I had been mulling over the idea of picking up a Polaroid for a little while. The raft of Hipstatwatic photos on my Facebook timeline was starting to pique my interest, but being so in love with film and things that click-whine-whir-and-grind kept me thinking ‘Polaroid…’
So I hit up the web and found Impossible and their Flickr presence. From their Flickr group I found the inestimable Laura Watt and her outstanding Polaroid photos. She counselled me against a (very expensive) SLR 680 and instead to consider the cheap and cheerful Spectra!
I researched what Polaroid/Impossible film I would need to buy and calculated that £1.75/shot wasn’t totally horrific.
I hit eBay and found a tested, ready to work Spectra, placed an expensive order with Impossible and then set about watching a lot of videos.
Well, today the film arrived and I could-not-freaking-wait-to-give-it-a-go. So, after learning everything I needed could from watching and reading, I followed my own 8-step programme and got a result. Imma share the 8-step programme with you. Send no money now.
Step 1: Prop Spectra up on Army Figure in the vain hope that it will make your photo look cooler.
Step 2: Make sure the ROLLERS ARE CLEAN (this seems to be a tick like paranoia amongst the Polaroid web community)
Step 3: Find some film. In this instance I was too scared to practise on the hyper-sensitive and pernickety Impossible offerings, so I used some old Polaroid stock.
Step 4: Insert the film. But, since this is a (to me) untested camera, and I had read a few too many horror stories of cameras cycling (and ruining) the whole film pack, I decided to…
Step 5: …only close the film door once the camera was soundly in a dark bag.
Step 6: The Spectra was very well behaved and only exited the 'dark slide’. Which, upon the sound advice of the Polaroid web community, I will retain.
Step 7: Find a model. The (very) Good Lady Dr Blackmore offered (read: was hounded into submission).
Step 8: Compose and fire! My Polaroid camera being a Spectra, I was able to hold the shutter button for a few seconds and practise ejecting the film straight into a bag/box/somewhere very dark. I totally forgot to then keep the film warm, as is the advice on the box. But I got a shot. Happy boy.