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Don’t You Forget About Me – Guest Blog

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Patrick J. Clark is a listener of the Pdexposures Podcast and watcher of Pdexposures.TV. He recently went on an outing and pulled from the Pdexposures “Corner to Corner” challenge for some inspiration. Read all about his experiences below and be sure to check out his blog “Light Squared”!

Light Squared – Patrick’s Blog

Thank you Patrick for letting us share your thoughts here!

For some reason, I tend to ignore or forget how spectacular the Polaroid Land 250 with Fuji Packfilm is. I think it might have something to do with the fact that it’s not IMPOSSIBLE film, and at the moment, my instant world is closely associated with everything that IMPOSSIBLE is doing. Maybe that has something to do with it. IMPOSSIBLE is a community and you feel like a part of it, whereas when you shoot Fuji Packfilm, you have the Polaroid Land Camera community, but there just isn’t that feeling of company camaraderie that IMPOSSIBLE has.

I don’t know why I picked up my Land 250 on Friday of last week. I knew I had a few shots left in a pack of expired Fuji FP-100C and I was feeling very “instanty”. I had just finished off a roll of Lomography Orca 110 in my Pentax Auto 110 and hadn’t gotten a chance to develop it yet, and I had been shooting some digital with my Sigma DP2, so maybe that’s what spurred it, but whatever the reason, I grabbed my 250 and finished off the pack.

And once again, I fell in love with FP-100C and my Land 250. It’s fool-proof. The film is a little cool in color range, but it’s such a good combination, the sharpness and ease of use of the Land 250 and the Fuji film. It just works, and works, and works. You don’t have to worry, you don’t have to wait, or you can wait. It’s all good, all the time.

As I was walking around where I work, I was reminded how beautiful and clear the Zeiss finder is on the 250, and how well I like the horizontal back and forth to focus. I did have a hard time switching to “color mode” in my mind, as I usually see contrast that makes for great black and white shots, so even though I like the following shot, I think it really is a black and white image lost in a color world.

The Bench and Stairs

I’ve been shooting the courtyard, building and surrounding area of my workplace for a while now. One reason is to just to get out and walk around and take a break from UX work, and really, like Nate Matos said in his Pdexposures Show making it a challenge to see what is in a one square block is a fun and skill-expanding exercise.

I also decided to just shoot and peel whatever shots I took later when I got back to my desk. I didn’t want to carry around wet negs as I walked around, and I was pretty confident that the 250 would make good exposures as I’ve shot it for awhile now.

So, instead of taking a picture of the fountain like I have multiple times:

The Fountain at Rancho Bernardo [Singularity] Fountain in Courtyard

The fountain again

The Fountain in Summer Far The Fountain in Summer Close

I decided to explore more of the patterns and details of the fountain. What says the fountain with just showing parts of it? How do you make a pleasing pattern out of all of that? And, for once, I listened and heard the patter of the water splashing in the pool and knew what kind of shot I wanted.

The Pools Edge

I do remember waiting for the right drops of water to hit to create the ripples and wondering if the shutter and camera were quick enough to capture it. I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out.

I also decided to reverse peel this shot. Instead of peeling it the recommended way, you peel off on the opposite side, and it leaves the gunky border from the negative on your print. I trimmed off the pods and the flap as well. There is something about this process and black border that is so organic and natural, that I love it. I had stopped doing it for a bit, mainly because of the preponderance of Instagram and all of it’s borders and craziness, but I figured why let that influence what I want to do. If someone sees this shot online and dismisses it because of the border, well, come and see the print in person and hold it in your hand to see it.

With three shots taken over 30 minutes or so, I took the shots and went back to my desk to peel.

It had been a few months since I had shot FP-100C, and the film I have is slightly expired, AND it’s been in my camera for a bit, so I did wonder how they would turn out, but all it took was that first peel, the sound of the paper separating from the negative that is undeniably joyous, and the peeking I do, looking at the first corner to disspel any worry about the shots. The colors were great and the Land 250 has such a sharp lens, it just astounds me that an old, simple, automatic camera can render such beautiful images. I was excited to finish off the pack, and decided that I would keep it in mind as the weekend progressed.

I was still on a patterns and abstract misson, so I brought the Land 250 to brunch at the Swing Inn Cafe, and found a great pattern with the barrels that they use for trash cans in old town. Once again, it is really hard for me to turn on “color” mode, and this shot would probably be more pleasing to me in FP-3000b, but I love the crispness and the flow of straight and curved line. The tones are a little cooler than I’m used to, but that is the nature of this film. I know some people throw a warming filter on the lens to combat the coolness, but, to be honest, I just never have. I don’t mind it.

Old Town Trash Barrel

I reverse peeled it while we waited for our breakfast, and kept on looking at it while we ate. I never have shot instant 4 X 5, but I can imagine it is similar in the feeling of having something big and tangible sitting in front of you. I hope at some point to shoot some New55 film to get that same feeling in 4 X 5, and one of these days I’m going to get an 8 X 10 to do IMPOSSIBLE work in Large Format, because there is just something about the size of these shots that draws you towards them.

After some housework later that day I was shooting some IMPOSSIBLE PX100 in my Graflex Speed Graphic and having some slight issues, (more on that in the next posting) and after doing a still life inside and battling with light, I decided to take it outside. I set up an outdoor still life, took a couple of shots with the Speed Graphic, and while they were developing I decided to finish off my FP-100C pack.

And this shot completely blew me away. Rich color. Sharp focus. Beautiful light, and on a nice big format. I really fell in love with this combination, and the fact that I can reclaim the negative and scan it in as well, just has me in love once again with this film with this camera.

Still Life with Chair, Broom and Feeder

Next time, I’ll be showing off my shots using the Graflex Speed Graphic and The IMPOSSIBLE Project PX100 film using my 4 X 5 mask insert that I talked about here.

As always check out my latest and greatest in my Flickr feed.

Pdexposures was founded in 2006 as a way to bring people together through photography. This idea has evolved into a network of Podcasts, YouTube shows and the latest news for all things film photography.

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