Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tribute to 'Roid Week

This past week was 'Roid Week on Flickr, a chance for anyone who's so inclined to take out their Polaroid cameras and post the results. The week was started by two of my favorite Flickr people, Gardengal and Cate. I used a Polaroid camera frequently in the 80s, back before the digital age. Sometimes for arty shots, but mostly for silliness. Then I put it away in a dusty closet where the case got mold spots on it and didn't take it out again until I was inspired to buy some 'Roid film, hope the camera still worked (it did!), and try some new shots for ’Roid Week 2007. (The first time around, in 2006, I posted all old shots.) Though many of my shots sucked (if the composition and lighting are off, they're simply off), I was reminded how much I liked the Polaroid colors, the painterly focus, the lack of fine detail. Much is gained by digital, but some things are lost.

Then, this winter, came the news that Polaroid is getting out of the instant photography business. Some people thought that Polaroid had had its day, and the day was over, but many others, like myself, think there should always be a place for Polaroids. I'm not sure what will ultimately happen with Polaroid film, but there are several websites devoted to Saving the Polaroid such as this one and this one, and 'Roid Week on Flickr is good evidence of the timeless yet nostalgic beauty of the medium, one that digital just can't match. Below, are a few of my 'Roid Week contributions, more can be found in my Flickr ‘Roid Set, but to see some artists who are far more adept at their 'Roids than I am, check out the ’Roid Week 2008 group on Flickr.

And then there are the silly ones:

Oh, the 80s, such a time.

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