Image transfer - expired Polaroid Type 79

terri

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Last week I did some Polaroid Sx-70 image manipulations, using expired Artistic-Z film. (You can get the back story on that effort here.)

The other stack of expired P-film is Type 79, a 4x5 peel-apart sheet film, 20 sheets per box. (!!) The expiration date is 2009, so I decided to see what I would get now in the way of color and basic dye integrity. Being a peel-apart film, I had concerns the emulsion or dyes would have dried out and stick.

To test, it seemed quicker to load a sheet into my 545-I film holder and load it into the Daylab slide printer, and just shoot one of my color slides onto it, so that's what I did. I peeled it apart after 90 seconds, and it still developed fine - good rich color! (I had to take a guess at the Daylab color head settings, which act as a mini-enlarger, but they were good enough.)

I decided to shoot another piece and try a quick image transfer. Easy setup: a small tray (8x10) of cool water , and another small tray of warm water to soak a piece of plain watercolor paper, which would be the receptor of the dyes from the Polaroid. I shot the second piece of film and, instead of letting the print develop the full 90 seconds, peeled it apart in about 15 seconds, then laid the negative part (still holding the majority of the dyes) onto the damp watercolor paper. I used a small brayer to roll it flat, and let it sit for a few minutes, then picked up the paper, with the film still attached, and slid the whole thing into the cool-water tray, and peeled it off underwater.

I lost some of the dyes, anyway, as I thought might happen. Here's a shot of both of the regular Polaroids - the one on the right was my test shot in the Daylab. You can see the brighter colors from letting it develop completely. The pale one on the left is what's left after I pulled the film apart after 15 seconds, to keep the dyes from migrating over:

Polaroid Type 79, 4x5 prints.jpg


(You can barely see my notes on the margin of the right side, for the Cyan, magenta, and yellow settings on the Daylab, which made a nice colorful print.)


I did another one and it was a slightly better effort than the first one:

Flower image transfers.jpg




I decided I would hand color the one on the left, since it had more emulsion left. After letting it dry overnight, I used Prismacolor pencils (wax-based). I like the emulsion ripples and folds from the water. I left some of the lift-off alone, because I like it, too:


Flowers and bee image transfer.jpg




I also decided to take the 90-second developed, colorful Polaroid and try an emulsion lift. That process calls for a tray of hot water (around 160 degrees F.), to enable the emulsion to dissolve from the paper backing. This process did NOT work at all. The expired emulsion is way too fragile to handle the high heat. What was left in the hot water tray was a lot of floating pieces of film and goo, and a paper backing with nothing left on it. *sniffle* I tried a couple more, varying temperatures, time in the water, etc., but it all dissolved and floated away. No point in wasting more film on it - emulsion lifts are a no-go with this stuff now.

But overall, I'm encouraged to be able to do some of these processes again. Pretty sure some will be not be very successful and I may have trouble with darker dyes. But it's still making my inner alt-geek very happy to play with this stuff again.

My Daylab isn't quite a doorstop yet! :icon_cheers:
 

vintagesnaps

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I love peel apart film! You're gonna have me going thru my stash in the fridge yet! (But I have a lace making and another needlework workshop coming up and pre-work the next couple of weeks first.)

I never heard of the first process, I'm going to keep your instructions about it - I would never have thought of anything like that. Did you squeegee the photo after you placed it on the paper? so it would adhere well?

I have some Fuji color peel apart, I wonder if a colorful subject would work best for this.

Thanks Terri, you got some cool images. I especially like the second one, both versions of it.
 

jcdeboever

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These are fabulous. I love the texture and spontaneous rendering and manipulation. Just wonderful.
 
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terri

terri

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These are fabulous. I love the texture and spontaneous rendering and manipulation. Just wonderful.
Thanks so much, JC! Working with Polaroid is an adventure in texture and being spontaneous, since each print is unique. :goodvibes:
 
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terri

terri

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I love peel apart film! You're gonna have me going thru my stash in the fridge yet! (But I have a lace making and another needlework workshop coming up and pre-work the next couple of weeks first.)

I never heard of the first process, I'm going to keep your instructions about it - I would never have thought of anything like that. Did you squeegee the photo after you placed it on the paper? so it would adhere well?

I have some Fuji color peel apart, I wonder if a colorful subject would work best for this.

Thanks Terri, you got some cool images. I especially like the second one, both versions of it.
Have you dug your film out yet?? :lol:

To answer, yes, I didn't get too down & dirty with the details, but you want to squeegee the excess water off the paper after it's been pre-soaked in the warm water tray. It's also generally a good idea to try to keep the paper warm, so if you happen to have the kind of thick, beveled glass plate that is useful when doing contact prints in the darkroom, you can lay that plate over a heating pad set to low, and it will warm the glass up a little.

I put the wet watercolor paper on the warm glass and squeegee it there, and then once I've peeled apart the Polaroid sheet film, slap it down there. I only use a brayer (small artist roller) on the actual photo once it's down, NOT the squeegee. Once it gets rolled firmly to help transfer the dyes from the photo negative to the paper, you can let it sit another minute or two, then put the paper (with the photo negative still attached) in the cool water tray, and peel the negative off under water. I still got some liftoff, as you can see above, so will be playing around with temps and times when I do this again.

Also - I forgot to include some photos of the Daylab. Everything I'm talking about can read like Greek without seeing the device that enables you to use your own slides (although all this can be done shooting from your cameras that take these films). This device just buys you some leisure time.

Here is the Daylab color head, which can be attached to different bases. Each base accommodates different kinds of Polaroid (or similar) films. It comes with a standard 3x4 base, which is made for the original pack film. The pack film is what is typically thought of as the classic Polaroid size.

Daylab with viewing door.jpg



Under the color head, showing my selection of cyan/magenta/yellow, you place your own slide on the holder (the handles stick out at either side). Then you push the middle lever to "View" and it projects light through your slide, down into the base onto the viewing screen. You access the viewing screen just lifting up the little door, and use the side knobs to focus and center. This viewing screen acts as a dark slide, protecting the film underneath it.

Once you're happy with your composition and focus, you close the viewing door, pull the white "dark slide" to one side so the film will receive the light, and move the lever from "View" to "Print" and press the button. The Daylab has a flash exposure, and a dial with exposure control, each tick-mark from Lighten to Darken the equivalent of roughly 1/3 stop. You can dial in your filtration as you want for each slide.

Here it is with the 4x5 base attached. Next to this is the 545-i film holder, which attaches inside the base and comes with its own white "dark slide."

Daylab with 545i holder.jpg


When you load a piece of 4x5 Polaroid film (I used Type 79), the end tab sticks out on the side, so after you hit Print, you can let the film sit in the holder while you soak your watercolor paper, and get it prepped to receive the negative.

With the sheet film, it's the rollers in the film holder that break open the dye pods within the sheet, so once you pull out that tab, you have to be mentally ready to pull apart the film within 15 seconds and get it onto the paper before too many of the dyes migrate from the negative to the glossy positive print, that most people are after.

I've always thought it was an ingenious little piece of alternative-process photography gear. :lovey: I'm really tickled to be able to play with it again.

I also have the SX-70 base for the Time Zero, manipulable film (now called Artistic Z), so I don't have to shoot through the camera. I can use my Pentax MZ for 35 slides, which means better compositions with any lens I want.
 

jcdeboever

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I'm moving in your town
 

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