The Unique Beauty of 8x10 Polaroids

Large format photography is a vastly different way of shooting compared to 35mm or even medium format, but its results can be well worth the extra work. This awesome video follows the process of shooting 8x10 polaroids of strangers.

Coming to you from Willem Verbeeck, this interesting video follows the process of shooting 8x10 large format polaroids of strangers. Just to put it in perspective, the size of a full frame sensor is 36 by 24 mm, which equates to 864 square millimeters. The size here is 8 by 10 inches, which translates to 203.2 by 254 mm, which equates to 51612.8 millimeters. This means the polaroid negative is a whopping 59.7 times bigger than a full frame sensor, allowing for remarkable levels of detail and a look that simply cannot be replicated by 35mm sizes or ever the largest digital medium format sensors. Of course, on the other hand, shooting large format is wildly impractical compared to something like digital 35mm, but that is hardly the allure of it. Most photographers who shoot large format do it for the experience as much as the results, as the methodical, technical, and careful approach it demands can be really satisfying. Check out the video above to see more. 

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Justin Sharp's picture

The large format Polaroid is not about detail in the same way that some digital images zoomed in 200% are about detail. It’s hard to put into words. I’ve seen portraits shot on the famous 20x24 Polaroid camera and there is nice detail if you look at the print with a magnifying glass (probably not that much more than a digital image taken with a sharp lens). The 20x24 image was really spectacular when you stepped back and looked at it. I was in a gallery with about 20 other images and it was the Polaroid that kept pulling my attention. I hate to be trite and cliche, but it really was magical. It’s not just the detail but other X factors that’s hard to put into words. You just have to experience it in person.

Rodney Johnson's picture

8x10 landscape transparencies on a light table almost always take my breath away. I wish I had more time and money to really get lost in nature with that format! (e.g. )