CC 1235 LECTURE 4: Factors affecting the tones of photos

Even when we use the same Polaroid, the outcome may look so different in a sense that the pictures have various tones. Some are yellowish and reddish, while some may have the blue toned.

What to determine the tone of a picture? Is it related to the camera or the film? We list out 4 major factors to clear your mind.

1. Weather/ physical condition

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Photographer: On Chan / Location: Ethiopia, Africa

Instant film is highly sensitive to temps. When you shoot in a freezing cold place (e.g. -10°C to -15°C/ 14°F to 5°F and below), the photos tend to look bluish, lightened and less contrasted. And the heat does affect the film. Under hot weather of 35°C to 40°C/ 95°F to 104°F and above, the images all turn out with a reddish or yellowish overtone.

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Photographer: Ming Chan / Location: Hokkaido, Japan

The tone of colour varies under different temperatures. In other words, it depends on how cold/warm you are placing the photo for development. For the Impossible’s current generation of films (mid 2016), the full development takes 20-30 minutes. During this period of time, if the temperature is around 10°C to 15°C/ 50°F to 59°F, the image tends to look bluish, whereas if the temperature is above 30°C/ 86°F, the image tends to look reddish.

2. Source of light

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Photographer: Eric Luk / Camera: SLR670-S / Film: Color Film for 600

It is also related to the colour temperature of light source. Sun is actually appearing bluish in hue, but incandescent light bulbs eject light in yellow. Our eyes have the ability to compensate this colour difference but instant films don’t. So we usually find the bluish image outdoor and yellowish toned indoor shots.

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Photographer: Eric Luk / Camera: SLR670-S / Film: Color Film for 600

Instant film is daylight balanced. From sunrise to sunset, dawn to dusk, the amount of sunlight determines the tone of picture, too.

3. Batch of film

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Photographer: Simon Bernabel / Film: Color Film for 600

Different batch of film can cause a lot, too. Before mid 2015, Impossible has not come up with the new formula chemical, so the photos were still a little bit reddish and yellowish. Starting from around Apr/ May 2016, Impossible have changed the formula, more chemicals are allowed to spill over. The new films produce more bluish images.

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Photographer: Harriet Browse / Film: Color Film for 600

4. The application of filters

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The use of accessories gives the photo a special tone. For instance, the blue filter will raise the colour temperature, filling blue tones all over the canvas.

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Photographer: Ming Chan / Accessories: MiNT Lens Set (blue filter)

Therefore, please noted that the colour tone is nothing to do with the camera. It matters most with the film and the environment you are photographing.

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CC 1420 LECTURE 6: POLAROID TROUBLE SHOOTING – UNDER/OVER-EXPOSED IMAGE

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INTRODUCTION
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Controlling the exposure value (EV) could be really challenging to both beginners and experienced users. Sometimes you may find it difficult to correctly set the exposure wheel. This may result in over/ under-exposed shots.

Impossible film can be mainly classified into two types: high ISO (600) and low ISO (SX-70). Many people are confused about HOW to take a correctly exposed picture.

 

PART 1.

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Tips about setting the brightness

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To use 600 film in a default ISO100 camera(e.g. SX-70 Model 1, Model 2, Sonar, Alpha)

⇒ Use Flash (half power)/ Turn the exposure wheel all the way to darken (black) / Use ND filter

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To Use SX-70 film in default ISO100 camera

⇒ In normal case, you should keep the exposure wheel in the middle position

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To use 600 film in default ISO600 camera (e.g.SLR670a/SLR680)

⇒ In normal case, you should keep the exposure wheel in the middle position

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To use SX-70 film in default ISO600 camera

⇒ Turn the exposure wheel all the way to lighten (white)

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PART 2.

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Reasons of Under/Over-exposed image

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Film to use corresponding to indoor/ outdoor?

You are suggested to use flash high ISO film (600) indoor and low ISO film (100) outdoor. If you plan to take pictures in both indoor and outdoor, you should use low ISO film and use flash if necessary.

In a condition of very bright light, even when you use SX-70 film (ISO100 film), it is still possible to result in over-exposed images. There are 2 solutions: adjust the exposure wheel to darken, or use an ND filter and keep the exposure wheel in the middle position.

