Spitball Army

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Man, what a bargain?

January 14th, 2009 · 3 Comments

I hesitated barely a millisecond before touting my yard sale coup after scoring a $3 Polaroid camera some while back.  I still consider the camera a bargain, especially since, after finding some fresh film, I discovered that it works almost perfectly.

Here, in fact, is the first picture I took with it: hairballs Barbara

Ziggy - sunning in the dining room, 9 Jan 2009
(Polaroid photo: spitballarmy.com)

Ziggy is getting all the love these days, here and as my avatar on Facebook. Someone brought this favoritism to my attention recently. My reply? “Well, Barbara gets entire blog posts written about her, so it probably all evens out.” And so, now, I’ve just spent several sentences writing about my cats as if they are human (or, as my mother calls them, “my furry grandchildren”).  Do I need an intervention?

Back to the Polaroid camera situation.  I was able to find a pack of ten pictures (what we’d call “frames” if it were a traditional roll of film) for about 20 dollars online.  This was the cheapest film that I was able to find at the time.  Since then, I’ve found some available for less: three 10-packs for about 50 dollars.  That comes to about $1.67 for each Polaroid picture, whether it’s a mistake or a photographic masterpiece.  My original 10-pack put the cost of that picture of Ziggy and the next nine shots with the camera at $2.00 each.  Thankfully, the math is simple.  Thus, the economic segment of my mind has no difficulty in assessing this as an expensive ongoing proposition.

Especially when I consider that I can take my handy digital camera with me anywhere and shoot more pictures than I can count out loud using one big breath.   Many, many more.  And I can take all of the mistakes I want at no extra cost.  I’ve already purchased all of the camera equipment, which was infinitely more expensive than that three dollars.  But I only have to spend money on photo paper (much cheaper than Polaroid, incidentally) for pictures that turn out well.  The quick decision is that the Polaroid camera, of which I am quite proud, will never replace my digital camera, or my there-at-the-spur-of-the-moment BlackBerry camera.

I’ve decided to use the Polaroid camera as an “event” camera.  For instance, tonight (13 January) I am going to take it with me to our weekly Music Trivia geek fest.  There, I will allow myself only one shot with the Polaroid and, in what will hopefully be a magical union of photography, alcohol and feverish competition, will produce the essence of the evening in a small square of paper.

Can this be done?  You can judge for yourself…have blog, will post.  Later.

Tags: family · ideas · self

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kim waites // Jan 14, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    In the 80’s, my mom was a proud owner of a polaroid. My sister and I would often “waste” a few on something totally random and the words of my mother still reverberate in my head, “those cost a dollar a damn piece”. They were pricy little fellas!!

  • 2 ABE // Jan 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Did you see the article in the newspaper over the weekend about the new digital polaroid cameras? I would like to see one! It takes and stores the pictures digitally, but will pop them out if you press print! I can’t remember how much, but I do think it was too expensive to run out and get one. Oh, and they said the color is pretty bad–people’s faces turn out slightly greenish!

  • 3 Nik // Nov 29, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    I have just recently rediscovered a polaroid sun640 series 600 that my grandfather gave me a few years prior to his passing, it is in perfect condition & still in the original box. My 16yr old daughter loves it.

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