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Archive 2013 · some instant film from a recent family session
  
 
zalmyb
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · some instant film from a recent family session


I've finally gotten around to shooting some instant film at my family sessions. I let the clients keep the prints and I scan the negatives. Here are a few frames from my last session (film isn't developed yet).

C&C always appreciated!

















Jun 28, 2013 at 05:45 AM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · some instant film from a recent family session


Lovely tones here. The type of thing we now yearn form given how darn accurate our photographic world has become.

I cant place what you mean by instant film. What sort of material is this, and how is it processed, please? A 35mm camera is used?

John Caldwell



Jun 28, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · some instant film from a recent family session


John Caldwell wrote:
Lovely tones here. The type of thing we now yearn form given how darn accurate our photographic world has become.
John Caldwell


I do believe you hit the nail on the head with this statement. I think that's why I'm drawn to this look, because it's nearly everything digital photography is not (various apps and actions notwithstanding).



Jun 28, 2013 at 01:51 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · some instant film from a recent family session


John Caldwell wrote:
Lovely tones here. The type of thing we now yearn form given how darn accurate our photographic world has become.

I cant place what you mean by instant film. What sort of material is this, and how is it processed, please? A 35mm camera is used?

John Caldwell


Thanks guys, and I totally agree. The clinical perfection of digital kind of turns me off.

It's fuji peel apart instant film (FB3000B to be exact). Used to be made by Polaroid. You could shoot them with various medium format, large format or specific Polaroid cameras. These are with a Speed Graphic and a Schneider 12.5cm f/2 lens.



Jun 28, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Evan Baines
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · some instant film from a recent family session


I think its the age-old debate between the pictorialists and the modernists playing out over and again.

I think that its healthy that devotees of each school and a variety of nuanced gradations in between still exist.

Zalmy, are you familiar with Sally Mann?

Edited on Jun 28, 2013 at 08:02 PM · View previous versions



Jun 28, 2013 at 06:20 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · some instant film from a recent family session


Evan, I agree for the most part, but I think in the beginning the issue with pictorialists were that they were trying to copy other forms of art. i.e. not taking advantage or seeing photography as its own medium with its own unique look.

Also, most (most, not all ) digital shooters aren't really modernists, that just use the tools that they think they have to (i.e. they think film isn't viable or that it just plain sucks).

I have seen her work here and there, but I am contemplating buying one of her books.

And to be completely honest I like the prints better, and they are much less "imperfect"



Jun 28, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Evan Baines
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · some instant film from a recent family session


zalmyb wrote:
Evan, I agree for the most part, but I think in the beginning the issue with pictorialists were that they were trying to copy other forms of art. i.e. not taking advantage or seeing photography as its own medium with its own unique look.

Also, most (most, not all ) digital shooters aren't really modernists, that just use the tools that they think they have to (i.e. they think film isn't viable or that it just plain sucks).

I have seen her work here and there, but I am contemplating buying one of her books.

And to be completely honest I like
...Show more

I think that some of the criticisms of the pictorialists ("were trying to copy other forms of art") are over-stated. I think that makes a neat narrative for art critics and historians, but the reality is that the pictoralists were diverse artists with varying aims and intentions. One could argue that the wholesale abandonment of pictorialism with the advent of modernism displayed less creative independence than many incarnations of the former. I do think that the repudiation of pictorialism was probably necessary for photography to grow as a medium, but at this point I think a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between "straight" photography and more manipulated images (manipulated by process or intention) is possible. I think that a photographic artist should use whatever tools are most appropriate to communicate with his or her audience. Along those lines, the instant photography really seems to suit you.

Honestly, my favorite part of instant film has always been the uniqueness of the print. I really like the fact that it can't be reproduced perfectly. It is a singular piece of art.


Edited on Jun 28, 2013 at 08:02 PM · View previous versions



Jun 28, 2013 at 06:37 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · some instant film from a recent family session


I like that I haven't read up on the history of photography as well as I should have. All I've read were Ansel Adams and co's reaction to pictoralists, and they most definitely went very hard the other way.

And yes, I love the fact there will only ever be one print. Ever.



Jun 28, 2013 at 07:18 PM
benee
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · some instant film from a recent family session


These are really, really beautiful. Like gorgeous. For real.

Re: the pictorialism/modernism debate. I don't know that there ever was such a thing as "pictorial documentary (or candid portrait)" photography. I don't see these as manipulated "pictorial" images. I see these shots as beautiful, candid portraits that happen to have a certain dreaminess due to the medium/tools used. Does that make sense to anybody?



