I received from a friend, for after I shot the pack, I found myself craving its magic again and again.   Though I will not repeat the photos from that entry here, I would like to conclude this series with photos from the black magic pack because they illustrate more than any of my Polaroids how rewarding working with expired film can be.

This is my personal favorite from my own portfolio… Polaroid and otherwise.  The deep roses, blacks, and blues that the magic pack of film yielded worked beautifully with this model’s skin.  This little objet d’art remains my memento of something treasured that cannot be duplicated ever again.

memento from the underworld

memento from the underworld

I was playing with the length of the exposure time in the following shot.  In this case, I used the SX-70’s dial to “overexpose” the shot.  The other blog entry features some of the darker versions of the still life.

decay and melancholy

decay and melancholy

In conclusion, then, it is certain that I’ll not have a chance to shoot non-expired Time-Zero film in all its glory again, it is highly unlikely that I will have the the opportunity to have in my possession something like the black magic pack again, but I have about 92 shots of expired Time-Zero film in its various stages of blossoming and decay waiting for me in the refrigerator.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to shoot something worthy of the film with it.  Thank you for taking the time to look at my Polaroids.

The fourth and last in a series chronicling the transitions and decline of an aristocrat of film types, Polaroid Time-Zero film… Polaroids by Elinor Scott-Sutter.

Portrait of a Polaroid
Painted Light
Fire & Ice
The Blues

Memento

Portrait of a Polaroid: The Blues

Recently I’ve been revisiting some of my work and writing about my favorite Polaroid film type, Time-Zero, which was discontinued in 2006.  I use it in my favorite camera, the SX-70.  This installment of a series about the film/camera combination is a little out of sequence, as I wrote last time about working with expired film.  Before that I had written about the painterly qualities of the film but, in so doing, completely failed to include examples of one of the most beautiful qualities of Time-Zero film, which is its gorgeous expression of blues and cyans.  It’s for this quality that I will probably most miss my Time-Zero film.

The beauty of the skies over Lake Superior is sometimes best captured by this eloquent film type…

Photographing Instances of Light

Photographing Instances of Light

The blues, which really don’t need description, work for portraiture, too.

Portrait with Light

Portrait with Light

The computer display just fails to adequately portray the special qualities of the film, which is how this Polaroid of Lake Superior came by its title Lost in Translation.

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Lake Superior, Wisconsin…

Blue Morning

Blue Morning

Sometimes the blues are just pure poetry…

Water, Evening, Poetry

Water, Evening, Poetry

A Poem in Light

A Poem in Light

Finally, here’s one of my favorites from my stash of Polaroids… a result of an experiment I did to trick the SX-70 into doing long exposure times at the darker side of dusk.

Blue Is the Color of Night

Blue Is the Color of Night

The blues, as a theme for classifying Polaroids, makes for for an equivoque, which is very apropos, for it is the loss of these extraordinary blues that leaves me with the mood implied by the color.

The first in a series chronicling the transitions and decline of an aristocrat of film types, Polaroid Time-Zero film… Polaroids by Elinor Scott-Sutter.

Portrait of a Polaroid
Painted Light
Fire & Ice
The Blues

Memento