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Article: Pink Matter by Alex Miller for Eight Frames

Pink Matter by Alex Miller for Eight Frames

Follow along with Alex Miller's pack of SX-70 film where you'll find dreamy pink-hued moments from his wine-fueled trip, thanks to the radiation from the x-ray machine at the airport. They say some accidents are happy, and this is one of them. 

Who are you? 
Alex Miller

How old are you?
Dirty 30

Where are you from?
I'm from the tiny town of Spring Green, Wisconsin. The Land of Frank Lloyd Wright and American Players Theater. But I live in Milwaukee as of late.

How long have you been shooting on Polaroid film?
I've been shooting Polaroid film for the past five or six years, basically since my uncle handed his camera down to me, which got me started.

Do you have a favorite or most-frequently-used instant camera?
I use an SX-70 One Step Rainbow camera that my uncle had used for years. The camera wasn't working when I got it, but it was restored by Retrospekt and I've been at it ever since. 

What types of things do you find yourself photographing the most?
I love taking Polaroids of wherever I'm traveling. I also have more than a few shots of the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee, which I drive past pretty regularly. I enjoy photographing some of the more "known" places in town because there's a fun campiness that Polaroid film captures well.

What kind of camera did you use for these eight pictures?

I used my SX-70 One Step Rainbow camera for these.

What kind of film did you use?
I used color SX-70 film. I've thought about having my One Step converted and switching to 600 film, but there's something to be said for using the film the camera was designed to work with. 

When did you take these photos?

I took these shots while visiting with friends in California this summer. 

Did you have a single concept or goal when you shot this pack?
This whole pack is basically an unabashed, unpaid advertisement for Marigny wines. Somehow, my last few trips to California have coincided with Marigny's bi-annual wine drops. My friends and I have made a habit of stocking up on Marigny wines while I'm in town, and I thought I'd include some wine shots in this series. I shot two packs centered around Marigny on this trip. One pack in Silver Lake, grilling up some steaks with my friends Shalin and Courtney, and another pack in San Diego with my friends Josh and Laura. I like them both, but this pack from Silver Lake turned out best. 

What is your favorite photo from this pack? Why?
I like the photo of the two wine glasses on the ledge. It's simple but sweet. It'll probably become the cover of a Spotify playlist of mine sooner or later. 

Is there a photo that you wish you could retake or swap out?
I'd retake the photo of the rosemary bush my friend and I were "borrowing" herbs from for our dinner. (Hopefully his neighbor didn't mind.) I have a bad habit of getting too close to the subject with my One Step.

Did you run into anything weird with this pack?
Airport radiation! I've travelled with Polaroid film before, and I've always had TSA hand-scan my film instead of letting it go through their X-Ray machines. On this trip, I left my film in my checked bag, thinking it would be fine. But apparently checked bags get scanned, too. All my shots from these specific film packs ended up having a pinkish hue. At first, I was salty about it. But the pink hue has grown on me a lot, and now these pictures are some of my personal favorites. 

Where is the best place to follow your work?
My instagram, @flexmilla, where I post photos of coffee, clowning around, and other antics. 


What is Eight Frames?

Each post in this series follows a simple premise: all eight photos from one pack of Polaroid film. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Because it limits the number of exposures and doesn’t allow for edits and omissions, no matter what conceptual approach (or lack thereof) is used, each Eight Frames exercise provides interesting insight into what it’s like to shoot on instant film. Permanence combines with an inescapable potential for variance within the medium itself. To truly succeed with instant film is to understand the process and embrace the variables. Each entry in the series features eight photos from a single film pack followed by a Q&A with the photographer about their process and approach. We hope you enjoy.