I’ve sourced my collection from a variety of places. eBay, charity shops and others have been donated. This chunk of a camera came from eBay, part of a job lot of “spares and repairs” Instax cameras. It was actually the first actual “auction” I’d taken part in on eBay and I won with a last minute bid for £5
The Instax 210 is an instant camera that fires instax wide film. I find the film is great for images across all genres of photography.
The film is twice the with of its cousin the instax mini film making it ideal for landscape work.
The camera was in rough shape when it first came to me. The whole job lot was spares and repairs. The iris that protects the lens when the camera is turned off was damaged, for a few years I just used duct tape to keep it open. Eventually I took it apart and removed the lens cover completely. The camera has been through so many packs of film over the years. Just make sure it’s got some high power alkaline batteries in it and it’ll fire with no issues at all.
The camera has been solid and dependable over the years, considering it came to me from a literal box of scraps!
A lot of my work comes from my interest in mythology. The stories humans have told for centuries. The ability for us as a species to create these stories. I take inspiration from all kinds of sources. For this body of work I wanted to make my own depictions of classical characters and myths.
I started by writing down any particular gods and characters that I remembered from classics, folklore and popular culture.
Something else that was important to me was that I wanted the images to be organic and unedited; I wanted these characters to exist in the real world. Being able to do this was part of the challenge of creating a believable fiction.
To create images that cannot be tampered with, I opted to shoot the whole series on Polaroid 600 film. Basic and idiot-proof controls strip back any of the complexities of shooting an otherwise “high quality” image. This lack of control allows me to focus solely on the composition as well as the construction of the reality in front of the lens.
I wanted to make each image speak for the character it represented in a more modern setting.
Dionysus is depicted as a bartender, mixing drinks (top left)
Ophelia is floating on the water (top middle).
Zeus is surrounded by electrical cables (top right).
Icarus is wearing his prison jumpsuit and a pair damaged wings (middle left)
Persephone is guarding the gates to the underworld while waiting for Hades (middle centre)
The story of Damocles is that of the unseen responsibilities of leadership. Damocles gets to be king for a day while a dagger hangs above him held by a horses hair. However, the rhendition I created was based on the representation of Damocles, the black centurion, a vengful spirit from a videogame called RYSE: Son of Rome (middle right)
Ares is a soldier in waiting (bottom left)
Narcissus facing his reflection in the water (bottom middle)
Niniane, the Lady Of The Lake who is about to present Excalubur to Arthur (bottom right)
After some experimentation, I made composites of the digital files shot as a backup. They look nice in regards to the resolution and impact, but I feel like they really lost their atmosphere and mood. Making the images so clear really lost the mystery and feeling of the Polaroids.
These images were featured in an exhibition in The College, Merthyr Tydfil. I got a generous amount of space to work with so I displayed both sets of images alongside a copy of the images in a book.
I mounted both sets of images in the same 3×3 grid order. The original Polaroids are mounted on cream mount board, in a black frame. The digital images were printed out onto a semi gloss paper and mounted onto foam board to make for a lightweight, large scale display.