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Lesson Plans

Polariod Transfers

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
wrapf (wrapf)
Tue, 19 Mar 96 12:45:55 EST

To Todd Drake--

Here's a copy of a handout I give to students or workshop attendees who are
interested in the process. Hope this information helps


This process is a great deal of fun, a little frustrating, and fairly expensive
due to the cost of Polaroid POLARCOLOR film. Since the variables in the
process are numerous i.e. temperature, time of day, type of paper being used
for transfer, etc. Given the basic concept and technique, you will have to
work out the rest incorporating the accidents you like the most. This
process is ideal for creating a color litho like impression on a high quality
paper which can, if you wish, be extended with drawing, collage, scratching,
writing, copying on a laser copier etc.


1. Polaroid land camera
2. Type 668 Color film (the type you need to separate negative from
3. A squeegee and brayer
4. A credit card for transferring the image
5. A hard surface to work on
6. A tray of water to soak your paper
7. High quality hot press paper
8. Decent light, a good image, and some money

The process:

1. Set up your camera, lighting, and take a reading. Best results are
obtained by over exposing by 2-3 stops.
2. Soak several sheets of high quality watercolor paper (90lb hot press
fabriano for instance) in a tray of water
3. Shoot your picture.
4. Take a sheet of soaking paper from the tray and lay it on the
glass....gently plot and remove the excess water...THIS IS VERY CRITICAL, the
degree of dampness has a great bearing on the success of the transferred image.
It should be damp and cool to the touch,but not wet enough to show water.
5. Process the film, pulling smoothly in your normal and graceful manner
6. Development time is up to you, my remember that the warm colors develop
first, cool last, and that the longer you wait the bluer the print. Average
time normally will run around 7-15 seconds.
7. Very quickly tear apart the film pod and discard the print part of it.
Even more quickly, place the negative portion of the pod face down on the damp
paper and with the brayer (or something else) press the negative firmly onto
the damp paper.
8. the length of time you leave it in contact will make a difference, but
an average contact is 30-45 seconds.
9. Carefully peel the negative off the paper, examine the print and make
adjustments in exposure, contact, dampness, etc.

A lot of things can go worn before you get what you want so be patient, examine
your problems with patience, keep good notes and your sense of humor.... It
will be worth it. Try using an orange filter to warm up the image, making
multiples on a single sheet of paper, combining transfers with other processes
as a final step . . .have a good time.