Tagged: film

I love working with my Diana. When I started shooting as a photographer I bought a Holga on the advice of Carlton Mickle. I soon learned about the toy camera junkies when Holga’s only cost $9.99. They had stopped production of the Diana camera by the time I started photography so I kept my eye out for people selling theirs and got lucky when Susan Burnstine sold hers to me. Now Holga’s cost upwards of $75.00 and so do Diana’s now that they’re making them again. I’m glad people are into toy cameras now, and I’m glad I bought mine when they weren’t this expensive. I know compared to other cameras they don’t seem so costly, but my head shaking commences when I see the price tags these days. At least they last longer than a D700. I’ve used my first Holga for 15 years now. Not bad for a “toy.” The Ilford PanF works awesome too.

Sara Liz @saraliz stopped by about a week ago and we played with light and a Rolleicord and a Nikon FM.




I feel so happy (and lucky) to have been able to test out this film and be part of the very beginnings of bringing my way of working back to life. As I am sure those of you who love Polaroid Type 55 (and miss it dearly) are anxiously awaiting the day when you can go out and shoot and develop a negative right in the field may feel just by knowing that the negatives have been exposed. Once in a Blue Moon (when I shot the images) good things do happen! And it’s all thanks to Bob Crowley who has been working like crazy to produce the film again. Please visit the New55 FILM project website and get to know the new goodness!

I received the hand made film and immediately got nervous, “what if I mess this up?” Luckily it is so much like shooting with Polaroid Type 55 that from the first exposure, and handling it so very delicately, I lost that sense of nervousness and just started dancing (uncontrollable dancing happiness) around after each click of the shutter.

It fits in my i545 back just as easily as the Polaroid Type 55 does.

I still have a stash of Polaroid Type 55 locked away in a secret bunker so I was also able to shoot with both and compare the two films. Gladly, I had a model, St. Merrique, who is quite the pro so doing the same poses and remembering them wasn’t a big deal for her. Let’s hear it for awesome models!

Polaroid Type 55 in developing bucket

Polaroid Type 55 in developing bucket with the first pose and Positive next to the hand made New55 FILM and the old Polaroid Type 55 film side by side.

As you can see, it’s truly the beginnings of the film. Hand written instructions on the film sleeve and everything. It’s amazing what they have done so far in such a short amount of time. The “Stop” is obviously where you stop pulling up the sleeve before you expose your neg. The dotted lines are a guide for where you need to cut the sleeve open with scissors as this is truly the beginning of the film production. Shooting it like this really made me appreciate it so much more.

See the Polaroid Type 55 negative in the bucket of Sodium Sulfite with the pinkish chemicals washing off the negative, I didn’t get this as much with the New55. It was a bit pink, but not as much.

New55 FILM developing in Polaroid bucket

New55 FILM developing in Polaroid bucket


There are no attachments on the negative of New55 like there are on Polaroid Type 55 (paper – see above, first photo) – which I found to be lovely. A pure sheet of film that has been hand coated almost even resembling a platinum print. I allowed each New55 negative to sit in the bucket of Sodium Sulfite for 5-10 minutes. They suggested using Rapid Fix but I didn’t have any so I used Sodium Sulfite (to clear the chemicals off the neg) and it worked fine.

When you come back to it a white goo has formed on the negative which you have to gently smudge off by hand by carefully rubbing the negative. I suggest wearing rubber gloves for this but I didn’t have any so I just sacrificed myself and dove in naked.

This is what the negative looks like before peeling it off of the sleeve to dip in the bucket. Notice the hand taped love! So cool.

New55 Negative on Sleeve

New55 Negative on Sleeve with hand made love

The white section on the sleeve that holds the negative in place are the chemical pods. When you yank the film out of the i545 back these chemicals get dispersed so a positive side of the negative can develop. An immediate contact print. (and yes, that’s a rubix cube)

new55 and type55 positives side by side

new55 and type55 positives side by side

The positives of the two films are completely different. The New55 positive (on the left) looks like a platinum print while the Polaroid Type 55 positive looks like a straight black and white image. The developing time for the New55 is 2 minutes while the developing time for the Polaroid Type 55 is about 20 seconds. I wish I would have tried developing the New55 just a little bit longer, maybe 3 minutes, to see what it would have looked like, but I JUST thought of that this second. I wonder if it would give me more contrast or darken it a bit. I hope I get to try that out some day soon!

