Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography

For true Leica aficionados or anyone who is in interested in the evolution of 35mm photography and the 100 year history of Leica photography, there is an exhibition at the Hamburg Deichtorhallen you don’t want to miss: EYES WIDE OPEN! 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY October 24, 2014 − January 11, 2015.

A truly superlative Leica exhibition has opened at the Haus der Photographie at Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen. In addition to showing 500 photographs, there are technical exhibits, films 
and much more to attract photo enthusiasts to the city. 

LFI talked to the curator Hans-Michael Koetzle, to the photographers Ulrich Mack, F. C. Gundlach and Rudi Meisel and to Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica’s supervisory board.

deichtorhallen.de

Source: LFI insight: Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography

Steve Jobs by Doug Menuez

Steve Jobs by Doug Menuez (Storehouse) – A story by Doug Menuez, documentary filmmaker and photographer, who spent some time with Steve Jobs at his new startup NeXT after he got kicked out at Apple in 1985.

My Polaroid Gallery

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Today, Kristin and I started gluing our recently produced instant photos to the wall… So, here’s our first iteration of our personal Polaroid gallery. Since we needed to cover some boreholes, we started with a rectangle… We will see where it might end.

We used tesa Tack, double-sided adhesive pads, to fix the photos to the wall. Despite all the negative comments on Amazon, they seem to be strong enough to hold the photos on my wall so far (no wall paper, I might add).

An evening with my Impossible Instant Lab – Creating Instant Photos

Since my bedroom wall is supposed to be decorated with Polaroid instant photos, I spent an evening with my Impossible Instant Lab, developing a series of photos with an iPhone 5 and the Impossible iOS App.

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The result being a bunch of color and black & white photos soon to be displayed in my personal little art gallery.

It comes at a price, though. 8 instant photos produced with Impossible Instant film sum up to 20 €, not considering the price of the instant lab. That one actually dropped recently from around 250 € to just 120 €.

So now is a good a time as any to start your instant photo experience even if you don’t want to buy an analog Polaroid camera like my Polaroid SX-70 Landa Camera.

Polaroid’s cool cam

Polaroid cool cam

Polaroid released its cool cam in 1988. It’s basically a pimped Polaroid 600 with fancy neon colours. More infos can be found in the Impossible Project – Camera Museum.

Instant – The story of Polaroid

I just recently read Christopher Bonanos’ Instant – The Story of Polaroid in a special limited edition published by Princeton Architectural Press, October 2012. On the back of the book it says:

“Edwin Land was one of Steve Jobs’s first heroes, and this book shows why. He created a startup in a garage that grew into a company that stood at the intersection of creativity and technology. This is a fascinating saga, both inspiring and cautionary, about innovation and visionary leadership.”

– Walter Isaacson, author of STEVE JOBS

instant-the-story-of-polaroid

It comes in a beautiful slipcase inspired by the Polaroid colours and also contains the Faces of Polaroid booklet, presenting 16 contributors to the Polaroid products.

faces-of-polaroid

It’s a great story about an exciting journey from becoming one of the most respected and innovative companies to a bitter and almost terminal cascade after loosing its innovative impetus.

The Impossible Project: Bringing back Polaroid (Wired UK)

Impossible Instant Lab app

The Impossible Project: Bringing back Polaroid (Wired UK)

An article from 2009 about The Impossible Project in Wired UK with some details on their motivation, their inspiration by Edwin H. Land and their mission to save Polaroid instant photography from extinction.

They startet their project in 2008. It’s 2014 and they are still around, continuously improving their film material. So for now, they succeeded.

POLAROID SX-70 with Impossible film material

While testing the POLAROID SX-70 LAND CAMERA SONAR AutoFocus I used film material from The Impossible Project. They develop instant film material for Polaroid cameras in both color and black & white. The film material is made in a former Polaroid factory in Enschede (Netherlands) which they bought in 2008. They basically had to reinvent new instant film material because it was already a dead technology and original color dyes were no longer available. Since their first new instant film in 2010 they constantly improved the quality of the material and the time it takes for the pictures to develop.

What might be of particular interest, is the film speed of the new Impossible instant material. The film for my SX-70, the Impossible SX-70 is described with ASA 160. The original film material from Polaroid was ASA 150. With these material unavailable since Polaroid stopped the production in 2005, many have modified their Polaroid cameras to use newer Polaroid material with film speeds up to ASA 640. They often used ND filters to correct for the wrong exposure time since the film is more then 2 times faster. ND Filters are also available by The Impossible Project if one wants to use their 600 series film material.

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Although this does not seem to be necessary anymore with their SX-70 film, the difference between ASA 150 and ASA 160 is still noticeable. This can be addressed by setting the exposure dial on the camera to “darken”.

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Unfortunately, by doing this, one looses the ability to adjust the exposure since all other setting lead to bad results. From left to right I tried “lighten”, “normal” and “darken”. Only with the “darken” dial set to maximum, I could create a more satisfying image.

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Impossible Instant Lab – The App Let’s You Scan Instant Photos

When I tried The Impossible Instant Lab, I used the corresponding iOS app to choose the digital images I wanted to create instant photos from as well as the exposure time for the instant film material I used.

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The app let’s me create analog images with the instant lab, which basically is just a housing case for the instant film cartridge and the iPhone while exposing and is manually operated.

impossible-instant-lab

But the app also works the other way around. It features a scanner functionality, so one can digitise the instant photos to save them in a digital picture gallery.

One just takes a picture from an angle with no reflections from the instant photo’s surface and selects the corners of the picture’s frame in order to cut and straighten the image to right format. Since The Impossible Project offers film material for the Polaroid 600 & SX-70 series as well as Spectra the app can be adjusted to the correct setting.

I am not sure why anyone would need this feature, but it is a nice gimmick. It somewhat foils the purpose of The Impossible Project and does not provide any decent results but still, it is an easy way to keep a digital memory of your analog instant photos.