Polaroids have always been about the instant. No finishing the roll, no darkroom, no chemistry skills required: the original point, shoot, print. Land's packaged product takes any art of the darkroom out of the equation. The only digital manipulation possible involves the use of your finger. Any negative becomes the positive, creating a 1 of 1 that only a few other analog techniques are capable of. Photography then becomes a process of composition and the knowledge of how to use the inherent film and development process of instant to your benefit.
A few years back I saw an ad for the new Impossible Project color film that had a masterfully deep blue sky with flecks of white. Was this a night shot with stars? I ran to the Manhattan Project Space and started asking questions. Through discussions with their store manager that day I came out with the technique of creating long exposures with a Polaroid camera. That night I went out in search of some elusive star trails and have been working on low light long exposures with instant film since.
Shooting in low light has a number of challenges, but as a theatrical lighting designer I have always enjoyed the opportunity to modify the lighting of reality in ways the sun or moon cannot. Dramatic shadows, brightly lit buildings leaping away from dark skies, and adding my own light painting to compositions all add to the compression of time that long exposure times bring.
I'd like the viewer to see these images with their little white (or black) frames and remember the sheer joy of instant photography. The time spent waving them around while waiting for them to develop because you'd seen others wave them around and culturally, that was what one did with a Polaroid. But I want them to see that this technology still has an advantage that other film and digital formats do not. That this instant print, this physical objet d'art, is a film image that sprung forth into the physical reality and simply is what it is. That these little sketches have a place as works without any additional time behind a computer. I have a tendency to observe someone holding one with interest, as they treat them with reverence, holding them by the edges with two hands, sometimes cupping their hands around them like they are afraid to damage it.
It's always a magical thing to watch something come into existence and that's what I think instant films tap into. To be able to put my own spin on them and push the envelope of what Polaroid and The Impossible Project expect the film to be capable of is only adding to that existent magic.