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.