I posted this image on Facebook right after I shot it (before it got flagged by a prude and facebook deleted it) and someone (I forget who) asked me a question that I’ve heard lots of times from photographers. Do you have to expose for the negative or the positive to get a good positive side? Photographers who don’t religiously (I’m a zealot) use Polaroid Pos/Neg always seem to think that the exposure for the positive is different than the exposure of the negative. I THINK THIS IS A MYTH. The way the positive develops is completely different to how the negative develops. And who wants the positive anyway? It’s really only a contact sheet. The way you get a good Positive is not to peel apart the two pieces (the negative and the positive) before the developing time is up. With Polaroid Type 55 in 75 degrees that’s 20 seconds. If I want my negative to be darker I let it develop more (30-40 seconds). If I want it to be lighter, I peel it apart after 5 seconds. Just like you would in a darkroom under a lamp when you’re printing. Or if you’d leave a print in the developer for too long it would get too dark. But I just don’t put a lot of interest into the positive side of the film. It only shows me if I’m on target and if I shot what I thought I shot, or if I need to try it again. Plus, the model can see if she needs to adjust her pose or I can see if I need to adjust my exposure a bit. The negative is the big deal, the big kahuna, the whole enchilada… If I wanted a positive “only” why would I bother shooting pos/neg film? I’ve always wondered about this when some photographers say this about the exposure thing. And I could be wrong… I’ve just never concerned myself with the positive. Unless it pertains to happiness.

Speaking of HAPPINESS!!!!!!!! Check out the negatives!

©2012 Zoe Wiseman New55 FILM first exposure - model: St. Merrique

©2012 Zoe Wiseman New55 FILM first exposure – model: St. Merrique

and expired Polaroid Type 55 (peeling negative sadness)

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman Polaroid Type 55 Negative - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman Polaroid Type 55 Negative – model: St. Merrique


If you have followed my work at all and have seen my Polaroid Type 85 or 665 images where I solarize the negatives, you will understand why I like the New55 film better than the Polaroid Type 55. What depth and funkiness and just WOW awesome!

New55 and Polaroid Type 55 side by side

New55 and Polaroid Type 55 side by side

After testing my first image (it’s a bit lighter than I’d ultimately like it) shooting at 50 ISO, I decided to change my settings just a tiny bit. I don’t remember exactly how much. But just a tad. So I probably shot the second exposure at about 35 ISO. I just had an impulse to do it and it worked out great.


© 2012 Zoe Wiseman - New55 FILM negative second exposure - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman – New55 FILM negative second exposure – model: St. Merrique

And the Polaroid Type 55 for comparison (shot at 50 ISO):

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman - Polaroid Type 55 negative - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman – Polaroid Type 55 negative – model: St. Merrique


So as you can see, much different films, but just beautiful, luscious, and YUMMY. For my work… this is what I want! The New55 Film reminds me more of the Polaroid 665 or 85 films than the 55 film. With the 665 you would always get little surprises that would put a unique spin on the image. I live for those little surprises. I enjoyed shooting with Type 85 on a Holga with a Polaroid back way more than I enjoyed shooting with Type 55 because of this. Like shooting a Holga with a peculiar light leak or solarizing your negatives in the sun. (see an earlier post I made about this here: http://www.zoewiseman.com/ZW/2011/08/04/85/)

Sure – you can get tack sharp images with a Hassy or some digital contraption, but I have always loved quirks. The quirkier the better. And the New55 film has got quirky covered.

The next 3 images were all shot at 50 ISO.

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman - New55 FILM - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman – New55 FILM – model: St. Merrique


With the image below this text, I tried peeling it at one minute instead of 2 minutes (the total developing time) to see if I could get some solarization happening by holding it up to the sun. I think that’s what the fog bit is on the lower left and the funky line near the top edge. I wish I would have been braver and pulled the negative at 2 seconds to see what would happen, but testing it just proves to me it’s possible – I just got chicken and waited too long. (see an earlier post I made about this here: http://www.zoewiseman.com/ZW/2011/08/04/85/ if you don’t know what I’m talking about)

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman - New55 FILM - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman – New55 FILM – model: St. Merrique – an failed attempt at solarization of the negative.

