On Friday, my Impossible Project Instant Lab arrived. I ordered it nearly 12 months ago as part of a Kickstarter project. It’s been wonderful to watch the development of the instant lab over time from prototype to testing to production to postage and arrival on my doorstep. The instant lab turns digital iphone (and other) images into real analogue instant photos, just like polaroids, so the art of new technology meeting the beauty of older classic technology.
I learnt about the instant lab through Susannah Conway who has written Instant Love: how to make magic and memories with polaroids, with Amanda Gilligan and Jennifer Altman, and who uses polaroid photographs so beautifully in her blog. Falling in love with the dreamy quality of polaroids, I am keen to use the instant lab as a step to engaging more with photography and eventually with polaroid cameras. The art of polaroid photography seems a bit tricky and technical but is something I want to learn.
It was exciting to unpack the box and see the instant lab, to touch it and to extend the tower of the lab that the iphone sits on. I read through the ‘Quick Start’ guide, checked out the Impossible film, then worked through updating my iphone so I could download the app that links the processes. I checked out some of the people engaging with the lab through flickr, instagram and twitter and looked at their images to see what was possible.
At the same time, I’m also reading Brene Brown’s ‘Daring Greatly‘. This is making me aware of the little voices in my head all the while making the task of creating pictures with the instant lab, seem more difficult than it should be, if not well, impossible.
I can hear myself worrying about mucking up the film which is expensive and of which I only have a small supply. I can hear myself thinking, ‘Who am I? Not a photographer for sure. I didn’t even engage properly with the ‘Photo meditations‘ course I just did with Susannah Conway, to be able to learn as much as I could.’ I can hear the words swimming around my head, ‘It’s only for professionals, it’s complicated…it’s the culmination of so much you haven’t done’…
In ‘Daring Greatly’, Brene Brown (p 34) defines vulnerability as:
uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure
I am feeling all this and exposure is the perfect word for this context in every respect.
I don’t know why it’s become so vulnerable and why the excitement of the arrival of the instant lab has been replaced with something like fear – of failure, of waste, of scarce resources, of lack of creativity. How did this occur?
I still haven’t printed the first image but I am getting close. I have selected the image of choice for my first print. I am aware of the need to take the first step and to enjoy the experience whatever the outcome.
I look forward to the exposure, to putting the pieces together, to watching that magical creative piece of me appear almost instantly and to honouring its place in my life. I look forward to doing the seemingly impossible.