Monday, April 8, 2013

I Get It---My New Love For My Polaroid 340 Land Camera

About a year ago, I found two Polaroid Land Cameras at a local flea market.  I bought them mainly because of their aesthetics.  I loved the vintage look and thought they would make for great display pieces in my home.  I didn't really think about actually using them as cameras.....that was until I saw photos from instant film camera lovers that I met at Camp Shutter Sisters and Shutter Sisters Oasis--like Meghan, Leslie, Lindsey, Debra,  Andrea, and Charlene.

The photos that my new friends were taking were beautiful (because they have amazing photographic  eyes and are uber-talented).  And what I loved besides the fantastic composition was the old school vibe.  It inspired me to actually take my cameras off the shelf and see if mine would possibly work.

After buying specialty batteries online (they don't make these batteries any more however you can rig it to work with AA batteries but that felt like more work than I wanted to do), I popped them into my camera and unfortunately, I could not get the camera to work.  So back on the shelf it went, I just didn't want to fuss with it and figured it wasn't meant to be......

But then I met up with fellow Shutter Sisters a few weekends ago and my new friend  Vanessa, was shooting with her Land Camera and taking these fabulous images....again, she has a terrific photographic eye...and I loved the way her images looked on instant film.  It was so fun to actually hold and look at printed images as we enjoyed lunch in Chinatown.

So I went home determined to get my camera to work.  After watching several You Tube videos, like this one from Andrew Moore and fiddling with the battery, I tried snapping a photo and you know what?  It worked!!!  It wasn't the batteries after was user error.

And now I have to admit, I am loving this camera.  There is something so magical about having a printed image in your  hand within 40 seconds and the suspense of waiting to see how it will turn out.

I didn't really get "it" before.  I was a skeptic.  I figured I could get that Polaroid look using apps or post processing and while that is somewhat true, the difference is that shooting with a Polaroid makes you slow down.  You can't just snap multiple images and tweak settings as you play them back to yourself (or I guess you could, but you'd be wasting a lot of film).  You need to stop and really think about your composition & focus (which I just learned how to do...thanks ladies!) because once you commit to pushing that red button, the image is on it's way...imperfections and all.

And the beauty of it all is even those less than "perfect" shots look cool on film. Slightly blurred photos or images that are a titch too light still have an artistic flare.

Maybe we are just more forgiving with the images and with ourselves because we know that perfection really doesn't exist and that we should just embrace what we capture....maybe that is "it."  That is the answer to "why" shoot film.  I think I finally get "it" and I can't wait to shoot more!


  1. I have a polaroid just like that! Though, I really struggle to get the exposure right. I've been really wanting to dabble in medium format film lately...

  2. Ok now I'm tempted to go back to that antique store.


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