Day 131: Polaroid Zelda.

If you saw yesterday’s post, you’d know that my latest obsession is experimenting with my father’s 1965 Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100.

No experimentation is complete without cats, of course.

Today’s Caturday subject is Zelda. Here’s the original print:

Day 130 - Zelda print

And a crop:

Day 130 - Zelda print cropped

The print was okay. It was underexposed so the shadows are blackened out but you get some nice color from the background in the window. And the cat is more clearly defined against the background.

Then I washed the negative and scanned that in. What I’ve found so far is that the shots that seem to be properly exposed on the print appear to be blown out on the negative. This can be kind of dreamy and interesting, but it can also just feel a little dull depending on the subject.

When the print seems underexposed, however, the negative is more interesting.

Day 130 - Zelda negative resized

And the crop.

Day 130 - Zelda negative cropped

The background through the window is more blown out, so you lose detail in the highlights. But while a white cat against an overexposed background might usually be a bad thing, I find it just adds to the…sorry for overusing this term…dreamy feel of the image. And even though part of her back is no longer distinguished against the background, we can actually see her face more clearly because we’re getting more detail in the shadows. The writing on the spines of the book is also more evident.

Additionally, the highlights inside the window gives more texture to the image than the print does. There’s a light ray hitting the middle of the window frame and the top of the spine on the tallest book. Another stream is falling on the flowerpot in the lower right and makes it pops a bit more than in the print.

Finally, there’s a hint of that nice vintage sepia tone to the picture that doesn’t come out in the print.

Overall, the print is nice, but I greatly prefer the negative in this case. Perhaps knowing this, I might intentionally underexpose some future shots knowing that the print will be sub-optimal but that the negative will yield something I can work with.


Bonus round! One last scan!

Day 130 - Zelda cat scan

Zelda, it seems, is quite in love with the scanner, and whenever I am scanning in these prints, she is there, purring her fool little head off, rolling around in a minor fit of ecstasy. I’ve never seen her so happy. Not even when she gets her Caturday wet food!

“Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.


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