Polaroid is scrapping instant film to focus on digital. (Good news is that they're producing enough to last through 2009, and are offering licensing rights for anyone else who wants to take up the slack.) I have a shoebox full of Polaroids, almost all of them shot from 1997 to 2002. I loved taking them: the hefty click, the hum and spit-out, the not-quite-instant gratification, their marker-like smell. The best ones are simple and straightforward, and usually of people. As with Super-8 film, everyone looks good in Polaroids--maybe it's the flash, the not-so-sharp focus, something with the dated technology. Or maybe it's just that everyone in my Polaroids is 22.
Digital is great and cheap at all, but low-value--those pictures can be infinitely manipulated and replicated. Polaroids are more like the moment: there's only one, ever.
A selection from the archives, taken in Brooklyn, Oslo, Oberlin, Iowa City, and Park Rapids, MN.