How to Manipulate Polaroids

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Instant photographs from Polaroid cameras have the obvious advantage over traditional media that the picture can be seen within seconds. But Polaroid film also lends itself to a wide variety of manipulations. Many of these need no more than the camera, the film, and a blunt-ended instrument such as a pen.

With Polaroid image film, for instance, as soon the picture is ejected from the camera the dyes inside the picture 'sandwich' can be squeezed around before they set. This will create bizarre patterns which can, with practice, be controlled quite precisely. When the picture appears fully the results are amazing,

A Polaroid back fitted to a conventional camera offers another technique, which is known as image transfer. Once the film has been exposed, it is pulled through a pair of rollers built into the back. These squeeze and spread the chemicals that develop the film. Development of a conventional print usually takes 90 seconds. But as soon as the film emerges it can be peeled off its backing sheet and this sheet pressed face downward onto a piece of paper thoroughly dampened with water, and left for the remainder of the development time. This transfers the image to the paper, after which the original material is discarded. The result has none of the smoothness of a conventional Polaroid print. The effect is raw and blurred, but often stunning.


Apart from Polaroid cameras and backs there is also the Polaroid transparency printer, which makes instant prints from conventional slides. These can be manipulated in the same way as those from a Polaroid back.

These are only some of the techniques. There are many others, including immersing the film in boiling water and scratching the emulsion.

Willis J. Watson is a freelance writer since 2006, living in United States and he writes about his great passion...digital photography for about 4 years. If you want to read more informations about Digital Photography Classes and also read more reviews about Youth Sports Photography, you can check out his websites.


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