Most of the SX-70 cameras are programmed as ISO100. In most cases you should use corresponding SX-70 film (ISO100 film) as this will ensure the image is correctly exposed. If you want to use 600 film (approx. 6 times more light sensitive than SX-70 film) in your SX-70 camera, you need to put an ND filter before shooting or you will get over-exposed images.

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Temperature differs?

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Photo tends to look pale and with low contrast under cold weather.

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Shield after shooting?

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Impossible film tends to be sensitive to light. Shield the picture immediately after ejection and avoid exposure under the Sun or bright light. You can use the darkslide (the black cover that ejects immediately after you insert a new film pack) to cover the image. Or even better, use Impossible Frog Tongue to make the shielding easier. Once it is ejected, leave the picture face down for 10 minutes for Impossible B&W films, and 30 minutes for colour films. This will largely increase the successful rate of developing nice pictures.

 

REMARKS

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  1. Frog Tongue is available for all boxtype/ folding SX-70 and Image/Spectra cameras.

2. The light bulbs on top of SX-70 is the original Polaroid Flash Bar. It is a disposable flash with a 10-times use flashbulb unit. Suitable for SX-70 Camera/ OneStep Rainbow. These flash bars are no longer manufactured and have been gradually replaced by electronic flash.

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That’s why MINT created MiNT Flash Bar 2, which is a revolutionary re-usable high quality electronic flash bar device for all Polaroid folding and box-type SX-70 type cameras. It comes with 2 filters for your creativity.

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3. Lens Set for Polaroid SX-70 Cameras is also available. The set includes Fisheye, Close-up, Blue filter, Yellow filter, and ND filter. You can get as close as 12cm, take selfies with friends, get the nice blue colour of the sky, create higher contrast in B&W photos, and shoot 600 film in SX-70 cameras. It is definitely another must have item besides the flash.

CC 1420 Lecture 5: SX-70 trouble shooting – Undeveloped patch

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SYMTOM

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It is quite common to have undeveloped patch on your Polaroid / Impossible films. No matter you are taking photos with SX-70, 680 or 690 camera, you may have experienced undeveloped patch. It could be due to dried chemical, or uneven roller pressure. This is fairly normal. 

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Why three chemical patches?

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It is because the Impossible film is vertically divided by three parts. When you take pictures with SX-70, two rollers push the chemicals out of the pouches, and let the chemicals to be evenly distributed on the image. Therefore, if the undeveloped patch is located at the centre of film, probably it means there is a problem on the middle chemical pack.

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POSSIBLE REASONS

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The earliest film from Impossible

The film production technique was not as mature as today’s, so problems arose. For example, PX70 First flush film was much likely to have undeveloped patch than the Impossible’s latest Color 600, White Frame 3.0. 

We recommend choosing films in a later phase like Color protection film and B&W 2.0. They have less chance to have undeveloped patch.

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Film storage

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If you place your films in a hot, humid place or even under sunlight, an unfavourable chemical reaction may result and lead to agglomeration of chemical. The rollers may not smoothly push the chemicals out and thus affecting the result image.

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Rollers

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Aside from the storage of film, there is also a possibility of splotchy rollers or damage of rollers that the chemicals could not be pushed out and distributed evenly on the picture.

 

SOLUTIONS

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Your gesture

You can gently hold the film door (but don’t block the picture exit slot under front edge) when taking picture.

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Clean the rollers

Refer to lecture 2 >>

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Change Polaroid 680 / 690 rollers to new ones

Cleanliness of the rollers is utterly important. But there is one more thing, Dr. Love from The Impossible Project states that

“For any of you who happen to own an SLR 680, you know it is a beautifully well-crafted work of art of instant electronic machinery….it also tends to produce more ‘divots’ or [‘undeveloped patches’] than your friend’s SX-70 camera.

You may be wondering…why?

The simple answer here is the one thing in the ejection process that changes from the older SX-70 cameras to the SLR 680 and 690 model folding cameras, that is the rollers.

The roller set on these cameras are a little different than the ones found on the SX-70s. The rollers were changed to improve durability and grip on the film, but in the case of newer, more sensitive Impossible films, sometimes there is a less perfect spread of developer leaving the gap of paste at the top of the frame.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/VObMfv

So we highly recommend you to change the old rollers on Polaroid 680 / 690 to achieve the best performance!

