New Polaroid Film From The Impossible Project

|July 27, 2010 | Philosophy, Photos By J.Yuenger, Travels

For the most part, I’ve given in to the practical, digital, globalized world. I don’t drive a cool old car made out of heavy American metal anymore, nor do I trawl eBay for the wonderful hand-stitched-in-the-U.S.A. Vans skateboard shoes of my youth. I believe that there’s something to be said for desire ( and the modern American’s lack of it, which I suspect is a factor in many things not seeming as exciting as they used to ), as in the anticipation of picking up contact sheets to see if you took any good pictures — but, really, doing most things the way we had to 10, 20 years ago would seem utterly time-consuming and difficult. My clunky collection of old SLR cameras and lenses will remain in a box, underneath some other shit. My Polaroid camera, however, is a little closer to my heart.

Polaroid 600

I bought my Polaroid Impulse at the giant Woolworth’s on 34th Street in New York City in 1990, and it was certainly ( drum roll ) an impulse buy. We in White Zombie had gotten a small ( exceedingly small, compared to other bands from the downtown metal scene ) check upon signing to Geffen Records and my share amounted to a new wah wah, a Boss Octave pedal ( the OC-2, which I had seen Ricky from Circus Of Power use to great effect ), a couple of guitar cords, and two weeks rent in advance. And eating, which was very nice. And the camera pictured above, which I could scarcely afford film for, but which seemed perfect for documenting my haphazard life. I carried the thing around for a couple of years as my only camera, and I continued to use it occasionally ( for fun, and because I love that no-depth-of-field, crazy-color look ) until Polaroid discontinued 600 film in 2007.

skinny-blackNow, throwing practicality to the wind, a company called The Impossible Project has started manufacturing instant film. It’s quite expensive ( the film comes in 8-packs, and works out to something like $2.75 a shot ), and it is totally unstable. The pics I took with the old Polaroid film, including those from the early 90s, look just as they did back then — and, since the Impulse doesn’t really work without flash, they all look pretty similar with regard to depth, focus, light etc. … the Impossible shots ( I used a film called Silver Shade, which is at their store ) are all different, and keep changing from day to day. Granted, they tell you up front that the prints will be sepia-toned and that heat and bright light will shift them tonally towards red, as well as having other, unpredictable effects – and I live in the deep south, and it is summer, so most of these were taken in 90ยบ+ heat .. I guess the next time I’m in Winnipeg in January ( it could happen, right? ), I’ll take some more and see what develops.


Stark House

The W.H.Stark house * Orange, TX.



Lil’ Doogie eating Vietnamese food * Harvey, LA.


Shriner P1

Statue of a shriner holding a little girl with polio * Marzuq Shrine, Tallahassee, FL.



Minor Strachan * New Orleans, LA.


Rob Schwager * Weeki Wachee, FL. In addition to the comics, posters and hot rod art he cranks out, Rob does this really cool thing where he rivets together sheets of aircraft aluminum to create a piece of fuselage and paints WWII bomber nose art on it, either reproductions of original designs or totally new ones. If you want, he’ll even add bullet holes.


Bones - Laredo

Skulls * Laredo, TX.



Drew Vonderhaar * New Orleans, LA.


Fireworks 2

Watching fireworks on the roof with a rowdy bunch of New Orleans chefs * July 4th, 2010.



Chopper Stepe, with Nikki * Orlando, FL.