Helmut Newton is possibly my biggest inspiration in fashion photography. As a result, I have pretty much all of his books (well, apart from this one, mostly because it is the most expensive book ever produced in the 20th century). So I was thrilled to add another to my collection, Helmut Newton's Polaroids. Test polaroids have now become an obsolete form of shooting preparation in the face of digital photography, and now a rare and iconic collectors item. Used to test the light or to document credits by fashion editors, they satisfied that impatient urge that we now take entirely for granted - to see how our vision translates in a photograph instantly. The book contains a wealth of test Polaroids from some of Newton's greatest shoots, and the quality and intensity of the colours is staggering. Sadly, the quality of the 'fake' Polaroid film available today as a result of the efforts of the Impossible Project falls far below the standard. However, give them time, they really are attempting 'the Impossible'. Having spent the weekend shooting with my Dad around Paris on medium format 6x6 (each film only contains 8 photos) and has to be developed using a special oversized projector, I can understand the desire for that confirmation of a shot, the spontaneity of a Polaroid print. Here are some of my Polaroid picks from the book.
Test Polaroids of Lily Cole & Gemma Ward from the April 2004 Vogue cover shoot. Read how I came about them courtesy of Vogue here
My two favourite shots