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Instant Observation

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

After watching a documentary about the founder and inventor of #Polaroid, Edwin H Land, it got me thinking about some of his #philosophy regarding what was known as the #instant #photograph.

Unlike digital imagery either by camera or phone, the concept was to capture a #moment in time which could be instantly reviewed by the people actively involved in the moment. Whilst the same can be said for digital #photography, the Polaroid was 'final'' and would remain unaltered. Unless copied and digitised later. It was in fact a #true representation of the event, complete with all the emotions present at the time of capture. OK, you can alter a Polaroid if you have a 'wet' print or negative, but the underlying principle remains.


This got me thinking - we see the world as a moving image and rarely #observe the scene in front of us. It is not final or fixed. I therefore tried an experiment in Polaroid or 'Instant #Observation'. Simply write down what presents itself in front of you and create a 'Verbal Polaroid'!

'I sit in my living room writing down my thoughts as they come to me. The TV is on in the background and I glance occasionally to view the sport which is playing at the time. I have the room to myself and I drink tea.


As I scan the room, the ornaments so familiar to me take on an almost spiritual ambiance. I keep coming back to the giraffes on the mantle. I don't know why; perhaps because they invoke fond memories of my trip to South Africa and I feel the same calmness. The doorway to the hall is open and I gaze into the distance, just absorbing my environment'.


Can you #visualise my Polaroid moment? Even if I photographed the scene, by the time I have written this post, the #moment has gone. It cannot be copied, altered or re-taken. What I felt at the time might occur sometime in the future, but there are no guarantees. Perhaps I should have photographed the room and posted that instead, but I would-be tempted to change it and make it more presentable for the web! This then not 'the truth' and the moment has been distorted.


Perhaps we will forever mourn the demise of the Polaroid!