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Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Long Goodbye



This Sunday Slideshow is necessarily short as it documents two very brief flirtations with the Polaroid process. The first of these began in San Francisco in 1970 with a Speed Graphic press camera and a Polaroid back. I liked the smooth sepia tones of the images, but the cost was intimidating at a time when jobs were hard to come by.

Thirty years down the road found us in New Mexico. Polaroid was on the ropes and Walmart was unloading the film at bargain prices. I picked up several cheap point-and-shoot cameras and burned a few boxes of film before it came to an end.

What got me thinking back to those times was a current show at the Albuquerque Art Museum of the work of H. Joe Waldrum. He started using an SX-70 as kind of a note taking device for his painting, but then got absorbed in the process and made thousands of instant prints. The show runs until April 10, and features over 900 images displayed in a continuous line that runs the length of four walls in a large gallery. There is a companion exhibit with a few hundred more prints at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.

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