Happy Wednesday, folks!
As you scan those road trip or summer vacation photos, share them with us! We would love to feature your work, be it in an Artist Spotlight feature or sharing your summer travel photos on instant film. Email us, email@example.com and we will be in touch! Soon, we will be be mourning summer and would love to see your travels and summer adventures as we head into the fall and back to school madness.
Today we share a great set by Richard PJ Lambert. Richard took these photos on the drive from Los Angeles to Vancouver using an SX-70 he revived using chopsticks (yes, chopsticks! More on that below) and some really expired Impossible film in hot, summer weather. We really love the mood of these photos and hope you’ll love them, too! Be sure to check out more of Richard’s work using the links below and let him know how much you enjoyed these! Thanks for sharing this awesome set of photos with us, Richard!
Now more from Richard on this set and how he fixed his camera:
I’m from Birmingham, UK and I like to travel with as many cameras as possible. I got married this July and these shots were made on my honeymoon road trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver. We saw so many incredible things it was hard to keep track of it all – hiking Yosemite in a hundred degrees, paddle-boarding with seals in Vancouver and doing convincing impressions of a hipsters in Portland.
Though a combination of expired film and incredible heat, the film took on a washed out pink hue which seems to add an unreliable time stamp to the pictures. I’m really interested in the process of creating an image and instant film is one of the most fun ways to experiment. It usually remembers things differently to me.
Last year I was on holiday when I slipped on a bit of an iceberg and dropped my SX-70. As a result, the film stopped ejecting properly. Visually, nothing appeared to be broken – the viewfinder looked fine, the power was going through ok and the darkslides always came out. However, when it got to the film, it seemed to jam in the cartridge and only eject after a few presses of the shutter resulting in muddy double exposures or nothing at all.
After the initial heartbreak, I did some research and found this fantastic video which helped me fix up my sad Polaroid armed with nothing apart from torch and a chopstick. The SX-70 has an internal part called the ‘pick arm’ which grabs the top piece of film and pushes it out towards the rollers.
After time (or an accident) the metal arm can get bent out of shape. It can still grab the darkslide because it is quite a bit thicker but the film no longer gets picked up. By following the video above, you can use a chopstick to gently bend the arm back into place. It took maybe 10 minutes and now the SX-70 is good as new. You will also need to know how to reinsert darkslides and film back into the cartridge to test how your fix is going, which you can learn here. It is a bit fiddly but once you get the technique, it is really useful for switching film packs midway through or testing the mechanics of your Polaroid cameras without exposing new film.