Venturing into the Night
I’ve been a fan of Toby Hancock‘s instant photography for some time. Toby and I “met” via Twitter and the amazing community of Polaroid/Impossible Project/instant photographers who connect online. This instant photography community is truly unbelievable and unparalleled. The way that instant photographers share their knowledge and tips astounds me. Whenever I have had a question or need help with any and every thing — from problems with my Polaroid cameras, to using Impossible Project film, to scanning my images, to odd and unexplainable things happening — someone in this community responds over Twitter or Flickr or Facebook with help. This doesn’t usually happen in many photography circles. Some photographers are very buttoned up about their shooting techniques and (particularly) about their processing and editing. I think this stems from a fear that others will “steal” their style or their work will be too similar. While I can understand some of that fear, I think it is virtually impossible to steal someone’s style. For instance, if you gave 20 photographers the task to shoot the exact same photo and have the resulting photographs look exactly the same, I don’t think it could be done. More important to me, though, is that I have a core belief that there is room for all of us. But, I digress. Suffice it to say that I have met an incredible number of generous photographers in the instant community.
One of these giving photographers is Toby. Toby is known for his night photography. I hope you click here to take a look at the incredible work he has done shooting Polaroid photographs at night. Simply awesome. Me on the other hand, I’m a daytime shooter. I’ve never once shot my Polaroid camera much past dusk let alone at night. But, in embracing my one little word for the year and trying new things for my 365 project, I thought I should dive into the nighttime pool. So, while in Palm Springs a few weeks ago, a vintage car wash sign was screaming my name to shoot it all lit up in the night sky. Having never shot my Polaroid or used Impossible Project film at night, I had NO idea what to do. Do I need to darken or lighten? How long will the exposure be? Crap. Then I thought, “I’ll tweet Toby!” Lo and behold (not shocking, really), he came through in a jiffy and shared a few pointers. And here’s the result…
I am so pleased with this photograph. I thought my friend and fellow Muse, Lindsey (aka Modchik), had a tripod in her trunk that I could use, but she didn’t have the tripod connector. Knowing the exposure would be a long one, I was quite worried about hand-holding the camera. But, I didn’t have a choice and the sign was actually quite bright, so I took my chances. As I held me breath and clicked the button, the shutter actually didn’t stay open that long. I quickly put the image in my bag to develop and hoped for the best. And I think the best came through.
Thanks, Toby. And thanks to all my other friends in the Polaroid/Impossible Project/instant photography community. I’m grateful to you all.
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