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Grid Film & The GPS Series

Sharon Steven

Perhaps you remember Polaroid Spectra Grid Film. It’s long fascinated our founder and creator of the 35mm GPS series that features Grid, Pegs and Score film that have been pre-exposed to pair captured imagery with the respective elements.



So how did the GPS series come about? Well, it began with a nagging idea that led to an application a lot different from the grid film we now produce. From this, a series of protoypes were produced which resulted in the first generation of 35mm grid film that opened up the door to Pegs and Score film styles.

As you may know, Brooklyn Instant Film Initiative was founded by film photographer, Sharon Steven. Experimenting with various film formats, in a very hands on way is a huge part of the process behind her work. She first incorporated hand drawn grids in 2016 works. Frequent, personal use of the grid as organizer in software and interior design is cited as the immediate influence the earliest implementation of grids in these photographic works. Looking further back, as a long time use of instant film, particularly wide format Spectra Film, the disappointment of never getting her hands on a pack of spectra grid film never quelled.

Excerpt from "Voids" series (2016)


Drawn to dynamic shift the grids added to those 2016 works, the desire to get grids on film in a way that the film could then be passed on to shoot by others, took root. Unfortunately, the original hand drawn elements and film format used, were suited for immediate use which posed a problem.

Fast forward to late 2018, and it clicked. Light. No longer pairing grids with film through technical drawings, we set out creating grid film prototypes, burning the grid elements into the film. After weeks of experimenting, countless rolls  shot and processed, we were satisfied with results and decided to launch.

And here we are. To those who tried out a new, pre-exposed film styles, we are endlessly grateful for your support and willingness to join us on this adventure. We would love to see what you’ve shot and hear your feedback. We continue testing to improve and expand the 35mm line as well as formats we are currently able to customize!

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