A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, by Mike Brodie
From the publisher:
"At 17 Mike Brodie hopped his first train close to his home in Pensacola, FL thinking he would visit a friend in Mobile, AL. Instead the train went in the opposite direction to Jacksonville, FL. Days later, Brodie rode the same train home, arriving back where he started. Nonetheless, it sparked something and Brodie began to wander across the U.S. by any means that were free - walking, hitchhiking and train hopping. Shortly after, Brodie found a Polaroid camera stuffed behind a carseat. With no training in photography, the instant camera was an opening for Brodie to document his experiences.He spent 4 years traveling and taking photos then left it all behind to become a diesel mechanic.
As a way of staying in touch with his transient community, Brodie shared his pictures on various websites gaining the moniker “The Polaroid Kidd” [sic]. When the Polaroid film he used was discontinued, Brodie switched to 35mm film and a sturdy 1980’s camera. Brodie spent years crisscrossing the U.S. amassing a collection, now appreciated as one of the most impressive archives of American travel photography."
Here are some photos tagged #Polaroid Kidd from Tumblr:
The Polaroid Kidd
And his website now:
Mike Brodie Photography
A recent interview with Brodie in the Guardian:
Mike Brodie's freight train photographs: 'It's a romantic life, at least in the spring and summer'
Brodie used a Polaroid SX-70 when he started taking photos, similar to the one shown below. (Although all the photos in his new book were shot with a Nikon F3 35mm camera. It still required film developing.) It's an older Land camera that uses self-developing film. You can see the film cartridge jutting out the front. I remember these cameras. It was fun to watch them develop before your eyes. They were expensive though, costing $180 for the camera and $6.90 for each film pack of ten pictures (in 1973).