It’s not just the money although the financial ramifications (at almost three dollars per photo) are painful. Mostly I’m upset because of the lost opportunity. The colorful and quirky Salton Sea is made for Polaroid photography, after all, and I’m pretty sure that, had it not been 108 degrees that day, many of the images I took would have turned out to be among my very best.
How did things go so wrong? Well, unlike in the good old days, you can no longer shake a Polaroid and watch it develop before your eyes in a matter of minutes. Instead, you must (due to the experimental nature of the film that’s available) shield it from light immediately and for quite a while. Because of this little idiosyncrasy, it’s become my practice to place the photos face down in a box, forget about them until I get home, and keep shooting.
Yep, I’m sick about this. I’m also pretty sure the only thing that’s going to help me feel better are a few more packs of film and a return trip.
As for the photo, it’s one of the few post-able Polaroids I have from that day. It was taken with an SX-70 at Salvation Mountain, the late Leonard Knight’s enormous religious monument and folk-art masterpiece way out in the desert outside of Niland.