Although I use digital for nearly all of my work, I still like to have a play around with film every now and again. My Holga, Diana and Rollei cameras have been on a few of my travels, but my favourite has always been my trusty SX-70 Polaroid camera.
There is something about Polaroid film that really connects with me. Now that they have discontinued production of instant Polaroid film, I have a few precious boxes of 600 film left in my fridge. It’s all expired now, but I still can’t bring myself to use it except for very privileged occasions. But sometimes, by using a film after it’s expired, you can get even more beautiful colours. It’s unpredictable and that’s part of its charm. Digital photography is a wonderful invention, but there is something about Polaroid film that is extra special. You can take a shot, scan it, and make a digital copy. But unlike a photo from a digital camera, that copy will never be identical. You will never get back to the original. It’s inevitable that something so unpredictable, one-off, and almost accidental, cannot survive in this modern age.
Here are just a few of my precious shots using this format, taken during a road trip of California last year. Palm Springs, in all its midcentury glory, looks ravishing on Polaroid film. These photographs are now my memories of that fantastic holiday. On the way back we stopped off in New York to spend a few days with my family. The last shot is after a Fleet Foxes gig in the city. What a show. What a band. What memories.