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An UrbanDaddy Publication

Feeling for Film

  • Najib Benouar

Vintage Cameras

Our friends over at UrbanDaddy Perks have dug up a good-looking cache of vintage cameras—some of which are still operable—and it’s reminded us of the simple charms of old-school photography. (Not to mention how they’d be a nice addition to any well-appointed desktop.)

When film was the only medium, there was something more meaningful about taking each picture—the result was akin to a handwritten note only you could’ve written (there was no telling exactly what you’d captured until the film was developed). It made for the kind of perfectly imperfect moments that were lost with the digital viewfinder and 32GB memory card. And while you can be sure your 10-city trip through Europe benefited from the compactness of the digital age, we still think there’s plenty of merit to doing things the old-fashioned way every once in a while. So, in case you ever feel the urge, we rounded up a few good filmic options on the market today.

Revisiting the film camera with our favorites on the market today.»

This Year, Bring Something Better Than a Bottle of Wine

  • Najib Benouar

It’s one of the most important rules of party etiquette: don’t arrive empty-handed. (Good to note, since between now and 2013, you’ve got a lot of parties.)

In the past, that’s meant showing up with a bottle of wine, purchased last-minute, or an ill-begotten dessert item. But not this year. Because this year, you’re winning the holidays.

As you might recall, we kicked off Kempt’s Guide to Winning the Holidays last week with a little refresher course on your holiday kitsch. Now we’re upgrading your host gift. The real nugget of wisdom here is that you should be bringing something that enhances the evening—which is why a bottle of wine usually works in a pinch, but we’re thinking: more personal, more fun, more ambiance. (Since really, the best gift you can give any host is to help make the party more fun.) So, we bring to you:

The five host/hostess gifts guaranteed to make any holiday party better.»

Olga Zueva Is in Need of a Blanket

Going Barefoot: Your long-form excursion of the day: a look into life on the lam for the Barefoot Bandit, Colton Harris-Moore, a teenage airplane thief and federal fugitive apprehended in 2010. [Outside]

Blogger Blue Personified: An exhaustive rundown of every last royal-blue item available for purchase in the world today. Collect them all. [A Headlong Dive]

A Thing of Beauty: An Aston Martin parked in front of Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row. It speaks for itself. [Driven]

The Instant: A photographer’s ode to the Polaroid SX-70, from a friend of Richard Avedon’s. [The Smithsonian]

Helmut Newton Is Into Instant Gratification

  • Najib Benouar

It All Began With Pomp And Circumstance: Bill Simmons extols the virtues of the entrance song in professional wrestling. And lists the top 12 of all time. [Grantland]

An Article About Nothing: And about comparing Seinfeld to Kafka. [Splitsider]

The War Is Not Over: Vulture recounts the many battles film studios have waged by making the exact same movies and releasing them simultaneously. Apparently the Prestige and the Illusionist were two different movies. [Vulture]

MTV Regains A Bit Of Street Cred: The rumors are true. The braced one and the cornholio make their triumphant return. [Pitchfork]

Buying Andy Warhol's Camera


File this one under "Legendary Affectations."

The Polaroid rescussitators at The Impossible Project have come across a trove of Big Shots, a rare camera produced for just two years in the early 70s.

Mostly, it was a favorite tool of Andy Warhol, who took over 250 exhibition snaps with it--including a particularly nice one of Jack Nicklaus. Andy can also currently be seen wearing one around his neck in Lower it's safe to say he was a fan.

The good news: They go on sale at 9am tomorrow morning. The bad news: the Impossible folks were only able to lay their hands on four of the magical devices, so picking one up will leave a serious hole in your watch budget. Decisions, decisions.

The Wanderlust Edition


By all accounts, Mikael Kennedy has it pretty good. He travels the world, nursing guys like this through their darker hangovers, and comes away with a sepia-toned Polaroid record of the whole thing.

It’s a cross between highbrow photography and the better stuff cluttering up your fridge and/or Facebook wall. And while you can catch the result at a gallery or two, he’s also been putting out zines for the past few years as a more hands-on alternative. The latest one just arrived with some help from a rare Polaroid film, documenting some of the northeast and northwest’s more handsome denizens. It’s an edgier, fuzzier kind of coffee table book, and one of the best advertisements for cross-country road trips we’ve seen in some time. The curious can check it out here.

Maria Heliosa is Focused on her Boots

Feeling Haggard: Merle Haggard is one of the coolest people alive. For one, he was in the audience for Cash’s Live at San Quentin. Take notes. [Vanity Fair]

Also, There Are Some Cameras Involved: Our esteemed editorial director, Randy Goldberg, blesses a Polaroid with his image. [A Continuous Lean]

Lotso Plaid: The new shirts from Brooks Brothers are pretty handsome. [Sartorially Inclined]

Over the Top: Just because we can: here’s the saga of Mac Batchelor, an L.A. bartender/arm wrestling champ who went undefeated for 25 years. Almost as cool as Merle Haggard. [Microkhan]

Last Chance


Remember that crazy self-destructing fade-to-black film we were gushing about a few months back? (We won’t be hurt if you don’t.) As it turns out, the whole thing was a chemical misstep on the way to producing genuine, workable polaroids—so they won’t be making more of it any time soon.

The good news is, they’ve found 500 more packs kicking around the factory, and if you’re quick enough, you can snap one up.

But in the time it took us to write this, they sold six more packs. So sooner is probably better.



There’s a certain illicit thrill to a photo taken on someone else’s property—particularly if they didn’t know you were there.

Mikael Kennedy specializes in that kind of snap exactly: dirty polaroids of farmhouses and empty fields that he probably wasn’t supposed to be in.

Better yet, he’s a genuinely fascinating guy, as we discovered in this video. As you might imagine, it takes a lot of grit to follow the outsider-photography calling. He deserves a hat tip for pulling it off.

The Return of the Polaroid


We’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is, the Polaroid is back. Three years after the company stopped film production, a group of lifers raised enough money to keep one of the factories going, churning out boutique versions of the film used by the SX-70 and 600 cameras. In other words, you won’t have to turn to limited editions or the increasingly pricey resale market. As of next Monday, you’ll be able to pick it up from a web store without having to worry about where the next pack’s coming from.

The bad news is, all those clever limited editions—including the Fade to Black film that went dark after 24 hours—seem to have been factory errors, made on the way to a perfected, regular film, so we won’t be getting any more of them. It’s a shame, since we were just getting to appreciate an artfully irregular snap.

Paint it Black


Polaroid devotees tend to be a pretty crafty lot, and it looks like all that tinkering finally paid off. The Austrian experimentalists at Polar Premium just released a limited edition set of film called Fade to Black that does a whole lot more than the average strip of film. Over the 24 hours after exposure, it, well, fades to black.

There’s an extra chemical cocktail alongside the usual film, so it cycles through a series of increasingly dark exposures after you take it, before eventually blacking out entirely. It’s a pretty smart trick for a camera that’s ephemeral to begin with, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the resulting snaps got a lot more attention than otherwise. The lesson is something like “live in the moment”—or at least 24 hours at a time.

Of course, if you’re particularly attached to the snap, there are a few tricks you can use to stop the march of time...but where’s the fun in that?