Sunday, April 29, 2012

true colour will save the world


Here at homebase, team starfish and waffles still believes that true colour will save the world. (2012).  Few will appreciate how difficult it was to get this shot.  Imperfect as the instant print may be, I think the colours are beautiful.  Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade by Nigo.

***
Feeling better might not be for a long time.  The thought clouds my mind most obtrusively on these quiet, lonely weekends, where I seem to have conversations only with myself.  It feels counterintuitive.  During the week, I'm surrounded by people, and there with the best of them.  Yet, in the end, being this close leaves me on the other side of good enough, and I wonder if it's better just to not be around at all.

I step out into my Saturday morning with a Polaroid SX-70, the original magic camera, and hopes that true colour will somehow save my world.  The need to create something meaningful with a medium as imminently challenging as the earlier generation Impossible instant films is a consequence of my disillusionment.  The emulsions are unpredictable.  The result is imperfect.  But at least the creative process is real, and I think it's a little bit of beautiful.

Not that most would actually understand.

These days, I rail against the mainstream in photography because I don't want another of what I hold close to be taken from me and trivialized.  The Instagram crowd?  Fake sentimentality brought to an iPhone near you by a clever software algorithm and a multi-billion dollar corporation.  The yuppie class with expensive dSLRs left on "auto mode" around their necks?  Narcissists, more interested in buying respect with shiny, expensive toys rather than earning it with actual skill.  The portrait semi-pros with Photoshop skills?  Good businesspeople, cashing in on an undiscerning general public with cookie-cutter poses at $300 a session.

I know it's terribly unfair to make such stereotypical accusations, but I hate the commoditization of creativity.  It leaves me angry.  Why does society reward those who take shortcuts, disrespect the process, and are ultimately undeserving of the spoils?

They took away my writing, too.  The Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest generation have made creative expression in 140-characters or less an art form for those with consumption-oriented attention spans to match, all the while letting an enterprising few profit exorbitantly from the abject sameness of it all.  Ugh.  Here at starfish and waffles, we've been online for more than seven years now.  While I harbour no inhibitions what we've done here is great or even very good, and even though probably the only folks still reading this are me, the bear, and possibly the cheetah, at least it's all been real.  And this should count for something.

"You wear your heart on your sleeve," Rachel had said, "and I don't think that's a bad thing."

I didn't - and don't - necessarily think so either.  Still, feeling better may take a long, long time.  In the meantime, I say fuck it all.  I'm going out to take some more Polaroids - and may true colour one day save the world.


A small branch of happy. (2012). Edmonton, Canada. Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


The Garneau Theatre anchors my favourite corner of the city. (2012). Edmonton, Canada.  Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


Saturday morning barista. (2012). Da Capo Caffé, Edmonton, Canada.  Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


Cappuccino. (2012). Da Capo Caffé, Edmonton, Canada. Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


The electric railroad. (2012). Health Sciences LRT Station, Edmonton, Canada. Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


South America. (2012). Rutherford Library, University of Alberta. Edmonton, Canada. I borrowed the globe from the librarian, but subsequently overexposed the shot :(. Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


The morning news. (2012). Edmonton, Canada. The large undeveloped patch on the top left is where the film emulsion failed to develop. Such "poor pods" are not uncommon in earlier generation Impossible Project films. Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2. Film: Impossible PX 70 Color Shade 09/11.


Rachel and the office Coke machine. (2012). Camera: Polaroid Spectra Onyx. Film: Impossible PZ 680 Color Shade 05/11.

4 comments:

  1. Goddamnit you're right. Inspirational even.

    We miss you.

    j&h

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. I miss you two also.

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  3. You make a very good point.

    And your photos make me miss my old pink and grey polariod circa 1989.

    My goal for the remainder of the year is to find the time to learn how to effectively use my DSLR outside of auto mode. I've been trying to find the time for 5 years now, but maybe this year is the one when it will happen.

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  4. Dig out that old Polaroid, Cori, I bet it still works!

    ReplyDelete