Instant parking lot

I’ve bought and shot with a lot of old cameras this year. I used to always look for new subjects to shoot with each camera, but at some point this year I started running out of ideas. So I’ve been returning to familiar places, sometimes shooting the same old things but just as often noticing something I hadn’t seen before and shooting it. I’ve made many visits this year to the Broad Ripple neighborhood, to the grand and imposing Second Presbyterian Church, to the old town of New Augusta, and even to the parking lot at work.

I read the Film Photography Project blog, and the writers there have a serious fetish for instant photography. Polaroid hasn’t made instant cameras in years, but these dedicated folks buy long-expired film or new film from the Impossible Project and keep right on shooting. It makes me wistful for the great times I had with a Polaroid pack-film camera in the 1970s. These films give arty-farty results, though, which doesn’t trip my trigger and has kept me away. Then I found out that Fujifilm makes brand new color and black-and-white film for the old pack-film Polaroids. I immediately bought the first pack film camera I found, a 1968 Big Swinger 3000, bought a pack of FP-3000B instant film, and had an absolute ball wandering around the parking lot at work shooting cars. This was the best photo of the day, though my cheap scanner didn’t capture the full range of tones from the print. I’ll be buying a photo scanner here pretty soon and then I’ll write more about my Big Swinger 3000.


14 responses to “Captured: Instant parking lot”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Wow, you’re really getting advanced. :) Never occurred to me a scanner wouldn’t capture the full range of greys but then I’m used to thinking there are only 256 shades of grey anyway. You’d need to scan in something higher than 8-bit to get more, though, wouldn’t you? 16 or 24 bit colour modelings?

    1. Jim Avatar

      I bought that photo scanner and scanned this photo, and got a much better quality result. Then the scanner broke, so back it goes. The scanner I used for the above is part of an all-in-one printer and just returns noisy scans. What can I say?

  2. Scott Palmer Avatar

    Nice photograph! The tree in the center right anchors the two lines of cars. Gut gemacht.

    You might not have seen the new (and now canceled) “Pan Am” TV drama set in 1963. The pilot episode had two characters who were newlyweds. They asked a stewardess to take their picture with a “Polaroid” camera, a brand new technology that developed photos immediately. Everyone was astonished.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Heh, except Polaroid had been making cameras since the 1950s!

      1. Scott Palmer Avatar

        Hmm! I didn’t know that.

        So there were two historical inaccuracies in that episode: (1) Polaroid cameras weren’t new, and (2) none of the characters or passengers were smoking.

        1. Lone Primate Avatar
          Lone Primate

          Yeah, if they’re going to do stuff like that, they need to show it warts and all. That’s part of what makes history, especially recent history, so interesting. When they came out with the movie Good Night and Good Luck, they showed everyone smoking like a chimney, in restaurants, in the control booth, on camera. When I watch old clips of This Hour Has Seven Days on CBC’s website, I’m amused to watch these hip, sophisticated guys chain smoking right on camera. It’s part of what made the 60s different from… well, even the 70s. No one smoked on TV when I was kid; by then, it was gone, ads and all.

  3. Tori Nelson Avatar

    Now I’m humming “Big Yellow Taxi” to myself :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      Mighty hippie of you!

  4. vanilla Avatar

    While instant gratification was becoming all the rage, I always cringed at the price of the pack. The first Polaroid in our household was a Christmas gift to a teen daughter… Because she had to buy her own film, it got little use.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I had a Polaroid camera in the late 70s myself. A pack of film cost more than film and developing for my old Brownie. I loved using the Polaroid, but shot more with the Brownie.

  5. ryoko861 Avatar

    My son has a collection of 70’s Polaroids! Swinger, One Steps, and my Pronto. As well as Kodak’s answer to those cameras-“Pleaser”. I just picked up a “JoyCam” at a thrift store the other day to add to his collection. I also just found out he as the 320 Land Camera and and a Color Pack that I can’t find the name of. Unfortunately, the film is expensive. But I’ve always enjoyed taking pictured with them. Getting the picture right then and there is novel!

    1. Jim Avatar

      I have a Pronto here too…

  6. versa kay Avatar

    When you begin to run out of ideas, you start to seesomething new and interesting in the same old things. That is theessence of innovation,

    1. Jim Avatar

      Great point!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: