On location, his students are encouraged to place developing prints on a hot surface, such as the dashboard or hood of a car that has been parked in
the sun. The additional heat allows the emulsion to flow and be more easily blended. (Note: This is not recommended for images that will not be
For the actual task of image manipulating, nearly any sort of items found rolling around in your purse or backpack will do. Keys, pen caps,
toothpicks, hairpin. If you want to buy something, swing by your drug store or beauty supply store and pick up an "orange stick" commonly used for
manicures. It's screwdriver-like end give you a lot of "shape options" that contact the film. You will collect your own set of favorite items. Using
varying amounts of pressure with dull or sharp ends your students can produce almost endless variations in the finished image.
But SX-70 films is not considered very archival. To preserve your work, copy it onto color or black and white film, or scan it into a digital file.
Copy stands for this kind of work are available at Freestyle.
Modify a 600 Format Camera To Accept Time Zero Film
If you don't have an SX-70 camera, you can adapt your Polaroid 600 BE or OneStep camera to accept Time-Zero film. Since they use different film
speeds, place a 2-stop neutral density filter over the electric eye on the camera. This will compensate for the speed difference between 600 High
Definition film and Time-Zero film.
First, insert the cardboard "dark slide" from a spent pack of Time-Zero or 600 film into the film chamber of a Polaroid 600 BE or OneStep camera.
Second, insert a new Time-Zero film cartridge on top of the cardboard. Be careful not to let the cardboard go into the camera.
Third, remove the cardboard, leaving the Time-Zero cartridge in place and close the film door.
Works with the following Films: 690, 669, 59, 79, 809; along with a Daylab II or Daylab 120
Image transfer involves prematurely peeling apart a color print film, then pressing the negative onto a new receptor sheet. When this is done,
the image transfers onto the receptor sheet just as it would normally have transferred onto the Polaroid print - except that the image now displays
a quality defined by the receptor medium used.
Any Polacolor ER film (Types 669, 59, 559, 809) can be used. The simplest way to do this is with the Daylab Slide Printer. (But you can work directly
from the camera, in the darkroom using projection printing.)
You will be literally transferring the emulsion from the film backing to something else. Find something interesting to use as the final resting
place for your image. Watercolor paper is an excellent choice because it holds up to being immersed in water and has a great texture. But you are
not limited to that.
Preparing - Step-by-step
Before you begin you will need to arrange three separate areas:
- One area will be for the exposure unit
- Set aside a flat surface where the negative can be pressed in contact with the receptor.
- You'll need an area for preparing the paper prior to image transfer
In the paper preparation area, cut the paper sheets to the desired size (typically around 8x10" for medium format images.) If the paper has a
rough surface, it will need to be dipped in warm water and blotted with a paper towel or squeegee. Smoother surface papers are easier to use, but
produce less textured images.
Having made your exposure, wait for 5-10 seconds, then peel apart the film and discard the print, which will appear rather faint and orange. Using
sharp scissors cut off the chemical pad. The more dyes remaining on the discarded print, the less there will be on the negative to make the transfer.
Press the negative in contact with the paper.
With medium-hard rubber ink roller, called a "brayer," apply moderate pressure to the back of the negative in order to ensure full contact between
the negative and the paper. Applying too much pressure can squeeze out the chemical gel that carries the image from the negative to the paper,
ruining the picture. Excessive rolling, especially when using smoother papers, can also cause the image to move slightly, reducing sharpness. It is
best to roll about four times, working in one direction only.
Leave the print for one minute, then carefully peel off the negative to reveal the transferred image on the receptor sheet. You can also soak the
negative/paper combination in the warm water bath for 15 - 30 seconds prior to peeling to ensure image integrity. Gentle heat can be applied to
the back of the negative (using a hair drier) to stop black areas from lifting-off and showing as mid-blue.
The finished image transfer should be put to one side on a safe, flat surface, and left to dry naturally. After drying, the print can be sprayed
with a clear UV protective coat to seal the image.
