Guest blog by Christopher Fecio
A few months ago I was chosen as a winner in the Polaroid Packtastic Giveaway over on the Film Photography Podcast. Michael sent me a beautiful, well-loved Polaroid 100 camera. It needs a bit of tending every now and then, but I don’t mind showing it the extra love that it deserves. From the day I opened the package, I’ve kept this camera close by my side. It’s one thing to get a new camera, but it’s even better when someone hand picks a camera that they think you’ll enjoy and they send it to you (at no cost). My excitement radiated as I tore open the box, read the enclosed note, and carefully opened the camera. And now, there’s no turning back.
I’ve taken it everywhere, and tried nearly everything. Here’s the first shot I took with it:
I had some help pressing the shutter. I slowly pushed my way through that pack of Fuji FP-100C, trying to conserve it until my new order arrived (you didn’t think I would be able to live on just one pack of film, did you?). And the day that those packs of FP-3000B and FP-100C (from the Film Photography Store) arrived, I felt at ease and allowed myself to experiment with the film I had left in the camera. I did some sunset work, and a double exposure or two. My favorite shot from that day ended up being this one:
After the first box I was definitely feeling pretty confident with this trusty little guy. The obvious next step would be to toss some black and white film into the camera and see how that works out, which is exactly what I did. Since it was going to be a bright day outside, I opted for a box of hard to find FP-100B over the super speedy FP-3000B. I decided it might be a good time to start working with people in my photographs, so I grabbed a friend, sat him down, and snapped this:
I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I love the tones it had (the scan doesn’t really do it justice). And the black and white definitely worked well for this subject.
A few weeks later I did some traveling and found myself in Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY with the Polaroid 100 Land Camera at my side. I was a bit nervous as to how it would handle a really low light situation, but I placed it onto a tripod and took a few second exposure of the stove in my cabin. I have to say, it really impressed me. It gave nice deep blacks in the shadows and kept the highlights extremely clean.
The next day we went out hiking and again I brought along the Land Camera. It is light, portable, and never a bad companion. I was standing in the shade when I took this picture, and I was unsure whether or not the camera would have trouble metering for the land in the distance. But, it did alright.
I am extremely surprised with the versatility of the Land Camera, especially since it is 45+ years old. It still gives me those excellent highlights and deep shadows that I am looking for. I was a bit wary at first when I considered jumping into Polaroid pack film cameras because I thought that the money spent on film could never be worth the image created. But, in hindsight, I would definitely say that I was in the wrong. I wouldn’t trade this camera for anything (well, unless someone was willing to give me a ULF camera, and even then it would be a tough decision because this was given to me as a gift of sorts). I will keep shooting the Fuji instant film – I don’t have much of a choice with 8 boxes sitting on the desk next to me pleading to be used. I hope you’ve enjoyed your Land Camera as much as I have, but if you don’t have one yet, then what are you waiting for!? Get out there and find one!
– Christopher Fecio
Michael Raso’s Crash Course on the Polaroid 100 Automatic Land Camera
All photos by Christopher Fecio