The story begins with a photographer, Jamie Livingston, who began a project in 1979, to take a photo every day. He continued until the day he died, in 1997. The photos tell a very human story.
There's a side story, equally compelling, about the camera he used: The Polaroid SX-70. An instant camera that delivered color photos with quality that rivalled traditional film, it became an art tool that inspired many projects, including Livingston's.
This camera's technology story has always interested me because it is not just about a camera. The SX-70 was a system that embodied dozens of remarkable technologies. Inspired by the genius Edwin Land, the Polaroid team reinvented every aspect of the SX-70 -- the way it works, the film, the mechanics and the electronics, the lenses for both viewing and picture-taking, the flash, the form factor and remarkable folding mechanism, the manufacturing and design processes, the amazing chemistry, the motors, the battery. Few inventions have such a broad range of innovations.It is a human story, too, as Land and his team spared no effort and no expense to develop what any sane person would have called impossible at the time.
View the film that is included in the article. "Charles and Ray Eames produced an eleven-minute advertisement/explainer film for it in 1972. The film starts with a discussion of Polaroid’s history and goes into a surprisingly technical description of the camera’s operation and even its manufacturing process." It talks about how the SX-70 broke down creative barriers to bring photographers closer to the images and to the stories they wanted to tell.