Polaroid project Shannon Purdy on the stairs by JW Purdy

The other day I posted a little teaser about the start of our new project. If you didn’t catch that post let me fill you in. The day after Hurricane Harvey landed on the Texas coast Shannon and I set out to shoot at a nearby rice gin. This rice gin is located in the small town of Crabb which isn’t really a town anymore. Crabb has become more of a suburb of two different areas, Richmond and Sugar Land. I’m not sure how long the grain elevator has been out of operation but it has been quite some time by the looks of it. I have been wanting to explore this old place since the early 2000’s. A few month back this area was hit by a very small tornado and it damaged the structure. It was at this time the owner sold it to an investor who is going to sell the place board by board. If you didn’t know there is an incredible demand for antique wood currently. A few weekends ago workers started on the first smaller building with the seed-separator machinery.

A few weekends ago workers started on the first smaller building with the seed-separator machinery. They made a huge opening by removing about half of the building and giving us access to the place. While the hurricane was on its way to us, Shannon and I took the opportunity to get out of the house and go exploring. We really thought everyone would be hunkered down in their homes for the storm but were surprised the amount of traffic on the roadway. We didn’t think we were very visible to the people passing by and started to work. The shot you are seeing here is one in which I had asked Shannon to climb a small wooden stairwell to reach the wire mess walkway above us. The stairwell was a little more than Shannon could bear to climb and so we set up for a less intimidating shot. Shannon leaned back on the stairs and looked toward the seed spreader and I clicked the shutter. We really had no idea what we would capture being this was our first time using a Polaroid camera. We had tried one shot with this Polaroid Blue 600 camera a few weeks ago when I got my first pack of Black &White 600-type Polaroid film by Impossible but it was too dark and didn’t develop due to the lighting used.

Working in a semi public environment like this we have learned to move quickly and don’t take chances. As we worked I would take a photo and place it face down in my breast pocket to avoid overexposing it to light as recommended by the people over at the Impossible Project. We worked quickly but did take time to look around and explore options for possible shots. As a matter of fact, I set us for our last shot which would have been one of our best and when I pushed the shutter nothing happened. I forgot that the old Polaroid packs came with 12 photos and the new ones only have 10 exposures in them. I was a little shocked when nothing came out after having pushed the shutter button. Well, it will have to wait for another day or just end up being a missed shot.

On the way home Shannon asked to see the photos and I gave them to her for review. She started making all kinds of wonderful comments about them and it took all of my willpower not to look over towards her seat and get a glimpse of the images. Once we got home I still didn’t have a chance to look at them right away since I had to wash my and Shannon’s boats off with the garden hose. As we washed up our new neighbors pulled up and started to talk with us. Shannon was embarrassed, having only a bikini coverup on, but played it off the best she could. Once we were washed up I finally had time to look at the photos. Some of them are really good in both our opinions. All of these photos will be presented to you unedited just as they will be shown for my gallery presentation should I get one. I really like the fact that I can write details about the shot on the back of the Polaroid, it is very handy and refreshing in our handsoff digital world.

Thanks for reading,

JW Purdy

Shannon Purdy Polaroid project Day 1-6 by JW Purdy