Polaroid Image Transfer - Help a newbie getting started :O)
Hi. I mostly do 35mm and 6x6 b/w photos printed on RC paper. I am at the moment also experimenting with liquid emulsion, great stuff :=)
Most recently I have been looking at the possiblities of Image Transfer. I want to try this. What is the cheapest way to try this? Ive been looking through the galleries and seeing that most of the pictures done this way has been done using largeformat cameras and speciel polaroid films?
any help is apreciated.
That liquid emulsion stuff was quite the fashion when I was doing a photography course at a local college 2003-2005. How do you use it?
polaroid image transfer
Kim, I can give you a little of what I know, I used it for years but now in Australia a pack of 20 is up around $180AU!!! There are TWO processes to do with Polaroid. (I refer to a box of 20 single polaroids, 5x4 size, which are put into a special holder one at a time) 1) Image Transfer 2) Emulsion Transfer
If you don't have a 5x4 camera, an alternative is to use what they call a "daylab" which will print your 35mm slides onto one of these polaroids, but also using the special 5x4 holder. The daylab is not cheap but the polaroid holders can usually be found second hand for not so much money.
I could write a book on this subject, as all users probably could, so I suggest you look into some books, there are a few available, also I'm sure there'd be something online somewhere.
The polaroid Image/Emulsion Transfers are one of those processes which takes a lot of testing/failures etc and can be painful to the hip pocket if you lack patience. Hope I have (not?) put you off!!
check polaroid's website they give specific directions, and/or find a copy of Kathleen Carr's wonderful book "Polaroid Transfers". It covers anything you will need to know and more.
daylabs or vivator processors can be found on ebay on a regular basis. You could also find a polaroid camera that will use 669 film and by pass the slides; however, it has it's own drawbacks.
Check Kathleen's book, it is very detailed and will be easier to understand.
I'll second the Carr book - it is well written and very comprehensive. I would also suggest the cheapest way to get into Polaroids would be to get an older Polaroid camera that uses the correct film type. I picked up a 250 for a buck (shipping was $4) so I was able to start on a fiver. The film however is not as cheap, but the experience is worth the time, just to see if you like it. You'll get much sharper images with the Daylab or a 4x5 holder, but until you know if it's for you, you might do better with the less expensive option...
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Just as a start, that is a good place to visit. Using type 669 film is probably the easiest and lowest cost. If you go with 35mm slides, and a DayLab, Vivitar, or old Sunpak Polaroid Printer, then you can repeat experiments. Unless something really goes wrong, hold onto your bad results; you can later use those to teach others, or you might find something more interesting.
Buying good art paper really helps a great deal. Getting a good roller can make things easier. The one I use is the type useful for doing hand cut block prints, basically a medium firm rubber like material roller sized about the size of the Polaroid film. Paper is somewhat of a personal choice, and also a little experimentation to find what will work best for you.
I exhibit many Polaroid transfers and other Polaroid manipulations. My initial adventures with this were very frustrating, especially after reading some instructions that were less than ideal. It is better if you know someone doing this that is willing to show you in person. Barring that, buy a few boxes of type 669 and give it a shot, making notes as you go. I have done most of the possible manipulations, though I tend to do more type 690 transfers currently. I have also done a few emulsion lifts onto glass or other non-paper surfaces, but lifts are tougher to do than transfers.
Other than temperature or rolling technique, paper has the greatest impact on how well the transfer works. After trying several Hot Pressed and Cold Pressed papers, I ended up finding Fabriano Aquarello watercolour paper. The version I use is the Artistico Extra White 100% cotton Grana Satinata Hot Pressed paper. That is sold in block pads, is archival (if that matters to you), and is acid free. However, this is not easy to find paper, so I would suggest you find a thick paper that has a very smooth surface (Satinata or Satin is very smooth) and just practice with one paper until it seems you are consistent.
Best of luck with this. It can be very enjoyable to see the results. Don't worry about perfect pulls when separating negative from paper, since the imperfections add to the uniqueness and character.
A G Studio
Hi Kim - probably the cheapest way to try the process is to get a camera that takes a 669 film pack. There are drawbacks to doing it this way; however you will spend less money and still end up with a fun camera if you decide you don't really enjoy the technique, and you won't be stuck with a slide printer you may not want.
The other needed materials are less of an investment - the hot pressed watercolor paper, a brayer, a jug of distilled water and a couple of trays.
You should follow the advice given above and read up on the process in detail, so you can lay out your workspace in advance. Then, simply shoot an image and pull the print. 10-12 seconds into development is when you will peel apart the film, setting aside the print and using the negative to "transfer" the image onto dampened watercolor paper.
I would agree with Gordon's comment that "imperfect" pulls are part of the charm of this technique, and not be concerned with some of the dye lifting off. However, when you are learning the process it can be frustrating not to see most or all of the image, so when you're ready to peel the negative off the receptor paper, a simple trick is to slip the entire negative in a tray of tepid or warm distilled water and, keeping the entire negative immersed, peel the negative off slowly. I believe Kathleen Carr's book describes this in detail.
Once you've seen several "near perfect" transfers you feel empowered to start playing with deliberate liftoff a little more.
If you find yourself becoming addicted to the tecnique, then it might be time to invest in the Daylab - a wonderful slide printer, perfect for the job, which allows you to shoot slide film!
Hope this helps.
Here is a very useful book on Polaroid transfers by Holly F. Dupre, which is available for free as a PDF file--
THANKS ALOT EVERYONE! now I really wanna get started :O) Ebay - here I comeee! Ill let you guys now when things start getting serious.
one more thing - It seems like buying an old polaroid off ebay that takes 669 is the cheapest (and the coolest and the funniest ;O)) way to get started. BUT I looked at the system in which Polaroid numbers their film and their cameras... oh my god... confussed. What am I looking for? something like the 350 ? 250 ? I want want that has a flash as well.