Playing with Polaroids
What are the most interesting polaroid works you've seen and how were they presented?
I'm playing with polaroids and would love to hear from you about this topic. I'll let you know how this all goes in the next couple of months.
check Kathleen Caar, she does some terrific stuff
Thank you Ann, Kathleen Carr sure does! 55
Hi Nicole! Type 55 is one of my top favorites. There's a wide variety of examples on the Polaroid Creative website.
Here's one artist that I found recently: Elaine Ling. She uses Type 55 extensively.
Every once-in-a-while, I do a Google for "Polaroid Type 55" to see what comes up. That's how I found Elaine Ling's website. You can also do a gallery search here on APUG for "Type 55" and come up with some examples.
Interesting that you put this thread in the Alternative Processes forum. I hadn't thought of Type 55 in that way but maybe it is these days.
I have several of the old printed version of P Magazine. This use to be sent out by Polaroid, though unfortunately now only happens as an online publication. There are a few methods in there that I thought were very interesting, sometimes for the methods used, though mostly just the nature of the images.
I do exhibit Polaroid manipulations often. In fact, I have received two awards for some multiple emulsion lifts done on glass. While those were challenging to create, my favourite method is using Polaroid 690 for image transfers.
Out of the methods I have rarely done or tried, the pulling apart of the 600 instant film (or older TimeZero) is an interesting alternative. It is not easy to do, though when you pull apart, then rinse the chemicals off, you end up with a distressed looking transparency. The idea is you can get at the back end of the emulsion. I tried one yesterday with some of my remaining TimeZero film, though I think I need to work on this method more.
Another one I thought was cool was the combining of colour and B/W Polaroids, though this is only possible with 8x10 films. Those come separately as Positive and Negative. Then the idea is to use a colour Positive with a B/W negative, or the other way around.
There is also the Positive/Negative Polaroid B/W film. You can use that for a solarizing technique, or create a more distressed looking image by not clearing the gel chemicals for a while. Sometimes I simply enjoy the look unmanipulated, with the irregular edges that are a clear indicator that this film was used.
Other than the odd lifts I did to glass, I mostly present at small framed images my Polaroid manipulations. When I see the works of other Polaroid exhibitors, they are often simply framed. Less often I see something different, like lifts placed onto canvas, or lifts on bottles or cans. It is easier to try variations with lifts than with transfers, perhaps why there are more choices.
When starting out, don't be surprised if you ruin lots of film. However, save all your experiments. Sometimes later on you might go back and find something useful. The other reason to save all images is that at some point, you might be asked to teach others how to do these; then you want to show people what happens when these go wrong.
A G Studio
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Hi Alex, thank you for the links and tips! Isn't anything analog considered alternative these days.
Herr Moat, I appreciate your advice and thank you for taking the time to write your recommendations down. I'm very limited in which film I can get here in this sleepy hollow, the Fuji FP100C and 669. I have to go searching further afield for 55 and anything else. Ruining film is extremely painful when it's harder to find than hens teeth. Remind me why I do this???
One more tip that can help save some money. You can typically pick up expired Type 55 on ThiefBay for less cost than the fresh. If the film has been refrigerated, its useful for many months after the expiration date.
Given your limited choices, then Polaroid 669 is your new friend. The good thing about that choice is that it is the easiest to manipulate.
I hope I did not scare you away from trying Polaroid manipulations. Just wanted to make you aware that at the start it might not work that well. The good thing is that practice will make you much better.
The easiest is to do transfers. Get a roller (brayer) and find a hard surface. Start out with hot pressed satin finish art paper from an artist supply store. Take notes on your first few attempts, and you will quickly find out what works best.
A little bit about emulsion lifts. I started off reading tons of books on this, including Carr, and even went through the many steps as indicated. At first it seemed nothing would work. Then in frustration I had the tea kettle screaming, poured the very hot water into a large baking pan, then chucked in a Polaroid (669) . . . suddenly the phone rang, and I did not get off the phone until around five minutes later. When I returned to the pan, there was the emulsion floating in the water off the backing . . . no rubbing needed, no fumbling with cold water, and no burnt fingers. After ruining nearly an entire pack of film, this was a revelation . . . and now is the method I always use with Polaroid 669 emulsion lifts.
So have some fun with this. Try it out. Once you see some results, I think you will know why you learned how to do these.
A G Studio
an electric skillet works great for lifts. some distilled water brought up to 160 degrees and just let the film "cook" a bit. just don't use the same skillet for food.
by the way i tested the fuji film, it lifts easily, but won't stick to anything.
Originally Posted by ann
Have you tried 3M's Multipurpose Adhesive Spray?