camera


NPR: Artists Lament Polaroid’s Latest Development

Chuck Close is an American painter who derives his works from photographs. He creates towering — sometimes 10-foot-tall — portraits. Some of those are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Close says he has Polaroids of every painting he has done.

“It’s very discouraging,” Close says.

He says he has probably 2,000 Polaroids.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.”

Close likes the incredible detail you get from the large-format film. What’s more, there’s instant gratification: You see that final large image just minutes after you take the shot.

I blogged about the demise of the Polaroid camera a few weeks ago. I had forgotten about Chuck Close and his love affair with Polaroid. There are so many artists like him, too. I hope that some company (like Fujifilm) will take up the film production end so that the existing cameras (like my slide printer) can still be used.

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Polaroid Abandons Instant Photography – The Lede – Breaking News – New York Times Blog

It was a wonder in its time: A camera that spat out photos that developed themselves in a few minutes as you watched. You got to see them where and when you took them, not a week later when the prints came back from the drugstore.

But in a day when nearly every cellphone has a digital camera in it, “instant” photography long ago stopped being instant enough for most people. So today, the inevitable end of an era came: Polaroid is getting out of the Polaroid business.

The company, which stopped making instant cameras for consumers a year ago and for commercial use a year before that, said today that as soon as it had enough instant film manufactured to last it through 2009, it would stop making that, too. Three plants that make large-format instant film will close by the end of the quarter, and two that make consumer film packets will be shut by the end of the year, Bloomberg News reports.

I love Polaroid cameras – I still have one of them and a special slide printer. I also learned to make Polaroid transfers onto watercolor paper – really lovely prints with a vintage feel. Our family had one of the early B&W cameras that needed to have the rather smelly coating smeared on after it developed for preservation. The later color cameras were great fun at parties. It’s sad to see an entire industry die away.

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Sept. 4, 1888: Photography Leaps Into the Late 19th Century

1888 George Eastman receives a patent for the first roll-film camera and registers the name “Kodak.”

What he would think of the about digital photography? He was right that everybody would take photographs one day but I don’t think he envisioned the world of camera phones and paparazzi. I love snapshop photography but it’s certainly generated a plethora of crappy images.

Personally, I’m glad that roll-film is still available even though it is a great polluter. I still have at least 5 roll-film cameras including two “brownies” with movable bellows that use 120 size film.

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