Daily Picture Show

Making The Impossible Possible For 8-By-10 Film

When The Picture Show first wrote about the Impossible Project back in 2010 the team was on the verge of releasing its first monochrome instant film since Polaroid stopped production in 2008.

The team, which went to great lengths to resurrect the beloved film format, opens an exhibition in New York today featuring the first test prints from its new 8-by-10-inch film.

The photos, shot by a handful of select photographers —including actor Adam Goldberg — are beautiful in a way that only instant film can be. They are muddy, blurry, grainy and splotchy — and this is exactly what makes them so wonderful.

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Polaroid first introduced the large-format instant film in 1973, and it was mostly utilized for landscapes, fine art, advertising and high-quality proofs. When it was discontinued, enthusiasts rushed out to buy all they could. (As of this writing a color pack of original Polaroid 8-by-10 film was listed on eBay for $769.)

As NPR photographer David Gilkey learned while using Impossible Project film last year while traveling on the trans-Siberian railroad, the film can produce unpredictable results (especially at sub-zero temperatures). But we still applaud the Impossible Project for its efforts to bring back the magic of instant film — and to remind us of why we fell in love with the format in the first place.

The film goes on sale Aug. 30 on the-impossible-project.com, as well as Impossible Project spaces in New York, Paris, Vienna and Tokyo. It's compatible with all cameras equipped with an 8-by-10 Polaroid film holder. At $189 for a pack of 10 frames, you best choose your shots wisely.

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