Last week we brought you a 600 post from sunny Florida. Well, Camera 1 has now made its way to Troy, OH and into the hands of Jason Benning. I like that as the cameras are moving along, people are having the time to plan their shoots and really be creative with this project. I hope you enjoy Jasons images as much as we did. Please check out more of his work at the following links.
Like others before me, I began working on this project before I even received the camera. I thought my preparation coupled with the technical advice of the previous participants would really help me achieve everything I hoped to accomplish with 600 On A 600. Having now completed my part of the project, I can honestly say that it was very difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, when the call for participation went out, I was very excited and didn’t hesitate to be a part of this. I watched the blog for each new entry, began developing my ideas for my eight shots and patiently waited to get my hands on the camera. Once it arrived, everything changed.
Shooting this camera was going to be a new experience of sorts for me. I actually own a few Polaroid 600 cameras, but I’ve only shot them a handful of times. I typically use a combination of two to three SX-70s for my shooting, so I was a little nervous about giving up the added control (since I’m a major control freak when it comes to my photography) those cameras provide me. However, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to explore a project idea I’ve been toying around with.
I was going to tell a complete story in eight exposures, using only the images. This would allow enough room for interpretation by the viewer. The viewers would be able to generate the “missing” pieces depending on how they viewed the collective eight images. I storyboarded a concept, rounded up a few props and lined up a shoot with my muse and willing model, my wife, as well as one of my friends. I shot the images all in one day and under a variety of lighting conditions using my favorite film, PX600 Silver Shade UV+ Black Frame. I wanted the images to have a film noir feel to them and I set out to use a few techniques associated with that genre. Giving up the control of the SX-70 and only being able to use one pack of film didn’t allow me to perfectly craft each image. As others have pointed out, this camera needs a lot of light and didn’t perform as well indoors as it did outdoors. Additionally, the zone focusing was an issue and the automatic flash completely killed a beautiful shadow that was key to one shot. While I wasn’t happy with all of the images, I did complete the story and I was able to execute the vision. It was extremely stressful to not be able to adjust and reshoot images that didn’t quite work the first time; however, it was liberating to know that I’m not the only one to have these issues with the camera. I realize that I’m part of something much bigger and for that, I’m grateful. I’m glad to have been a part of this, I had fun and I look forward to seeing what everyone else can do with this camera.
We’d like to thank Jason again for being a part of this cameras amazing journey. Also, thanks again to The Impossible Project for helping us make this whole project happen. Please check out their shop for cameras and film to make your own instant memories.