Some earlier processes also required users to coat the developed film with a mixture of stabilizing chemicals.
The arrival of the Polaroid SX-70 in 1972 marked a turning point in instant camera technology. The SX-70 ejected film with no negative sheet or chemical residue, shaping the trajectory of instant camera models thereafter and realizing Land’s dream of a fully instant camera system.
Instant cameras may have been largely superseded by digital technology today. Still, the distinctive aesthetic and physicality of the instant camera process have seen a resurgence in recent years. Companies like Polaroid, Fujifilm, and Leica all offering up modern incarnations of the instant camera and corresponding film.
A new approach
There are many ways using instant cameras can improve on a photographer’s process. Perhaps the most obvious impact of modern instant photography is the practical knowledge that a less-than-mainstream photographic medium affords.
Since their invention, instant cameras have presented an intriguing alternative to standard photographic practice.
Andy Warhol made famous use of the instant camera, as did Luigi Ghirri – a pioneer of color photography. By using both a familiar yet unique photographic technique, these photographers (and many more) pushed the boundaries of what was understood to be the accepted approach to photographic image-making.