Box of Memories

Re-submitted for the Save Polaroid group.


Your father's Polaroid. This is the camera of a photographer. Not as predictable or sterile as a digi-cam; an elegant instrument for a more civilized age. For over 4 generations, Polaroid film cameras were an icon of fun, spontaneity and joy, before the dark times... before the acquisition.


Polaroid's announcement that it is abandoning film is another example of the misunderstanding that digital imaging must replace film, as opposed to coexisting with it. The argument is that it's the same thing but better. It's not the same at all. And that couldn't be more true than it is with instant film.


For me, watching a polaroid picture develop is like watching a memory form right before your eyes. It appears out of a hazy nothingness and slowly forms into a beautiful but often imperfect image. A picture that mirrors the imperfections of life and memory.


I can't argue with the convenience and clarity of digital imaging. I use my digital camera all the time. It takes beautiful pictures and I don't have to worry about loading film. But of the thousands of digital photos I have taken in my life, 99.9% of them will likely sit on a hard drive as raw data for an eternity, never to be transfered to paper, displayed, or shared.


With instant film you don't get to make the choice of whether or not a picture is "good enough" to make a print. You get a print every time. You can't just hit delete because someone was making a weird face, or the framing wasn't quite right or in some way the image doesn't live up to the unattainable idea of perfection we have all have in our heads from being exposed to too many photoshopped images. The picture comes out no mater what. And even if we don't like what we see when it develops, it's life, and chances are, like the photo above, we'll find it in a box years later and be thankful that we have it - dirty shorts, nervous smile and all.




And just in case anyone questions the length of my Star Wars devotion - I've been on the bandwagon since the beginning. This was taken around 1978 at the Eastbrook Mall in Willimantic CT. I believe I was 3 or 4. I've always looked older than I am.


I remember asking Darth what a button on his chest plate was for. He said it let him talk to his ship. Pfffft. I don't think so.

davebias, Steve A and 52 more people faved this
  • Anne Bowerman 7y

    fantastic tribute
  • Bryan Cowe 7y

    thank you for that.
  • davebias 7y

    man, you nailed it.
  • E-Rock 7y

    OH HOW CUTE!!! hahaha
  • traskb 7y

    good one, and so fitting an image I've never seen.
  • bruno oliveira 7y

    rise Lord Vader !
  • William Patrick Butler 7y

  • aka _misha 7y

    quite Dark Force!
  • Edy 7y

  • Colie Parks 7y

    :) you are the best!
    thanks so much for posting my roid on save polaroid.
    i am honored!!!
  • Glen Mullaly 7y

    What's the date on this Tubes?
  • Sean Tubridy 7y

    Probably about '78.
  • Todd Franklin 7y

    Vader’s young apprentice!
  • (shelley oshrat) 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Shelley's favorites ., and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • lorac's 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called What Remains Of..., and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • lorac's 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called image, Music, Text in Action, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Patrick 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called picky imperfection, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    :) This is great!!
  • ridge_van_winkle 6y

    I missed this before ...

    This must've been some touring thing ... I remember this same crap at a car show in Ohio the same year. I wrote somewhere about it but I can't find it ... all I remember right now is how pissed I was that Vader didn't sound like James Earl Jones.
  • FranMoff 6y

    Excellent! I've been a Star Wars fan since the beginning, too, though I never caught any of these photo opps as a kid. I probably would have accepted the answer about the chest plate buttons. The idea that they were connected to his life support system never dawned on me until I was an adult, actually! Even though Obi-Wan tells us that Vader is "more machine now than man," as a kid I never took that literally -- I thought Obi-Wan was talking about Vader's feelings!

    Anyway, great picture, and nice thoughts about instant film. I think about your photos often during my commute, which brings me past the abandoned and decaying Polaroid building in Waltham, MA. Sad to see.
  • lostinagoodway 3y

54 faves
Uploaded on February 20, 2008
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