Tag Archives: impossible project

Protection Film

“I’ll stand in front of you, I’ll take the force of the blow. Protection”

I wonder if Dave Bias and the chemists at The Impossible Project had this Massive Attack lyric in their heads all these years? For those of you immersed in the Polaroid subculture the announcement of a new stable, easy to use film is a big deal, if you do not care you should still read this, because you might get interested.  You see, since the death of Polaroid as we know, the company known as Impossible has been hard at work resurrecting the old factory, but they have fallen just short of solving the problem of light sensitivity. In short, using the film is a science project of sorts. Some of us are up for it, but many are not. Impossible has used some brilliant marketing skills to convince the desperate loyalists that this partially defective product is valid because the flaws make unpredictable photo art. They do have a point, and they have been able to ride this horse all around the world. I have been on that horse the whole time.  Now comes the big news…….THEY HAVE FIXED THE PROBLEM!  Now, you push the button and the photo pops out. Instant photography….what a concept.  Here is the official geek version lowdown:

“Thanks to an innovative color protection formula that greatly improves the opacification process – Color Protection Film finally allows for easy shooting without the need for immediate shielding of the photos. It also delivers a never-before-seen color saturation, a completely new level of detail and sharpness and overall stunning image quality. It’s finally bringing back the unique iconic performance and look of the most successful classic Polaroid films”

You mean I don’t need to carry around a lead bag and sunglasses to take pictures?  Seriously, wow, no more having to give my customers a twenty minute briefing on why Granny’s SX-70 camera ain’t what it used to be?  The flea market vendors are back in business because we can sell you film for your vintage cameras again, and this time around we can sell it with authority.  I applaud the folks at Impossible, especially the genius that cracked the chemical code. So one more time:

“This girl I know needs some shelter, she don’t believe anyone can help her, she’s doing so much harm, doing so much damage. But you don’t want to get involved, you tell her she can manage. And you can’t change the way she feels, but you can put your arms around her.”

Image

With the new Protection Film this will actually be a barn.

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The Impossible Photo Lab

By now all of you photographers and most of you non photographers are aware of the demise of Polaroid.  It’s over but like all great things analog, you cannot kill the spirit.  Enter The Impossible Project, a small group of people who claimed the remains of the Polaroid factory in The Netherlands, and without much of a recipe have invented a new line of instant films.  The word “impossible” is no understatement, as the technical hurdles rival sending people into space.  By some miracle we now have a full line of new instant films to play with, but they are tricky to work with, kind of like a soup that must be cooked in exactly the right way.  The folks at IP have come up with a few accessories and tricks of the trade that must be applied in order to make the new films work.  So it’s  like a science project of sorts but the results are gratifying and I am willing to work to make some instant film magic.  Photoworks has been offered the new line of films to sell in our store and we are thrilled to be a part of the instant film resurrection.

I feel some kinship with the Impossible folks because for years I struggled to maintain old film printing equipment.  Our lab used to be all Agfa analog printing machines, the look of the prints from those machines helped put our shop on the map.  One day without warning, Agfa went under, and we were stuck with a bunch of old printers and no support.  I hired technicians to keep the machines going, but over the years parts vanished and eventually I gave up. Like every other photo lab, we bought new equipment.  We still print from negatives but not before they are scanned first.  You still see film grain, but it’s just not quite the same thing.  Over the years we have struggled to maintain our analog identity, but it is not easy, and on some days it feels “impossible.”

It’s amazing that something so commonplace as Polaroid would be such advanced science, and that once extinct would be so hard to replicate.  The Impossible Project has not only brought instant films back, they have expanded the line into all kinds of fun directions.  This week Photoworks will be receiving our first shipment of Impossible Project instant films.  We’ll be the only place in town to carry PX 600 Silver Shade with the Black Frame.  Very cool, very analog, suddenly everything seems possible again.

In stock and ready to rock

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