Experiment with different papers. If the paper is very smooth and has a well-sealed surface, the image may not take - or may look almost the same
as the normal Polaroid print (except for a slight blue color cast caused by orange dye having been lost prior to peeling the film). If the paper
is too coarse, the image will appear blotchy. Between these two extremes is a whole host of useable surfaces, so try out a few to see what effects
Cloth, wood, and unglazed ceramic tiles can all accept image transfers.
Surfaces can be manipulated before accepting image transfers. One possibility is to spray on a very thin coating of metallic paint, which can make
highlight areas glisten.
After an image transfer has dried, it can be scraped away and/or colored in local areas.
Minor image defects can often be retouched using suitable dyes or watercolor inks and paints. Be sure to work carefully in order to avoid ruining
the image transfer.
Rather than distributing valuable originals, you may want to copy your image transfers onto transparency film, or scan the original image into
your computer for output with a color printer.
For ease of use, Polaroid supplies an all-in-one kit that contains everything needed for image transfer except the Daylab Slide Printer.
Create Sepia-Toned Polaroid Prints
Works with the following films: 52, 55, 56, 665
The chemical process used in many nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs produced shades of brown and white (i.e. sepia), not black and
white. The first Polaroid instant photographs in 1948 were also sepia-toned. With commercial toning solutions and Polaroid black and white films,
you can recreate the sepia tone of these early photographs for novelty portraits or special effects.
To create a sepia-toned Polaroid print, you must tone the print before coating it. You will need the following supplies:
- A Polaroid black and white film that requires a coater, such as Type 52, 55, or 665 (Coaterless films, such as Type 664 and 667, will not produce
stable, toned prints.)
- o A commercial selenium toning solution that does not require a separate bleaching operation, such as Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner (Note: You
should wear rubber gloves when working with selenium toner.)
- Rubbing alcohol
- A spraying device, such as a plastic plant misting bottle
- A container to catch excess spray, such as a darkroom tray.
- An 8 x 10" sheet of glass or plastic
- A standard photographic print squeegee. (If this is not available, you can use a window squeegee or even a clean car windshield wiper blade.)
Mixing the solution
To make the toning solution, first mix one part rubbing alcohol with four parts water. Then mix five parts of this mixture with one part toning
solution. Put the resulting mixture in the misting bottle.
Making the exposure
Toning will lighten the image, particularly the shadow areas. If you are making a print specifically for toning, underexpose the film by
about 1/2 stop to compensate for how the processing lightens the image, but do not coat the prints until after they have been toned.
Toning the print
Tone the print as soon after processing as possible. Hold the processed print by its edge over a dish or tray, and cover the print
surface with a continuous fine spray of toner. Toner or any other moisture on the back of the print may cause wrinkles.
Most prints will tone in about thirty to sixty seconds. Light areas tone faster than dark areas, and a photograph with a large amount
of dark area will need more time to tone.
When the print appears fully toned, lay it face up on a glass or plastic sheet and use the squeegee to wipe the excess moisture into
the tray. Use one continuous motion to wipe the print from top to bottom.
Dry the photograph with a hairdryer or a print dryer on the coolest setting. As soon as it is thoroughly dry, coat it with a Polaroid
print coater - delay can cause steaks in the final image. Dry the coated print in the print dryer before handling or stacking. The
finished print will have the sepia tone of an antique photograph.
Note that Polaroid manufactures a 4x5" sheet film that creates sepia-toned images. See more information on Type 56 Sepia Film.
Sepia Options / Sepia Film / Cross Tone Processing
Works with the following films: 665, 52, 55, 804, 809, 803, 54, 51, 664, 554
Sepia pictures have long attracted photographers by virtue of their classic, yet out-of-the-ordinary appearance. It also happens that the
earliest Polaroid films, those made for the Model 95 camera before 1950, gave sepia tinted monochrome prints, but this was more by way of necessity
than choice. Today, there are three different ways in which Polaroid materials can be used to give sepia results.
