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Polaroid tribute

April 7, 2010

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I bought my first Polaroid camera when I was 13. It was a J33, with a huge smart leather case, and I bought it used for $30 which seems like more now than it did in the 60s when I was in junior high school. But I was rich with savings from babysitting and my work as a stringer for the local newspaper. The J33 used Type 37 film; it was black and white, and I had to coat each print and let it dry. Only a couple of my prints have survived, a couple of my cat of that era, Chippy, and my other willing subjects, Raggedy Ann and Charlie Brown. In time, the J33 came out with the color adapter kit, and I saved for it.

Years went by, and I graduated to an Instamatic because it was simpler to carry, and soon to an SLR. But later, I bought a Spectra with the gadget kit that included a diffusion filter and a double image filter. It was fun on road trips, since I usually traveled solo and carried a tripod.

I miss Polaroid even in this digital age. There was something just sneaky and neat about bypassing the kid at Rite Aid who looked at your pictures when you got them developed — or so you thought — and of course the instant gratification. One of my favorite times with a Polaroid was with a borrowed one in China. People would stand around and watch the pictures develop.

I selected these few examples of my survivors for this tribute to Polaroid and the bygone pre-computer era.

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One Comment
  1. Laura K permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:26 pm

    I’m so glad I could actually see this, Lauren (so many things I used to take for granted don’t automatically work on Linux, which my husband insists is “better” but which I don’t understand in the least). Are those your parents on the porch? Just guessing. I’m horrible at seeing resemblances that other people think are obvious. Is there some sort of story behind the starfish in your Cheerios? I love the way Chippy is half-sitting up. He (or she?) looks like a handful, in a good kind of way.

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