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+44 7855 742 633

London based professional interior and architectural photographer.

Photography Blog

James Tarry's photography blog. Ramblings from a photographers over active mind. Email now or call +44 (0)7855 742 633.

2017: Pinhole photography and Instant Film Pt2

james tarry

Hello again.

Alot has happened since the last post on my new instant film direction including; New55 film rarely working 'properly', a possible faulty back (which wasnt faulty), an Ondu pinhole camera with 6 light leaks (sorted by photographers best friend-Gaffer Tape). Unsatisfactory email replies with New55 over what I felt was a faulty box of film (5 sheets-none fitted properly, all ripped apart) and returns of all stock (and the other "faulty not faulty" Polaroid back) taken back to shop only to hear they had similar issues and concerns.

I will spare all the back and forths but the whole thing has been an exhausting battle. By the time New55 offered to replace the film I had decided to take the risk and buy the original Polaroid Type 55 film off Ebay. The risk being that this film is discontinued, expired and possibly the film chemical has dried up.... the seller in this case had apparently stored it in a fridge for the best part of 10 years, so I thought it was worth a punt. At £180 a box (not including postage) its the most expensive film I have bought to date, but it still works out cheaper per shot than New55 which currently runs at £60-70 a box (not including postage) for only 5 shots per box. What could go wrong that already hasn't, right? 

Well I set off back to Richmond Park one beautiful Saturday morning, pulled the Polaroid film out, crossed fingers and started again. Success. The film fits, works, and delivers. I shot 7 exposures that morning and I have 1 keeper, while that does not sound a great return per shot wise, the quality of that one keeper is way better in my opinion of what I had (examples below). The 6 others, 3 hadnt processed "properly" (part of the risk of instant film) and 3 were compositional/pinhole errors that I had made. 

I'm super happy with these Polaroid Type55 slides, its how I remember my experiance with the Fuji Pack film, enjoyable. The thing I need to improve at is getting the shot composition better and quicker, the disadvantage of using the Pinhole is that its pretty much all guess work as there is no way of 'seeing' or previewing what you are aiming at. As with every stage of every idea I have there's been trials, swearing, impatience and frustration but the big positive I take away every time this happens is that somehow I'm always able to stick with it and figure out a solution....ONWARDS AND UPWARDS! 

 Polaroid Type55

Polaroid Type55



Thank you for reading-If you enjoyed please hit that subscibe button, I have a few plans over the year that might be of interest. If you have not voted for me in the Finals of Art Of Building 2016, you can do so here , my Gherkin photo (below) was selected from 2000 entries and needs your help to win: voting closes 23rd Jan! :) 

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