Today we have these new fangled things called digital cameras. Amazing things really, taking away all that need for buying films and then sending them off to Truprint and waiting several weeks to get them developed, only to have pictures of somebodies skiing holiday come back. Nah, we can print the pictures ourselves now, or take the memory card to the Tesco print shop!
Of course there was another option back in the Seventies and Eighties, and that was the good old Polaroid Instant camera. OK, you still had to buy film, but you were at absolutely zero risk of getting back some pictures of a bloke poncing about in the snow with two planks of wood strapped to his feet. Unless of course you happened to be on a skiing holiday of course…
All you had to do was point the camera at your designated target, press the button, and out the front of the camera popped a little square piece of paper. Initially it just looked like a greyish brownish rectangle with a white surround, but then some kind of witchcraft kicked in and slowly an image started to form out of the murk.
The developing process of a Polaroid instant camera picture was something that never ceased to amaze me. My cousin had one of these cameras, and whenever she took a picture everyone would crowd round to watch the picture appear before our very eyes. Sad perhaps, but hey, back then we only had three TV channels and there was no Internet or Nintendo GameBoys! 😉
The other interesting thing about the instant camera was that several of the models also folded up to make them more compact for carrying around.
Perhaps surprisingly you can still buy Polaroid Instant cameras today. They have evolved in design somewhat to look more like a curvy version of their old selves, but it’s nice to know that if you have the need for immediate printing of your photos, you can still rely on a Polaroid! Polaroid also make instant digital cameras too, which have a built in printer, although seeing the picture pop out of the camera already printed loses some of the magical thrill of the old film versions developing before your eyes.