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The Polaroid Book [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Polaroid Book by Barbara Hitchcock & Steve Crist...

In existence for over 50 years, the Polaroid Corporation's photography collection is the greatest collection of Polaroid images in the world. Begun by Polaroid founder Edwin Land and photographer Ansel Adams, the collection now includes images by hundreds of photographers throughout the world and contains important pieces by artists such as David Hockney, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff, and Robert Rauschenberg. The Polaroid Book, a survey of this remarkable collection, pays tribute to a medium that defies the digital age and remains a favorite among artists for its quirky look and instantly gratifying, one-of-kind images. ? over 400 works from the Polaroid Collection ? essay by Polaroid's Barbara Hitchcock illuminating the beginnings and history of the collection ? technical reference section featuring the various types of Polaroid cameras

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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 7.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
Publisher   Taschen
ISBN  3822830720  
ISBN13  9783822830727  

Availability  0 units.

More About Barbara Hitchcock & Steve Crist

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Barbara Hitchcock is cultural affairs director for the Polaroid Corporation. She manages the Polaroid Collections and its traveling displays and has curated numerous exhibitions, including "It's a Dog's Life: Photographs by William Wegman" and "Sightseeing: a Space Panorama", a collaboration with NASA. In 2006 she received a Focus Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts, for her critical contributions to promoting photography as a fine art.

Barbara Hitchcock currently resides in Cambridge, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > French > All French Books
2Books > Foreign Language Books > French > Arts & Photography
3Books > Foreign Language Books > French > Nonfiction
4Books > Foreign Language Books > German > All German Books
5Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Arts & Photography
6Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Nonfiction
7Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Collections, Catalogues & Exhibitions
8Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Equipment
9Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
10Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > How-to > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Polaroid Book?

