Daily Archives: April 6, 2012

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Freckled Face {Underexposed}


I didn’t scan or upload this shot when I did my little blog about my first experience with the Impossible Project’s PX100 Silver Shade UV+ film because it was so badly underexposed. I picked it up a week later, and I decided there was something striking about the image, despite its exposure issues. I’d taken the photo with the intent of highlighting my niece’s perfectly freckled face, but came out with something completely different, completely by accident. I’m now quite satisfied with what it turned out to be. And I’ll try again another day to show the freckles in the way I meant to. That is, unless, my SX-70 has other plans…

As to how the photo came out this way, perhaps my fellow SX-70 users will learn from my mistake:

As I mentioned in my original PX100 blog post, I “fudged up” some of the photos in that pack of film.  I’ll try not to get too bogged down in camera mumbo jumbo, but something I didn’t know about my Polaroid SX-70 was as follows: if the frame counter is at “0” (normally indicating that the camera’s film cartridge is empty) and you press the shutter button, the SX-70 doesn’t try to give proper exposure to a photo – because it doesn’t think there is any photo actually being taken since the cartridge is supposed to be empty! The shutter DOES open very briefly, but you’d have to be very lucky indeed for that shot to turn out, given the brief shutter speed. That is what happened to the last couple of photos in my PX100 cartridge. I’d gotten a photo jammed in the camera and fired it a few times to try to get the camera to shoot the next photo out. I eventually solved the problem I’d created for myself, but didn’t know it’d create a problem with the rest of the photos down the line. Since I’d “dry fired” the camera, its frame counter reached “0” earlier than it should have. Leading to my gaining the knowledge that a “0” on an SX-70 frame counter = “Picture? What picture? I thought I was empty!” [that’s the SX-70 talking, naturally…]