My cameras 1: Polaroid SX-70

May 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

Time Zero Supercolor Still Life

SX-70 Hampton Beach Stairs

SX-70 Reflector

These cameras were made between 1971 and 1982 and used the first instant film that did not require the messy peel-apart process. Polaroid gave me this camera around 1979 or 1980 when I was a participant in the Polaroid Collection program. Under this program, qualifying photographers received cameras and film and were required to submit a portfolio of the resulting work. If any of the images were selected for the collection, you would receive another carton of film and another deadline. So it went for as long as Polaroid was interested in your work. I had several years of success with them.

I never enjoyed working in the darkroom, so the SX-70 came as a wonderful relief from the darkness, the smells, and the isolation. What an incredible joy it was to be able to produce a finished print on the spot and in just seconds! And Polaroid did a great job of promoting the technology, so there was a tremendous feeling of being part of something new and interesting.

One of my images was chosen to be included in the book The Magic of Instant Photography by Peggy Sealfon. It’s the pair of ballet shoes you can sort of make out over the “right shoulder” of the camera in this picture.

The three images above, all ca 1980:

1) A still life I made from one of my first boxes of SX-70 film, plus my acceptance letter from the Polaroid Collection. And a bird flying above all in celebration!

2) A set of stairs at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

3) Truck reflector, Durham, New Hampshire

I still have the camera, although it has been through a lot and probably doesn’t work any longer. I still keep it, along with several hundred of the prints, with very fond memories!

Polaroid SX-70

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§ One Response to My cameras 1: Polaroid SX-70

  • Julie says:

    So that’s what was in all those boxes – hundreds of photos?

    Drew, these are great. Do you need a publicist?

    Love the SX-70 “Reflector,” but, of course they’re all interesting, thought provoking, or just plain lovely.

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