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Thursday, 07 May 2009

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Not exactly. It might be the 100th anniversay since his birth, but he died on March 1, 1991.

Its sad that his company is dying as we celebrate his 100th birthday. I'm going to miss Polaroid. A lot.

Oooh, I like this one:

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."

Hey, Mitch... ALL our so-called birthdays but one are anniversaries of our birth. ;-)

Actually, computer programmers (like me) would call even the day of our birth the zeroth anniversary.

--Marc

I have a copy of the book 'Insisting on the Impossible,' a biography of Edwin Land's life and work.

It is fascinating reading for anyone who actually likes to try to do anything (not just photography).

One of his methods of working was termed 'success through failure' meaning that you had to go through all the possible combinations of something to fully understand why they fail in order to understand why the final product actually works.

Apparently he would be disappointed if he stumbled upon the answer to a problem immediately as he was denied this chance of learning from failures.

An interesting opposite to the current commercial trend for 'right first time' engineering.

Polaroid always seemed like magic to me. When explorers made first contact with the remote mountain tribes of Papua New Guinea, who had never been in contact with white people before, they took polaroid cameras with them. The tribesmen, who had traditions of cannibalism, were astounded by the white man's magic, and won over. Dr Land was the most powerful medicine man.

Thank you Edwin Land, you were there when we needed you.
Most if not all great things become history at one point.
As a pro, Polaroid film was the medium you loved and disliked at the same time.
The B&W coater sticks were great for putting a great shine on my military boots for that guard duty inspection.
A great man,scientist and inventor.
Thank you, Edwin

Was Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau the most likely photographer to have first used a polaroid camera to avoid being eaten by cannibals, in 1954 in the mountains of Papua New Guinea?
Does anyone have an earlier example?
There is something about polaroids, particularly large format polaroids, that is beautiful.

Happy birthday, Edwin. Shame about your company.

Steve Smith wrote: One of his methods of working was termed 'success through failure' meaning that you had to go through all the possible combinations of something to fully understand why they fail in order to understand why the final product actually works.

Very similar to Edison's philosophy; he used to say I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work..

Why do they never look at the camera in shots from that era? Who started that trend?

I found the in-depth reader review by Professor Donald Mitchell on the Amazon sale page for 'Insisting On the Impossible : The Life of Edwin Land' by Victor K. McElheny a fascinating, insightful and inspirational read in itself. Mitchell relates hearing Dr land explain (first-hand) his vision "in terms of releasing the human spirit and encouraging all of us to create and appreciate more beauty". This philosphy was echoed in the conclusion of the beautiful Charles & Ray Eames film 'SX-70' linked to by Mike some time ago (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaiq_ZZ_eM if you missed it).

The Mitchell review of the Land bio is at http://www.amazon.com/review/R3DKOLMBAQSZHV/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

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