Monday, July 21, 2008
Today, July 21, 2008 is officially my worst photography day ever. Last night, after shooting three nice shots with my SX-70 and overpriced (but it's not your fault, Freestyle) new/old Artistic TZ film (that I've already fallen in love with), I pressed the shutter for a fourth time, and the camera made all its normal clicking, thunking and whirring but the film didn't eject. I hmm-ed out loud, pressed the shutter again and still no film.
I came home, and frantically posted on the Polaroid SX-70 group on Flickr about my trouble and after some very kind and helpful advice, I thought that it was a simple fix: the battery in the film pack was dead. I tried a regular pack of 600 film and shot five successful frames, and then it happened again. The film stopped ejecting. I did a little more searching and question-asking on Flickr and came to the conclusion that the pick-up arm inside the camera wasn't picking up. I carefully bent it down a smidge, and popped the now-ruined pack of 600 film in, and now I have a compounded problem. The film still won't eject, and now the camera is making a hideous screechy squealing noise and it won't stop cycling. I give up.
I thought long and hard about buying the Artistic TZ in the first place because it was $24.99 + shipping per pack of eight images (8!) -- that's about $3 per shot! -- and finally decided that this will be the only time in my life when I'll be able to use real SX-70 film in an SX-70, and not only that, but it's Time Zero. It's manipulable. Yesterday, as we sat in the shade at Creekside Park in Salt Lake, eating our sandwiches before a nice game of disc golf, I took the shot above and instantly fell in love with how beautiful and soft and oddly-colored this Artistic TZ film is and said out loud, "I think I'm going to have to get more of this." My mind was made up. I was ready to put down some cash for this lovely new but already expired film, and then my camera does this. I still want more film, but now I'm going to have to buy another SX-70 on top of it, and I just don't have the money to do both right now. I'm so heartbroken I could just cry.
And on top of all of this, I finally found a local place that could develop my 38-year old roll of Kodacolor-X that came with my pretty little Brownie Hawkeye, and of course, nothing came out on it. It was blank, save for one frame that has a dark corner. Sour icing on top of my burnt photography cake.
It's days like this that make me wonder why I do this to myself.