Book Review

2 min read by Dmitri.
Published on .

665 is one of the nicest photo books I own. It is also one of the most expensive ones.

As of this writing, the book is still available for $85 + shipping on Sol’s website. Lucky for me, my package included a few extras: an original Polaroid piece, a couple of small prints, a drawing, and a sticker. Of course, I wouldn’t expect that with every purchase.

Though this book isn’t printed at home, the package still felt very personal. My signed copy is one of the ten to be ever printed (in this second edition).

In hand, 665 feels like a history tome. Its rigid hardcover houses a catalogue of scanned analogue negatives from years of wandering across the mountainous landscapes of North America.

There are 50 images — each placed squarely in the middle. All black and white, they are a product of the long-discontinued Polaroid 665 film. Here’s how Sol describes her process on the website:

It’s a unique film that not only gives the positive Polaroid side, but also a negative, which is often sharper & holds more detail. I will purposefully leave the negatives to dry in my car, soaking up all the mountain & desert dust of the day. This collection of scanned negatives is my love letter, expressing how important this film is to me.

The photographs that decorate the heavy 8×8” Premium Matte paper are nostalgic, minimalist, yet full of layers — there are little details that get discovered over time. Though the entire book can be flipped through within minutes, it’s easy to discover anew after a week on a shelf. Every time I browse 665, it feels fresh.

Sol’s photographs are full of emotion. The sprawling landscapes depicted are free and calming. The soft nature of the film adds to my desire to travel again.

It’s an inspiring book, particularly when read at the time of the global pandemic during which movement, especially for pleasure, is restricted.