The most attention grabbing tool in the world is...

October 15th, 2014, 3pm

It was 22.8°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

A thirty-year-old Polaroid camera.

It’s like having a baby unicorn in your pocket. You pull this thing out at a party and you are suddenly a hipster genius. Of course EVERYONE thinks it’s digital. They really do. I return their disbelief with the most depressing expression I can muster. In the 96 minutes it takes for my small, strange prints to develop the surrounding crowd has typically shot, shared, processed, filtered, shared, filmed, editing, Tweeted, shared, liked, shared and friended hundreds of millions of images, people, places, causes and urgently important things. I sit in the corner smelling like chemicals with a tiny print developing under my armpit.

And yet when this damn thing finally works its magic the entire Earth tilts on its axis and the stream of digital mayhem breaks for JUST a second. It’s a PRINT f%$#@#. It demands your undivided attention. And yes you can share it by passing it to the human to your right or left, but when you have it in your hand and you can see it and smell it and feel it…it’s just you and it. That’s it. Nothing else.

WAIT. You don’t need to tell anyone about it. Just look.

So next time you are feeling lonely, or perhaps want to be the life of the party, go get yourself a relic, load it up and yell “Fire in the hole.”

Kohei, Peter, David Wade, Sanna and 18 others said thanks.

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Daniel Milnor

"Photographer at Large" for Blurb, Inc. Serial book, magazine and journal maker. @smogranch

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