Polaroid Photography Was Mostly A Passing Fad  Aug 22, 2008
This book of images from the "Polaroid Collection of Photography" confirms everything that was wrong with Polaroid Photography. The front and back covers of the book each contain eight Polaroid pictures. They are all so small they are difficult to see. Some of them that are not close-ups are difficult to even identify subject matter-wise. The second major problem with Polaroid photographs was the false colors. It was almost impossible to get a true red and at best reds were orange. That's obvious in this book even though the pictures were no doubt somewhat color corrected in the book printing process.
Polaroid photography was a useful tool. It was good for testing camera and light set-ups for regular film cameras. It was very useful for making driver's licenses and other forms of ID's since those pictures only had to be postage stamp-sized. I used it to as a Public Relations tool by handing out free Polaroid prints to primitive Indian Tribes in the this site and for desert nomads in the Sahara while on assignment for National Geographic. Those individuals were delighted to get a picture to keep since they knew that the photographs I was taking on regular film would probably never be seen by them or would simply eventually end up on the cutting room floor. At least with Polaroid technology the subjects got a snapshot to keep.
The biggest problem I experienced with the early Polaroid photography was that there was no negative from which to make extra copies or enlargements. The photographer ended up with a picture in only a minute, but if you wished to make an exhibition print then you were basically out of luck. Eventually the genius of Dr. Land might have figured out how to get a negative for every format size, but when digital photography hit the market, Polaroid was instantly antiquated technology. It was not only a better tool for testing lighting set-ups, and for making ID's it replaced the need for a negative completely and it was literally an instantly viewable technology. The digital images could easily be stored and shared. The digital image could be manipulated in as many ways as the human mind could visualize.
All that said, what saves this book from being a total waste of time is the fact that many of the pictures included in it are unique. There is only one even if the image is only a few inches by a few inches. Many of the world's foremost photographers have work included in the collection. Gabriele Basilico made me smile with the two-page series on pages 306 and 307. The picture on the left hand page is a full frame picture of a chair with a wicker seat. The photo on the opposite page is a very lovely female nude's derriere with impressions on the skin of the wicker chair's seat. Since I usually look at the picture on the right side of a two-page spread first, I was puzzled about the pattern on the skin until I looked at the other picture in the spread. Then I immediately got the visual joke. It was amusing and made be almost laugh out loud.
Naturally with so many fine photographers contributing there are some wonderful images even if they are hard to see. I'm certain that some of the later, larger Polaroid format films were at least easy to see and produced negatives that could be enlarged. It's just so sad that so many typical leisure users of the Polaroid cameras will have to hang on to their single, dog-eared snapshot because that's all there is. Basically, early Polaroid Photography was a fad. Many artists and photographers such as Andy Warhol jumped on the technique because they could get a generous grant from Polaroid to experiment with the technique and because he recognized a good fad when he saw it.
Perhaps I'm a little old-fashioned, but I feel no love for the Polaroid Era. It's just another short chapter in the history of photography. Is it art? I'll leave that decision to people who are far smarter than I am. If photography itself is an art form, then some of these images must therefore be art too? But the technology was far from perfect and this book only substantiated that basic design flaw. Polaroid enthusiasts might be better off to wait for this collection to come out in a larger format. If they take a magnifying glass to many of these particular reproductions in hopes of better being able to see what the photograph was about, they will only see a blurry dot pattern. At least with actual Polaroid photos they could be examined close-up and personal with a magnifying glass. And on the larger format Polaroid films they were already working with a usable size. I'd much rather have a collection of the photographs made on the larger format films. Not only are they bigger, but because they were usually taken by more serious photographers using much larger cameras and Polaroid film.
These pictures will survive because the well-endowed Foundation set up by Dr. Land exists only for that purpose and it's unique collection is probably getting more valuable with each passing year. So many pieces of their collection are one-of-a- kind.
a MUST-HAVE for all polaroid enthusiasts  Jul 7, 2008
I recently purchased this book and must say that this is a beautifully created masterpiece. Give it up to Taschen for yet another exquisite piece of documentation; this time showing the love and art of the polaroid instant medium. This book provides a visual history of art created through the polaroid lens by some of the great photographers. If you love polaroid you will love this book. Simply a must-have for any enthusiast.
Do not miss the opportunity to own this treasure!  May 16, 2008
This is a classic which sold out its first printing. BUY THIS NOW! You will have, preserved on your bookshelf the essence of what Edwin Land envisioned over 65 years ago distilled in one BEAUTIFUL volume. How can the Petters Group (who now owns Polaroid) dare to banish such a beautiful art form from humanity? That's right, Polaroid has stopped making instant film and the supply may barely run through the end of this year, and all expire by the end of next year. THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST ART AND HUMANITY!! Buy the book, then go to and join us all to save this incredible art form. JUST LOOK AT THE PAGES OF THIS INCREDIBLE VOLUME!!! You will be amazed!
What a SEXY book!!!  Dec 4, 2005
WOW... words can't even begin to describe how much I love this book! It's about time they released a book like this! And the wrapper of this book is genius! It looks like a gigantic box of Polaroid film... I didn't even want to remove the cover at first... I fondled it for awhile and then I slowly peeled it off and curled up on the couch for an hour or two and looked at all the pretty pictures.
This book is highly recommended for any Polaroid enthusiast! And if you want to see some great 'roids on the net- check out!
One of the BEST photo compilations ever!!!  Oct 12, 2005
My dad bought a Polaroid Land Camera (of the peel-apart type) before I was born... to take pictures of his chubby firstborn (that would be me, BTW).

Ever since, the sharp, colorful and amazingly stable little prints became part of our family's memory. My love for pictures was definitely boosted by the instant gratification offered by an SX-70 camera, which I still own and use after 25+ years, as well as a brand new Jobpro 600.

"The Polaroid Book" is a must for any hardcore Polaroid fan. Lotsa pictures, beautifully printed, with absolute respect for the authors' vision (Ansel Adams, Joyce Tenneson and Bill Allard, to mention only three of them). Nevertheless, the book's greatest virtue is to prove, without any doubt, that beautiful and creative work can be achieved with the simplest tools and the sheer power of imagination.

Polaroid is still alive and well, and this book is the best supporting evidence. Now, I'll just lay back and wait for that new new-old stock Polaroid Nightcam that I bought on the company's website. Let's see what that 600 film-munching baby can do.


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