POLAROID SX-70

The Polaroid SX-70 was an instant camera introduced by Polaroid in the early 1970s. It would collapse down flat so that you could stick it nearly anywhere and take it with you. It is one of my favorite cameras ever made, if not my favorite. One of the traits of the film for the SX-70, called Time Zero, is that, relative to more modern instant films, it would take a while for the paste inside to dry and the image to be fixed. This allowed for some 30 minutes to an hour of “manipulation” time. These images were created by first taking a photo and then, by using various tools such as pencils, spoons, scissors, hairdryers, etc., moving the paste inside the Polaroids around before they have time to fully dry. Thus each image is a photo that’s been manually manipulated without digital intervention. This opportunity to “create twice” on the same image was what originally fascinated me about the medium. The original Time-Zero film is no longer made and modern replacements, while functional in SX-70 cameras, do not have the same characteristics of the original film.