Lo-Fi Photography


In light of the general onslaught of digital photography and as a backlash against digital perfection, I’m embracing analogue, lo-fidelity, grain, and instant photography.

For awhile now I’ve enjoyed shooting with my Polaroid SX-70 camera from the early ‘70s. I’ve always liked Polaroid for its instantaneous and immutable singularity (no negative to reprint over and over again) and the fact that it’s a product of a disposable consumer culture with a somewhat unhealthy obsession for instant gratification. It was a huge advance in technology back in the 50’s to 70’s but is now only a nostalgic icon of long forgotten childhoods. It’s kind of like the Jetsons, which is supposed to be futuristic but now only rings of cool retro-ness…if even that. The image quality of the Polaroid is blotchy and murky, with strange and flat coloration…in other word, it totally flies in the face of the digital perfection that exist in today’s equipment, which even if not perfect, can be made so on the computer.

I picked up a Holga with a Polaroid back. Holga + Polaroid = HOLGAROID! It’s an unholy marriage of a crap camera and crap film, how does the double negative rule work again? I really like this combination because of its bad contrast, horrendous lens distortion, heavy vignetting, and all too soft a focus.

All good things must come to an end however, as the film for my SX-70 and Holgaroid have been long discontinued, and I slowly use up my dwindling supply. With Polaroid ceasing production, digital has put another nail in the analog coffin and technophiles are raising their fists in triumph.


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