Sunday, November 8, 2009

Polaroid image transfers / Eddie Wall

The Digital revolution came upon us so fast with in a few years it change the way we saw the world. There will be a time when film and photography will come back. The problem is in the process of this revolution we lost most of the film that had helped create these one of a kind pieces of art

These photos are Polaroid image transfers this process I learn from taking a day class some years ago. The images you see here are from an Eddie Wall interview that was published in snowboarder magazine in 2004. Before I worked on these I researched some other people who had done these image transfers and I wanted to do something that I had never seen before. I wanted to lay images over each other like you would in Photoshop. I did not even know if this was possible. I use the little money I had at the time and bought just enough Polaroid film to complete this project. This meant that I could not mess up!

Each one these multiple image transfers took me 8hrs to complete. I work on then like a mad scientist. The thing that impressed me the most I was abele to do each one with out messing up. Each of these is a one off pieces. One mistake would have meant it was the end of this project.

I had been talking to snowboarder mag about doing an Eddie Wall interview I let them know I had something to show them. I set up a meeting and drove from Lake Tahoe to Orange County witch is an 8 hr drive so I could show then in person. I had some time to think on my drive and I started doubting my self.No one had ever done ant thing like this. When I walked in the office and opened this portfolio book with the transfers in it I had no idea of what they were going to say? The photo editor loved them they agreed to run the pieces in the mag. After it came out people had no Idea of what this was they assumed it was done in Photoshop. That kind of bummed me out but looking back on it I see the importance of this piece. This is proof that Photoshop is not the only way. Weather or not the majority of people gets it that is not important. I was inspired my some one to do this and I hope I inspire people to push them self to be individuals not clones. Even if it is just one person. That is what is important to me

The method


Expose the Polaroid film
Use the Vivitar/Daylab instant slide printer to make the exposure. Set the cropping and filtration. Transfers should be somewhat overexposed. Also, a small amount of warming filter can improve the image since the red dyes tend to get lost in the transfer process.


Prepare the surface
For the wet-transfer method, (far easier than the dry) soak paper such as Arches hot-press 140-pound watercolor paper in warm (80-100 degree) water briefly until it is soft (less than a minute). Remove from water and let it drain. Place on a flat surface and squeezee lightly.


Start the Polaroid development process
Pull the film through the processing rollers. Use a straight, smooth motion and don't stop halfway! This will distribute the developer evenly. After about 12-15 seconds, pull the two sides of the Polaroid sandwich apart quickly. Set the faint sepia "positive" receiver aside.


Make the transfer
Place the "negative" Polaroid sheet face down on the prepared damp paper. Roll with the brayer, being careful not to let the negative move in relation to the paper. Use a gentle technique; too much pressure with the roller can distort the image. Let the negative stay in contact with the paper for about two minutes. It is helpful to keep the negative warm during this time - you can float the paper in a tray of warm water. If you have a warming tray, set the water bath on it and turn the temperature to about 100 degrees.


Separate the negative
After about 2 minutes, (you will need to experiment to see exactly how long it depends somewhat on the room temperature) you are ready to pull the negative from the paper. Remove it from the water and slowly begin to peel back the negative. A very slow pull is the safest technique. If the image starts to lift excessively, try starting from another corner.


Post processing
Polaroid chemistry is very basic, and it is advisable to neutralize this. A post-processing soak in a weak acid, such as vinegar, is recommended. This also tends to strengthen the colors somewhat. Use a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. Soak for no more than 60 seconds with agitation. Then wash in running water for 4 minutes and air-dry.


roxie said...

It is amazing how so much detailed work and dedication goes into creating such beautiful artwork. I can imagine how much more satisfying and sense of accomplishment it is to see your one of a kind end result as oppose to a digital approach. Never doubt yourself Ian, you are beyond talented :)

For your soul:) said...

I agree with the first girl:)

Anonymous said...

Wicked awesome! You should be proud of yourself, Ian. You have immense talent.

pinkcherrymama said...

holy crap! i have been wanting to do this for soooo long. thanks for posting to find the equipment! yet another thing jimmie will have to put up with ;)the texture and movement that the image transfers create are so rad. you are awesome as usual!