PH 1000 Lecture 1: Camera! Go! Think!

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Nature of instant camera

Image develops within 5 mins after being ejected from the camera.

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Can machines think? This is a long debating question raised by Alan Turing, a British pioneering computer scientist.

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Alan Turing

Camera is without a doubt one type of machines. From the time we load the camera with film, check settings, set aperture and shutter speed, correctly focus the desired subject, get nice depth of field and composition as we want, to finally clicking the shutter button. The light capturing actions all happen in a split second.

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Obviously we, humans, are the one who control the process. But have you ever wondered if camera has the ability to think during the image taking process?

If camera could think, in what way would it affect the final images? Would it adjust the settings and create a different picture and style from photographers? Can it be said that some great photographic arts such as Moon and Half Dome from Ansel Adams are actually masterpieces from camera itself?

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Moon and Half Dome by Ansel Adams (Credits: http://www.ansel-adams.org)

If camera could not think, does it mean humans are the sole controller of the image taking process? Like famous quote from Ansel Adams: ‘you don’t take a photograph, you make it’. Let’s think about this.

CHEM 1110 Lecture 2: The chemistry of instant film – how it works?

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In 2008, Polaroid closed their last factory manufacturing analog instant film. When people thought there was no film for Polaroid cameras anymore, a group of former Polaroid employee was willing to continue the business and save instant film from going outmoded. Yet, besides taking over the last surviving factory, they did not obtain any technology or recipe of producing instant film from Polaroid. They had to invent a brand new analog film by themselves.

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Stephen Herchen, The Impossible Project’s chemist

“Instant film is the world’s most chemically complex man-made thing. There’s nothing in the modern age which can do what it can do. It is an entire science and an entire art form unto itself.”
– Stephen Herchen, The Impossible Project’s chemist

When the film comes out and you are watching it develop, there are over hundreds of chemical reactions happening. In this lecture, you will learn how an instant film is developed in a chemistry approach. It is, in fact, a really dramatic process happening.

 

COMPOSITIONinstant-university_yellow-border

1. Silver bromide (AgBr) – sensitive to red, green or blue light
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2. Hydroquinone (C6H4OH2) – decorated dyes cyan, yellow, magenta, dark blue dye or dark room dye – each dye is paired up with a particular silver bromide

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(Credits: Durfo)


3. Potassium thiosulfate (K2O3S2) – developing agent
4. Potassium hydroxide (HKO) – developing dye
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PROCESSinstant-university_yellow-border

1. Light is capture by the camera lens and focus onto the film.

2. In the negative, there have to be something that can reach to that light and that chemical is called silver bromide (AgBr).

3. Moreover, in this negative, there are 3 dyes, each of those dyes is paired up with the particular silver bromide.

4. When the film is releasing, the rollers of camera squeeze the developing fluid inside the film.

5. The blue dye creates a darkroom environment. Those dyes come in contact with the developing fluid, in which they are able to migrate from the negative to the top of the film where they can be seen.

 

(Credits: Mercedes-Benz, PF Pictures, The Impossible Project)

CHEM 1110 Lecture 1: The Impossible evolution

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Generation 1: First Flush (Since May 2009)

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Impossible | PX 680 Color Shade First Flush (Credits: The Impossible Project)

The Black and white edition was first released, later PX 70 FF. The latter one is Impossible’s first, experimental color film. It renders astonishing greenish and blueish pastel tones.

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[ Development time ]
Approximately 15-20 minutes

*Films under the production of phase 1 – PX 70 FF, PX100(FF), PX 680 FF & PX 600(FF) have been discontinued.

 

Generation 2: Push! (Since April 2010)

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Impossible | PX 70 Color Shade Push! (Credits: The Impossible Project)

PX 70 Push! is much improved experimental version and yet the color is easier to fade out. The relatively high sensitivity of light / temperature features a whole new color system. Unless the images get peeled, otherwise they shift to blue under the ongoing chemical reaction. In a hot environment, the film turns to red or turns to partial green in a cool one.

