Instax Cameras and Street Photography

Using The Fujifilm Instax 90 Neo Classic

This is not a review, more of a discussion. This camera is NOT going to create award winning photos, does not have great dynamic range and, believe me – you would not want to be paying for this thing to spit out 12 shots a second. However, it is fun and a great conversation piece at parties. It also enables the the act of giving. Instantly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Giving a Photo!

While far from a ‘specs’ list, here are some points you may like to know.

  • It shoots at a high f/number – generally, everything is in focus.
  • It looks cool and rugged, but is made entirely of plastic.
  • The Instax 90 has a few more manual controls than other models – but not that many.
  • The film is quite expensive.
  • The quality of the photos is either poor, or hip and grungy. Depends on your viewpoint.

I suspect that these comments would be the same for any model of instant camera. In general, they really are not that good for high quality prints. But they are instant, and that is pretty handy.

Opening Doors

Street photographers take. We take a lot. We take tiny snippets of people’s time and lives. Sometimes these moments are never noticed, other times they are appreciated, and unfortunately, there are times when photographers are just damn intrusive. It should come as no surprise that sometimes we are not wanted!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sharing

Every day I take a shortcut from work and pass by a group of families that live in a small squatter camp. They herd goats and appear to have a couple of cows. The camp looks ragged and is created from waste construction site materials, tarpaulin and scraps of plastic. I have been invited into a hut once, and the interiors are clean and tidy. Children play, women cook, and men head out looking for manual labor jobs.  Although I always get a friendly wave, the people living there become shy when my camera is out, and are reticent about allowing photography.

Equipped with my Instax, I have been able to give the families photos they can keep. The act of giving opens hearts, particularly when you are providing mothers with pictures of their children. Using this technique I have started to make inroads in the community. This is not the only location where I have used this method to build bridges. The Instax camera is now a tool I keep in my bag.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Final Image

Tips and Tricks

  • If you try this method, make sure you only take as much film as your budget allows. I give myself one roll a day (10 pics).
  • Warning. Once you have handed out photos, any subsequent images you take with your ‘proper’ gear will be of people looking at their prints!
  • Clear some wall space at home. These photos are quite addictive.
  • Wonder at how you are managing without memory cards, Lightroom and Photoshop!

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

 

Olympus (1 of 1)

 

PS – you may notice the site has been re-designed. Feel free to explore and follow!

 

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