How the Polaroid Camera Influenced the World of Photography
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How the Polaroid Camera influenced the World of Photography? How did the Polaroid contribute to Art form?
Andronopoulos, Panagiotis 10th Grade Personal Project Mr.Pelidis 5/24/2011
Outline Paper I. II. Introduction to Polaroid camera and instant photographs The Polaroid Revolution A. Basic Terms of photography B. The Polaroid Success 1. A Brief History of Polaroid 2. How does it work? 3. The Polaroid Effect III. Polaroid Influences on Technology and Art A. Technical Applications B. When Land met Adams IV. Introduction of the Polaroid to the Art World A. Andr Kertsz (1894-1985) B. Andrei Tarkovsky C. Walker Evans
V. Conclusion VI. Bibliography I. INTRODUCTION The Polaroid camera produces instant photographs. It was invented in 1948 by Edwin H. Land, an American inventor and physicist who had the idea of a camera that develops the film inside its cover. He achieved to make the 1st instant camera named Polaroid Land camera that could print a black& white photograph in 60 seconds. It was a revolutionary product in terms of developing photographs, because with the Lands camera the photographers avoided the process of the dark room and chemical development of the film made by analog cameras. This photographic process found numerous commercial, scientific and military applications in a small amount of time. Furthermore it influenced the art of photography and the art theory in general. Also
the Polaroid photographs were a benchmark of the consumer society of the 1970s. The last 10 years the Digital camera took the lead from Analog and Polaroid cameras, which changed once again the prospective of the photography. This development was a commercial of the Polaroid Company, which In February 2008 announced the shut down of three factories and the lay off 450 workers, because the sales of chemical film dropped by 25% each year after 21st century. After this fact, Fujifilm announced that they will be the supplier of instant cameras in the United States. However, in October 2009, Polaroid announced the come back of the instant film cameras, a year after the production was to be stopped. These were very good news for the Polaroid lovers. II. THE POLAROID REVOLUTION A. Basic Terms of Photography The word photography is a compound word that is originated by the Greek language. Photo means light and graph means draw.
Photography is the method of capturing images with the help of light and then print them on a sensitive material. So the result of these technical discoveries combined together is called Photography. The first photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicphore Nipce. that later was destroyed accidentaly. His photographs were produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea.
(The earliest surviving photograph captured in 1826 by Joseph Nicphore Nipce) After decades of the technical development of cameras and films, Photography achieved a color edition that was world wide commercialized in 20th century after World War II. This exact edition we are mostly using today in photography, but the companies are
always trying to achieve even better quality in a Digital way.
(Sally Mann color photograph) Photography was a very big achievement for art, sciences and society. Photographs play a very big role in memories because with them we can capture the moment and last it forever. This is very important for everyone personal memories, but also photographs are a part of a new way to describe history. So this means we have very many kinds of photography: Portraits, family photographs, landscapes, architectural, food, advertising, fashion, scientific, travel, aerial, wild life and of course art photography. Art photography is a high-quality photographic print of pictures that are created by the photographer according to his creative vision that
provokes to the people who see it as individual thoughts and dreams. Art photography is a kind magic like all of the fine arts. Photography isnt only for personal memories and related persons and friends. But its also a way to daydream. Thats why our modern society is full of images and photographs. B. The Polaroid Success Instant camera-Polaroid can capture and print a photo working also as a camera and also as a dark room were the film is, and print the photo immediately 1. A brief history of Polaroid. In 1929 Edwin Land decides to make his name by solving one of sciences long-standing unsolvable problems polarizing light without needing a large crystal of an esoteric mineral. In 1947 instant photography introduced with a dramatic presentation to The Optical Society in New York City on February 21st. In 1956 the one millionth Polaroid camera produced. In 1962 the fourth millionth camera is produced.
In 1972 the SX-70 Polaroid model was introduced by the British famous actor Sir Laurence Olivier, who produced instant colour photographs. For the next three decades new models came out and the sales were extremely high. In 2001 a few final cameras are brought into the marketplace. In 2008 Polaroid announces the end of the production and the shutdown of three factories. In 2009 announces the come back after Fujifilm had the monopoly in the United States.
(Famous Polaroid model SX-70) 8
2. How does it work?
The new SX-70 model changed photography into a unified packet that contained negative, positive and processing chemicals unlike previous models. The camera had motor battery system that helped to eject image print and then be developed instantly with the help of light. The Polaroid camera has is plastic base coated with particles of silver compound that are sensitive to light. The black and white film has one silver layer, and color has three. The top
layer is sensitive to blue light, the middle layer is sensitive to green and the bottom layer is sensitive to red. The procedure of this is that chemical turns the exposed particles into metallic silver. Film gets treated by three dye developers containing dye couplers. The image is finally printed, you see the final chemical reaction. The image is already developed underneath and watch the acid layer clear up the opacifiers in the reagent, and the image becomes visible.
The later models based on the success of SX-70 improved film speed, exposure control and added automatic focus systems.
The advantage of the instant camera is of course the instant photograph, but there is also a disadvantage. That after some years the colours become dull and after some decades the photo dies. 3. The Polaroid Effect When the first Polaroid (Model 95) and the film typme 40 were introduced in The Optical Society in New York (1947), there were greatly accepted by consumer markets. The camera flew of shelves and sold out in a few weeks. Consumers started to pay up to 150$ (almost 1350$ today) to buy it. In the 1960s almost half of the American households possessed a Polaroid camera. Over its 60 years, Polaroid camera has become the favourite camera for artists, filmmakers and songwriters. III. POLAROID INFLUENCES ON TECHNOLOGY AND ART A. Technical Applications
Polaroid influences many areas of physics, especially in optics and light analysis. Polarization, of electromagnetic radiations has many scientific and commercial applications to the light waves. Has created series of sunglasses, polarized. A great application was associated with the visible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, which stimulates the sensor cells of the eye. Red-light has the longest wavelengths, while blue has the shortest, with other colours such as orange, yellow, and green between. Polaroid procedure had influenced the construction of scientific cameras and helped the laboratory research and also has many applications to the aerial photography used for military purpose. B. When Land met Adams There was a great moment in the history of Photography and Polaroid when the famous American photographer Ansel Adams were
introduced to Edwin Land and between the inventor and the photographer a friendship was born. In a letter referring to Land, Adams wrote I am tremendously exited about the actual use of the camera in the field and studio. I think it promises to be one of the greatest steps in the development of photography. Ansel Adams became the first artist consultant to the Polaroid Company. The assignment was to test cameras, films and related photographic paraphernalia, using them in the field and in the studio. Land found in Adams proponent of the acceptance of the photography as a fine art form So the meeting of these two men has introduced Polaroid camera not only to the large audience of the consumers but also to the world of art. IV. INTRODUCTION OF THE POLAROID TO THE ART WORLD Photography, Susan Sontag writes, entered the scene of action as a nouveau riche a appeared to outreach a classic art, painting. For Baudelaire photography was the ethical enemy of the painting. But in
the end Photography became the liberator of painting. For the photographers, Polaroid was the liberator of the moment The revolution of instant photography was an innovation that had an immediate influence to amateur photographers as well ass to the artists mainly because of its simplicity and speed. Polaroid inspirited many classic and modern artists. Many art pieces of Andy Warhol were created by Polaroid camera.