Jamming with a Polaroid Spectra

This post is for my edification and for anyone else who might be curious about or interested in Polaroid cameras.

There are a few new models available but I bought a reconditioned Spectra Full Switch – primarily because I like the quaint retro look, the off square print format, sonar autofocus and the number of function switches including brightness adjustment.

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All Polaroids lack high quality photo perfection which is part of the appeal as well the instantaneous film chemistry developing before our eyes. Well not quite within view because that would immediately overexpose the image but after a wait of approx 10 minutes in shaded conditions, there is the picture.

At this stage it is possible to adjust the print colours – keep it cooler and the blues and whites are more prominent, warmer temperatures bring out the creams and browns, especially noticeable in black and white film. [the flat bed scanned images here obviously are not an exact match to the originals]

By way of interest Eliot penned part of The Wasteland here but I was glad I’d captured it before reaching the blue plaque informing me of this

"On Margate Sands. I can connect Nothing with nothing. The broken fingernails of dirty hands. My people humble people who expect Nothing"

Of course it takes time to know your camera so the first few shots might merit a bin but I kept them anyway for mementos and for feedback:-

  • do not get too close to subject else it blurs
  • viewfinder is offset so need to adjust further left and down
  • clean the rollers
  • avoid keeping the camera open between shots

Note: The camera may be vintage 80s but the film is new and made by Polaroid Originals. There is however a jamming problem with some film in some Spectra cameras. I have a couple of such failures but have turned one into photoart – to be published on Sunday with poem. Watch this space!

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Dedicated to Martin: Of all our recent holiday polaroids, Martin loved this print the best – he said it had a Japanese feel and  I think he would have liked this haiku too

In the cicada’s cry

No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.
– Matsuo Bashō

Introspectives: Continuing this series from a previous blog where I think out loud with an aim to improve and learn more about photography. Hence the images are not always for show – feedback is welcome.

10 thoughts on “Jamming with a Polaroid Spectra

  1. These have such a back-to-my-childhood resonance, Laura. The washed out colours. I’m still sending you a hug. You’ve had a horrible shock.

    1. I’m happy these resonated with the seaside memories Tish.
      p.s. thank you for your kindness – the shock is almost paralysing and so I must also distract or else

  2. Thank you for sharing these, Laura! My daughter works with a Polaroid at times, too, and I enjoy the feel of the format. I think the clematis is my favorite – I like how the leaves and the sea have the same tones – makes the blooms stand out in contrast. You are my hero for the way in which you share your grief and daily determination. Keep shooting; keep posting!!!

    1. I see what you mean about the sea! Hope your daughter enjoys her Polaroid as much as I do .
      It was Martin who liked my poetry & who bought me a camera & encouraged my photography- thus he is still urging me on and I have good friends like you to support these endeavours – many thanks Jilly

    1. Intend to use my Polaroid sparingly with a theme – it was to be vintage seasides, parks etc but since Martin & I shared a love of Art Deco you have given me a broader scope – thank you Diana

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