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meets the (electric) Eye.
Polaroid > Instagram, a foto essay. By Ralph Division

More than meets the Photos by Sarah Kastrau
Polaroid > Instagram, a foto essay. By Ralph Division (Planks)

When I think about annoying trends I always find myself left with fake retro – Be it music or visual
aesthetics. Ever since the Eighties became ever so popular again it brought this wave of pictures,
made up to look contemporary from that era. In times of Instagram and Hipstamatic it is easy to
copy these grainy, soulful images most of us grew up with. But do they feel real? Not to me. One
of the coolest things to unfortunately wither and die in the last decade was the Polaroid technology.
These quirky, white-framed images never really made a 100% shot of reality. I remember my
mother saying how terrible the quality is. But it had feeling – and that’s what the ever evolving
technology misses.
To take pictures of a show used to be something special. Most people came to enjoy the music and
raise their hands, X’ed up or with devils horns, to cheer and celebrate. If you go to a show today you
will find more cameras than people in the first row. Cellphones or super expensive digital cameras
are common toys – and they all kind of take the same shots.

A while back my band Planks was looking for someone to take promo shots for our new record. I’ve
been approached by this girl Sarah. She wrote me about her blog and her way of taking pictures.
Oddly enough I just stumbled upon some of her pictures a few days before that and really loved
the look. What My Bloody Valentine do with reverb she does with her camera: create a wide, open
room filled with blurry atmosphere. Faces move away from the center spot and motion becomes the
focus. It’s about a general feeling of darkness and spirit in these motion captures. Just recently we
had the privilege to be ‘shot’ by her.
Sarah had the idea to work with a classic Polaroid camera in summer of 2011 but dropped the idea
again shortly after. In early 2012 she decided to go for it and got the camera. Her motivation? She
was fed up with sterile, ever exchangeable live pictures that didn’t capture the spirit and mood of
the bands she listens to. Growing up in a time where punk rock was still about hand made flyers
and fanzines, black/white artwork and analog media the digital revolution was more of pain than a
To work with her camera was not something to just start doing. The model she uses is from
1969. After practice and experiments in developmental questions she went for her first show as a
photographer (check this out) .From there on she took a lot of great pictures at great shows. Right now she is in the making of her first fanzine.Strictly DIY she does everything by herself. And no, it won’t be a digital blog thing – it will be a full-on black and white offset printed treat you should score. It will be available sometime end of Febuary. Head over to her blog and check out her work and share the message.


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