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[ Development time ]
Approximately 4-10 minutes

*PX 70 Push has been discontinued.

 

Generation 3: PX 70 08/11, PX 70 12/11 (Since August 2011)

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Impossible | PX 100 Silver Shade UV+ Film (The Impossible Project)

This batch of films are more stabilised in development, plus the sharper images have successfully aroused the interest of Polaroid users. This eliminates the possibility of undeveloped patch, uneven distribution of chemicals and out-of-tone image, having a satisfied result in imaging.

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[ Development time ]
Approximately 10 minutes for color film &
approximately 3 minutes for black and white film

*Films under the production of phase 3 –  PX 70 12/11, PX 100 UV+, PX 600 UV+ & PX 600 UV+ Grey have been discontinued.

 

Generation 4: Cool Film series (Since June 2012)

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Impossible | PX 600 Silver Shade Cool (Credits: The Impossible Project)

The Cool film shows an improved, stable performance which becomes the most popular product at that time! Basically, the film is no longer having undeveloped patch nor out-of-tone image. The film also boosts a high level of detail and sharpness even on dark edges.

The image of cool film reminds people of old Polaroid 600-type film. It was acclaimed as a return of Polaroid era.

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[ Development time ]
Around 8-10 minutes for color film &
2 minutes for black and white film

*Films under cool film line – PX 70 Cool, PX 100 Cool, PX 680 Cool & PX 600 Cool – have been discontinued.

 

Generation 5: Color Protection (Since September 2012)

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Impossible | PX 70 Color Protection (Credits: The Impossible Project)

Impossible innovates the color protection formula which enormously improves the opacification process. As claimed by the company, it does not demand for immediate shielding of the photos after shooting, which is a revolutionary product from Impossible.

Users are suggested to use the color protection film indoor or in suburb. At the beginning of development, it is still fine to expose under light and people can directly observe the process without having an overexposed image.

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[ Development time ]
Around 25-30 minutes for color film

*Films under phase 5 – PX 70 Color Protection, PX 680 Color Protection & PX 680 Gold Color Protection – have been discontinued.

 

Generation 6: First Generation (Since late 2013)

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Impossible | Color film for SX-70 (Credits: The Impossible Project)

With a new naming system and packaging, this series keeps everything that works from the previous line, and of course, adds some subtle refinements. This generation improves the sharpness and tones with light-favourable elements.

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[ Development time ]
Approximately 30-40 minutes

*Films under phase 6 – Color Film for SX-70, B&W Film for SX-70, Color Film for 600 & B&W Film for 600 – have been discontinued and replaced by generation 2.0.

 

Generation 7: Generation 2.0 (Since March 2015)

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Impossible | B&W 2.0 Film for 600 (Credits: The Impossible Project)

With the use of Generation 2.0 emulsion formula, it offers the most vibrant, mottle-free colours with totally saturated reds, blues, greens and yellows and natural skin tones of any Impossible film to date. At present, the generation 2.0 is only available for black and white film.

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[ Development time ]
Only 5 minutes for full development. The fastest film yet.

*Films under Generation 2.0 – B&W 2.0 Film for SX-70 & B&W 2.0 Film for 600 – are currently available.

 

Generation 8: Generation 3.0 (Since January 2016)

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Impossible | Color Film for 600, White Frame 3.0 (Credits: The Impossible Project)

A new generation for color film marks a significant improvement on Impossible’s current 600 color film formula.

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[ Development time ]
Photos develop in less than half the time.

*Films under Generation 3.0 – Color Film for 600 Cameras 3.0 beta – is now exclusively for Impossible Member to test before general release.

HIST 1010 Lecture 3: “New” Polaroid Corporation (Since 1990’s)

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REVIEWinstant-university_yellow-border

Polavision did not sell well in retail shops and brought a huge financial crisis to Polaroid. Edwin Land submitted his resignation and left the company he had founded.

 

IN 1980’Sinstant-university_yellow-border

The 1980’s was a hard time to Polaroid. The company tried to reinvent itself without Edwin Land by shifting away from a dependence on consumer photography, a market that was steadily declining. It was forced to make wholesale changes. Over thousands of workers were fired and many manufacturing plants were shut down. Therefore, Polaroid sought to innovate in the declining market for instant photography.