And on this image below… as I was putting the film into the film holder the sleeve slipped off about a quarter inch. I caught it in time before it exposed the entire negative (cursing at myself), but as you can see it has the line at the top of her head where the sleeve slipped.  I think it may have fogged the negative just a little bit because of that. But I love the way it turned out anyway.

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman - New55 FILM negative - model: St. Merrique

© 2012 Zoe Wiseman – New55 FILM negative – model: St. Merrique


So those are the 5 images I was able to shoot from the 5 slides of film I was given to test. I would like more please! haha. I’m just happy I have the negatives and it worked and that I didn’t disappoint myself or Bob as he’s worked tirelessly to make this happen. Does anyone have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around? Production must commence! If you are an investor and believe in art related goodness… give Bob your money so I can shoot this film every day. Please? With sugar on top?

One of the other things I love about the negative is it conforms to all the standard 4×5 film holders! Especially for the film holders on my scanner. The Polaroid Type 55 negative is just a smidgen larger than a 4×5, so trying to get that huge negative into a 4×5 film holder and scan the entire negative can be quite the challenge. The New55 negative fits in perfect with no fuss at all. It’s a true 4×5 negative.

I took some iPhone snaps of what I’m talking about so you can try to see what I mean.

Polaroid Type 55 Negative trying to fit into the 4x5 film holder for the Epson V750

Polaroid Type 55 Negative trying to fit into the 4×5 film holder for the Epson V750 – look at each edge. The right side has overlap.


New55 FILM fits into the Epson V750 film holders perfectly

New55 FILM fits into the Epson V750 film holders perfectly – zero overlap


Polaroid Type 55 on left - New55 FILM on right

Polaroid Type 55 on left – New55 FILM on right – the Polaroid film doesn’t quite sit inside the Film Sleeve the way it should compared to the New55 FILM which fits in perfect.


Please let me know if you have any questions about my experience using the film below in the comments section. I hope I covered everything! If not, just ask! And if you have any questions about the production or that sort of thing – Please visit the New55 FILM project website and get to know the new goodness! Bob Crowley answers a lot of questions about this and his FAQ will tell you a bit too. And don’t forget to send him a few hundred thousand dollars. Annenberg… are you listening? Please please please? 🙂

Everyone have a very safe and sober Labor Day! Much love!

Enjoy some photos with Rei. 35mm Film and a couple of Lensbabies too.


Enjoy some of my new work with Floofie. She rocks.

Title, yeah, I’m a Prince fan. And a Zinn fan! This is why:

I never shoot 6 rolls of film! ha. Had no idea there was color film (Kodak Portra) in my Nikon FM, but sort of like it. All the rest, Ilford panF 50, Ilford Delta 400 and Fuji Neopan 400 with my Rollei. I love my Rollei.

There was a time when I was a fashion model when perfection was forced and instilled into every one of my brain cells that I was unable to appreciate flaws. Especially when it came to photography, because body image was so important back then, the camera had to perfect perfection even more. You could have been a perfectly poised woman with flawless skin and a perfect figure, but the camera had to make you even more flawless and perfect. A hyper sense of perfection. And that was when all photographers shot film. Fast forward to today and the hyper-perfection is on some other trip. I look at photos now and the models look like plastic dolls. They have no hips. No breasts. They are androgynous drones chiseled with photoshop to be made into unreal versions of humanity. I find myself searching for imperfection because of it. Even if I’m photographing someone with a perfect body.

It really doesn’t matter how perfect someone’s body is in the world of art, but I see fashion influencing artists. I see photographic artists utilizing the hyperreal tools of the fashion industry in order to perfect their images. While I would never publish a photograph of a woman in a compromising view to make her seem less ideal, I want her to look good, I’m also not going to do something to compromise my vision for my own art to satisfy the status quo. I love the imperfections in film. I adore freaking out my Polaroid negatives, scratches, solarization, funky borders… they allow me to understand LIGHT what it does, how it feels. The luxury of shadows and the mystery it emboldens.

I can thank the fashion industry for shunning my eyes from their unrealistic version of woman. When I see plastic faces with no pores, I can look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m beautiful for not being a plastic doll. And I can view the art I create and be refreshed that it looks nothing like anything I see in a fashion magazine. I left fashion for a reason.

