Outside the Portfolio-2


     Over the course of time, fashions and trends enter the world of photography, just as they do in most walks of life.

     One year it’s ‘cool’ to shoot out-of-focus, the next it’s ‘cross-processing’, now it’s HDR or filter ‘crunches’.

     Polaroid has long been a part of professional and family photography, with professionals possibly pushing the envelope more to see what Polaroids are truly capable of, beyond the instant gratification factor.

     With the advent of digital photography though, Polaroid as we have known it, has almost become a dinosaur. No longer does a photographer need to shoot a Polaroid to check lighting, exposure and composition. It’s right there on the back of the camera now!

     Polaroid Transfers were the rage a few years back. This is when the negative is removed from the print material and placed on another medium, such as water color paper, to finish its’ development. I had always heard that this technique was discovered in the Polaroid labs by a technician who ‘peeled’ a Polaroid and placed the negative on a white counter-top. When he remembered it and was cleaning up, lo and behold, there was a print on the Formica.

     My favorite was the ‘emulsion shifting’ that went through its’ craze phase a couple of years ago. There was only one Polaroid film that would allow it and only one camera to shoot with (without certain camera re-tooling). The film was Polaroid’s Time-Zero film and the camera was the SX-70….you’ve seen them….the brown (usually) leather and chrome camera introduced in 1972 that folded flat when not in use…

     When a shot was made and the camera spit out the picture, someone discovered that after a few minutes the actual emulsion between the clear Mylar ‘cover’ and the paper print stock could be ‘moved around’ for a certain length of time.

     Many used golf tees, or toothpicks, or coins, or whatever was handy to do the shifting. At the height of the craze there were even ‘kits’ sold that had various tools..books were written on the subject.

     My favorite tool was the ball on one end of the wooden stick that you find in candy stores with rock candy on the other end. (My kids ‘hated’ when I had to invest in another tool…Though they never understood why all I wanted was the ‘stupid’ stick.)

     Polaroid, in its’ struggle to survive has dis-continued the Time-Zero film. I think they sold the ‘recipe’ to someone in Belgium or Holland, and it is no longer ‘shift-able’. You might find some out-dated packs on e-bay at highly inflated prices.   I have my own personal stash that I am saving for just the right images.

     Of course, this same look can be ‘sort of’ duplicated in PhotoShop, but the actual Polaroid that had been manipulated was a one-of-a-kind, 4″x4″,  ‘analog’  work of art.

Who knows what the next trend will be…?

Y’all ready for this…?

We’ll just have to wait and see…

What develops!!!



(Polaroid HAS come up with a device that prints 2×3 prints directly from your didital camera.  It’s called the PoGo… http://www.polaroid.com/Products/Polaroid+PoGo/Overview/Overview/1804

~ by rkpowers on April 20, 2010.

3 Responses to “Outside the Portfolio-2”

  1. I love that style. You gave me the blackeyed susans done that way and everyone that comes over comments on it. I love the flowers done that way.

    Good job!!!


  2. I remember when I first saw a Polaroid camera and thought it was something miraculous. There was a well known psychic named Ted Serios who claimed to be able to project his thoughts onto Polaroid film.


  3. That’s what I’m trying to do…project my thoughts onto the film!!


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