Manipulated Polaroids

Coffee Bus

Manipulated Polaroid image of a coffee-shop in a London-style bus, taken in Asheville, NC

Along with the Polaroid Emulsion prints that I’ve done, I’ve also experimented with manipulated Polaroids.

In a nutshell, the trick is that old Polaroid Land Cameras used film that required a few minutes to “set”.   This was, at the time, considered a large drawback, as it meant that any inadvertent touch smudged the picture.  In this technique, though, that same “bug” is used as a “feature” by “smushing” the unset gel around inside the film with a blunt instrument (in my case, most often the back of a cosmetic brush).

The results are dreamy and wonderful (and though you can use filters to duplicate them in Photoshop, it’s just not the same,  I think).

The difficult thing is that Polaroid has stopped producing the film necessary to create these images, so it’s in incredibly scarce supply.  One group, the Impossible Project, has bought Polaroid’s old equipment and is manufacturing an equivalent for the 600 film, but I’m still waiting for the film I need to do these sort of prints.  I do have my fingers crossed!



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