Fascinated with my Poloroid camera I find the images an interesting way to present something historical that has a relationship with memory. Particularly when thinking about the fading of memories over time and how the Poloroid photographs easily become faded or overexposed depending on the environmental factors when they were taken. This is a method I’m considering to help me connect with archive footage in particular.

For this experiment I used some archive images from the internet and manipulated them using my iPhone. Once printed, I then photographed them with my poloroid camera.

Whilst not important to note for the digitally modified images, it is important that I say the poloroids were taken on a particularly hot day. The film had been in the fridge and the first two images (clearest) were taken straight away, so although the day was hot the film was cold. However I then decided to follow advice and leave the film adapt to room temperature before continuing. What resulted was the remaining images being overexposed, however I liked this effect anyway.

The SX-70 Poloroid camera was a significant influence in the way that photography and art interact. The SX-70 film allowed you to modify and distort the image by scratching into the emulsion. Lucas Samaras was know for his photo transformations created in this manner.

For all the poloroids I used a wooden stick to manipulate the Poloroid ink as the images developed which also gave me some interesting additional effect.

I also then photographed the poloroids with my iPhone and edited them.

Poloroid Emulsion Lift is where you transfer the emulsion from a Poloroid onto another surface, for example paper. These are also called Poloroid Transfers. Using original Poloroid pull apart films which are now discontinued, the only film available for this process now is available from the Impossible project.

Finally I decided to make a photo emulsion experiment with one of the Poloroid photographs.


The edited images I photographed with the Poloroid were very dark and I think higher contrast images would be a better source. Getting the camera to focus on the digital images was a challenge in itself. I need more thought in this area. More research is required on how to manipulate Poloroid photographs.


En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Instant camera. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_camera [Accessed 9 May 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Lucas Samaras. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucas_Samaras [Accessed 9 May 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Polaroid transfer. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polaroid_transfer [Accessed 9 May 2019].

PetaPixel. (2019). How to Do an Emulsion Lift to Transfer an Image from Polaroid to Paper. [online] Available at: https://petapixel.com/2017/02/01/emulsion-lift-transfer-image-polaroid-paper/ [Accessed 9 May 2019].

Polaroid Originals UK. (2019). Polaroid Instant Cameras and Film. [online] Available at: https://uk.polaroidoriginals.com/ [Accessed 9 May 2019].

Shoot It With Film. (2019). How To Do Polaroid Transfers & Emulsion Lifts » Shoot It With Film. [online] Available at: https://shootitwithfilm.com/how-to-do-polaroid-transfers/ [Accessed 9 May 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Polaroid transfer / for Mediatos. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/rEXSelhHHvw [Accessed 9 May 2019].

5 thoughts on “ Experimenting with Poloroids ”

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