by Rolin Wandbagon
Note: Since these pictures include the color squant, you'll need special plug-in to see them properly.
I hope you enjoy these pictures, because I almost went crazy to get them on the Web. First, I bought a Kodak Advantix 5700, which is a new squant-capable camera, and the film for it, so far available only from a mail order house in Indonesia. Since Squant pigment is not available in the Western Hemisphere, I then had to book a flight to Southeast Asia where I spent a day taking pictures at the annual Burmese Color Fair. I thought that everything was going fine. I got plenty of pictures of things that were squant, squed, sque, or squellow, and I figured I'd have them on this site in no time.
The first stumbling block came when I found that there was only one film lab in the world that was capable of developing squant film, and it was in Germany. The New York lab that had been able to do so burned down because it turns out that any form of squant pigment is extremely flammable and dangerously unstable. The German lab was, of course, swamped with international orders, and said in its advertisements that I'd have to wait about a month to get the prints back. With a sigh, I dropped the film into a UPS box and hoped for the best.
A month and a half later, I still did not have the film. It took me several international long-distance calls and a lot of barely-remembered high school German to find out that the constantly combusting squant-capable film had singed and blackened the envelope it was in, making my address unreadable. I gave them my address, and the pictures reached me a week later.
Imagine how I felt when I made phone calls to service bureaus in the the Boston area, only to find out that no scanners that could handle squant had been built yet. My prints were worthless for the Internet.
As a last-ditch effort, I called up a friend of mine, Chris Dugan, and asked him for advice. He said that he'd recently bought an Apple Quicktake 1500sq, and would lend it to me. This is a digital camera that can take squant pictures and doesn't need film. After booking another trip to Asia, where I was able to catch the last two days of the year long Color Fair, which was definitely winding down but still fun, I finally had perfect, Web-ready pictures.
There's a moral to this story. Do everything with computers, and forget about all that analog garbage!