 

IN 1990’Sinstant-university_yellow-border

In 1990’s, technology rose and dramatically changed the world of photography. 1-hour color film processing, single-used cameras from competitors, videotape camcorders, and digital cameras brought more choices to public. The rise of new technology has helped reduce the cost of print photography to a large extent.

Polaroid then turned to produce disposable cameras. At that time, many other competitors such as Kodak and Fujifilm were in the market.

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Polaroid single-use camera with built-in flash (Credits: Polaroid)

The company planned to invent camera that can produce instant photos and 35mm negatives and another one that yields instant photos with digital images. Moreover, they moved the factories to less developed countries like China and other low-wage countries to keep costs down.

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Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera (Credits: Polaroid)

 

IN 2000’Sinstant-university_yellow-border

In 2001, Polaroid released a small portable printer. It was used for advertisers like retailers and restaurants to reach cellphone users with printouts. The product brought them an extra revenue, along with sales of the device, and refills of the printout.

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Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Mobile Printer

Unfortunately, Polaroid went bankrupt in October 2001 and announced that they would stop producing instant films and cameras. On the other hand, a group of former employees of Polaroid bought its film factory in the Netherlands and formed a new filmmaking company called The Impossible Project.

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The Impossible Project only takeovers the factory space and machines from Polaroid other than technology and techniques. So they have to create and produce new colour dyes.

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Instant films by The Impossible Project for Polaroid SX-70 and 600-type cameras

 

AT PRESENTinstant-university_yellow-border

“Polaroid has become more than a household name – it has become one of the most recognised and trusted lifestyle brands in the world.” – Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid

At present, Polaroid focuses in producing digital photographic products like Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera, Polaroid Cube Action Camera and Polaroid ZIP Instant Photoprinter. Hopefully Polaroid still has a role in the future of photography.

HIST 1010 Lecture 4: Numbers you must know about Polaroid

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1. In 1960’s, a Polaroid marketing executive estimated that 1/2 of the households in the United States have acquired Polaroid cameras.

2. In 1977, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of instant photography with a $100,000 party. More than 6 million Polaroid cameras were sold that year.

3. That pioneering by Dr. Land, who held 533 US patents by the time he retired in 1982, is the second highest to Thomas Edison’s 1,093.

4. Land had guided Polaroid as the founding CEO for 43 years.

HIST 1010 Lecture 2: The Polaroid magic (1920’s – 1980’s)

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Polaroid Corporation, which started in Cambridge, is best known for its instant films and cameras. You may not know that it’s initial market was polarised sunglasses. During this lecture, you are going to look through Polaroid’s heyday and its lasting impacts.

 

THE FOUNDER OF POLAROID – EDWIN LAND
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Land set up a research laboratory at his home in his teenage, started experiments on the first light polarisers in sheet form and to establish the applied science of polarised light. He thought that a polariser would look like a sheet of plastic or glass and that would be practical and convenient to use. In 1929, Land obtained his first patent ever.

He founded the Land-Wheelright Laboratories with his professor to continue his polarisation studies. Later this lab was renamed the Polaroid Corporation. As head of the company, Dr. Land never diversified into other businesses, sold out to another company or borrowed money on a long-term basis.

 

MILESTONESinstant-university_yellow-border

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1947

Polaroid Land Camera was demonstrated publicly

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1948

Polaroid Land Camera was put on sale before Christmas

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1950

Black and White instant film was introduced

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1960

15 second pictures and automatic exposure technology

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1963

Color film and film cartridges

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Edwin Land demonstrating Polaroid color instant photograhy (Credits: The Life Picture Collection)

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1965

Low priced Swinger

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Late 1960’s

Polaroid invited the world’s best-known photographers like Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams and William Wegman, providing them free film and studio space and asked them to take some photos and gave them few prints back in the Polaroid Artists Collection

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Andy Warhol with Polaroid SX-70

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1971

The Square Shooter was introduced

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1972

SX-70 was introduced

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Edwin Land with Polaroid SX-70 on the cover of LIFE

a pocket-sized, self-developing Polaroid camera + 1 inch thick, 7 inches long

A thin sheet contained 8 separated chemical sheets protected by an “opacifer” layer that kept out the sun’s rays while the picture developed outside the camera. Each of the 8 layers respond to a different light frequency when exposed, resulting in brilliant color. Because the dye was metallic, the finished product didn’t fade except when exposed to extreme light for prolonged periods. Polaroid’s main competitor, Kodak, has yet to master this difficult process in its own film.

