Cannonball Read V: Instant: The Story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos
What also makes the book engaging is that it begins with Polaroid's conception in the 1930′s and goes through its triumphs and struggles to today. It's fascinating to follow the company through such changing times - creatively, socially, and technologically. And it's ironic to see how Edwin Land's ideas, which were ahead of their time, were tied to a company later regarded as out-of-date.
If you are an art buff, this book may capture your interest. Polaroid was popular with artists like Ansel Adams, who was actually paid to test their products and give his feedback. Other artists and entertainers, like Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and The Talking Heads used Polaroid photos for album covers, collages, and other works. In an effort to revitalize the company, Lady Gaga signed on as their creative director in 2010! Then there are lesser known artists (at least to me) who had thought-provoking Polaroid works...artists like William Anastasi and Andrew Kertesz.
Did you also know besides using traditional Polaroid photos, several art forms emerged through Polaroid photography? Image transfers, emulsion lifts, and image distortion were popular ways to experiment with Polaroid's instant film technology. And did you know that there are a few phone booth sized Polaroid cameras (the 20×24) that produce pictures the size of cocktail tables?
Although I mentioned Polaroid as defunct, out-of-date, and irrelevant, it is coming back. Even after reading the book, I was surprised to see Polaroid's website, with all kinds of digital devices. I suppose the story doesn't stop with the book...If any of this sounds interesting to you, then I'd encourage you to check out the book. A solid recommend from me.
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