Enjoy some Polaroids and some Rollei photos I shot of model, Stephanie Anne last month.

So, it’s the beginning of the year. 2011. (Honestly I miss the 90s. They seemed a bit more carefree.) I guess it’s time to reflect upon what I feel are my best images from 2010. Ansel Adam’s said that if he made 12 good images in a year, it was a good year. I kind of feel the same way. Though sometimes it’s really hard to edit.

The internet has really killed the concept of editing. And I think that’s one of the drawbacks of the web. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a photographers website and just kind of got bored because they’ve put up 20 different images from the same shoot, or sometimes even MORE. Models are even worse when editing themselves. Honestly, if you have 10 great images, that’s all you really need. I say this, not to bitch, but to help. And I’m even guilty of it sometimes. I’ll admit it. The internet makes it easy just to digitally edit, throw EVERYTHING up there, and leave it to the audience to decide what image is THE ONE. But… when you’re trying to sell your work, you need to make it easier for the person interested in it to decide. How can they if they are faced with 1000 images on your website? Let’s face it, their eyes gloss over.

It used to be that one wasn’t able to show their work to as many people. They had to rely on books, magazines and gallery exhibitions in order to get their work out there. So, they really had to edit themselves down. Plus, there wasn’t digital photography so not as many images were being made. I’ve never been one to want MORE… I’ve only wanted ONE GOOD IMAGE from a shoot. Sometimes I’m lucky and every frame I expose is good. But, even in these situations, even when you don’t realize it sometimes, there really is only ONE image that stands out. And that would be the one you would send to be published, mounted on a wall or selected for purchase by a collector. There’s too much of this mentality that you must show it all. Frankly, almost all of it is boring and repetitive. So are photographers portfolios who only work with one model. So are models who only do one pose … over and over and over again. Themes are amazing! Don’t misunderstand my thoughts here. But, unless you are photographing a storyboard (a procession of photographs that tell a story) pick only one. Don’t be afraid to stand out on a ledge and throw the images off a cliff. And don’t hoard your work… by hoarding I mean not being able to let go of an image purely for emotional or obsessive reasons. Step back from your work and be your own harshest critic.

Or, make a portfolio that will only show your best work. Getting rid of the “modeling sets” mentality. That’s only for cheesy websites like Zivity or pay sites made for guys to jack off too. Seriously. Sorry, but I really don’t want someone jacking off to any of my work. OMG I’m so harsh right now, but it’s the truth and you know it is. Send collectors, publishers and gallery reps to your main portfolio with your best work. Try doing 12 for each year. Date each folder that way if you wish. Those in the business will know what you’re doing and why. They know who Ansel is and what he said. If you have other people who are interested in seeing all of your work, I think that’s kind of what a blog is for these days. You get to have a portfolio section, plus blog posts from your years of modeling or photographing. A photographic diary of sorts. A progression. But, those just starting out should delete old blog posts that make their work seem amateurish. Everyone starts somewhere, and that’s OK! That’s amazing! But, don’t leave those “starting out” images up there on the web for people to gasp at after you’ve become the most awesome photographer that you are today. Get rid of them. Hide them. Leave them only for yourself to remember that you too were once a newb that didn’t know what you were doing. Then maybe you’ll help someone else become better when you remember where you came from.

So anyway… These are my favorite 12 from the year 2010.  I hope someone got something out of that diatribe up there ^^^



Just a couple of photos of St. Merrique with my Rolleicord. Taking a little break in between work and scheduling and catching up with all manner of things. I never have enough time.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert. It’s fun to walk around and see pictures, make pictures and be away from society. It’s quiet. Wind and critters are all you can hear. It’s always nice working with someone who likes to look for pictures too. Meghan’s like that. No jabbering on, just looking with me. It helped tremendously when she saw a Manzanita bush and commented on how cool it looked. I wouldn’t have paid it any attention. I did though because I’ve learned to listen to what I like to call “desert magic.” Subtle hints that lead you to something profound or magical. Her mention of the manzanita bush was that. There was a dragon there in the shadows.

The Dragon - @2010 Zoe Wiseman - model: Meghan Claire

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