stories of experimentation

 PX70 Color Shade First Flush

When the folks at the Impossible Project released their first new instant films in 2010, I couldn’t resist the urge to embark on a pioneering journey with them. Now, we are not “just” shooting with instant film again, which is in itself alluring enough, but we are shooting with new, amazing films that are still up for experimentation and refinement. In this new pathway, there is surprise, creativity, variety and possibility. I know it can be daunting to work with a medium that is somewhat unstable (and expensive) but there are no wasted shots. Everything counts because we are thinking and learning every time we compose and press the shutter.

Personally, I’ve had a bit of a hard time shooting with the PX70 First Flush (an earlier release of the now more stable PX70 color shade). But I persisted and I played with different exposures, light sources, intensities, etc. After many shots – a couple of (not wasted) packs – I got the shot you see above. Although it is still developing as I type (it should get less blue as it settles more), I already love it as is. Right now it is the perfect kind of weird for my taste. I love the bluish tones, the painterly feel and even the snake pattern in the lower left corner (my 1 year old model ain’t half bad either ;))

What about you?  Impossible film or not, how do you push yourself and your medium? Today, share your shots and stories of experimentation with us.

And remember, we will be giving away one $100 gift card EVERY SINGLE DAY of September to one of YOU! All you have to do is share a comment each day before midnight EST for your chance to win that day’s random drawing. Be sure to leave links to your story shots.


  1. says

    I love this photograph! It's so exciting to be able to get a scan of it at this stage, and then again when it has fully finished developing. I'm using the Impossible Project films too, in both my SX-70 and my Polaroid Supercolor. I'm loving some of the results so far, even if they're not the results I set out to get! (that's half the fun). I'm finding I have to experiment a lot too, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We have digital cameras for those who want reliable, predictable results :-)

  2. says

    Love the soft tones of the photo. What a beautiful shot.

    Here's an image that I think of, when I think of pushing myself. I attended a photography seminar in July. We had one hour to shoot images and about 30 minutes to process it and present to class. This is my image from that day. Not the image I presented to class, but rather the image reedited after constructive critique on how I could make it better. A link to my original image is included in my blog post.

  3. Bonnie says

    I love your photo–such a sweet expression and the blue tones are great.

    I only use my dSLR camera and have no other. Though I will sometimes experiment with dof or movement, I tend to get stuck in a rut for long periods and do the same thing over and over. It is rather recently that I have started to experiment more in post-processing by running actions or presets, but even that tends to have me soon producing similar results over and over. It's probably okay, but I need to try to push myself more. Thanks for the nudge!

  4. Ashley says

    I love reading the Shutter Sisters website and getting creative inspiration. I'm just an amateur, but I love photography and I'm trying to learn. Right now I'm experimenting with different angles and points of view. This is a shot I got while holding the camera down low (not even looking in the view finder) when my daughter and rode on a carousel this summer.

  5. says

    I'm still trying to push myself to use the word "photographer" about myself when I talk to other people Instead of saying I like to take pictures. At some point in time, I might be comfortable with it, but I don't think it will be any time soon.

  6. says

    Lovely coloring! And the model – perfect shot! Your experiment worked. I would love to try film again but with better knowledge of a camera and what film can actually do. However, I am not "there" yet with my digital, in fact some days I think I just take a whole bunch of shots that look the same. One day. I am hoping that trying to take a story shot each day will break me out of my rut. Here is my shot today.

  7. says

    One of the most wonderful things about photography for me is that no matter how much I learn, if I find myself in a rut, there's always a dozen new things I can try. This summer I challenged myself to shoot a favorite subject (butterflies) for 30 days straight, and in short time I found myself taking liberties with my processing that I never would have otherwise.
    I experimented with long exposures on the carnival lights at the county fair, I got an iphone and am having so much fun playing with it, but perhaps my favorite experiment of the summer was figuring out the multiple exposure feature on my camera.

  8. says

    I am 64 and started getting interested in photography about 5 yrs ago. However, I have developed a passion for it in the last two years to a point where I seem to be eating, drinking and sleeping photography. It seems like everything is out of my comfort zone right now as I struggle with f-stops, ISO's and more. I recently acquired two fixed lenses – a wide angle and a 50mm. My lenses have always been the kind that set themselves. Now I have to get out there and set the focus manually. I recently read an older book called The Art of Photography by Bruce Birnbaum. It deals with a lot of film, negatives and printing issues, but the basic message is there. I've developed a pretty good eye over the years, but this book really helped me realize the importance of seeing the picture in my mind first. He also stressed the importance of thinning out your herd of shots! I put his ideas into practice on the sunflowers. I tried composing my shots in my mind first. What did I want them to look like. One or two surprised me, but most didn't. I still have a long way to go, but it's an exciting if daunting journey as I try to transform from someone who takes pictures to a photographer.

  9. Erika (gashuttergirl) says

    I have been pulling my Lensbaby out more. I almost have exposure down, but focus is still a bit of a struggle. Gotta keep working on it because I love the Lensbaby effect.

  10. Robin Troxell says

    I've never shot Polaroid but love seeing others' work. I just got a droid phone and love experimenting with other-phoneography right now – just need to get more efficient at uploading to flickr!!

  11. says

    Thank you for your amazing responses, everyone!

    Claudia@dipityroad – I just wanted to say that none of my polaroids ends up in the trash (neither should yours :)), no matter how "weird" they look. I love keeping track of my progress and every shot counts and is precious to me. It's like my sketchbook of sorts :)

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  15. Mealybw1010 says

    I love the Impossible Project. I have four pack of PX Silver Shade, of which I have only opened one and snapped but a few shots. Not really sure what I am waiting for to take more?! Definitely adding more to my Christmas List! :)Thanks for this great post!

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