POLAROIDS with LEON GU
Adventures From Xi'an, China
Leon has traveled from China to Peru, San Fransisco, New York City & Hawaii, all while shooting with his Polaroid Camera.
For more about LEON visit LGPolaroid.com
-Where were you born & raised?
Born & Raised in Shaoxing, China. (place near Shanghai)
-What has been your favorite place to travel?
For now, I love NYC most. New York is a hub of cultural diversity and ethnic acceptance, as well as the center of innovation and creativity.
-What is your main reason for traveling to different places?
To experience different culture, meet different people, try different lifestyle.
-What is it like bringing your Polaroid camera around with you?
If I did a what’s in my bag challenge, a Polaroid camera would definitely in the bag. I bring my polaroid camera as a way to record daily life, school, hang out with friends all while traveling. They're not like digital images, you can actually touch it and feel it. Rather than a tool, the polaroid camera is more like a friend to me.
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-Why do you shoot Polaroid?
For me, the polaroid is all about keeping & sharing the memories. I like the feeling when you actually hold an image and sometimes you can share it with your friends, or give it away to a stranger.
-Why do you choose to shoot expired Polaroid film.
You know, the first I time used a Polaroid camera, I also used Impossible film like most of us did. In my honest opinion, the results we're not good and I needed to wait for around 15 mins until the images showed up. Sometime I felt awkward that it took so long to let people see the image. But the Impossible project is has gotten better and better. (Now known as Polaroid Original's), It’s huge news for all Polaroid lovers now that Polaroid Originals is here with new film that's really awesome. Back to the original question, when I first tried the Original (expired) polaroid SX-70 film, which is also named Time-Zero film, I was totally shocked by the result, it was so good and takes only 1 minute to see the image. So I started shooting expired films, including expired SX-70 and 600 film.
How many cameras do you own now, how long have you been collecting?
Most of my collection is polaroid 600 series camera, for now, I already have around 80 600 cameras . I also collect rare polaroid pack film cameras, such as NPC185, NPC195 & the Polaroid 185 with a Mamiya lens. For the polaroid iconic SX-70 camera, I have almost all the types, including the Gold Polaroid SX-70 and SX-70 sonar.
Do you hope to achieve anything with photography?
I want to travel the world with my Polaroid camera and shoot all the beautiful things I meet on the road. By sharing the polaroid pics, I also hope more and more people will know and learn about instant photography.