An instax project and a framing challenge – guest post by aukje – 35mmc electricity billy elliot lyrics


To be able to align each photo I looked for some landmarks in the picture. I stood on a small footpath, which helped me to keep a constant distance from the photo. I looked for the angle of the small streams in the meadow in the background to help me align transversely. And the circle in the viewfinder of the camera helped keeping the pitch of the camera constant. It is not a perfect method, but putting a pole in the ground to put my camera on was not an option.

I was surprised by all the colours the instax can pick-up. Specifically in the early morning when the sun is not so bright. After a while I started using the ‘dark’ option of the camera to bring out the colours in the sky even more. I think the most difficult time for the instax camera was summer, when the sun was in my view on a clear day. That’s the difficulty with choosing a spot in the winter, it is not that obvious to predict where the sun will be during summer time.

Although not perfectly aligned, I still like the result when you see all the instax photos together, with the changing seasons and changing light. Above you can see the overview of all photos, there are not as much as you would expect as 2017 wasn’t my best year health wise. And, although I never missed a day for a project like this with the digital camera, I skipped a few very dull days for this project. Somehow the cost of the film got into my head making me more critical about it. I am not sure that was the right choice, as you can’t always predict whether a photo will be worth while.

At the end of the year I encountered the challenge of how to create something of all the instax photos. I have a similar project with a digital camera where I make a movie of (a selection of) the photos, but that didn’t work with instax. I didn’t want to align instax scans and crop the result to make everything match. So I decided that I wanted to put a selection in a frame that I could put up on the wall. My man is an enthusiast wood-worker, and he was kind enough to made a beautiful frame out of zebrawood. After that it was up to me to fill it. The frame has a backboard with white coating on the front. At first I tried to tape the instax to this backboard with double-sided tape. But the tape didn’t stick. And it was quite difficult to keep a constant spacing between the photos. I started talking to a colleague and fellow-photographer about my issue with putting the instax in the frame, both with positioning and with fixing. He mentioned a company called Laserbeest who can make accurate cuts with a laser in different materials. After thinking about how to take this on, my man came with the final idea. We ordered a sheet of carton with cuts the size of instax photos to function as a mould. On top of that comes a thicker type of carton with smaller cuts to function as a passe-partout for every photo. With the backboard behind the mould the instax photos would be sandwiched between the back and the passe-partout, and the mould would keep the instax in place. In theory this would work without any glue. However to be safe the passe-partout was created from a carton with glue on the back to fixate the instax.

What I forgot to mention was stereo/3D made it into the domestic digital era, it just didn’t stop at 35mm stereo cameras. Compact 3D cameras, as they are now called, were released by Fuji and Panasonic a few years ago. This is somewhat remiss of me as I did buy the second, and last version of the Fuji, the W3, when it was being remaindered at half price.

In a way it is a fascinating camera, as 3D stills and video can be viewed on its quite high res screen without any viewing aids whatsoever, rather like viewing slides on a hand-held battery powered viewer but with real depth to an image, unlike Hollywood’s version of having things jump out at you from the screen. Ultimately, though, it was a dead end, and passed into oblivion along with 3D television which was the only credible way to view on a big screen in 3D. Fuji did market an 8″/20cm LCD monitor but this was low res – 800×600 – and cost as much as an entry level domestic 3D TV. Fuji also had a print service, but these were expensive.

Sadly, I lost all my 3D images when I backed them up to a propriety HDD backup system. This worked fine for all my other images, but what I didn’t know was it didn’t recognise the .mpo file which contains all the stereo data, and only backed up the 2D image by default. Ah, well, we live and learn.