Friday, January 2, 2009
i don't know about you but i'm still lamenting over the loss of my dear friend the polaroid instant photo. polaroid filed chapter 11 bankruptcy december 19.
i miss the big-ass flash and the wait 60 seconds - count 'em until the washed out image of a startled face (because no one is really prepared for the flash) becomes sort-of clear. i miss waiting for it..... you know, wagging the photo to help it dry and develop......while loved ones crowd around to see - then laugh, then wait, wait, wait - oh, it looks clearer now. of course the person whose picture was just taken can't see the image for a few minutes anyway because their eyes are ruined from the big-ass flash.
i was kinda jealous of our uppity young neighbors who got the first one on our block. the polaroid swinger - GAWD, i wanted one so badly. they were a bit stingy about letting us kids play with it. they said something about the developing paper being expensive. "meet the sween-ghar, the polaroid swinger" (sing with me)... "take a shot, count it down, zip it off...."
so i remember my 14th birthday getting the new instant camera that had a square cube rotating flashbulb. The totally coooool instamatic. that way i could take 4 instant photos without having to change the bulb. and it was lightweight about the size of my one-snap pocketbook. but it was not a polaroid. it was a kodac though. the flash was freakin' blinding.
yep, the good old days. when the polaroids got wet - it turned into a smeary mess - which was a sad discovery i made one day when water spilt and seeped under my glass topped (to protect the wood top) coffee table. then of course it stuck to the glass, but didn't any photo do that? i had a lot of photos under that glass.
one thing about the polaroid - it spoke the truth. instantly. unlike today when every image under the sun can be altered. oh sure you can alter a polaroid by sanding it down and painting on top of it - but that is just for fun art projects and laughs.
police and investigators used polaroids to show what the immediate crime scene looked like or an instant mug shot.
the photo above of the man above is of the unveiling of the 60 second one-step process for producing finished photos - that is edwin land, 61 years ago.
i liked the smaller squarish-sized ones better. then the ones that didn't even have a pull off paper, it just developed before your eyes.
i hate to say this, but i hope to be the first uppity neighbor (although no longer young) to own the new PoGo digital printer (instant digital camera) with zink technology.............and of course, the neighborhoods kids ......will not care less.
times have changed, man.
(still humming, "meet the sween-ghar, the polaroid swinger.....")