I stormed into Polagraph, a funky shop and gallery hidden in the heart of Prague stocked with delis for the lovers of instatnt photography: „One Impossible 600 color white frame, please!„
That was when our Impossible Photostory started.
My friend and colleague, Tomas Hudecek, who is above all a passionate photographer and rock climber, came up with this great idea of making our hiking trip to Malá Fatra in Slovakia truly memorable. 8 peaks – 8 polaroid snaps. A bit of fun in the mountains.
Our first peak (Veľký Rozsutec) is no fun to reach, the sun is already biting my neck. I am sweating like hell and breathing hard. It is my turn to press the shutter. For the first time in my life. „OK, so how do I operate this THING?“ „Be careful not to press the bigger shutter! And hold it for a few secs, don´t release too early!“ I am balancing at the edge of the rock („Trust me, this is a perfect spot„), sweating. With fear of falling back but more with fear of not delivering. „Make sure the rucksack is not in the photo!“ I am sure I made sure but those blimming bags have lives of their own. So do the trekking poles. Shit. We forgot to use the black box to shield the snap from sunbeams. At least this was not my fault. After 20 minutes of hiking and continuous checking of the chemical process, Tom is not very happy with the result. I am. I like the yeallowish tone. I love the aura-like stain and the bright light ripping the body. I am proud of a rucksack creeping from the corner. This is what I call fun! Sorry, Mr. Photographer. I will try to do better next time. Which I do, I must say with all the modesty. Meanwhile my loyal trekking pole takes revenge and sneaks into the photo that Tom takes with confidence of a true pro. I laugh when we spot it. Tom not so much at first, but in the end we both grin like kids checking their sand cakes. Not a perfect shape? Who cares. After all, the real fun lies in unfulfilled expectations, astonishing special effects and the instantness at its best.
(Text and photo: Natalie Stehlikova)
„Revived polarodid films from the Dutch company Impossible have already been on the market for a while, but what is it really like to work with them?
Those of us who remember „old“ Polaroids, might be slightly dissapointed for a start. Photos take long to develop and colours might look a bit too „retro“ for some. Yet, the new Polaroid from Impossible has a charm about it and what is most important is the magic of the instatnt! Which is the main reason why people still use it.
What is the Impossible Project?
It was a sad moment for photography when Polaroid announced on one cold February day to cease all production of instant photo materials by the end of 2008. What shall I do now? Maybe in a year or two the remaining stock will be sold out on e-bay and that will be it for instant photography!
Fortunately, it wasn’t it. Quick announcement later that year from Dr. Florian Kaps and Andre Bosman – we are to start „The Impossible Project“. We are to buy the production line from Polaroid and introduce new materials to the market shortly. The rest is history. The project impossible turned possible. The new IMPOSSIBLE® brand entered the market by storm in 2010.
And so thanks to both of the Impossible Project founders you can buy instant films for your Polaroids today.
However, one has to get a knack of it. I have ruined quite a lot of film before the snaps were worth showing. Personally, I have noticed two sticking points.
The first is the speed, which is 640ASA, however it it is still pretty slow considering the polaroid standards. So you enter into the wood where the sun gets blocked out by trees and here we go, a blurred photo!
The second challenge is that you must hide the film before the light right after the exposition. Yes, it sounds rather weird, but it is important.
A friend of mine made a special box, which fits exactly the size of polaroid 600. So when I am about to take a snap I hold it in a such way that the exposed photo falls inside. Then I leave it there for 10 minutes or so. And the result is certainly worth the hassle! The box does not have to be perfectly light-tight but the fewer sun beams get inside the better.
What else to say? Classic photographers like me are still fascinated by Polaroid, so what not have a bit of fun with it once in a while? Just do not expect the same quality as with film cameras. But that has never been the point, has it?“
(Text and photo: Tomas Hudecek)
Enter the world of instatnt photography @ Polagraph in the heart of Prague.