The only way you can see something like that right now is whether in a museum, or someone has forgotten it somewhere in the house, inside a box in the garage…or a nostalgic soul still use it. It doesn’t really matter, because no matter what, Polaroid camera is a big milestone in the photography. Why was it so revolutionary?
Before to even start, there’s something to say. Although this kind of camera belongs to the past, Polaroid still sells this kind of camera (Yes, Polaroid is the company, not only the name of a camera). I have no idea what kind of relosution or feature there are in the camera itself right now, but you can technically still buy it, just to have a nice nostalgia effect.
The Revolution Around Photography with Polaroid
In that specifc moment in time, we are talking about the 80s, camera rolls were the most used technology to make photos. It was amazing, but at the same time pretty annoying, because if you wanted to see the photos you took, you needed time. With the Polaroid, you have the amazing opportunity to have the picture only few second after you took it. And it was already something insane, because in that moment you had not to wait days to have some pictures, but only few seconds.
Let’s say that polariod where something between a normal camera and a smartphone. You didn’t have a high-resolution camera, but the picture were already in your hands after a short amount of time.
It was a huge milestone. Although the quality of the picture were not so great, we are talking about the 80s. For the first time ever a company has thought about the concept of portability. Even all the other cameras were portable, but the results were not immediate. To see the pictures you had to come back home, take off the roll, bring it to the shop, give the roll, wait three or four days, come back, pay and see the magic. With the polaroid the only thing you had to do was pose and see the magic.
The Dark Side of Polaroid!
Anyway, i have something to adress: people around the world often try to re-write history. And polaroid is one of those things. People, just because it was something iconic and revolutionary, it doesn’t mean that it was automatically easy to use. It’s not about the fact that Polaroid was too complicated or you need a Graduation to use it. It’s because back in the 80s everything was huge….even cameras. In those times, once a company created something, it didn’t think at all if this thing might be too big. The problem was that everything was not so small at all that even if you created the “smallest thing ever created” it was still big.
Polaroid is big. It was not so heavy (thank God) but it was big. There’s also a reason why it was big: the cartridge. Damn, if those thing were huge. It was like a floppy disk: too big and so few space to save things.
Every sheet of paper for the pictures was 66.6 mm x 53.9 mm and in every cartridge you had several sheets. Normally the cartridge was pretty thick (like 1 cm) and made of hard plastic. So, it was impossible for you to fold it or to make it smaller. You had only one thing to do: you had to put it in the camera exactly how it was. If you have a sheet with that dimension (7 cm high, 6 cm larg and 1 cm thick) and the entire camera structure, no surprise that Polaroid was so big!
It was and still is an iconic object that defined an era and help to begin another one. However i don’t miss it. I would rather use the new cameras in the smartphones than a Polariods. That’s wonderful that someone thought about the people and how they could have picture in their hands in the exact moment they took them. I am sure that in the world there are grandparents or even parenst with albums full of this kind of photos! So much memories, so much storie and so much joy!
Thank you Polariod!