The SX-70 is a fascinating little camera made by Polaroid back in the early 70’s. One of the things that makes this camera interesting is that the film it uses, Time-Zero, can be manipulated after the picture is taken using your fingers or other things like pencils or toothbrushes. Even without the manipulation, the film has a unique look to it – strangely tinted skies and color-cast subjects, with a hazy, unfocused look combine for an overall effect – dark, ethereal and morose, almost archaic. Today, there are still people using the SX-70 to create these heavily artistic images that take you back to a time when the world was a little more innocent, yet much much stranger and exotic, with shadowed mysteries around every corner and things you wonder about all around.
Here is a shot by tobysx70 on flickr that demonstrates the photo manipulation technique.
Here’s a nice shot of London done with Time Zero film.
It really is amazing to me how creative you can get when the technology in your hands is limited; would I get a shot that conveys as much emotion and feeling as the above if I was using my crystal clear Canon EOS? I wonder what would happen if I took the shot with an SX-70, with its dirty rollers and its inclination to distort and discolor the image as it develops. I have an SX-70 with one pack of Time-Zero film. That’s ten exposures. I wonder what I should shoot with them.
See the Time Zero Collective group on flickr.com for more.