The Instant Lab – A new way of working ?

There was a much awaited delivery yesterday. For months – nearly a year, I have been following the progress of the Impossible team who set up a Kickstarter campaign to develop and manufacture an “Instant Lab”. The idea was to be able to take an Iphone photograph and transform it into a Polaroid style picture.

Given that I have largely replaced my Polaroid shooting with Iphonography that was too interesting to resist, so I became a backer. A nice aspect to Kickstarter is that once you back a project you receive their updates and learn more about how the project is coming along. The manufacturing hiccups and other issues along the way. The downside of course, is that sometimes extreme patience is required. The Impossible team met quite a few different production issues and each time the delivery date was put back again.

But this week we finally got our shipping notices and yesterday I had the Instant Lab in my hands for a first try out. How exciting ! Will this be something that becomes a part of my creative work flow ? Or will it sit collecting dust on the shelf ? Only time will tell. But I am keeping an open mind about the kind of projects I could use it for.


I did a few test shots yesterday. The first was using an already very manipulated image and it came out looking quite different. The second one that I show here is a more or less “straight” shot from the phone – of quite bright pink gerbera, so the film has lightened and softened it quite a bit. I think it will require a bit of playing around with settings to get the kind of results I’d like – although there is also something quite nice about the unpredictability of the method. I haven’t had a go at manipulating them yet – I have a hunch that this film is not going to be great for that, so I will need to find other techniques.

As for actually using the Instant Lab – it all worked pretty much the way the instructions said and although it is not tiny, it would not be too big to take out and about. That is the way I’d prefer to use it, as a way to be working away from the studio. So far I used the film they supplied with it, but it will also work with all previous Polaroid/Impossible films so that will be my next experiment.


If you would like to keep up to date with my experiments and other behind scenes snippets you can subscribe to my Studio Newsletter here.


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