Author: Nicole Stowe

Instagram Archive – Ashley Gates

Ashley Gates Guest Programmer Ashley Gates is a Mississippi-born photographer living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the U.S. including the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery, Aperture Foundation, and the Eudora Welty House and Garden. Her book of found Polaroids, We Didn’t See Each Other After That, was exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum and was selected as one of photo-eye’s Best Photobooks of 2016. Hello! This is Ashley Gates @cosmopsis, taking over for @packpeelpour. I was born and raised in Mississippi and have been living in NYC for the past eleven years. I often return to the South to photograph, and instant film is my favorite medium to use when I want to interrogate my own memory of the place. This is a Fuji polaroid I shot in the old Jitney 14 grocery store in Jackson, Mississippi, where Eudora Welty used to shop. Many people don’t know that before she was a writer, Welty was a photographer. From her autobiographical book of essays ‘One Writer’s Beginnings’: “Traveling over the whole of Mississippi, taking pictures, I saw my home state at close hand, really for the first time.” A post shared by Instant Gratification (@packpeelpour) on Jul 23, 2017 at 11:54am PDT Portrait of one of my favorite Mississippi artists and humans, Maude Schuyler Clay @maudeclay, shot with Impossible Project 600 black and...

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Instagram Archive – Thom Bennett

Thom Bennett Guest Instagrammer Thom Bennett is a New Orleans-based commercial photographer; his day job is as staff photographer at M.S. Rau Antiques. He has been using the same SX-70 since buying it new in 1979 and still wishes he had used it more than he did. This is Thom Bennett @thomnola taking over @packpeelpour for the week. My intention is to talk about visual inspiration and look at some of the greats who have used Polaroid and instant materials in their work. Starting it off with Walker Evans. Late in life he picked up an SX-70 and made some incredible work with what many considered a consumer grade camera. #walkerevansphotography #polaroid #impossibleproject #inspiration #instantphotography #SX-70 A post shared by Instant Gratification (@packpeelpour) on Aug 7, 2017 at 12:58pm PDT This is @thomnola taking over @packpeelpour for the week showcasing photographers who have utilized Polaroid and instant materials in their work and continue to inspire us. Guy Bourdin (1928-1991), a protege of Man Ray, upended the fashion world with his surrealistic and evocative images for Vogue, Chanel, and, most famously, Charles Jourdon. Bourdin created scenes that built upon sensual, absurd narratives that made the images, not the products, the focus of attention. He is credited with redirecting fashion photography away from glamour and glitz and into the realm of art and the imagination. His work is held in the...

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Ashley Gates Interview

Ashley Gates is a photographer working primarily in the instant medium. Using the search terms “refrigerator” and “Polaroid” on eBay in search of refrigerated film, she discovered a slew of old Polaroids of people in their kitchens standing by their refrigerator. The resulting book of vintage, found portraits is We Didn’t See Each Other After That. I always find some great comfort in looking at old photographs, even if they’re of people that I don’t know. What is that quality for you? On a purely existential level it’s fascinating to look at a found photograph and realize that I will never know any of the facts about it: the Who, What, Where, When. Sometimes you can learn the When if there’s a date written on the back, or the Where if there’s an obvious landmark. But of course it’s the Who that intrigues me the most. I love that there’s this galaxy of information floating around somewhere that I’ll never have access to; there’s something final and outer-space-like about that. Naturally we try to fill in the blanks and project our own narratives onto the picture. And regardless of whether I know the person in the photo or not, it can be an emotionally overwhelming experience for me – almost embarrassingly so. Originally, the “refrigerator” images were intended to be instant and probably also ephemeral. Why are they still around, and why do we still...

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Time Capsule

I found this little gem, a blogpost from 2009 written by Seth that serves as a nice time capsule and also maybe the original seed of PPP. This is from 9 years ago and there’s still Polaroid film available. I believe this is pre-Impossible Project. So maybe there’s hope for the peel-apart fans now that Fuji has discontinued both the BW and Color FP films. If the history below is any lesson, then at least those films should still be circulating around for quite a while. I’ve removed most of the links because they just didn’t work anymore and/or they crashed...

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Instant Cameras

  Here is my current instant camera collection clockwise from top left: Polaroid SX-70  It’s hard to believe these are so expensive now. Polaroid Impulse  That yellow version at the link is awesome. Polaroid Big Shot  The Big Shot was a rescue of sorts. The shutter didn’t work and the only way I could find to get to it was removing the large plastic flash diffuser that sits in front. Of course, it broke. And I’m fresh out of flash cubes anyway, but I found that the Fuji BW 3000 film works fine without it in daylight. Lomo’Instant  This is my go-to lately...

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