Twin Gold Birthdays

Michael and Zev Hall celebrated their 5th birthday last Saturday with some friends, a puppeteer and many, many balloons. What better way to celebrate than with some colored Gold Impossible pictures. I’ve been eyeing this series for quite a while on the Impossible website and was fortunate to find some to purchase in time for the big day.

Frame 1: Michael (left) and Zev (right) help in balloon preparations; helped by Mint (Flash) Bar for the SX-70

I have to say that up until now, I’ve been messing about. Taking random shots, experimenting, calling it a series but this; this was the first big test.

So how did it go? Well the shots provide the answers. In truth, they actually look a little better scanned in than they do in person. It was a fruitful but slightly (expected in hindsight) disappointing set of images for me. A misfiring Ojaga SX-70 was not helped but poor lighting / indoor florescent lighting. On the whole, I’m “okay” that enough shots turned out passable to serve as storyboard for the event but I’d be the first to admit that there are no standout shots here which of course is a disappointment given the importance of the occasion and the potential of the film.

Frame 8: Best shot of the series. Wee Nee and Prudence enjoy the puppet show

The hard lesson to learn here is the obvious (but not so obvious when it happens to you) point that the combination of shooting Impossible on SX-70, like all “real”/analogue camera setups requires certain planning and more importantly certain “correct conditions” for some nice shots. I know this. Shooting outdoors is good. Shooting during golden hours, even better. Shooting, moving children at a birthday party with indoor florescent lights?

Frame 11: My favorite (potential) shot of the day, Zev standing in front of our home-made rockets and stars. Just was off on the exposure.

Well…I did have my digital camera on hand as a safety. And the Instax Mini was a huge hit with the kindergarten kids. One mum even said I persuaded her to get one after looking at the colored border Instax minis I shot. I guess this was a win for analogue photography in a strange way 😉

Frame 9: Happy Birthday Zev and Michael!

I started this series as a way to share my experiences on shooting Impossible so I guess it’s important to also share my experiences with my SX-70. Since I shot my pack of film on the Ojaga SX-70, I experienced issues with a strange occurrence of it shooting a frame (for a milli-second) but failing to eject the film. Sometimes I would just have to hit the shutter again (to get a shot with some effects of light leakage / multiple exposure – see here); but more often it would actually jam the shutter open forcing me to open and reload the film pack just to close the shutter. Of course, this would mean losing / wasting one piece of film. Well unfortunately this became progressively worse with time and by the time of this birthday party the twelve shots presented here actually came from three packs of Impossible film. I lost seven pieces of film. Again, I think it’s important to share cause if others out there are experiencing something similar, I’d love to hear of your experience, your ideas and your fixes. But for me and my lovely Ojaga SX-70, unfortunately this would be terminal. More on this next time.