Iceland Travel Photography - Playing with Polaroids and The Impossible Film

I brought a few cameras with me on my trip to Iceland this month. One of them was a chunky, blue Polaroid Impulse camera that is potentially almost as old as I am. I recently won this camera at a white elephant gift exchange (thanks Kate!) along with a pack of expired film from The Impossible Project.  It's come on a couple of trips with me over the past 2 months, and so far I'm really enjoying shooting with it. Traveling with this sucker isn't entirely easy, as I've opted to hand check the camera & film while going through security... I didn't want the film to get messed up going through the X-ray machine. Note: I've found that people generally have been slightly confused when I hand over this thing and ask them to hand-check it. They're like, "Huh? What is it?" I have to be very clear and tell them that it's film ("remember film?") and that I'd rather not send it through the machine. The act of requesting an object to bypass the X-ray machine adds on a few minutes to your security experience, but it's definitely worth it if you don't want to waste your money by ruining your film. During one airport security experience, I saw one of the security agents, in his mid-20's, pointing at the camera and holding it up to his friend to share a laugh, as if to say, "Look at this silly thing! Can you believe this girl spent $20+ on 8 exposures?! What a sucker!"  At least, that's what I imagined him saying.

icelandic pony

Well, security agent guy, joke's on you because I am in love with the prints that came from this camera during my Iceland trip. A disadvantage of the film is that it is pretty expensive, especially when you compare it to taking a zillion photos on your iphone or DSLR for practically free, for example... But the up-side to that is that you really have to take your time and choose your shots carefully.  I botched a few exposures because I wasn't aware of the camera's focusing distances, but that's part of the learning experience. I came back with around a dozen I liked, out of 2 boxes of film. Not bad.

The quality of the instant photos is a little dreamy, a little messy, and I never quite knew what I was going to get. Being mostly a digital photographer, I really enjoyed this change. That photo is what it is after about a half an hour of developing time... I don't have to do anything to it in post-production after I take the photo. Ahhhhh, such freedom.


reykjavic roasters

hotel budir

Icelandic ponies

portrait of a woman in winter in Iceland

Stykkishólmur cliffs and birds


icelandic ponies


blurry icelandic coast

Personal note: My own baby album from the 80's is 100% polaroids for the first couple years of my life, so maybe there's something sentimental about shooting with a Polaroid camera. It's a great feeling to have prints of my memories that will live on and be displayed, and ones that I won't have to click a mouse button to find.

Question for all you Polaroid shooters out there: What are these imperfections at the corners of my images? I actually love how they look -- the snowflake-shaped white marks, etc... Thoughts?