Polaroid Week! (5) – Hank’s last drive

Well, Polaroid Week ended a few days ago, but I had a pack of B&W Impossible Project loaded, so I shot it on a nice drive around Tarrant, Wise, Denton, and Dallas counties. It’s probably the last of the little half-day drives/photo tours I’ll take in the Golf, and Polaroid/Impossible seems a good way to see him off…Hank, my 2011, diesel VW Golf, has a date to get sold back to VW on this coming Thursday. He’s been a great car, and I’m going to miss him. InshaAllah, my next car will be as fun, practical, and reliable as Hank has been, if not more so.

Anyway. I started out from home, down 183 to 820. Initially, the plan was to take 820 all the way around to 20, then back home, but I got sidetracked.

I hopped off 820 in Haltom City and took a couple of pictures. Back in the 1980s, we went to this church… well, a church that met in this building. A different denomination meets here now, and the building has a new facade and a big new structure at the rear (not pictured).

The last pack was a bit dark, and I tried using the exposure compensation slider on the Impulse to see if that would help. It didn’t, and of course I didn’t reset it, so this shot and the next—in fact, the first 4 shots from the pack—were overexposed. Expensive mistakes… that error cost me $12.

Also, can you see the darker strip on the right side? What is that? Whatever it is, keep it in mind: you’ll see it later.

Anyway. I started to get back on 820, but instead wandered into Summerfields and took Western Center through Blue Mound to Business 287 in Saginaw. There, I headed North, just seeing where the road would take me.

There wasn’t much to see: railroad tracks and factories on the right; fast food, strip malls, cheap motels on the left. Really, it would probably be a good place to shoot in the very early morning or late evening, when all the lights are on, but in the daytime, it looked like the industrial edge of an older, poorer suburb.

I really wish I got better exposure on that. Oh well.

Business 287 goes north for awhile, then dumps out onto regular 287. I took that for a bit, and bailed out on 114. I thought about just heading home then, but saw the sign for FM 156, and the next thing I knew, I was in Ponder… Best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas, unless you keep halal (or kosher), in which case, you’re out of luck, and stay away from the cobbler: it’s not great, or, rather, after eating my Granny’s for a decade or more, all other cobblers pale.

Down the side of Ranchman’s (aka Ponder Steakhouse) they’re growning some vegetables and herbs. I had the exposure straightened out by this time, and managed to use the close focus to reasonable effect, though I wish the viewfinder had parallax markings on it for close focus.

I noticed a gate and nice park behind the Steakhouse, and so wandered back to see what’s up. There’s a little city park there, the Eddie Deussen Jr. Park, with a little old schoolhouse in it. It’s kinda pretty and peaceful there.

After that, Hank and I rejoined FM156 up to 35, and down to Denton via 77. Any trip to Denton wouldn’t be complete (for me) without a trip to Recycled Records, so I popped in there and found Allan Sekula’s Fish Story for a decent price.

From there, I hopped back on 35 to Bush, and Bush to Sandy Lake, where I hopped off to see what was what, and found the Elm Fork Nature Preserve, with its lovely 1 mile loop through the forest, with only the sounds of the birds, bugs, and screaming kids in all the softball and soccer fields that line the preserve. (Look forward to some pictures from that at some later point: I shot the One Touch and the FM3a & 50mm f/1.2 there, but the rolls are still in the cameras, unfinished)

Just before pulling out from there, I made a portrait of Hank… He looks quite handsome, don’t you think?

Ok. So some thoughts about Impossible.

I had some fun with the Polaroid, and really enjoyed shooting with it: it made me slow down and think carefully about composition, and that carried over into shooting with other cameras, so WIN. The experience is similar to shooting with the LC-Anstax, but the results are much more dramatic and nostalgic, what with that familiar size and shape. I’m very glad that I waited to try the Impossible film. Early adopters are almost universally disparaging of the first versions, with fading and problems with the emulsion and all kinds of stuff. I think they have that mostly sorted now, but it’s an ongoing process, and we’ve got to be patient. Without the early failures (and rather high cost), Impossible wouldn’t have gotten this far, and without our continued support, they won’t continue.

That said, the 11 month old pack of Black Frame Color was dark and blue, partly, perhaps, from the very enthusiastic flash, but also probably due to its age and storage conditions. Camera shops aren’t likely to keep this stuff refrigerated, and I hope they manage to improve the film’s room temperature stability.

And this pack of B&W… well, there’s that strip of dark down the right side of most of the pack, and some wildly uneven development on several. The edges are almost all off in some way: the image doesn’t go all the way to the edge, and there’s something off about them.

I shot all of these in broad daylight, but carried with me an opaque black sack that I dropped every frame into within minutes of capture. I handled the pictures only by the edges and never mashed on the chemical pouch, so I’m not sure what happened.

So I’m happy to have finally gotten around to trying the Impossible film. I have two packs of ordinary color in the refrigerator and look forward to shooting them at some point. At $24/pack, I’m not sure how often I’ll shoot it, though: that’s $3 per shot, and I have a tendency to be clumsy and careless with my photography, so I’ll probably waste a few. Also, I want to check these in a few months and see if they’ve faded, and to what extent.

I’ll reserve final judgement till then, and until then, I’ll just enjoy the fun I had with the Polaroid Impulse SE and different packs of Impossible Project film for this edition of Polaroid Week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *