Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Polaroid project is on hold for a little while as the film is expensive and we are trying to cut down on spending. I will however post the remainder of the tutorial one of these days!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
To prepare for an emulsion lift, a Polaroid print must be created 24 hours before the lift is to be made so as to allow the emulsion time to harden. To begin the process the chosen slide should be placed in the viewer on the Instant Slide Printer and the machine turned on.
The area of the slide lit up by the viewer will be the area that prints. There is a slider tab to the right of the viewer which shifts the slide position. Once the slide is aligned properly, insert it into the slot above the viewer. The image exposure can be adjusted by the slider to the right of the viewer. Normal exposure is indicated by the line 3rd from the bottom. Exposure will vary from image to image and depends on aesthetic preferences. I have found that for emulsion lifts I often prefer a print that is a little darker than the original; in this case the exposure setting should be moved down one notch from the normal setting.
arrow tab straight out without pausing
At room temperature the development time is 60 seconds. Using a stop watch to keep track of the time, pull the film apart after 60 seconds.
The negative can be discarded and the positive print put aside to dry until the next day. After 24 hours have passed the emulsion has hardened enough to withstand high temperature water. Place water in a kettle and bring it to a boil.
Me in electric kettle...Hi!
While the water is warming, the white borders around the print should be cut off unless these borders are desired in the final print. Pour the hot water into a tray and soak the Polaroid print in it for 2-4 minutes or until the emulsion begins to separate from the paper backing.
Emulsion lifting away from backing
Using a spatula or similar tool, move the Polaroid to a tray of warm water and carefully remove the emulsion from the paper. If clear gelatin adheres to the emulsion use your fingers to carefully remove it. Transfer the emulsion to a clean tray of water. Unfold and orient the emulsion, then slip a piece of watercolor or printmaking paper underneath the emulsion and lift it out. The emulsion can be played with using fingers or q-tips. If the emulsion get too distorted, place the paper back in the water and reconfigure. Once the image looks good place the watercolor paper on some blotting paper. Take a wet brayer and lightly roll over the image to remove air bubbles and adhere the emulsion to the paper. If the emulsion sticks to the brayer (usually b/c it is dry), just remove it in the water and start again! Let the print sit on the blotting paper until it is dry. Once the image is thoroughly dry it can be sprayed with a UV resistant print guard.
Emulsion lifts are a great way to get started with Polaroid transfers as they are considerably easier and the results far more consistent than with the image transfer process. However, the lovely muted colors and the soft watercolor feel of the image transfers tempt most Polaroid users to try and to attempt to master this process as well. In part 3 I will provide full instructions for the more finicky Polaroid Image Transfer process.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Two frames merged in Photoshop
Double exposed image
FYI: I will post the second part of the tutorial tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Here it is, the long awaited (at least by Jessica) explanation of exactly what it is I was doing to create the daily Polaroids I had been posting a few months back and hope to start posting again soon. The first step is to shoot 35mm slides of the images to be made into Polaroid transfers and emulsion lifts.
Once the slides are in hand, one must decide between two different processes: the transfer process or the emulsion lift process. This is an aesthetic decision, as each process creates a different look. Below is the same image created as an emulsion lift on the left and a transfer on the right. An emulsion lift retains much of the color and clarity of the original image and the emulsion can be moved and warped to create wrinkles and waves as seen in the sky below. A transfer results in a warmer and more muted color palette than the original and it often has a soft painterly quality. Once the aesthetic choice is made, the slide printer can be loaded with film and the corresponding process begins.
Loading the Polaroid Film
There are several Polaroid slide printing machines available, but for this tutorial I will describe the process using the Vivitar Instant Slide Printer.
The white tabs should fit into a recessed area below the hinge for closing the hatch.
With this pack of film both emulsion lifts and transfers can be made. Before exposing each shot determine which process you want to use, then follow the appropriate set of instructions. I will provide detailed instructions for each process in Parts 2 & 3 of the tutorial.
Rooftops in Bogota (expired film)