This new feature is designed to inspire you to look at the world around you, to take note of the season at hand and to capture it – in memory or on film – for posterity. I will be choosing five photos each week for Beekman1802.com with this aim in mind. We’re calling the feature, The Five Most Beautiful Things In The World This Week
Elizabeth Soule Polaroids
The first instant-film camera was invented in 1948 by Edward Land. The Land Camera, as it was called, was an early rendition of the hugely popular Polaroid Camera, which came onto the market in the 1950s and enjoyed mass appeal into the 21rst Century. In 2008, Polaroid announced it would discontinue production of its self-developing 600 film and cease production of its cameras, closing three factories and laying off 450 people.
As we’ve seen with the popularity of Instagram, interest in the nostalgic quality of Polaroid photography never waned. Today Fujifilm issues a digital form of instant film (PX 680 instant color film) which works in all Polaroid 600 cameras.
For photographer Elizabeth Soule, though, there is still no substitute for the old Polaroid 600 film, with its unpredictable hues and ghostly graininess. She still uses the old film to take most of her pictures. Given its limited supply and expense, she carefully plans every component of her photographs, which are whimsical vignettes involving plastic toys, flowers, found objects and – occasionally – human beings:
“I will sometimes wait a couple of days, or even a couple weeks, before photographing, thinking through what it is I want to create. I will take quite a bit of time setting up my lighting and composing the scene before I’m ready to take the picture.”
But when she does take the snap, the results are timeless, adorable and perfectly unusual. Visit her website to see more examples and to find out where you can purchase her work.
Also, here is an interesting site I’ve been exploring lately, The Impossible Project: a team of photographers working to reinvent and re-establish analog film photography as a popular medium.
All photos by Elizabeth Soule
Andrew Ritchie is the creator of Martha Moments, a blog devoted to Martha-Stewart related content and her community of supporters. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada, and has been a longtime friend of Brent & Josh, Beekman 1802 and Sharon Springs. Each week he’ll scour the world (wide web) to find the 5 most beautiful things to inspire you. Follow Andrew on Pinterest.