POLAROID Special Edition

Polaroid was invented as an attempt of simplification of the process reserved only for the masters of the dark room, and although it had a great ambition to become a serious competitor of the classical photo development, it never achieved it. Still, Polaroid gained big popularity and many users and fans. It announced something in which later digital photography succeeded, which are practicality and mass and simple usage. Due to its imperfections, Polaroid photography never seriously endangered analogue one, but it is because of them that it was always perceived as artistic. This is also the reason why Polaroid company, through its history, very often hired artists and professional photographers in its campaigns.

However, the circumstances have drastically changed with the introduction of digital photography, which caused a revolution by enabling photographical expression to all users regardless of their previous knowledge and education concerning photography. The photo industry experienced a real boom, while instant analogue photography, because of its inability to respond new market needs, disappeared. In June 2008, Polaroid company globally stopped the production of instant film by shutting down its factories in Mexico and the Netherlands. This moment was followed by numerous demonstrations and dis-approvals of nostalgic Polaroid users all over the world, which motivated Impossible B.V. to start up an ‘impossible’ mission of saving Polaroid photography. Today, 22 of March is a great day for artistic and photography scene, as it is the day when The Impossible Project, after facing many challenges and troubles, became possible and successfully launched their new instant films compatible to the old Polaroid cameras.

In order to celebrate this great moment, BLUR magazine created a real Polaroid treat – a special edition in which all details about the ‘freshly’ produced films will be revealed, where we will show test photographs shoot on the new films, but also present a new section INSTANTION through which we will be presenting work of many Polaroid photographers, and which will, we believe, become a ‘must see’ for all instant film lovers.

Within this special issue, we have also presented some more intimate photographs since Polaroid was know, to many, as an ideal method of shooting small personal home photos. This safe system, through which it was hard to make uncontrollable and unwanted copies, enabled more relaxed photo shooting. To the ladies, it offered a guarantee of privacy in order to get rid of their extra clothes, and its imperfections enabled safe hiding of their identity. Although, probably, not so many of these photos will be sent to our redaction, we still keep our fingers crossed. In the meanwhile, with the aim to encourage those who possess this kind of photos, we have published two Italian masters of Polaroid erotic.

At the end, in order to conclude this great Polaroid story, in December 2009 BLUR started up a big international photo competition entitled The Best Polaroid Photo. Of course, the intention of the competition was never to gather all ever best made Polaroids, since due to the logistical reasons it would be quite impossible. Instead, it offered a quite subjective approach and experience of these works. There were no strict criteria and guidelines upon which exactly these 30 photos were selected by the jury, as we were ruling based on our personal preferences, the same we asked you to do. Beside the jury, the final decision was up to you so that you could also, in this way, participate in this historical moment.

We would like to thank all participants of the competition and voter for their supports, as well as congratulate all finalists and winners.

Download POLAROID Special Edition

Editorial column, no.17

In times when the crisis impacts all social levels and rarely leaves anyone unafflicted, BLUR magazine boldly goes forward. We decided to increase the number of pages, introduce more optimism, celebrate beauty and creativity and to deliver all of this to your home free of charge, no matter in which part of the world you live in. It only takes scrolling your mouse three times, clicking, and there we are :).

And while many are still surprised about BLUR being a free-of-charge magazine, we opted for another ‘costless’ program created for Croatian photographers entitled FULL CIRCLE. It involves a process of selecting a few authors whose work continuously attracts our attention and which we believe should receive more media attention. Through this project, BLUR yet again opposes the phrase stating ‘nothing in life is free’ and proves that ambition, good work and quality will always be recognized and awarded.

We decided to talk less; i.e. to publish the textual content in an ideal amount, suitable for screen reading, and to provide more visual experience, while bringing more diversity by reserving space for different photographic styles and techniques.

And while many are still surprised about BLUR being a free-of-charge magazine, we opted for another ‘costless’ program created for Croatian photographers entitled FULL CIRCLE. It involves a process of selecting a few authors whose work continuously attracts our attention and which we believe should receive more media attention. Through this project, BLUR yet again opposes the phrase stating ‘nothing in life is free’ and proves that ambition, good work and quality will always be recognized and awarded. In collaboration with our partners, Cinema Europe, Prizma, PlanB, Borovac & Bence and the web portal fotografija.hr, selected photographers will enjoy completely free exhibitions of their work in the very centre of Zagreb! The first author to be exhibited as soon as middle of March is Jelena Balić, a young but very talented photographer originally from Split. Besides free exhibiting space provided by cinema Europe, Borovac & Bence ensured the best prices of printing and cassation, while these costs will be fully covered by Prizma, distributor of photo equipment. However, in order to ensure full and complete support, it is necessary to achieve media attention. Therefore, PlanB will feature selected authors by presenting them through a monthly interview plus photos basis, while photo web portal fotografija.hr will create a section FULL CIRCLE. In addition, BLUR magazine will carry out detailed reports from all exhibitions.

Furthermore, we published the first website dedicated to the master of Croatian photography, Tošo Dabac, in Croatian and English version, and set up the first online web photo gallery dedicated to artistic photographs of Zagreb entitled ZGB ART.

As the main media sponsor of a specialized photo gallery in Croatia, Lang Gallery in Samobor, we enabled the free construction of their official website.

Besides BLUR magazine becoming a main media sponsor of Lomography Croatia, it will provide media support for the European project Urbanautica that will organize exhibitions all over Europe during 2011. We hope that they will make a stop in our territory as well.

As a proud exclusive media sponsor of the Impossible Project, we are impatiently waiting for 22 March when the first new instant films will be officially launched. This gave us a reason to issue a special BLUR magazine edition dedicated to the event and Polaroid photography in general.

This year began with many new projects and interesting collaborations. We are pleased that, despite the difficult times, we can still find reliable partners who appreciate and recognize high-quality photography. Having them around, it is easy to have an optimistic view of the future.

Polaroid photo voting

The Best Polaroid Photo – it is time for you to choose!

Last month an international competition of a Polaroid photos finished. It was organized by BLUR magazine in cooperation with The Impossible Project, to mark a great come back of instant film. Contest theme was open; we asked you to send us your favorite photo, the one you believed could win the title The Best Polaroid Photo.

The response was excellent – we received over 500 entries that came from all over the world! Official panel, composed of members of BLUR magazine and The Impossible Project, selected the best 30 photographs which will be exhibited in Zagreb and presented in a special BLUR magazine edition dedicated to Polaroid.

Additionally, we decided to award top 5 photographers with:

  1. prize: Polaroid camera SX-70 Sonar OneStep + 2 packs of newly produced Instant film
  2. prize: Polaroid 600 Once Classic camera  + 2 packs of newly produced Instant film
  3. prize: 3 packs of newly produced Instant film
  4. and 5. prize: 2 x The Impossible Project T-Shirt (M or F)

Now it is up to you to choose The Best Polaroid Photo and to decide which authors will be awarded with these attractive prizes. All you need to do is to go to THE BEST POLAROID PHOTO take a look on all photos and place your votes.

End of March, within special edition of BLUR magazine dedicated to Polaroid, we will announce the happy winners and awarded photographs.

We would like to congratulate all selected photographers and thank everybody for participating!

VOTE HERE!

CONTEST TIMELINE | THE BEST POLAROID PHOTO

01.12.2009. – Official start of the contest
10.02.2010. – Photo submission deadline
20.02.2010. – Panel decision
01.03.2010. – Publication of the best 30 photographs on Blur web page. Start of the voting process of the readers 20.03.2010. – Closing of voting process of the readers
22.03.2010. – Publication of the best 5 photographs and awarded authors