For dedicated sepia images, there is 4x5" Polaroid Sepia Film, which is purposely designed for 'old time' photography at theme parks and
special events, though it also works well in portrait, fashion and some location photography applications. Users of 8x10" Polaroids can obtain
a softer sepia effect by using cross-tone processing, in which a Polapan Pro 100, Type 804, or Type 803, black & white print is processed in
combination with a Polacolor ER Type 809 color negative sheet. In addition, for users of all formats, there is the option to use chemical (selenium)
Sepia Film and cross-tone processing are both particular to specific formats - 4x5 inch and 8x10 inch respectively. The beauty of chemical toning is
that it can be applied to Polapan Pro 100 prints of all sizes (Types 664, 554, 54 and 804). Chemical toning can also be performed on prints that
have to be coated, but only if the toning is done prior to coating (see below).
To get sepia images on Polapan Pro 100 prints, use selenium toner that is made up exactly as you would for use on conventional photographic papers.
The solution can be applied either by swabbing the surface of the print using a cotton wool ball soaked in toner, by immersing the print in a small
tray of working solution, or spraying the solution onto the print using a plant misting sprayer. In each case, remember that selenium toner is toxic,
so take all necessary precautions to ensure your personal safety.
Toning occurs quite quickly, but even so the Polaroid sheet can curl. A swabbed sheet can be kept flat by being stuck to a sheet of gall using
adhesive tape. Polaroids that are toned in trays can be sealed on their back, sides and front borders using similar adhesive tape to reduce curling.
In any case, the curl will straighten out if sheets are dried with weights attached. The finished surface will have a slight semi-matt appearance in
place of the original smooth gloss.
Other single-bath toners can also be used on Polapan Pro 100 prints, but with less effect. Blue and copper toners both give the expected colors, but
only slowly and to subtle degrees.
Although Polapan Pro 100 prints do not respond to conventional sepia toners, they are attacked by sepia bleaches in a manner that can produce an
interesting distressed look reminiscent of the Sabattier Effect. This technique can be especially useful when using the 8x10" format, for which
there is no Polaroid positive/negative film, and therefore, no means of producing Sabattier Effect images via interrupted negative processing.
Selenium toned Polapan Pro 100 images are quite stable, but other chemically treated prints should be copied onto transparency film for maximum
To selenium tone Polaroid prints that require coating (Types 665, 55, 51HC and 52), mix a solution that contains one part Kodak Rapid Selenium
Toner, one part isopropyl alcohol (2-propanol), and four parts distilled water. Spray the mixture onto the uncoated print: toning will proceed
rapidly. Squeegee lightly when the desired tone is achieved, then use the coater (supplied with the film) to seal the print.
Important note: When handling photographic chemicals, be sure to take all the appropriate precautions. Work in a well-ventilated area, and
always wear protective clothing, gloves and safety glasses. Store all chemicals correctly in properly labeled containers that are kept out
of the reach of children in secure locations. Dispose of spent chemistry responsibly and in accordance with the requirements of your local
Introduced in 1994, Polaroid Sepia Film was originally a test product that was made available on a limited production basis. Today it is called
Type 56 4x5" Sepia Sheet Film, a panchromatic, medium contrast film.
Rated at ISO 400, 4x5" Type 56 Sepia Film has high sharpness and a subtle tonal range. It gives very rich, warm browns in less than a minute:
specific processing times are 35 seconds at 75-95 degrees (F) (24-35 degrees (C)), 45 seconds at 65-75 degrees F (18-24 degrees (C)), 50 seconds
at 55-65 degrees F (13-18 degrees (C)).
No coating or after-treatment of the print is required.
The tint of sepia obtained depends on the exposure level, the ambient temperature and the freshness of the film stock.
Because Polaroid Type 56 Sepia Film is panchromatic, it can be used for making sepia copies directly from color slides using projection printing.
This technique can be used on 8x10" Polaroid films only. The reason is that in this format, negative (exposure) and print (final image) sheets
are supplied separately, and are combined during processing. Therefore it is possible to unite one type of negative with another type of print.
To get the sepia cross-tone effect, expose onto a Polacolor ER Type 809 color negative sheet, then process the image in contact with a Polapan
Pro 100, Type 804, or Type 803, black & white print sheet.
Depending on the final image quality required, it might be necessary to over-expose the color negative by up to 2 stops relative to its normal
A slight pinkish color may be seen in the highlights, and 'bronzing' may be apparent in the blackest areas. Although these effects can be very
attractive in their own right (as they add a split-tone look to the image), they can be avoided by choosing subjects that are rich in mid-tones,
with few bright highlights and deep shadows.
