13 May 2010

I know Polaroid Week is over — it was last week — (and sorry, I’m not going to go ’round calling it “‘roid” week, as it’s apparently officially known, I’m all for neologisms and clever word-mutation, but that just smacks of “hemorrh…” to me),  but I wanted to post a few more bits and pieces.

During the aforementioned special week, I shot a roll of the mysterious TZ Artistic Fade to Black SX70 film (again in my Pronto! B — see the last entry about shooting PX100 Silver Shade in the same camera). Apparently this stuff is an “experimental material”, which may mean it’s an “experimental material” and may mean that it’s totally screwed up. Film stock functionality is in the eye of the beholder though, no? In the instructions for this film, it says that, after it pops out of the camera, you need to watch it carefully, and as soon as looks the way you’d like it to, color/exposure-wise, you need to make a very quick decision and open up the film and get the backing away from the front mylar (and thus stopping the development) or else it will, well, fade to black.

So, I set forth in the world armed with scissors, and proceeded to take shots and then rush my photographic patients into the ER for emergency surgery, covering myself, a café table, a park bench and god-knows-what else with caustic paste. (Much to my gentleman friend’s delight whilst we were eating our lunch.)

The first shot, outside, of a stone lion-type-animal went quite swimmingly (more swimmingly, even, than it appears on the web — thanks color profiles). The colors looked lovely in a weird cross-processy way, a few minutes after exposure, and I carefully removed the backing part way and set the photo standing on its side (with the front and back not touching each other). I left it thus through lunch, and after reassembled it by taping the back back to the front, on the back (yay, confusing sentences!) with some masking tape I also had on hand.

I tried some shots in the café, which was somewhat dim, and managed to get 1 out of 3 to expose in an even quasi-reasonable way. This, I would imagine, was my fault, not the film’s — I was fussing with the light/dark dial and not being very clever. The shot that came out was of another lion, this time a carved wooden one that was part of a chair. Again, I did my emergency surgery. This time, the colors came out dark, but somewhat pleasing. Almost painterly.

Wood Lion

Now, of course, I was determined to photograph more lions with my few remaining shots. So I went on an insanely long drive, looking for lions (eventually managing to go from Boston to Lowell to Portsmouth NH in a quite indirect sort of way). Oddly, I did not find anymore lions (well, one, in felt on a purse in a shop but it was very dark and not a very good setup). So I photographed a buddha and some mural-whales and some other things I’ve now forgotten, because, wait for it, they faded to black! Apparently, you have to be quite careful about leaving too much caustic paste on the mylar surface, and you have to let it all really dry before you put it back together. Oh well. The buddha came out kinda neat… with a bunch of digital processing, it can be neater. But that’s cheating. Or not. Depends on my mood.

dress-shop-buddha (with a little digital contrast tweaking)

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