Jes Lee

Finally, a Polaroid Week post part 1

Back in April (really, has it already been that long???) the online photo community I am part of celebrated another Polaroid Week. It has been quite some time since I have taken photos using instant film…my SX-70 had been out of commission, and the glass plate in the Polaroid back for my Hasselblad had two large cracks in it.

But this year, something drew me to participate in Polaroid week. I was able to fix my SX-70, and removed the broken glass from my Hasselblad’s Polaroid back. I pulled a few of my favorite Instax Mini photos taken during our last trip to Okinawa, and went on a couple of photo walks with my Hasselblad and SX-70, and pulled together enough photos to participate in the entire week.

And I am managing to use up a bit more of the film I have hoarded in my film fridge…

Here are a few that I posted during Polaroid week…

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You can see more photos in the Polaroid Week pool on Flickr here!

Film 365 – Day 26: January 16, 2014


I was doing more experimenting with my Sx-70. It seemed that the shutter was stuck at only one speed, so only images taken in certain lighting situations would work.  january 16 small

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This was my favorite image from that day.


Polaroid Sx-70 camera

Impossible Project Px100 Silver Shade film

Film 365 – Day 25: January 15, 2014

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Trying to get my Sx-70 to work again. I was scouring the internet, looking for repair guides, and trouble shooting tips, anything I could find. This was the best image I had gotten from it in a long time. (It gets better!)

Polaroid Sx-70 camera

Impossible Project PX125 CP film.

This new year is still new



I am still getting the hang of this new year.

I have introduced a lot of new practices into my creative life. Some are sticking well, others not as much.

I have kept up with my film 365 project, and in the process fixed one of my broken cameras.

I have kept up with my ‘morning pages’ journaling practice, though not quite every morning, and not always 3 full pages. But I am journaling and writing more, and it is helping me more than I ever thought.

I have started doing yoga. I went to three classes last week, and really enjoyed the challenge and calm they provided. (Also, yoga makes me feel warm, which I desperately need now!)

I have started working with the studio manager at MCBA on a very exciting project there.

I have started a new book making class at MCBA that will guide me towards making a new editioned book. I admit, I was scared to death to go to this class. I still am, though much less than I was. It is intimidating studying under and next to book artists that I look up to and admire, and feeling like my work belongs. But it has been amazing. I have a lot of work to do on this project, and many articles and books to read to help guide me through this design process, and I am looking forward to it!

Through a very kind friend’s amazing generosity (if you happen to be reading this, you know who you are!) I am the owner of an Impossible Project Instant Lab camera. This amazing little invention creates instant photos of any image you can put on a cell phone. I have played with it all weekend, trying different exposures, making images of cell phone photos and artwork compilations, and double exposures. 2014-02-08 11.31.45

There will be a full blog post on this very soon! I am still too amazed at what it can do to really put in words yet.

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I have had to do more healing this winter than I ever expected to. For the first in quite a while, I finally feel like I have a better grip on it. 2014 is still new and still fresh, and still great.

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Today also happens to be the birthday of the guy I adore. I am very happy to be enjoying 2014 with him. Happy Birthday love!


It is late, but I finally finished the box for my class! The box has compartments that pull out on each side. Closed, it shows one photo. Open, it shows three photos. The photos were taken with Impossible Project Black Frame PX600 Silver Shade instant film. I’m not positive, but I think this took me around 20 hours to finish…





Film photos with twinkle…

This may be the fastest I have ever gotten film photos finished and posted. I posted on Sunday a little update about the Luminary Loppet and going out to take night photos of the ice candles. I posted my digital photos, with the promise of film photos to come later.

Well, guess what. It is already later! On Tuesday I had a bit of time in my studio and was able to develop the roll of film I had taken, and today I managed to get the photos all scanned in and cleaned up. So here you go! Night film photos of the Luminary Loppet!

The black and white photos were all taken with Kodak TriX 400 film using a Hasselblad 501c/m camera at f11, one minute long exposures. I love how some of them look like they were taken in daylight, and others don’t. This is the un-predictability of film I adore, especially with night photos. There is no exact way to meter, but after a bit of practice, you get pretty good at guessing how long your shutter should be open.

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(The light trails in the back are cross-country skiers going post. Many of them had on colored glowing bracelets and necklaces.)

Below is the only photo I managed to get with my Sx-70 out there. After this photo, something stopped working. I’m hoping to get it back up and running soon. No, I am not at all a camera repair person, but The Impossible Project has a few really good tutorials and trouble-shooting guides. I’m hoping that will help me!

This photo was taken with the Px70 Cool film, probably around a 10 second exposure, and stuck in my shirt to develop.

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Thanks for looking!


Film is a harsh mistress

And today it is leaving me bummed that out of all the instant portraits I took on Saturday, the shots that didn’t turn out were all shots of my husband. It is frustrating, and hard to remember sometimes that this happens with all film, not just instant, and that in a strange way this is why I shoot film, because it is fickle and not perfect, and more unique. But there are times it is disappointing. Anyway, I’ll be posting more instant film shots here and on Flickr later today, and in the mean time, I think maybe it is time for me to take a medium format camera with me today.