polaroid manip - what am i doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by captain-spanky, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. captain-spanky

    captain-spanky TPF Noob!

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    right. I've got me new SX-70... filled it with film and gone out and took a couple of photos... I've taken the advice of a few sites on the net and waited until the image starts to show before i did owt... then gradually start scribing on the picture with a stick... i've tried doing it with different implements, at different pressures and at different times but i get the same result every time... all that happens is i get either a black line or a white line. I can't get any 'smooshing' of colours and i can't seem to 'bend' any of the picture at all... what's going on? does it need to be warm?
    also i cant seem to get any of the nicely saturated colours that many manip artists seem to naturally get...?
     
  2. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    You need to start messing with the pressure. Start messing around for a long time with just a little pressure. After a little time, you'll start to see some movement in the colo(u)rs and you'll have established how much pressure you need to give. Always remember that you can reheat the polaroid by using a blow dryer or some other device and still manipulate the image after the advertised time. It all just takes some getting used to. I think I went through one whole pack before I learned the right pressure for manips. Right now, my favorite tool is an old ball point pen which I use about the same pressure as if I were writing on paper with, then if any ink comes out, I use a paper towel to wipe it away.

    As for the saturation...a lot of artists use a Daylab with slide film to expose their SX-70 film and you can adjust the saturation with these and make them pop a little more.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You may not be doing anything wrong - remember, there's some "non-manipulable" Time Zero film floating around out there. This could be exactly what started the hullaballoo.

    This sure doesn't look manipulated to me - the dyes should move easily, you should be able to wiggle those lines, and even push them back straight if you want. Just scratching lines is not what it's about, I promise.

    Refer back to the thread about Time Zero here and call Polaroid with your Lot#, just to see if it's one of the bad batches. Although it's normal to immediately assume "it's ME!" in this case, I doubt it is. :)

    Don't give up! I like this image you've selected, btw - it should make a really cool manipulation. :thumbup:
     
  4. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    Thats depressing...I havent even got to try any sx70's and they are no more? I hate polaroid as a company.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No, no...nonononono! I am pretty confident they'll be bringing the old formula back....this was one of those strange manufacturing aberrations that we may not ever see an explanation for. ;)

    But take heart. There are too many artists buying the stuff for them to change it at this point in corporate history. It'll be back. :)

    I love Polaroid. :heart:
     
  6. captain-spanky

    captain-spanky TPF Noob!

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    the lot i have isn't one of the bad bunch. i think i'm maybe just rushing into it and pressing on too hard then? it may be that the picture is too cold 'cos it's not very warm around here at the moment (even though i'm wearing shorts)
    I'll try the ballpoint idea.. i've got a dead one around somewhere and i'll also try warming it up in my pocket for a bit first...
    I'll keep y'awl posted on me progress...
    I'm determined with this one... :D
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're convinced this is good film, then yeah, keeping the print warm is a huge help. An easy way is to turn a heating pad on low to medium and use a heavy piece of beveled glass over it as your support.

    If you're starting within the first ten to fifteen minutes of taking the image, you should be fine, and the dyes should be malleable.

    For starters, try just outlining the edges of the car in this image (if you shoot another). It should move quite easily. If it's still refusing to move, I'm still not sure I'd trust the film, given what we know is going on out there. Time Zero should remain pliable enough to manipulate for several hours, really.

    One of those oversized wooden golf tees is also a great beginner's tool, I used to use it a lot because it gave me great control while learning about pressure. :) Good luck!
     
  8. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    It's a learning process.. I had the same problems. It's frustrating at first.. I asked the same questions! Keep at it, you'll get it.

    The best tip I got was to wait about 5 min before doing anything, that way you're not making the lines and things are a bit more "set".

    The tool I use 99% of the time is an embellishing tool, its metal with a ball tip, an it works wonderfully.

    About the saturation, that's normal, I think. I never could get very saturated picture with my land camera, although Blues tend to look a lot better. Try taking some pictures with a nice sky in it, the blue will probably look pretty good.

    Good luck!
     
  9. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    okay...im glad to hear that.

    Now who has an sx70 camera to give to me :)
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Mr. eBay will be glad to help you find one. Only, he ain't giving them away! :mrgreen:
     
  11. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    AAAWWW, Terri your so sweet to buy me one off of ebay... I will be waiting by the door for it. hahaha
     
  12. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    I actually got mine at an antique store for around $20. I'm sure you can find one in Long Beach...there should be tons of them. :D
     

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