Polaroid Camera & Fuji Film – A Match Made in Heaven


I decided to head up to Newtown, CT to photograph the buildings of the former Fairfield Hills State Hospital.  Fairfield Hills was a psychiatric hospital from 1931 until 1995.  In 2005 the town of Newtown, CT purchased it and a few of the buildings have been renovated to house town hall departments and the police station.  The town has done a wonderful job keeping the integrity of the architecture when renovating.  Many people come to walk around the campus and there is 24/7 security.  I always stop and talk to the police on duty to see if I am allowed to photograph, if so, what the rules are (here you cannot get closer than 15 feet to the buildings), assure them I WILL NOT enter the buildings which is illegal and explain that I am a fine art photographer and I just want to take pictures of the exterior.  I have always met with very nice police and security people this way and being by myself I feel secure that I have them watching for me.  It makes for a very pleasant experience.

The image above is of Norwalk Hall.  I shot this with my Polaroid 250 Land Camera which is the old shoot, pull on the tab and yank the film out and wait 15-30 seconds for it to develop.  Fuji is the only company that still makes film for this model of Polaroid.  I used the FP-3000B black and white film which processes in 15 seconds.  I love the streaks that this old camera has on the film.

I noticed that when I pull apart the film I get this really neat looking negative.  See below.



I decided to scan the negative with my Epson V750 Pro Scanner to see if I could invert it into a positive in Photoshop and below is the result.


Of course, not leaving well enough alone I had to work on the contrast in Color Efex and Darken/Lighten Center.  The result is below and I love the look.  The border is cool and original as you can see from above.



I had shot another one but This time I mushed the negative.  This is very easy to do because the chemicals are on the backing paper and it is gooey!  However, I loved the smeared result. This too was a negative turned positive in Photoshop with a little help from Nik Color Efex Pro.  I highly recommend the Polaroid cameras. For the land cameras you can buy the Fuji Film via Amazon. You can get film for all the other Polaroid models at the “Impossible Project“.  They have stores in different areas and you can order film via the web from them too.  If you are ever in the SOHO area of NYC, they have a store on the 5th floor of 525 Broadway.  They also sell refurbished Polaroid cameras and can repair them.  There is also a great documentary on the last year of Polaroid Film and the Impossible Project on Netflix called “Time Zero“.






12 thoughts on “Polaroid Camera & Fuji Film – A Match Made in Heaven

    • Thank you so much Jackie! I’m glad you are inspired because that is what I love to do. Get people to go out and take pictures with whatever kind of camera they can get their hands on, experiment and most importantly have fun!

  1. Very cool work here, Karen. I have some film out to with a developer not. Not expecting such interesting results as this, but it was neat to manually advance film again.

    • Thank you Mark! I photographed with film for years before digital and miss the look. The Polaroid gets me back to film but with the instant gratification of digital and I love the unpredictable nature of it.

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