Kidnapping Elf

One of the greatest joys of parenting is finally getting to the moment when you can really mess with your kids. For so, long we’ve encouraged them, told them the truth about most things and treated them like the sweet little things they are but during our vacation, the parents got their revenge (I swear this story is photography related…just wait for it).

All the cousins, girls and boys ages 12 to 5, were playing very nicely together and, much to our surprise, had started playing with some baby toys, including a stuffed elephant they dubbed Elf. They goofed around, pushing him, a doll named Bertha and a dinosaur named Dino Baby in a baby carriage, rolling it down hills at break-neck speed and crashing it into fences, walls and stairs until the contents spilled out at which point they all laughed maniacally. One day Elf went missing and they accused the adults of hiding him so when he turned up the next day, we decided they needed a little mystery to solve. Uncle Harry hid Elf and posted this ransom note for the kids to find:

The look on their faces was pure surprise and delight. They immediately formed teams and went all CSI on us, asking for handwriting samples and alibis. They all swore they would continue to eat their ice cream. Finally, in an effort to try to crack us, they said they had found Elf and that he had a rip in his side. We knew we had to up the ante, so (here’s where photography comes in) I suggested we take a Polaroid of Elf and post it the next morning. Uncle Harry and I staged a kidnapping scene, complete with Elf tied to a pole, electrical tape over his mouth and a saw at his throat (yeah, it was a little macabre, but these are some crazy kids). Here’s what they found the next morning:

The flurry of activity and screams of delight after finding THIS note was CRAZY! They searched the house and found the room in which we staged the photo. Again, alibis were demanded and drawing samples obtained. That night they ate cookies for dessert, as the ransom note suggested, and the next morning, Elf appeared. It was crazy-fun for everyone and when Uncle Harry finally confessed they claimed they knew it all along.

I took some other less ominous Polaroids during my trip as well and tried a little experiment. I recently read on The Impossible Project’s website or Flickr page about warming up the color Push film for more vibrant colors so I decided to try it. This is the control picture in which I just let the film develop normally

The next picture I warmed with a hair dryer for the first minute of developing and this is my result

I’m not really sure which I like better. The lighter color of the first one is nice but the intensity of color and depth of shadows and light in the second shot are much truer to what I was seeing with my eyes. It’s a little over exposed but generally, not a bad picture. The experimenting with this film will continue with the acquisition of a green filter, which is said to cut down on the magenta tones.

My favorite TIP film will remain the Silver Shade. I love the sepia tones, the old-fashioned feeling and the consistency of decent, well-exposed pictures. I feel this film is much more forgiving than the Color Shade. These are my Silver Shade vacation pics:


About ipdegirl

analogue girl in a digital world View all posts by ipdegirl

4 responses to “Kidnapping Elf

  • Stephanie

    Wonderful story! Takes me back to when my kids were little and vacation time with all the little cousins. They’re all young adults now but we still have fun in silly ways.
    I love Silver Shade, too, have only shot one pack of IP film though. I think of it as a special treat that I wish I could indulge in more often! How do you keep your images from deteriorating?

  • ipdegirl

    I have yet to figure that out, Stephanie. I’ve heard that putting them in the freezer helps. I always scan all my shots so I at least have a digital record of how they looked in their prime.

  • RichardEDavies

    Interesting blog – close to my interests, obviously! [Subtle plug]

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