Before I moved to California and traveled a bit I managed to purchase some new experimental film from The Impossible Project. It was a completely pink film, or as they called it a monochromatic magenta. It was very similar to their Cyanograph Film, which was completely blue. I bought 2 packs and I brought them along with me to my trip to Ireland and Spain. The film was made for 600 series cameras, but I used it with my SX-70 folding SLR camera with a Neutral Density filter. The photo above is of Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland. Many great concerts have been performed on the grounds including U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The above photo was taken in Barcelona Spain in Camp Nou. It was a pretty hot and sunny day, and I was surprised that the photo came out as well as it did without it being completely washed out. You can just make out the stadium seats spelling out MES QUE UN CLUB.
So I work alot with Impossible Project Film and their last batch has been fantastic. As you can see in all the Polaroids the colors are amazing minus the fact that they all had a row of white spots going across them. I was out picking apples that day with a friend that had come into Texas so I wanted to use my whole box of film in the nice sunny fall weather. I was so sad when they pictures started to come out with dots since I really hadn’t dealt with it before. I was busy picking the apples and enjoying myself so I didn’t look into it too much and just kept snapping photos.
Later I got home and I was able to figure it out. Apparently in the first shot that was taken the little pouch of chemicals at the bottom of the Polaroid burst. These chemicals are spread across the Polaroid with the rollers as it ejects to cause the development reaction. So the pouch burst causing some of the gunk to get on to the rollers causing them to now be uneven. (I simulated this “gunk” in the pictures with toothpaste because I didn’t take pictures at the time.) Now every time a Polaroid was taken the gunk would leave an indent every few cm as it was being pushed out through the rollers. The indent caused the chemicals to not really get spread correctly in the spot causing it to be white. whomp whomp.
So I have learned to make sure that your rollers are clean in your Polaroid Cameras! This goes across the board for most types including, SX-70, 600, Spectra and pack cameras. If they aren’t clean they will cause your picture to have undeveloped or incorrectly developed spots. You can simply use a little bit of cotton or a Qtip and go over them with some rubbing alcohol.
Super Clean Rollers!
Although this is a way to try to prevent these spots from happening it does create a kinda cool affect that you can only get from this type of analog photography. I am still happy the way the images came out at the end and now think they are pretty neat. Maybe you can experiment with globs in different places and create a pattern effect.
I hope you enjoyed this little trouble shooting session based on my experiences. I hope to keep them coming every so often and help others out before they make the same mistakes 🙂 Drop me a line if you are having some Polaroid camera issues and if I am able to address them and write about them.