Monday, July 21, 2008

Burnt Cake

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.


e.soule said...

I just found your blog! I'm so behind the curve sometimes. I'm sorry for your camera troubles, it explains the new purchase (which I'm totally jealous about). My SX-70 is so finicky that I can't close it any more, or the mirror gets stuck and I end up in tears. It is my "studio camera" because it can't leave the house for fear the mirror will not work.
Good luck with you're new camera! Love the photos with the post!

Janet Penny said...

Damn, been there, done that. Glad to see you have since been able to put a little sweet icing on your spoiled cake.