Words truly cannot do The Flash's Experiment - The Polaroid Date
- justice :) So I will just let you enjoy ....
Thanks Flash - amazing contribution, and what a cool
idea for a date!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
The words on the side of the pack of film instil a sense
of unease in me: "the-impossible-project.com”.
I have been assured that the guy joining me for this
challenge will be enthusiastic and not at all mindful of
the absurdity of our task, but even still, I've never used a
Polaroid before, we were forecast a day of drenching rain and
...really...we had to take pictures of 'Encounters',
'Physicality' and 'Sex'?!
What was I on when I thought this would make a good
first date activity?!
I promised in my last post that this was going
to be a good-looking occasion. Two good-looking cameras,
a good-looking city and a good-looking date.
The prettiest camera disappointed. This one:
(Isn't it gorgeous?)
Worth about a pound, though, The Impossible Store told me.
And no, nobody makes film for it anymore. So I walked out of
that shop with a less-pretty but more-functioning camera, full
of film (and a not-very-full purse – instant film is expensive!).
On the day, the good-looking city bawled and threw a tantrum,
like an angrychild, completely and entirely drenching me on my
way home from a friend's house an hour before I was due to meet
(Angry child, it may be, but Manchester still makes a very
beautiful angry child. At one point, we actually both stopped
dead in our tracks, motionless for a good ten seconds as we
saw the most beautiful orange glowing clouds sweeping across
the city centre skyline.)
And how did my date live up?
Yeah, he did well!
For the sake of the blog, let's call him The Video Man.
(That's an unoriginal name for a guy who works as a
I'd met The Video Man about three years ago at a friend's
party. We had an interesting, if slightly bizarre conversation!
Then we met again, accidentally, online, this last summer.
I had finally given up my futile resistance to online dating
(though I do maintain, it is mostly a horrible, artificial
experience). We shared a couple of messages.
A couple of weeks ago when I was chatting about this project
(with the samefriend who threw the party, let's call him
The Cupid With A Bad Aim – he's recommended a few unsuitable
guys to me in the past!), I question:
“But where am I going to find a date?”.
As a Christian whose faith is really important to me,
my pool of eligible men seems pretty small.
Cupid With A Bad Aim pauses to mentally check through his
list of contacts – I can see him updating it since he last
set me up – before taking aim and announcing that he knows
just the person who would completely get on board with the
visual aspects of this experiment and be great fun to do it
He made a quick phonecall and it was arranged … before I
realised this was the same guy who simply hadn't replied
after a couple of messages.
Not awkward at all. Apparently, his subscription ended.
Yeah, well, whatever... he'd let himself be persuaded
into a date, in any case!
We met in a coffee shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter.
The rain had subsided a little since the morning, but the
effects of it remained, making themselves manifest in my
eclectic clothing choices: large avalanche-standard waterproof
jacket and a large red polka-dot umbrella
(which I like to think says
But it's ok. We're in the Northern Quarter and we have Polaroids.
We fit in, regardless.
After figuring out how to load the second camera with film,
(and not figuring out how to turn the flashes off), we started
our experiment with Expertise.
The baristas at North Tea Power had expertly crafted leaf patterns
on our coffee, as I'd hoped, so it gleefully became my first shot.
(Yes, I'm a professional photographer. However, I'd just like to say,
this is the first ever time I've ever used a Polaroid camera.
Oh the irony of the title of that image.)
For all that I'm sounding negative, the project was actually
We both got into the spirit of it, and really loved the novelty
value of using Polaroids for the first time and the kiddish
excitement at seeing them come out. If you've ever done darkroom
photography... it's like that, but on a small (blue) scale.
As they take 30-40 mins to develop, we left the coffee shop
before learningfrom my technical focusing 'issues'.
It became a bit of a treasure hunt, with The Video Man ticking
off the listas we went through it, wandering the streets and
then taking shelter in thevisual treasure trove that is Afflecks
Palace, where we were able to collect a lot of our bounty.
I got Money.
The Video Man got sex.
We flashed a LOT – never figured out how to turn those things off!
We spotted Disability but neither of us had the nerve to
stalkerishly photograph the guy in a wheelchair, who was too
far off to explain what we were doing but too close for us
to snap unseen. Polaroids are really pretty conspicuous!
Along the way we chatted a lot about pictures and video – it was
really interesting for me as a wedding photographer to hear about
things from a video perspective.
The Video Man also showed me to an amazing painting I never knew
existed on the ceiling in Afflecks Palace cafe. We thought we
would use it for fame.
(*Trust me, there's a Super Mario in there somewhere)
(*They're flags, ok?)
The date ended when we ran out of film. We retired to another cafe
to watch the remaining pictures develop.
In all, a good date. :)
As Miss29 has often commented during her own challenge, doing
something a little bit out of the ordinary, is always preferable
to a standard drink and this Experiment certainly provided an
interesting mission to accomplish and along with it, an insight
into how somebody else thinks and interprets things.
Creativity is something that's pretty important for me but is so
much more than what someone does for a job.
There are plenty of scientists, admin-types, office lads, maybe even
manager-types and people who don't believe they're creative, but who
actually do think in quite creative ways.
I imagine if you took some of them on a date like this, you'd start
to see their true colours.
As you might have noticed, we only got 16 of the 30 topics, so I will
just have to find another variation on this experiment to complete
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