Polaroid

by Jiheng Yan

For this week's post, I would like to talk about Polaroid photography.  In 1947, the founder of Polaroid company announced his invention of the instant-picture process, the first one-step dry process for producing finished photographs within one minute after taking the picture, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America on February 21 [1]. The invention of the Polaroid camera changed contemporary photography in many ways, not just from a technical perspective but also from an aesthetical perspective. Recently, I have been obsessed with Polaroid photography. I just got Andre Kertesz's polaroid box a few days ago. I can't explain how much I love about this book and the medium form of Polaroid.

David Hockney is one the most influential artist in the world. He was known for his pop art paintings. But Hockney uses Polaroid photos to create series of art pieces which are absolutely astonishing. As one of the characteristics of Polaroid cameras, the nature that photographer can get their photos few minutes right after their pressed the shutter. That was incredible before the birth of digital cameras. Photographers can get as many photographs as long as they have enough Polaroid films with them. Comparing to any other tradition darkroom processes, Polaroid was a revolutionary invention despite the fact that the quality of images is not as good as other processes. Hockney uses Polaroid cameras to take several photos of a single scene to make a collage of an illusionary scene. By altering the point of views, he makes the collage look like a photo that has been cut into pieces and been put together. The vignetting of the Polaroid created a mysterious atmosphere.

 David Hockney, 'Composite Polaroid 31'

David Hockney, 'Composite Polaroid 31'

 David Hockney, 'The Desk, July 1st, 1984.'

David Hockney, 'The Desk, July 1st, 1984.'

 David Hockney, A Chair Jardin du Luxembourg'

David Hockney, A Chair Jardin du Luxembourg'

Sources:

[1] Polaroid.com, ‘History of Polaroid, http://www.polaroid.com/history. Web. Accessed on Nov 12th,2017