Shadow of a tree on a highway retaining wall, Jail Trail, SouthSide, Pittsburgh. Fujifilm XT-3 with a 23mm f/2 lens, processed in Adobe Lightroom.
Over the last few months, I have been working on a virtual exhibit project with the University of Colorado Boulder Media Archaeology Lab. My colleague Dr. Jessica FitzPatrick and I have been putting together an augmented reality popup book to tell stories of some fascinating technology artifacts.
One of these artifacts, a Polaroid Land camera, has quite a bit of personal interest to me. The story goes that Dr. Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, came up with the idea for instant photography during a conversation with his 8-year-old daughter. Supposedly, she wondered why she could not immediately see the results of a photograph and that prompted Land to begin work on an instant camera.
Polaroid has a fascinating history, full of invention, innovation, stubbornness, and failure to foresee the future. There are stories associated with the Apartheid regime in South Africa, pornography in post-Soviet Russia, Andy Warhol, and many others. I would highly recommend checking out “Polaroid Now: The History and Future of Polaroid Photography” by Steve Crist and Oskar Smolokowski.
I am hoping to post some AR content shortly, but in the meantime, here are a few detailed shots of the Polaroid Land camera that we are using in the virtual exhibit and the virtual pop-up book.
My grandmother turned 100 years old on June 15, 2021. She has lived such an incredibly hard life, surviving WWII, evacuation, and living and working in Vorkuta. She is the most wonderful, kindest person I have ever met. Every time I visit, I try to take as many photos as possible. Here is one of my favorites from the last week’s visit.