Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Get it? Like, random and musings together? They don't call me Wordsworth for nothing (meaning they don't call me Wordsworth). Anyway, so this post is just some random Polaroid stuff, because I've only done a few little things and not anything grand.
First up, a little follow-up on the Polaroid Box camera. I had it in my car for a day, probably at 115+, so when I went out in the desert to shoot, the tape had peeled off, so I only got a couple leaky shots like this:

Pretty colors, but that's about it. It was also overexposing (and I noticed the shutter was slower when fired in direction versus the other). So I messed around with it a bit when I got home. First I made a smaller aperture for it, thinking that maybe reducing the light would darken the image. I just used a hole punch, so that was the size of the aperture. The image was darker, but it did exactly what I expected.

Big vignette. Owell. Funny thing is, I'm building one of these for my friend sol, and I just noticed that the box camera has an aperture lever thing. Doh. But it's dark right now so I can't try it out.
So basically this is what you get when you shoot with the wide aperture.

Interesting colors, but very washed out. Boring picture, but it's just a test shot. I tried a couple darker filters and the shots came out muddy and ugly. On a whim, I tried a yellow filter, which is supposed to make clouds pop out from the sky.

Hey, that actually kind of works! Sharpened the image, colors are bit more accurate, just the right amount of density to bring down the exposure. So now I just need to mess around with it when there is something interesting to shoot.
Next up, I finally decided to use the Polaroid Big Swinger 3000 that's been sitting on my shelf for two years. As the name suggests, it only uses 3000 speed film, or Type 667 (and Fuji FP-3000B).

Neat camera, really. Looks great, very 1960s glam. Fixed focus, as that's how 3000 is shot, unless you are using a 180 or 195. Interesting exposure method. I can't take a picture of it, but under the viewfinder is a red window. You look into the red window, squeeze the red around the shutter button, and twist until the word "OKAY" appears most clear over a checkerboard pattern. This is the only Polaroid I've ever used that has a meter for the light/dark knob. Other than that, you aim and shoot. I took some shots out in the desert with it...

Nice results. Has a bit of vignette and some bluring along the edges. Cheap plastic lens, I'm with me. There didn't seem to be much difference in darkness regardless of where the camera told me to set the knob, so I took one shot at full dark setting.

That made a difference. Guess the camera knows what it is doing. Or not. I took this shot (on the Yavapai reservation) according to the camera settings.

Must have been metering to the sky. I still kind of like it but bright sky and dark below. This is a bizarre batch of 667 I have, as well. Lots of sepia in it and a texture. The goop sides are very mottled, too.

I ordered some Fuji FP-3000B since I haven't used it before and I want my 667 to last. It's getting much more difficult to find. Sigh.
Last for now, I went to a local camera store today and they had one left. One lone Square Shooter a box with instructions. So I bought it for $6.

It doesn't take 3000 speed film, so I think all I have to use in it is Chocolate. So next weekend I'll try it out, see what it do...
It came with some junk in the box. Another set of instructions. I won't post the entire thing as it's mostly the same as the others I have. There are a couple pages that entertain me.

I mean, what can I say? It's all about the hair. The woman in the top shot, her beehive looks like it was formed by the drier. The giant with the frizz in the bottom shot...I can't even think of anything to say. She says it all. And this guy:

Hey, wanna buy a Polaroid? I'll give you a good price. Best Polaroid around. I like the fact that he is wearing a pinstripe suite and a hunting jacket.
This is the most interesting "Do not litter" statement I've seen in a Polaroid book. They are obviously very aware of the mountains of garbage that Polaroid packs produce.

And just a completely random shot, taken from a completely random instruction book that was in the Square Shooter box for the Kodak Instamatic 44 camera.

If that photo doesn't date the camera. Oh, and for some reason I found this amusing, from the Polaroid instruction booklet:

The comment about taking a fifth shot with a four-flash cube made me giggle like a little girl. It doesn't take much with me.
So that's it for now, I guess. I'm going out to shoot next week, will see what comes of that. Later, taters.

(edit: follow-up) I used the built-in aperture slide on my Polaroid box camera (that I hadn't noticed initially), which reduces the aperture to about half the size, it looks like. Seems like that was all it took! Almost maybe a little dark, but I'll have to mess around a bit more.

Simple as that. Funny how the obvious isn't always so obvious.