Polaroid Image Transfer; how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by ksmattfish, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I've been to many sites on the web reading about Pola transfers. I noticed that different folks have very different methods; mostly regarding timing. Some people soak thrie paper for 2 min, othjers for 20 min. Some people say transfer the neg as soon as possible, some wait 10 to 15 sec. Some leave the neg and watercolor paper sandwiched for 2 min, others 30 min.

    What is your technique?

    Any experience with what effects are caused by short or long times?

    What advice can you give about increasing color saturation? ( I'm using #59 ISO 80 with a polarizing filter)
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok, you have my attention. :D

    I have not heard of soaking your paper for 20 min. If overly water-saturated, your colors will run during the transfer process, especially while applying pressure from the brayer. Experiment with this if you want, but I wouldn't. I prefer hot pressed WC paper but if you want more texture in your image, cold pressed can look very nice.

    I pre-soak the paper for maybe a minute at around 100 degrees. Have your themometer in the tray (I do it right on the stovetop where I can control the flame). I squeegee off the excess water, gently, then scoot over to where my Daylab is set up. I lay the paper on top of a heavy piece of glass that has been warming over a flat heating pad. Once I've exposed the film and pulled it from the Daylab, I seldom wait over 12 seconds before peeling apart the positive/neg. If you don't give it at least 10 seconds your dyes won't migrate enough; if you wait much longer than 15, they've probably migrated too much. During the 10-12 seconds I'm waiting, I cut off the end where the brownish chemicals have gathered from the roller pressure of the Daylab. Some people like the effect of the brown discoloration onto their transfer paper; I don't mind a little bit but not a big glob. Once it's trimmed off, it's about time to peel and then press firmly onto the damp warm receptor paper. I start the brayer in the center and roll out, not too hard or you'll distort the image. I'll roll at least 1 minute.

    The rest is purely up to you. Do you like image transfers that show a lot of lift off, revealing the blue underside of the substrate? If so, continue to use the brayer for the full 2 minutes, then peel off the film back and you'll see some. It's completely unpredictable, and can look great, or maybe not. Artistic preference rules. If you want to avoid liftoff, follow my routine: after 1 minute of brayering, I lift my receptor paper and head back to the stovetop where my 100-degree water is waiting. I lay the paper down gently and let it float on top for the final minute or so.

    btw, I have also read where people walk away and let the neg cling to the receptor to maximize the transfer - others say you'll get the same transfer after 2-5 minutes that you will in 20. Do a few of them and see what you like. I've never gone much past 3 minutes or so. Then, I push the entire receptor paper underwater (100 degree water won't burn) and pull off the backing with the paper completely submerged. You will be *almost* guaranteed to have a smooth, even pull with minimal liftoff. Toss the backing, remove the paper, and squeegee all around the image (leaving the image alone) as much as possible. The main disadvantage is, again, soaking your paper again and risking the inks running a little - but if you look at mine on this forum, you'll see there's very little.

    To increase brightness, try the vinegar bath. Without my notes I don't recall the exact proportions, but I don't think it's overly crucial, you can keep raising the image to make sure it's being brightened but not bleached out. Add about 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar to maybe 2 inches of water in an 8x10 tray....maybe a little more. This can be done while it's still wet, or later on after it's totally dried down. Agitate the image for 1-2 minutes while submerged. If there is an area you really want lightened, you can take a small brush and gently rub the area. A small step that works wonders.

    That's pretty much it, with a whole lot of room for personal experimentation. I hope you can try it soon and post your stuff here. If I've babbled too much, sorry.... :wink: I hope it makes sense.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Thanks for the info.

    I was using really long (over 20 min) soaking and neg/paper stuck together times. My first one came out pretty nice, but the next two were much darker and blue. One of them appears to have shiney flakes on it.

    I will try it with shorter times next time.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Here's one that my mom did from a 35mm slide of my brother and I. I'm the taller scuba....

    Who are these masked men?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    i really like it ksmattfish ! nice image and top! caption.
    a busy fish tank behind those two i'd find even more amusing.
     
  6. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    .. or is there ??? :shock:
     
  7. feyd

    feyd TPF Noob!

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    ack! okay, ive too been reading every website about polaroid transfer versions. some say you need to use distilled water. how important is this? and what would be the main reasons for using it? [assuming your tap water doesnt have an odd tint to it ;)]
    i have had little luck using the day-pro-con [or whatever the thing is called my school owns] so i am going to be using my new $4.99 colorpackIII. i like to set up scenes anyway, and processing e6 so i have a slide to print from seems like a lot of extra effort and more importantly film [which in polaroids world is a synonym for lots of money]
    cheers
    -feyd
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The main reason to use distilled water is to avoid any potential long-term damage to your print caused by additives in tap water. As we all know, tap water varies widely by region, with different levels of pH, etc. :)

    Hope this helps.
     

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