Instant Image

Last February was a sad time for all those who love the Polaroid camera. Not only was the company no longer making the instant camera that had brought it fame and fortune - and eventually, bankruptcy -, it also announced that this year is the last year that it will be manufacturing the film.

{A view of the street in Morocco}

Since the announcement, all those undercover lovers of the Polaroid have gained tons of new exposure and those that had long ago turned to the digital side are suddenly pulling out their old Polaroid cameras while they still can. Blogs like My Polaroid Blog are bigger and badder than every, odes to the Polaroid are hitting bookshelves, and suddenly that expired box of film can make you hit the biggest paper in the land*.

All of this got me thinking about the important role Polaroid has played in Africa. While digital cameras are all the rage these days, nothing beats the Polaroid. With a Polaroid, you actually had something to give back to the villager who may have been giving you the first picture of her life! Unless you are walking around with a battery powered colored printer, the digital camera just doesn't have the same effect. And seriously, what can outdo the joy of watching an image develop right in front of your very eyes, all the while trying not to ruin it with impatient fingers?!?

I love that it is precisely the qualities of that we try to avoid in a digital shot that make the polaroid so beautiful: blurriness, "bad" lighting, and the graininess.

While the company will be release the rights to manufacturing the film to the mom and pop businesses that will sell to niche markets (I can already see the big sticker price on a box of film), it just won't be the same.

Anyway....I leave you with a few Polaroids of yours truly from back in the day.

{P.S. I'm the one in the head lock by my cousin}

* See more of Neil Krug's work right here. It is seriously beautiful!

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