Meet the Camera

The Polaroid Studio 20 x 24 Camera

The portraits featured in ICONS were made possible by the rare Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera. This huge piece of photographic equipment stands five feet tall and weighs over 235lbs.

Made at the request of Polaroid founder Edwin Land, in the 1970s, just five of these cameras were ever officially produced.

What makes these images unique is that each is a genuine one-off, the negative is destroyed in the process so the print can never be recreated.

The 20×24 camera uses continuous rolls for both the film and negative. Once the shot has been taken the exposed paper is rolled out of the camera, a process which applies the developing chemicals between the film and negative. A couple of minutes after the paper is cut and removed from the camera, a protective layer is then peeled away revealing the final image.

The patterning around the edge of the image is unique, created by the developing chemicals.

These five unique cameras currently reside at 20×24 Studio in New York City, The Museum of Scientific Instruments, one in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one in Prague, Czech Republic and the final one is currently located in the Netherlands.

Because of the camera. The dinosaur of technological evolution. A once in a lifetime opportunity to record a moment in time.

Vivienne Westwood