Do you remember Polaroids? The funny sound when the image got ejected from the camera? The magic when the image appeared? Most important: wave the image while developing…

Recent Stuff

Since a while instant films are back on the market even a newly developed camera available, all made by  “The Impossible Project“. They took over parts of the production facilities from Polaroid in the Netherlands, created new recepies, new films and started serial production in 2010. Their new camera, the Impossible I-Type, is about 299 € here in Europe.

Impossible I-Type
Instax mini 90

Fujifilm is selling instant cameras since 1999, the Instanx-Series. Instant film seem to be trendy becaus Fujifilm will start selling a new camera in 2017. Retro seems to be trendy in photography. The big two struggle with sales going down and more and more new analog films pop up in the wild. More on this in a future post.

Creative Stuff

With instant slide you can do creatice things: If you scratch and rub on the not fully devoloped image you can create interesting effects. The image is somehow distorted. The cover of Peter Gabriel’s albums “Melt” was created this way.

Peter Gabriel "Melt"

DIY: Emulsion Lift

More interesting is emulsion lift. With this technique the emulsion (image) gets lifted from the original layer and transfered to a new one (paper, cardboard ore whatever). A unique, individuall peace of art is created. After checking some video tutorials on the web, buying a (cheap) Polaroid cam, Impossible films (not so cheap) and gathering the equipment I tryed my luck. For this project I decided to take images from my neighborhood Stuttgart west. With the first images I figured that the results are very much depending on the outside (film) temperatures. When it’s cold outside the results are dull and not vivid. So my first images were a bit disappointing. When it got warmer outside, the results looked better. With these films I started my tinkering.

Not much equipment is need: A shallow bolw, the target layer, scissers, paper towel , brush.

In the first step you cut out the outer border after that you can remove the back layer. Now put the film in the water and after a while the emulsion starts to get rippled. With the brush you carefully help the emulsion get off the plastic layer.

Now it gets tricky: arranging the emulsion on the new layer. You needs to be patience because it rarely works in first trial. Good thing that the emulsion doesn’t stick immediately to the new layer and you have several trials. The emulsion is quite stabilized though.
Let it dry on
Danach auf dem Küchenpapier trocknen und hinterher pressen, damit das Ergebnis einigermaßen Plan liegt.


B/W instant films don’t work well with emulsion lift. The emulsion is much thinner and kind of brittle.
The whole thing is a lot of fun because I like to work with my hand and the reulst are unique. Das ganze macht Spaß, weil es Handarbeit ist und die Ergebnisse Unikate. A counterpoint to my roughly 70 000 digital images…

Following some of my results:

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