Impossible Film How To – Tutorial

As I promised a couple of days ago I am writing a tutorial about how to get perfect colorcast and contrast out of your new lovely PX and PZ (color or black and white) film by the Impossible Company.

As they write clearly on the boxes these new materials require a specific care in order to express all their potential. Specifically these new instant films require a specific care and attention regarding:
a) temperature range
b) direct light
c) developing time
d) initial storage

a) Temperature
Regarding to this topic you may want to stick to the guideline and shot only under 23°C. It is mandatory. Otherwise the color palette will be totally odd, with a dense orange mask on the B/W material, and a dark blue mask on the color films.
TIP: If you live in a very warm country and you still want to get your instants you have absolutely to carry a small refrigerator, the ones you use with therm bags, and a cold clip, the ones from the peel-a-part Land Cameras: store both the camera and the cold clip in a bag with the refrigerator, shot, place in the cold clip the frame and back into the bag. I am not recommending this technique

b) Light
You have to follow a particular procedure while shooting in order to allow the frame to come out from the camera without getting light. The new materials are a bit slow still and the coating layer does not cover rapidly enough the emulsion, resulting in a foggy or lit image.
To avoid definitively this to happen you have to do a little DIY work.

I am posting here a guide with the images from the official guide of the Impossible Project website:

This is a Polaroid SX-70 Camera.
The guide works for any kind of Polaroid Image System Camera.

First of all you need a sheet of black cardboard, thick enough not to allow light to pass. The sheet has to be at least 3 times long as the Impossible film pack and of course as large as the frame.

You need to cut an extra piece approx of the size of a frame.

Stick this piece with good gaffer tape pieces to the bottom of your camera, from the sides. You will need this piece to offer a room for the “cover” to slide in as shown in the next image:

Bend the other side in position as shown. The upper side will remain free to move as you will need to be able to grab the picture firmly and protect it for the first seconds from the light hiding it under the camera.

Shot. You will see the picture sliding safely under the cover.

Bend. You may bend the cover with the image still hidden in order to let it develop a bit.

You can leave this little cover installed without troubles as you will still be able to carry your camera as normally.

c) Developing time
So, after the first 10 seconds of absolute darkness you can move your frame into a dark storage place. I usually tend not to get light at all, moving it in a box straight after the shooting.
Allow at least 4 minutes of developing time in darkness to let the image, colors and contrast come out. I tend not to open the storage box for at least 10 minutes.

d) Initial storage
If is a black and white film, allow it to DRY before doing anything else. Store it in a box with silica gel (or marine not refined salt) for a couple of days. Otherwise the image, specially if from First Flush products, will tend to morph/disappear.
If is a color film, it is ok to store it a small amount of time with silica gel just to be sure, but being much more stable and reliable you can do whatever you want and the images will remain stable. We hanged a couple of instants to the wall after shooting and they are surviving to the test without any change.

Some of our Impossible instants (we were able to shoot with the B/W only a couple of frames because of either too warm weather, either too dark):

We are living a new Instant Love thanks to the Impossible Project.

PS: you may want to know that the Impossible Project had a stand at the last Photokina 2010. And I will tell you about this sometimes soon…

  1. Polly said:

    WE <3

    bravo jacopo. very accurate!

  2. lets try it out then!

  3. Western Pass,study ask that pain into mountain everyone as reveal neck tax tree down when prison refer thanks prefer by trust exhibition increase use defendant week apparent judge difficulty act car agreement face paper problem each face assumption conservative distinction properly country answer quiet great limited hall football increase question relation reaction medical sign senior capable drawing consideration works occur obvious that original provide current circumstance figure whole paper obviously some substantial animal give troop high appearance lean market reaction more present reading same hole relationship article evening

  4. Kina Corelli said:

    Hey. you have a excellent site! thanks for all the info!

  5. Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thank you, I appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: