About a month ago, I was browsing the internet and came across Paul Giambarba’s website.  Giambarba, is the graphic designer that created Polaroid’s iconic product identity.  I read an article about the integral role he played in the branding of Polaroid and after reading it, I was so inspired by the designs he created, I rummaged around the house for materials and recreated one.

Recreating Paul Giambarba's design on Impossible Project PX-70 COOL
Paul Giambarba’s design on Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Since I’ve been back from our recent trip to Aspen, I’ve been pondering what to photograph and have had the itch to use the RB67 with some Impossible film.   I picked up some PX-70 NIGO this month, and had a few images left from a pack I shot at the ranch. With the NIGO film, I’ve been carefully sneaking peeks at the colors as I’ve been shooting it, and I knew that an orange-framed photo about to surface.

I started to look through old Polaroid ads online and came across a strikingly simple image of a folded-up SX-70 partially pulled out of its case.  A couple months ago, I picked up a first model SX-70 w/ case at an estate sale and knew that I had the equipment to recreate this image.  The lighting aspect of it is quite simple.   You only need one flash/strobe & a snoot w/ grids to light the subject.

Flash w/ Snoot & Grid
Flash w/ Snoot & Grid
Setup
I snapped this a little while after I took the photo, but you get the gist of the setup.

I put together a quick studio setup and placed the camera on a piece of black foam core board.  I boomed up a flash with a homemade snoot/grid and I dialed in the exposure with the D700.  Once I had the light just right, I went to position the RB, but it turned out to be a little tricky.  Of course when viewing the image, it was reversed.  But even more challenging, because I was shooting vertically, the camera/subject was actually upside down when I was looking at it.

Reversed image in the Mamiya RB67
Reversed image in the Mamiya RB67

It took some time before I was ready to pull the trigger, but when I finally was, I did the Impossible/RB67 shuffle and created this image.

Mamiya RB67 - 150mm SF-C - Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO
Mamiya RB67 – 150mm SF-C – Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO

It seemed it wasn’t complete without text, so I photoshopped a scan from something Impossible I had in my house and overlaid it in CS.  You can see the image here.

From my limited experience with TIP & flash, I am enjoying the level of control you have over the highlights in a ‘studio setting’.  Metering scenes and knowing exactly how much juice I’m giving the negative always makes for a more consistent outcome.    I look forward to the day that Impossible creates their own analog camera and I really hope it has manual settings and flash-sync capability …

Thanks for reading.

-Justin

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