I stood before the window, admiring the artwork, camera in hand, sun behind my back. As i began to focus the shot i could see a man walk by me and then linger to my right. 'Is that a Polaroid camera?' he asked, and i sighed a little sigh inside my head and turned to face him.
'Yes it is,' I said, and we launched into a bit of small talk about the age of my camera and how difficult it was to find film for it.
'I'm a photographer,' he said, and as if to prove his words he reached into his bag, pulling out a hefty Nikon DSLR with a huge zoom lens attached.
'Gosh, that's a big one,' i said with a smile.
'Yes,' he said, the innuendo flying over his head and off along the Bath skyline. 'You're going to get your reflection in the shot.'
'That's the plan,' I said, returning to my focussing.
'I don't think i could avoid it even with this camera,' he continued, pointing his vast lens towards the window. I could hear the autofocus beeping. He took six or seven shots in quick succession and then peered into the screen on the back of his camera. 'Nope, it doesn't work.'
I pressed the shutter button once and turned to give him the international sign for please leave me alone now: a polite smile and raised eyebrows. As i stood with my Polaroid developing in my hands, he took the hint and carried on his way, big camera in hand.
I looked down at my photograph and saw exactly what i'd seen through the lens: not the best picture i'd ever taken, but the reflection was just as I'd wanted it. Sometimes you just have to slow down and look with fresh eyes.
Link: The Impossible Project on the BBC website (the video clip explains how Polaroid film works)Posted on 28-08-2009