Impossible Project Polaroid 600 Review and Test

This is a syndicated blog post from Licorne Magazine. Originally done by Anastasia Egonyan. I personally encourage all of you to go ahead and follow them. If you love analog film photography be sure to also support our Kickstarter, which Anastasia is also a part of!

Some time ago, a parcel was delivered to my home with a polaroid camera and a bunch of different films from the Impossible Project, one of the coolest and funkiest companies of today. The level of excitement I felt at that moment, while removing the packaging and going through the contents, was unbelievable; I just could not wait to start playing with the new toy I got.

The camera itself is an original Impulse Polaroid 600, which is carefully refurbished by hand in the Impossible workshop, and is also offered with a one-year warranty from the company as well. It has an automated flash and a darken/lighten slider under the lens – not much functionality when you consider what is a available on even the cheapest point-and-shoot cameras, but just enough to let the fun begin.

There isn’t much to say about the usability of the camera, since it is already intuitive and simple to use right out of the box. The only thing you have to worry about is getting a good amount of light in your frame, otherwise the flash will blind your composition. This isn’t a bad habit to get into in any case for photography generally, but it can be frustrating when the perfect shot is ruined because of the lighting conditions. Additionally, some shots may still be underexposed even with flash if there is not enough light at all. It’s fair to say the best results are going to be achieved on a bright and sunny day, or open the curtains at least, and make sure you have everything prepared for a perfect shot.

Yet the most important thing that bring us all as polaroid lovers together again is the fact that we have an access to the square format film (and not only!) After a break of almost ten years, when Polaroid went bankrupt in 2008, the world has plunged deep into digital photography. The romance of instant photography was lost and I was upset about the fact it seemed to be over. But today, Impossible Project has made it possible again, and that is where the story begins.

FILMS USED: COLOR FILM FOR 600 €20.00 –  B&W FILM FOR 600 ROUND FRAME €21.00 – COLOR FILM FOR 600 GOLD FRAME on sale for €16.80 now – B&Y FILM FOR 600 THIRD MAN RECORDS EDITION €21.00

1. Color film for 600. It is the classic format with a white frame, and the original old school colour-processing method that we all secretly love and adore. It can be used in any form or situation, and is universal and timeless.

This set of frames was taken at the art fashion project; I have used flash as my main lighting source and that is what caused the high contrast and the darkened background effect. The place itself was pretty bright, but obviously not enough for instant photography. Using flash inside will mostly end up with the result you see here. I personally love how it gives the story this dramatic arthouse vibe which is really suitable for art and fashion projects.

2. B&W film for 600 Round Frame. This is one of the most stunning films I’ve ever used. The charm of black and white photography combined with an unusual yet classic format made my heart beat a bit faster than usual; I couldn’t help falling in love with the results. I knew right away what I would focus on making with these babies.

I packed my bags and went to Baden-Baden, one of my favourite places in Baden-Württemberg, filled with history, architecture, monuments, and fascinating views. My idea was to make a “vintage” set of images, looking like small postcards from the past. It turned out to be an absolute success, making the set my favourite one and wanting me to continue this project in different places of the world. What you can do with this film is only limited by your imagination, setting a vast range of subjects to be captured. From portraits to still life and landscapes. This is another fun and powerful tool in your armory.

3. Color film for 600 Gold Frame. Now this is when it got me thinking, what the hell can I do with gold frame? Is this the point where it all gets glamorous, and unicorns started flying around? But then i got it; I understood that this is truly gold. It is hard to make it work, but when you can, it just works.

I arranged an arthouse glam shooting at my place, and here are the results! The thing you have to consider while working with gold frame is that the subject should match the cover. By that, I mean that you should keep in mind that gold matches with silver and it is basically a yellow colour, which makes it a good combination with green or blue. Red is iconic as well, so make those colours a part of the composition and you will finish with the coolest set of pictures you could imagine.

4. B&Y film for 600 Third Man Records edition. This was even more confusing than the gold one. I was frightened yet felt a sort of photographic lust for giving this film a good try. Basically this is a b&w film but with a yellow filter on it, which makes it a real challenge to create content that would match the subject with the concept.

My choice was an industrial theme for this shoot, and I felt like rough a texture with geometric forms and strong rhythms would be emphasised by the black frame and the strong yellow light. This is a really special film, and I would totally recommend it to push yourself out of the comfort zone and make art happen. This format is definitely challenging, but it is definitely worth it. And don’t be afraid of too much light, as this film obviously needs it more than any of the rest.

So this may seem like a pricey experiment after all, but hear me out. Just take a moment and open the gallery on your mobile device. Look at the number of pictures you shot. How many are there now? Thousands, or more if you like to get everything documented or happen to be a blogger. Now the most important question is, how many of those really matter to you? Will you ever look back to any of them, or just archive it all on your computer and reset the phone with some relief and start your enormous collection all over again?The point I am trying to sneak in here is that we do not tend to value digital photography enough, because it is impermanent and worthless in its substance. All digital media tends to be forgotten in the archives, but the printed photography will always be there no matter what.Polaroid is not for everyone. It is a unique art tool that showcases photography at a completely different level. You would never get to digitally simulate the unpredictable effect polaroid film gives you while shooting analog. It is art from the very core of its existence; a canvas that works with you simultaneously at the exact moment of creation, giving results instantly. This experience is very unique, and the invention of Polaroid is one of the most brilliant events of the previous century.
Today we have access to something essentially reinvented and reproduced in a new and creative form by people who believe in analog art and the importance of making it a part of our life again. All we lost without even appreciating the technology from the past, we have finally gained back, and I am sincerely glad that the Impossible Project made it possible for us today.

This is a syndicated blog post from Licorne Magazine. Originally done by Anastasia Egonyan. I personally encourage all of you to go ahead and follow them.