Good Bad Cameras

by aengelson | January 26th, 2009

Polaroid officially ceased production of its instant film last month. But a group of former Polaroid engineers is working invent a new instant film–even purchasing the old Polaroid factory in the Netherlands. Their website is called the Impossible Project and it’s pretty damn cool, but why do those engineers all look like they were cloned? Thanks to Brenda for the tip on this one.

Polaroids are cool because you never quite know how the photo’s going to turn out. That’s why crappy old cameras like the Diana and the Holga are so popular with artists seeking weird lens effects and blown-out colors.

ponies.

ponies.

My daughters received two really awesome crappy digital cameras this Christmas (no, really, thanks Nana & Farfar!). I think these things could be the Holga for a new generation. It’s the Kidizoom from vtech and we have two, one  pink and one purple. It’s housed in this super-indestructible case. I think you could bounce the camera on the kitchen floor if you wanted. They’re full digital cameras with video, USB cables, etc. The girls love them.

The pictures they take are amazingly weird. Super saturated color. A flash that wipes out faces with a nuclear blast of light. And every once and a while it just goes totally bonkers and gives you a genius photo like the one here. I love that photo.

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About This Site

Andy Engelson is a writer and editor who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. He's currently working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. He's also a freelance writer, essayist and member of the Hanoi Writer's Collective. In a former life, he edited Washington Trails magazine for six years and before that was freelance journalist. He likes to hike, travel, and play with his family.

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“What’s this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way,” thought he, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner had been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or saved. But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the sky, the lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds gliding slowly across it. “How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all as I ran,” thought Prince Andrew “not as we ran, shouting and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that lofty sky before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All is vanity, all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing, but that. But even if it does not exist, there is nothing but quiet and peace. Thank God!…” — Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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