Works with the following films: 669, 664, 554, 59, 804, 809, 54, 559
Emulsion lifts are the easiest and most exciting Polaroid creative technique to master. All they entail is soaking a print in warm to very
hot water until the image comes loose, then re-depositing the freed emulsion on a new receptor sheet.
Because emulsion lifts involve separating the image from the photographic paper, there is enormous potential for manipulating the picture
to create different shapes.
Traditionally, emulsion lifts are done using color prints from Polaroid ER films (Types 669, 59, 559, 809), but the same technique also
works in B&W using Polapan Pro 100 films (Types 664, 54, 554, and 804) - albeit with the need to use boiling , rather than just hot, water.
Prints must be fully dried before being subjected to emulsion lifting. Drying can be accelerated using a hair drier, but to be safe it is
often best to allow at least overnight drying of prints before use.
Fill one tray with tap water heated to 160 degrees F, and another tray with room-temperature tap water. Place a sheet of acetate or Mylar on the
bottom of the cold water tray.
Moisten your receptor sheet in the tray of room temperature water, and remove it from the tray. Place your receptor sheet on a waterproof countertop
and remove excess water with a squeegee.
Immerse a fully dried Polacolor ER print face up in the tray of 160 degrees F water for four minutes. Agitate the tray to keep the print under
the surface of the water. It is not necessary to keep the water heated during this time. After four minutes have elapsed, or if the emulsion
begins to float free from the substrate/backing/photographic paper, remove the print from the hot water using tongs and place it in the tray of
room temperature water.
Lightly push the emulsion from the edges of the print slightly toward the center. Lift the emulsion and slowly peel it away from the substrate.
Bring the emulsion back and over itself (somewhat like turning down a bed sheet), thus reversing the image. Leave the emulsion floating in the
water. Discard the substrate.
Carefully grab the corners of the emulsion and clamp it with your fingers to the acetate on the bottom of the tray. Holding the emulsion, lift
the acetate in and out of the water several times to stretch the image and remove wrinkles. Repeat this on all four sides, always holding the
top two corners. When you are satisfied with the image, remove it from the water and place it on your flat work surface. Further manipulate the
emulsion on the slippery surface of the acetate until you are satisfied with its appearance. Flip the acetate over and place it emulsion-side down
onto the receptor sheet.
Carefully remove the acetate. Use your fingers to push and stretch the image to further manipulate it. You can also dunk the emulsion/paper in and
out of the cold water to further manipulate the image. When finished, roll the image with a soft rubber brayer roller from the middle to the edge.
Start with just the weight of the roller, gradually increasing pressure only after all the excess water and air have been removed. You are done when
all the folds, wrinkles and other effects look pressed down. Hang dry when finished.
Flatten the transfer in a warm dry mount press. If desired, spray with a clear UV protective lacquer coating. When completely dry, the image can
be finished with pastels, watercolor paints, dye and pencils if desired.
It is also possible to perform emulsion lifts using coaterless B&W Polaroid Polapan Pro prints, though to obtain separation it is necessary to
immerse the print in boiling water for up to 15 minutes. After this time, the edges of the print will have loosened, and the print can then be
moved to a just tolerable hand-hot tray in which emulsion can be pulled carefully from the print
Compared to color, B&W emulsions are relatively tough and can withstand considerable force. On the other hand, they don't bond well to receptor
sheets, and therefore should always be spray coated when dry to ensure permanent fixing.
Create Positive/Negative Special Effects
Type 665, Type 55 and Type 51HC
Polaroid positive/negative films can be used to obtain a number of interesting special effects as well as providing outstanding quality under
There are several options. The best known is the Sabattier Effect (sometimes referred to as 'solarization'). Another is leaving the instant
negative uncleared, this creates a distressed look that ages with time. Using wet chemistry is a third possibility. It changes the image on
the negative. All of these options are explored in detail below.
This technique involves taking a Black & White Polaroid film, then prematurely peeling apart the positive and negative. Immediately, a
flashgun is fired at the negative part. Development effects cause partial tone reversal and the creation of delineating boundaries between areas
that have been reversed and those that have not, because the negative is still covered with processing gel.
