photo of the month
from randy kato


Lately I have been surrounded by a lot of talk about - and references to - the past. Of course this is natural and history is cyclical. Styles come and go and come back again. But recently there seems to be a greater appreciation, especially for objects that stand as icons of an era long gone.

So this month's photo is an homage to a handful of such things.

Most obviously is the bright red 1955 Mercury Monterey. This model is particularly eye-catching because of its unique design. It has marvelous details with flares and chrome and all the things we love about Detroit metal from the 50s, yet it somehow could just as fittingly be grandma's car.

The other more subtle subject of the photo is New York City. I mention it in this context because it is timeless. It's a place where you can see prototype vehicles of the future rolling through glass-walled canyons, or you can see a fresh-from-the-factory condition classic car parked on a street that hasn't changed much since the day that car was made. In fact, this photo could probably pass for a shot from the 50s if it weren't for the taxi in the background.

Another aspect of the picture that adds to its vintage look is the process used to produce it. The camera used was a Polaroid Land Camera from the 60s, that was modified to use modern day Polaroid film. Many of these old Polaroid cameras are useless for much more than beautiful decorative objects, but this model had such a great Rodenstock lens that it's quite a sought after item today.

Now I say "modern day Polaroid film" which, as you may know, no longer exists...except for my personal stash of several boxes of years-expired film. I've held onto this film because it is the only film that allows for the specific emulsion transfer process I used to create this image.

So here's to you, you wonderful creations from the past. Whether it was a fickle world or advancing technology that left you behind, it's for just that reason that we value you so greatly now.


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