Thursday, 16 June 2016

Photography: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

instax image

Over the last few years, I've really fallen in love with taking photographs. I won't call it photography, because I'm more of a hobby photographer and I won't take away from what professional photographers do. Sometimes, words can be exhausting. So when I can't write, I like to focus on something through a lens. It helps.

Okay, so I really like cameras. Unfortunately, it is a luxury hobby and I can't always afford to fund it in the way that I would like. Last year, I really got into the whole instant photography thing. I was gifted this by Rhys before we went to Florida in October. I had been nagging anyone who would listen for months. More than anything, I really wanted to come home with some tangible memories. I wanted something I couldn't copy, and couldn't replace.

When I was a young teenager, I remember having a Polaroid i-Zone for my birthday. Now and again, I still come across some of the photos from that camera. It's usually photos of my favourite dog, Jack, as a puppy. Now that he's no longer with us, I have some irreplaceable moments of him during my childhood. Now, we're lucky enough to have smartphones, digital cameras and printers to commemorate our favourite moments.

Still, there's just something about instant photography. Admittedly, it can be a frustrating process. If you're someone who knows how they like their camera settings at all times, and likes a quick and easy route to a great shot, you may find instant photography quite limiting.

Instant photos really require you to think about what is in your shot, what lighting you have, and your composition. You only get one shot, and as film is pretty expensive, you won't want to waste it. If you're going to commit to any instant photography, it's going to be expensive. Per shot cost is probably the thing that will frustrate you the most, but it does mean you'll actually learn how to use the camera.

Honestly, there's actually something very freeing about not being able to retouch, resize or re-imagine your photographs. What you get is what you get. That's half the fun.

In recent years, some of the Instax cameras have become quite the eyesore. They seem more like toys than professional tools, and it can be quite off putting when you see young teenagers using them for selfies. The design of the Mini 90 was one thing that I really loved, because it actually looked like a camera.

Speaking of the design, it does take some getting used to. The Instax Mini 90 is intended more for portrait photography, so holding it for landscape can feel odd at first. That's not something that really bothered me, though.

instax mini 90 image
Unlike previous models, the Instax Mini 90 actually allows you to turn off the built in flash. Hallelujah. Flash does absolutely nothing for my ageing skin and tends to abolish my nose, meaning that my photos look like Voldemort in a Disney princess wig.

It also boasts modes such as Party, Landscape, Kids and Macro, while also allowing you to lighten or darken your image. The downside is that after every shot, your settings will go revert back to their original state. So you have to set up the camera for each individual shot.

There's also the added bonus of Bulb mode and double exposure, but that will probably take a box of film to figure out (unless you're a pro, which I am not).

instax mini 90 image