April 11, 2010

Test Shots with Impossible Film: PX 100

The Impossible Project has created some new film for Polaroid SX-70 cameras since Polaroid stopped making instant film for their cameras several years ago.  I've been waiting for this film to arrive and it showed up last week so I took it for a test run this morning.  Here's the film in its sweet packaging, which I don't really care about, any my camera.

I got impatient yesterday and decided to try out one test shot at home. After all, how finicky can the film be?? Finicky! 1 shot blown.

I read all the information I could find online about how to best use the new finicky film and found some great information by rommel on flickr, as well as helpful info left in the comments section of his post here. This really saved me a lot of hassles today and probably saved numerous pictures from being completely destroyed as I'm not sure I would have figured these things out on my own so easily. So, having info on handling the finicky film, I set out on my little yellow bike to see what I could do with said finicky film.

First stop downtown, the old ACME building, which now houses urban lofts. Lesson learned with ACME building shot- move fast when grabbing film and putting in dark location!

Next I headed to Union Station. I've had my eye on shooting this location ever since I heard the film was coming out. It's a gorgeous building that anchors LODO.

Lesson learned here- don't hold the little black card up too high or you'll lose the bottom of your photo! In this case it actually worked to my advantage by fuzzing out a not so attractive fence that I had a hard time shooting over.

I went around the front of the building for some closeups. I took three pictures here.

In this first picture, because I was having trouble keeping the pictures warm with my freezing cold hands while they were developing, I decided to put it down my shirt. Yes, that's right. I'm a girl, I can do that. But I don't recommend it, because as you can see, the photo is a little overdeveloped.

The next two shots I went back to warming the photos with my hands inside my messenger bag. This seemed to work well and I continued using this method for all the other shots as well. I like that you have a little control over how they develop.  For the 3rd photo below I warmed it for about double the amount of time that I kept the 2nd photo warmed and it seemed to develop a little more.

Next I moved on to the Ice House building. While I was laying in the parking lot taking this shot the parking meter guy came by and told me to move it along. Lesson learned here is that empty parking lots are not for loitering, taking photos or for citizens to use.

I really wanted to get a few shots at Coors Field but game day does not make for good shooting from the middle of the intersection. It was nuts and I kept getting interrupted by people that wanted me to take their pictures for them. So I got one shot, did a few good deeds and headed to Dixon's for breakfast.

After sitting on the patio at Dixon's for a while I got this last downtown shot of the seed building across the way. While I was taking it this guy set up his camera next to me taking pictures of something else and introduced himself as the guy that runs I didn't actually catch his name and can't find it on the site, but there are some really cool manipulated Polaroids on his site.

The seeds building photo is my favorite. Perhaps because I'm a little overly enthusiastic about all things plant related.

I stopped on my way home to try one last shot of some beautiful blooming trees, but no luck. I would chalk this one up to complete and utter operator error. 

Overall, I love this film. Finicky? Yes, a little, but not nearly as finicky as I had expected based on some of the comments I've seen online. I love the pearlescent whites in this film in conjunction with the sepia effects. I also like that it's slight finickiness requires more concentration, forethought and work than other film- you have to be engaged with the process of this film in order to get results.

If you've shot with this film, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it as well.  If you haven't shot this film yet, I do suggest reading up on what others have to say about the best ways to handle this film before heading out to use it.  This will save you a tremendous amount of time in the field, not to mention minimizing your lost shots.


  1. I have never used this film but I love your shots. They are amazing!