Jun 28, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Evan Baines
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · some instant film from a recent family session


benee wrote:
These are really, really beautiful. Like gorgeous. For real.

Re: the pictorialism/modernism debate. I don't know that there ever was such a thing as "pictorial documentary (or candid portrait)" photography. I don't see these as manipulated "pictorial" images. I see these shots as beautiful, candid portraits that happen to have a certain dreaminess due to the medium/tools used. Does that make sense to anybody?


I see what you're saying... Honestly the original pictorialists were often constrained from doing "candid" photography by limitations of their chosen mediums. However, candid photography has been embraced by numerous neo-pictorialists.

Without getting too far into the weeds, I think it is safe to describe photographic pictorialism as a deliberate embrace of manipulation of or defect in the recording process to impart additional interpretation of the scene. By that standard, I think that images like this have much in common with pictorialism, although a semantic argument could be made that some new label is required.

And to avoid hijacking Zalmy's thread any further, I will echo that these are very beautiful.



Jun 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM
 



zalmyb
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · some instant film from a recent family session


ha hijack away, it's not like there will be any more interesting conversation here

I agree with Evan's definition of pictorialism as it relates to modern photography. from what I know, "straight photographers" believed that since photography can capture "reality" in a way no other medium could, therefore it should be used in such a manner. To capture things as they are (maybe not to much what they feel like).



Jun 28, 2013 at 08:09 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · some instant film from a recent family session


What fun! Are these from the negatives?

I wish they still made Polaroid P/N film. It created an actual film negative that could be enlarged in the wet lab.

I only shot with view cameras. I like the concept of shooting with a Speed Graphic for this type of photography. The high speed of the film makes it practical.

I'm a fan of pictorialism. My favorite pictorial photographer is
Clarence H. White.



Jun 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM
qwyjibo
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · some instant film from a recent family session


Can we keep it to one multisyllabic per post? I got lost right off the bat.
The last one is real good.

Please note that I kept to the rule.



Jun 29, 2013 at 04:39 PM
kp_duffy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · some instant film from a recent family session


love these - real life pictures that the family will love. Well done!

Love 2a - can just feel the love and joy in that shot.



Jun 30, 2013 at 08:33 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · some instant film from a recent family session


Lol Dave!! (does "lol" count as multisyllabic?)

Thanks kpduffy



Jul 01, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · some instant film from a recent family session


These are very nice and have a different look, I like them. And I also understand the one of a kind aspect of polaroid prints.
Would / Do pictorialists use Instagram or VSCO filters to create or recreate a look? Could that be construed as a from of pictorialsm? Taking the sharp edge off of the perfected reality of today's technology? The pendulum swinging from pictorialsts to f64 group to whatever



Jul 02, 2013 at 12:10 AM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · some instant film from a recent family session


These are lovely, Zalmy. While, I still try to achieve nice sharp images when I shoot, I look at these and they just plain make me feel good. That last one is just wonderful. Also it's nice to see Evan posting, I have to break out my dictionary again ;-)


Jul 02, 2013 at 12:51 AM
zalmyb
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · some instant film from a recent family session


Micky Bill wrote:
These are very nice and have a different look, I like them. And I also understand the one of a kind aspect of polaroid prints.
Would / Do pictorialists use Instagram or VSCO filters to create or recreate a look? Could that be construed as a from of pictorialsm? Taking the sharp edge off of the perfected reality of today's technology? The pendulum swinging from pictorialsts to f64 group to whatever


I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, nor do I think anyone is really defining themselves as pictorialists. I don't think the process is really important (besides for being a way to achieve the end result you want). The most important thing is to evade the "cool" pitfall. Wanting and having people say "ooooo, cool!!" at your photo due to an interesting technique or postprocess. You want the image to stand on its own, and whatever technique used should only be to further the effect/emotion/story you are trying to get across.



Jul 02, 2013 at 02:31 AM
zalmyb
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · some instant film from a recent family session


neighbourboy wrote:
These are lovely, Zalmy. While, I still try to achieve nice sharp images when I shoot, I look at these and they just plain make me feel good. That last one is just wonderful. Also it's nice to see Evan posting, I have to break out my dictionary again ;-)


Exactly! It's sort of freeing to just accept what you get (though I obviously try to focus the darned thing properly ).



Jul 02, 2013 at 02:32 AM





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