The Impossible, Now Possible?

I am an avid  fan of instant photography. I hope you know that about me by now. Unfortunately, when Polaroid stopped producing film for their instant cameras, it kinda put a damper on my ability to use most of my Polaroid cameras. Sad face.

Enter The Impossible Project.

The Impossible Project (TIP) began working to produce film on the equipment at the old Polaroid factory. You can find a nice timeline of their journey on their website, which includes much more info than I can detail for you here! Anyway, I have to tell you: since TIP had to “start from scratch,” the first films they began making were kind of…finicky. It was not as straight-forward as “put our new films in your  Polaroid cameras, and you can expect exactly what you got from Polaroid films.” They posted tutorials on their site about how to get the best results from their films and there seemed to be a lot of discussion within the online photographic community about how users’ photos were turning out. I was curious to try the film from TIP, of course, but…

The film is a little more pricey than Polaroid film was, though I suppose that is understandable at this point. However, the price had always been a deterrent since I didn’t think I could trust the film enough to justify the cost. You know what’s awesome though? A very dear old “photography buddy” of mine sent me some Impossible Project film as a pressie in 2010.  This was in the early days of the film’s production, so I had trouble getting things just right in my photos. I began to think that you had to do a tribal dance to the Instant Photography gods in order to get a TIP photo to “work”!

PX100 photo from 2010

Having said that, it was really important to me was that the Impossible Project people were trying. It’s made me very happy that someone was doing something proactive about keeping instant photography alive. I have kept a keen eye out on the progress of TIP‘s products, which has been easy thanks to Flickr and Twitter. I’ve watched the Impossible Project’s emulsions get better and better. I’ve been getting REALLY excited! And, whaddya know, some of their new PX100 black and white film fell into my lap! This time, my experience was MUCH different than it had been in 2010. Right out of the box, my first shot “worked”! The photo wasn’t in focus because I’d never used a manual focus SX-70* before, so my finger slipped and took the photo before I’d properly focused it. But that was “my bad.”  The exposure definitely turned out!

Le “first official shot on the PX100 Silver Shade UV+”

And a few more, por ejemplo:

Technical info: Polaroid SX-70 • Impossible PX100 Silver Shade UV+ • PX Shade inserted in camera • Photos developed face down or in a dark place once removed from camera, for at least the recommended 4 minutes or longer when possible.


I know this was only one pack of that film, but I’m likin’ it! Any of the images that “didn’t work” were purely a matter of operator error – that is to say, I fudged them up! I think I’m sold on the newer TIP films after this experience and having seen so many good shots from others who are using those films. I’m excited to watch the progress of what TIP is doing in that factory of theirs. Viva la instant photography!

*Using that particular SX-70 will be the subject of another blog posting, another day! It’ll be one of my “Yard Sale Finds” posts!

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