Friday, October 13, 2006

A Lost Love



Before digital instant photographic gratification meant Polaroid - in this case, the venerable SX-70. Man, how I love(d) that camera. I have 3 of them. The problem is, with Tine Zero film gone, they're now relegated to the status of photographic curiosities. Damn...another part of the photographic medium gone, just flat out gone. Ahhh, progress.

One has to wonder how much longer the Polaroid Corporation will be around. However, if it were to disappear tomorrow, there can be no denying that one of the most incredible collections of photography ever created - The Polaroid Collections - will stand as a unique and enduring legacy of the medium of photography and a photographic era.

Since the inception of instant photography over 50 years ago, Polaroid Corporation has promoted photography as art through its Artist Support Program. The program grew out of an early collaboration - essentially a research activity - between Polaroid founder Edwin Land and Ansel Adams (check out this Adams Polaroid self-portrait). 50 years later, Polaroid's support of photographers from around the world has created a polaroid photography collection that numbers over 23,000 photographs by more 1,000 photographers.

Simply amazing.

For those who love photography, not just Polaroid photography, a must have book is The Polaroid Book. With 287 images, it gives a glimpse of one of the world's most incredible collections of photography. It is a vibrant and engaging testament to a rich and rewarding benefactorial relationship between a photographic corporation and photographic artists that will never be seen again. Tragically (not in the human catastrophe sense), it is also a sign post of a passing era on the road of "progress".

the photograph(s) ~ SX-70 photographs by Mark Hobson Allegheny Commons - Pittsburgh, PA

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