‘Impossible’ Interview with Julien Grenet – ‘Des Polas et des Mains’

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We’re delighted to be working closer with The Impossible Project team as we continue to branch out and expand our reach with all things related to mobile photography. Analog post-processing of mobile images is becoming more and more popular and we’re going to make sure our readers are fully briefed on this very exciting development.

The Impossible Project is in many ways leading the way, but there is also a growing community of mobile artists and photographers experimenting with other analog post processing techniques in an attempt to make their mobile images stand out even more, in galleries, magazines and the like and we have viewed some outstanding images and techniques.

A good deal of my formal photographic training (many years ago) was spent in a huge college darkroom and it is an area that I’ve always enjoyed, I think you will too. I also had a very close working relationship with Polaroid built up through my years as Technical Editor for various UK photography print magazines/titles.

Today we are publishing the fifth of a series of ‘Impossible’ articles, this time with Julien Grenet. Julien is an avid travel blogger, always on the road, far, far away from France. When he travels, he carries his Polaroid camera and a lot of Impossible films with him, just to be sure to capture those special moments.

This is an interview that was conducted by the team at Impossible and they have given us kind permission to republish it here. We think you will enjoy this very much…

 

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What is my motivation? To meet people and share, that is my travel goal. I can’t travel without living authentic and simple experiences.


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For that reason, I’m looking for the best way to give as much as local people give me. My goal is not to save the world, but I offer what I do: photography with my Polaroid camera. I take a photo of the people I meet. For some of them, the picture I took was the very first one they have seen of themselves. That is the point of my project.


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Two years ago, I traveled to Sri Lanka with my Polaroid 600 and two Impossible films. I will never forget the happiness I saw in the eyes of the first person I gave a picture to. It was a fisherman who was fixing his fishing net on a beach. We spoke all the morning. Just before I left, I immortalised the scene with my instant camera and offered this unique photo to my new friend. When I saw the picture in his hands, I immediately understood that I had something to do with his happiness.


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My project Des polas et des mains/Polas and Hands was born.


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Since then, I’ve always travelled with several Polaroid cameras and Impossible films in my bag. Each time I meet someone who makes my travel more beautiful I take a picture of his or her hands holding the picture I have just taken.

 

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Impossible films require 30 minutes before chemistry reveals its secrets. For better development, the photo should not be exposed to direct sunlight. So I made a black box that I hold in front of the Polaroid camera. The photo goes out naturally inside the box once the shutter is pressed and stays there for 30 minutes in the dark.


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It’s making the moment even more exciting: waiting for my gift! Eventually, I take the picture out of the box: we see the colors, the face, the smile… The photos are always amazing.


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I am now clearly addicted. I own a Polaroid SX-70, a 600, a Spectra and some other models and they always come with me. Once I’m back in France, I scan the photos and use them to illustrate articles on my blog.

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