So, the long awaited “Impossible “ Film is finally here. I’ll admit to feeling a little nervous about it. I’d read up all I could on the Impossible site and also had a read over at the Flickr forum devoted to the film. It all seemed a bit tricky and hit or miss. As a few other people, such as Jake Messenger ,have done, I thought I’d scan and show all the shots I took with my first pack and my comments about how I got on. Reading how others have dealt with the film is the best way to get to grips with this new film, which, it has to be said, is a bit of a “prima donna”.
So – first and second shots –
The first was very unimpressive. I was shooting by a window in a location where I have shot a lot of other work. I got the picture into the dark as soon as possible ( tipping it over into a box ) but I didn’t attempt to keep it warm. With the next shot I did the same again but in the meantime had created a little bag from a handy black bin liner and put it into that straight away and under my cardi. So, seems that it is true – heat on developing is every bit as important as shielding from light.
I still wasn’t that happy with the results so decided to keep reshooting the same subject. This time I pulled out my monopod and this helped the image quality, but also made the operation of getting the photo into the black bag a bit trickier , with a camera and monopod in the other hand. Two more shot in this context. Getting there, but still nothing that I was really happy with.
By the next two I was getting the hang of the film a little and one of the kitchen images I quite like, but other things were starting to be more obvious. There is quite a lot of white speckling in some of the images. And also a very fine white line through the middle of all of the images. I don’t remember ever seeing this before, so I assume it must be from the film and not the camera. You could get rid of it with careful editing, but I’d rather not have to.
With the last two, I did a very white on white scene to see how it would cope with that – not well, in this instance and then another still life to see what it did with a wider range. ( The last two also did something rather odd which I didn’t notice in the others – after a little while they became very mottled . But after a longer period the mottling disappeared again.) And there are also some strange darker marks in the image on the left below.
Since manipulating the image is my main reason for liking the old Polaroid film I wanted to have a go with one of these. It was ok to work on, but again, I’m not overly happy with the result. The emulsion “smooshes” easily enough, but it seems to relax a little after manipulation and become less defined. Also, for me, I’m not sure that manipulation is the best use of this kind of sepia/black and white film. I felt my final image was just a little too much like milky coffee and lot of the subtlety of the image was gone too.
The image at the top of the post is the only one that I’ve given a bit of TLC to , although I didn’t go so far as removing the white spots or the thin white line. And the image at the foot of the post is the one I manipulated. It feels a little strange to be posting so many images that I’m not happy with but hopefully my experiments will help someone else avoid a few of the mistakes I made. And I’m still crossing my fingers for the colour film that I have every confidence will appear later in the year.