Here at Songdog Radio Land, sometimes affectionately known as “Where old, cheap tech goes to die*,” I’ve dug up a stack of Polaroid prints from the late 80s and 90s, which led me to unearth my old Polaroid cameras. The older one on the left, a OneStep that took SX-70 film, still had a pack in it, and I could occasionally get it to spit out a photo today, or what would be a photo if an image had registered on the film. I think this one had stopped working reliably long ago, which led me to buy the one on the right, a OneStep Closeup that took 600 film. Near as I can tell it would still work, but I’d have to buy film. Since Polaroid film is a rare and endangered species, it’s very expensive now, even more so than in its heyday. I don’t think I’ll be finding out its operational status anytime soon. Anyway, I have one of those newfangled digital cameras now, and the film for them is really cheap. (I dunno if it’s ironic that I used a digital camera to take a photo of my Polaroids, or just Alanis thinks it is.)
But even though Polaroids were more expensive shot-by-shot, and the cameras were low in features (mine don’t have auto-timers, for example), and the images were kind of limited in resolution and tend to color-shift over time… they were still fun. I spent a lot of time in the late 80s and 90s trying to get them to give me photos I wanted, and I had some successes. Most of them I can’t share with with most people *giggle* but here’s one of the last good shots, done in the time-honored style of holding the camera out at arm’s length.
Polaroid is still around, only now they make digital cameras, but at least some of them will print a photo for you right out of the camera, which is pretty nifty, actually. There’s also a campaign to keep old-style Polaroid around called SavePolaroid.com.
* or, at least, sit on a shelf and collect dust for years and years.