Thirteen years ago I slung a camera strap around my neck, and I’ve been capturing moments and memories that will be cherished for generations to come ever since. My goal? Put you at ease in front of the camera and document what matters and giving you something timeless in a fleeting world.
I was visiting my grandmother in West Virginia and my Great Uncle Andy says he has this camera and he wants me to find out if its worth anything. He hands me a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera with the original recepit from December 25, 1974! (Really? I hope I still have my equipment receipts in 36 years.) He says if it’s not worth much, then I can have it as a gift for looking into it. So, I sent pictures into an appraiser and since it’s not a certain edition, it wasn’t worth very much. Thank goodness, since I wasn’t planning to sell it anyway because I am a total sucker for nostaligia.
I looked for film over and over again for months and always came up empty handed. By the grace of the facebook gods, last month I came across a SX-70 pageand found my way to a fascinating story… well, fascinating by my geeky photography standards.
It’s called “Impossible Project”
“While Fujifilm still produces some of the older-style, professional ‘peel-apart’ films, Polaroid’s Enschede, Holland film plant was the last source on earth for the ‘integral’ SX-70, 600 and Spectra films… Impossible as it may seem, in late 2008 a dozen former employees of that Polaroid plant and Florian Kaps, an Austrian entrepreneur behind the effort, undertook the aptly named Impossible Project.
They were able to take a lease on the plant and intercept the 9 integral-film assembly-machines before they were cut up and hauled off for scrap. They are currently working from scratch to create new development chemicals so that they can begin selling new versions of the 125 and 600 ASA films in 2010.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, the first images since the late 1970s to come from Uncle Andy’s original Polaroid camera. I went to pick my sister up in San Francisco today and thought it would be the perfect trip to test out if the film and camera were happy together… they were and I was thrilled!!!
The above image is the actual first picture to be taken. I pulled over onto a country road and if anyone was around they would have thought I was having a seizure I was so excited it worked! What even cooler, is this reminds me of the landscape back in West Virginia + Ohio where Uncle Andy and company live.
I love your new found love! These are so awesome…helps that such a talented photographer took the shots!
Courtney, your pictures are beautiful – it's not just the SX-70 but your skill with the camera too (I should know, I have an '80s polaroid and none of my shots look this good!). But I've just purchased my own SX-70 and can't wait to try it out!
I have the same camera that my grandfather purchased with everything, the original warranty card says it was purchased 12-22-74 three days before your camera. It is in absolutlely perfect condition with leather carry case in great condition as well. I dont have any film but would love to get some to take some pics. Could you send me info on how to get film to email@example.com thank you so much. Enjoyed your story, and your work is amazing, thanks for sharing.