Different photographers have different ways of working and obtain different effects as a result. Sabattier Polaroid negatives resemble anything
from virtually normal, to almost totally reversed (with the appearance of low contrast Black & White transparencies). Primary factors affecting
the final result are: the amount of subject exposure, the time allowed for processing prior to peeling, and the brightness/distance of the flashgun
EXPOSURE: Although normally it is best to give generous exposure when using Polaroid positive/negative films, the situation is slightly different
when employing the Sabattier Effect. In particular, a side effect of Sabattier exposures is that modest levels of flash, boost shadow detail in
Polaroid negatives without affecting the highlights, therefore reducing contrast. To counter this, subject exposures should be the minimum that
records all the required detail AFTER the Sabattier exposure is added. Therefore, for Sabattier Effect images, positive/negative films can often
be rated at their full print speeds (rather than the usual half to one stop slower, when the negatives are conventionally processed).
TIME: The art here is to allow enough time for the image to start developing, and to catch the process when the developer is still active. Peeling
apart too soon causes low contrast, while peeling too late reduces the Sabattier Effect. Typically, positive/negative films should be peeled apart
after approximately one-quarter to one-third of the normal processing time. So if the ambient temperature would normally suggest 30 seconds then
that film should be peeled apart for the Sabattier Effect 8-10 seconds after being pulled from the film back.
FLASHING: This is where the greatest variation is found between different photographers' methods of working. Using an on-camera flash (Not the
built-in flash.) or hand held flash gun, the brightness level can be anywhere between 1/64 power and full power depending on the desired effect.
Low levels of flash give very subtle effects, whereas the highest levels can cause almost total reversal of the image. The only way to know the
right level for your own use is to experiment!
VARIATIONS: Other things to consider revolve around what is done with the negative after 'flashing'. For example, if the negative and print are
squeezed back together again, rosette patterns form on the image. Some photographers like to leave the negatives in the dark for up to one minute
to finish processing, while others go straight into the clearing bath. If a high power flash is used from close range, clearing should definitely
be done as quickly as possible because the bright burst of light dries the processing gel. If it is not removed immediately it may never come off.
Type 665, Type 55 and Type 51HC behave slightly different when subjected to the Sabattier Effect: Try all three to see which best suits your own
needs and photographic style.
The reason for clearing Polaroid negatives is to remove the processing gel. If left on a negative, the gel will continue to act, albeit very
slowly. In normal photography, this is undesirable, but for more artistic images such deterioration can add to the overall effect of the
Because Type 665 negatives have a backing layer that dissolves during clearing, and prevents enlargement printing if not removed, the medium
format film is less well suited than Type 55 and Type 51HC to being left uncleared.
Negatives that are not cleared must be allowed to dry in a dust-free environment, and can then be aged in sunlight to obtain progressive
deterioration. Depending on the conditions, aging might take anywhere from two weeks to three months. Prints can be made at various stages along
the way, but it is not possible to fix the negative when it reaches the perfect state without changing its appearance. If multiple prints are
anticipated over a period of time, it is best either to re-photograph the image, or make a duplicate negative (via an interneg, or by copying
onto transparency film).
Polaroid positive/negative films have negatives that are composed of silver grains just like the emulsions of wet-process films: the thing that
separates instant films from conventional types is mostly the chemistry in which they are developed. Because of this, Polaroid instant negatives
can be bleached and toned in conventional print chemistries after development to produce colored or tone-distorted effects depending on the solutions
and methods used.
To produce such effects, use combined sepia or copper toning, with development in an ordinary print developer. If sepia toner is used, the image
will show local 'bronzing' after partial bleaching - an effect that may in itself be useful.
If copper toning is used, you will find that unlike the print case, contrast tends to go down rather than up (owing to the lower density of brown
Thorough washing must be used between all stages, and the negative must be handled only at the edges to avoid leaving fingerprints on the image
split toning of negatives can cause changes in printed density values. If this effect is not wanted, and color distortions are preferred, print the
toned Black & White negatives onto color paper. In this case, the colors will, of course, be reversed.