A few months ago, The Impossible Project generously invited me to test some of their *NEW* Color Protection PZ680 instant film. I admire their mission and passion to resurrect instant film but I have not been too impressed with the reliability of their films in the past, so I was curious to try their new and improved (ie: less-light sensitive) film. I held on to the film until a recent trip to Florida, during which I found myself at South of the Border. If you’ve never been there, GO. It’s a time capsule of some of the funniest things you may ever see off I-95; plus, I am very worried they may shut down, because this kitschy roadside attraction is a ghost town every time I’ve been there. :(
Now about the film: I shot two photos (one being the Silver Slipper image above) and freaked out because the film stayed blue for, what felt like, a VERY long time. I figured the new film was a dud, but begrudgingly shot a few more photos, shielding the image from light as it ejected from the camera. All of my shots remained dark blue with a shiny grid-like pattern covering the image. The battery in the pack lost its juice around shot four, causing my fireworks sign image to be double/over exposed, because I needed to press the shutter twice for the image to eject itself. I cursed the film and tossed it, along with my Polaroid camera, into the car and grabbed my Canon 5D Mark III.
Then something magical happened. After about 10-15 minutes, my images fully appeared!! Dreamy blues and deep vintage-colored tones had taken shape. Instant film lives!! I grabbed my Polaroid camera and confidently ran a second lap around S.O.B. to document its kitschy goodness on instant film.
While the longer than average exposure time is inconvenient (because you don’t know whether you got ‘the shot’ until after it may be too late to recreate or re-shoot, if necessary), I was highly impressed with the results. My shots might have a blue cast because they were shot during sunset. I only wish the battery pack would have contained enough juice to last eight exposures. Due to the lack of power, one image developed the dreaded “killer crystals”, which ate a portion of my vertical Pedro shot. I had been a tough critic of The Impossible Project’s film in the past, but now they have restored my faith in the future of instant film. Their new Color Protection PZ series films are the closest to Polaroid perfection as they have ever come; Can’t wait to see what they develop next!!
As for me, I’m hoarding two more PZ shots in my Polaroid camera for my next photo shoot AND you can view more of my PZ680 shots from S.O.B. in my flickr stream. The Silver Slipper shot (above) already has over 100 views and made it to flickr’s Explore. :)