The Impossible magic

Christine's neck - Impossible Silver Shade instant film (C) Marco Ristuccia

Photo: “Christine’s neck” – Impossible Silver Shade instant film 
© Marco Ristuccia

Since I started playing around with the new Impossible Project polaroid-like instant films, I had always incoherent, often disappointing results. By “disappointing” I mean that the shots I got barely matched the subject’s image depicted in my mind.

And this time it’s not a problem of getting used to and mind-previewing this particular film characterization. I think mostly it is because the inherent instability of the Impossible chemicals produces unpredictable effects we can’t keep under control. I must admit however that I still didn’t try their very latest films.

By the way, there are people who like the mystery and surprise of the results, and sometimes this sort of fatalism really contributes in adding value to the work. Put in a philosophical way, we could even think of this as a manifestation of the so-called “technological unconscious”, theorized by Franco Vaccari and others, who states that the Camera itself (and the Film) has an “own intent” to pursue and that it’s up to the photographer, reduced to a mere “operator”, to discover by attempts the full combinatory complexity of the potential results.

When developing a project I usually prefer to have more control on what I get in terms of image style and result’s reproducibility. Call me a “vintage guy” but I still don’t like those projects lacking a coherent aspect in terms of aesthetic, format and size.

But sometimes, like with a good bottle of red wine, time and unpredictability make their wizardry. After a pair of years I incidentally picked up from my drawer a bunch of Impossible instant photographs, which I considered failed experiments. The passage of time has changed them just like it does with our lives. Now they are somehow more mature and fascinating, just like a beautiful middle-aged woman whose face and eyes has been signed with interesting wrinkles.

One in particular caught my attention: it portrays the neck of my woman. The warm color shift and the perfect localization of a little “stars” constellation completely changed the atmosphere and really made the Impossible magic!

I’m not in any business relationship with the Impossible Project. In this post I’m only expressing my personal opinions on their products. I published the link to their site for the sake of completeness.

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