Here are five reclaimed instant negatives. This type of instant (dare I say ‘polaroid’) film, called Fuji FP 3000b, yields both a positive print and a negative as the film is peeled apart upon being ejected from the camera. When taking pictures of friends or family, I like to give away the positive prints. If I’m careful, I can hold onto the negative and scan it as you see above.
Here’s how it works: after allowing the negative to dry, next one cuts around the its paper backing. Then he or she should rinse the excess chemicals off GENTLY. Big emphasis on gently. This is really delicate material. If the photographer isn’t careful, parts of the negative can be stripped away. Make sure to always leave your negatives laid out flat for a while. They’re really sticky for some time, so casually tossing them in a bag is definitely something to be avoided. Also, try and rinse them sooner than later. I let a few shots lay out for a few weeks while traveling. The negatives looked fine but deteriorated upon having the slightest bit of water rinsed over them. I’m not entirely sure why, but I guess one of the chemicals ( fixer? ) was still active. So try and rinse your negatives off within a day or so of shooting. Anyhow, after carefully rinsing off any swirly, gooey chemicals that might still be stuck on the negative, hang it to dry. Once dried, the photographer can scan the negative and invert it into a positive image using photo software. What’s left is a really unique image. Truly one of a kind. The paper boarder around the negative often gets stuck when being peeled off. I’m not the meticulous type to really try and scrape off every last bit, so I let it stay. This adds to the overall character of the polaroid.
I’ve held on to some positives as well, at least long enough to scan them. The positive prints come out a lot more crisp. I’ve been looking through some of these shots, both positives and reclaimed negatives, and I’ll be sure to post quite a few soon.
Sadly, Fuji discontinued this film last year. It really bums me out as I was just getting into this style of instant photography. Fp 3000b is such a fascinating film. It’s great for shooting indoors or under low lighting, for it has a 3200 ISO film speed. For now, in the realm of instant peel apart film, there’s only one option on the market as far as I know. That is Fuji FP 100c color film. It’s a real sad notion to think that so many thousands of polaroid cameras out there, the ones that take peel apart film, could become mere decorations if Fuji decides to pull the plug on FP 100c. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon, if at all ㅎㅎ
Sigh… how wonderful is the magic of an instant photo. One day, when all the dwindling supplies of this film are finally shot off, when all the prints have been peeled and given to glowing faces, to those who are in awe of seeing a photo printed before their eyes, I will think back and be pleased that I was able to use this film to capture and gift several generations of my family. After all, every photo album – weather freshly made or dating back decades, could be made more beautiful, perhaps a bit more personal and unique by including a Polaroid or two : )
Please enjoy these five reclaimed Fuji FP 3000b instant negatives that I shot with a Mamiya RZ 67 and Polaroid Back. The positive prints, of course, were given to my family members when I captured these images last summer while visiting home. Take good care, everyone, and enjoy your weekend! © Patrick Bresnahan