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1977

Instant Home Movie camera was introduced

 

IMPACTinstant-university_yellow-border

Since Polaroid was established, the Eastman Kodak Company brought the Land polarisers as camera filters. Since Polaroid was incorporated, they began to graft polariser technology onto many products such as 3D movies and glare-reducing googles for dogs.

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The invention of instant camera changed the picture-taking habits of people around the globe. In response to his 3-year-old daughter’s bewilderment about why the camera could not produce a photo immediately, he was inspired to make “a camera that would produce developed photographs as soon as its shutter clicked”. He termed it instant photography.

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Time magazine has described the basic process for instant photography in this way: “A negative inside the camera is exposed and then brought into contact with a positive print sheet. Both are then drawn between a pair of rollers, which breaks a tiny pod of jelly-like chemicals that spread across the sheet, producing a finished picture in seconds.

During World War II (1939-1945), Polaroid designed and manufactured numerous products for military, including colored filters for rangefinders and periscopes and an infrared night viewing device polarising.

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In 1947, Land demonstrated the Polaroid Land Camera with film publicly, and started selling during the Christmas season next year. The camera was a huge success and would remain on the market for 50 years thereafter. Polaroid’s products under Land gained wide acceptance. At present, there are still millions of followers on instant photography.

HIST 1010 Lecture 1: Edwin Land – Life in an instant

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EDWIN HERBERT LANDinstant-university_yellow-border

Nationally

American

Occupation

Physicist, Scientist, Inventor 

Education

Harvard University

Famously known as

Co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation

Born

May 7, 1909

Died

March 1, 1991

 

QUOTESinstant-university_yellow-border

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“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”

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“You always start with a fantasy.”

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“If you sense a deep human need, then you go back to all the basic science. If there is some missing, then you try to do more basic science and applied science until you get it.”

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“The purpose of inventing instant photography was essentially aesthetic.”

 

BIOGRAPHYinstant-university_yellow-border

Edwin Land was born in Connecticut, United States in 1909.

In 1929, when Land was still an undergraduate in Harvard University, he created polariser, an optical filter which passes light of specific polarised light and blocks waves of other polarised light, at the age of 20.
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The technology of polariser has a wide range of applications. It was used in the production of sunglasses, military hardware and color animation.
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In 1937, the Polaroid Corporation was officially established.

In 1939, Polaroid created color animation for jukeboxes, 3D glasses for movies, and the ability to dim light coming through a window.
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In 1943, Land’s 3-year-old daughter asked him why she could not see the photo immediately after it was taken. He felt a rush of inspiration.

His answer to this? 4 years later in 1947, Polaroid one-step instant camera, the world’s first instant camera was invented.
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In late 1948, this never-before-seen camera – called the Polaroid Land Camera – hit stores shelves, made an instant success and took the world by storm. It was available in sepia tones only.
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In 1950, Polaroid’s first instant camera using black and white film was born. It was popular for both military and civilian photography.

Harvard University awarded Land an honorary doctorate in 1957 for his lifetime of scientific achievement.

Polacolor, the first instant camera using color film was introduced in 1963.
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Land was a pioneer as a manager of Polaroid. In 1960’s he hired women and minorities for management and research positions ahead of many other firms.

In 1971, Land formulated and introduced Retinex theory – both the eyes and the brain are involved in the processing.

In 1972, Land introduced Polaroid SX-70 – a camera with the picture emerging from the camera automatically. It has become one of the most popular products and increased the company’s revenue by 4 times from 1961 to 1972.
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A failure of film venture called Polavision was a financial disaster to the company. Land resigned as Chairperson of Polaroid in 1980.

After retiring, Land founded the ‘Rowland Institute for Science’ to go on his research on optics. His lab eventually discovered how color is perceived in the human brain.

In 1991, Edwin Land died in Cambridge, at the age of 81.

(Credits: Polaroid)