I wish this were a real Polaroid.
I’ve started to find Polaroid images fascinating recently. Unfortunately, this corresponded almost exactly with Polaroid’s ceasing of film production. It didn’t matter much, because with my keeper ration, there was no way Polaroids were going going to be cost effective at $20 for a pack of 10 ($2 per exposure- my black and white film cost me $1.25 per roll). I stumbled across a posting recently on another blog with some samples from a fake Polaroid process, and I got very interested. After spending probably forty minutes looking for good presets for Lightroom (my editing program of choice), I stumbled across Poladroid, which is a fun program even if it does have its shortcomings. The post that inspired me is here, and I’d be lying if I said it was the first time Kappii’s blog has given me an interesting idea. Highly recommended, especially for those looking for creative options with a film/scanner hybrid process. Oh, while I’m throwing out links, the only interesting Polaroid-inspired Lightroom presets I found are here (they’re modeled after 54 and 55, which were black and white films).
From a photographer’s standpoint, I am very conflicted about these images. I have nothing against post processing (some photographers carry a grudge against “Photoshopping,” ignorant of the fact that most of the common post-=processing methods are based on darkroom printing techniques), but this pushes it pretty far. Something about letting a program run the post rather than doing it myself makes it feel very forced. On the other hand, a photo is a photo, and the steps one uses to make it are just means to an end.
I did crop out the fake Polaroid border. For me, it was too much.
Pentax digital system (which I no longer own), Poladroid processing software.
Pentax digital setup.
Photography is often false.
Look familiar? It might. I’ve been dreaming of a Holga lately, so I decided to go for the effect. I do like this presentation quite a bit better than the first go with this one- the crop minimizes the barrel distortion from the horrible lens on the Nikon I had borrowed at the time. On the other hand, I did have to give up the sky to do so, which I rather liked. Actually, on second thought, the original is fairly toy camera-like in itself. I guess that’s a pretty horrendous lens, because the Nikon N75 is no Diana (although not an especially high-end SLR body from its time, and certainly far from my favorite).
Plug related to this post: For those of you in the area, the Met has an excellent special exhibition going called “Reality Check: Truth and Illusion in Modern Photography.” I had the opportunity to see it the day before Thanksgiving, and despite my fever-induced deliriousness (102 is quite a fever for someone who normally runs 96s), I was very impressed. Great museum and a great exhibition.
I guess the results here are the combination of a few factors: Expired film, horrendous optical quality (cheap glass wide open at wide end), a low-quality scan, and the processing liberties taken by yours truly. I like it, and I think it captures the feel of the place quite a bit better. The rest of you can judge for yourselves.
Expired Fuji NPS 160, C-41 processing, world’s worst zoom lens (some sort of Quantaray abomination), liberal embellishing.
A candid from Center City. This is the downside of only carrying a 50mm is that it’s very difficult to compose images of faraway subjects from a distance. The upside is that scans from C-41 black and white are so nice that they even crop nicely.
Kodak 400CN developed C-41 and scanned at some drugstore or megastore lab.
This mural is in Philadelphia. It caught my eye in the low light, and as a result most of the shots have motion blur (this was in the borrowed N75, which has a very slow 28-90). Today I got four rolls’ worth of scanned negatives back from the drugstore (CVS again, but everyone here uses the same automated color-calibrated junk), and the three rolls of black and white are more unimpressive than ever. Contributing to the visual train wreck is the fact that one roll (the origin of Alone I) was pushed two stops and another was pushed one. The decrease in shadow detail drives the scanners crazy.
While the black and white rolls are extremely unimpressive, the color roll came out fairly well (most of the scans worked, although the pictures tend towards the uninteresting and poorly photographed). I normally don’t shoot film for color, but an expired roll at the local camera shop caught my eye.
Fuji NPS 160 expired 2007.
Filed under Film, Landscape