Polaroids from Thailand

When in Thailand from September last year until February this year, I really was a bit slack taking polaroids. I admit it. But I got a few good ones (and quite a few failed ones!). I loved the way that the heat affected the Impossible Projects PX600 Poor Pod film. My last post showed one of the MCG taken in Melbourne in the middle of winter where the film turned up fairly true black & white, as did my other Melbourne winter images of Kew. But in the heat of SE Asia it became a gorgeous sepia colour – some of the following images were taken from exactly the same pack as the one just mentioned! It has taken me quite a while to get these up but finally here they are!

I am heading back to Thailand soon and seriously considering which cameras to take with me. My heart tells me to take three – my digital, my Canon TX film camera and my Polaroid. But realistically there are pros and cons to this. Last time I didn’t take all that many photos – about seven rolls of film and two packs of Polaroid. This was in six months and for my normal output is not a lot. I can’t develop my negs or scan them over there without quite a bit of trouble (although I must check out these options further), so it kind of renders film photography a little lacklustre when you can’t look at or work on your images for six months. Plus then you end up in my current situation of having about 30 rolls of film to develop and scan.

With regards to the Polaroid I also have pretty much trashed the film going in and out of airport scanners and subjecting it to heat. The PX600 is okay but the last couple of packs of PX70 Push have yielded little but a blurry pink wash – maybe I just need to find arty ways of using the blurry pink wash though!

And the digital. I love my digital camera. I love the bold bright colours and the ease of using it. But when I travel I often find myself reaching for the film camera before the digital. I didn’t take it to Thailand last time and it was probably a good decision but I also can’t take low light/nighttime images with the other cameras and a digital would be great. Another consideration is that maybe I might want to use the digital to do some professional photography there … to try and sell my services to people by giving digital camera lessons or do photoshoots for people, which of course I would love to do on film but for the aforementioned problems of development.

So add to this the heaviness of everything, the bulkiness, the chances of them getting wrecked in the humid Thai weather. With all this it seems like it might be too much trouble even though I don’t move about much when I am there and tend to live in the same place for months at a time. And then there’s the tripod …

What is your experience of travelling with multiple cameras plus all your other gear? Who shoots film and has been away for a lengthy amount of time? How do you feel about the time it will take till you actually see the results and then having piles to develop and scan? Tell me your thoughts to help my decision. But meanwhile …


PS small disclaimer – the image of me wasn’t a self portrait … it’s Chris’s first polaroid shot. The light was low, hence the lack of detail in the face … but I really love it.

sanctuary buddha
bamboo shrines
back at the pier

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