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Polaroid Manipulations

I have been taking photographs for several decades and have always liked distortions, hints of movement, slow shutter speeds , reflections — things that were not just  exactly a reproduction of reality. Years ago I was surfing the internet and came across some photographs which totally captivated me. I  began to investigate and then was eager to  learn the technique. First of all I had to get the correct camera , which was a polaroid sx-70 .I wanted one with autofocus and flash which  was very difficult to find  but I did finally get  one that actually worked , after purchasing several that were not operational.  I bought boxes of time zero film and began experimenting with the technique and developing my own style . The following photographs are my favorites among them.  Some of these were taken in the rural countryside in which I live , some are of my dog and some were taken in Paris. Polaroid Manipulations It was an adventure in itself to take the camera and film through security at the airport but there were people who were actually intrigued by and had never seen this type of camera and so I was able to show them something “new”. In explanation of this type of photograph , I will offer my technical expertise by saying that when one takes a photo with this type of film , first of all you take the photo, the camera makes a very strange noise like a low buzzgrindclick and out pops the photo which at that moment is gray . In a matter of several minutes the photo actually develops and the image appears replacing the gray. However for the next several minutes after the image appears, the ink which is sandwiched ( oh I like that word ) between the top clear layer of plastic and the bottom layer of plastic , is not hardened, it is ( excuse the technical photo-lingo ) squishy. The squishiness of the ink will allow it to be moved around between the layers when pressure is applied. You could do this with your finger but that has rather a blobby result or a finger nail or a popsicle stick ( you get the idea ) but my tool of choice is the golf tee. So I would take the photo, buzzgrindclick and wait until the image was completely developed and then very carefully ,because I learned that if you pushed too hard you would make an empty spot that was white and it was very hard to undo that and if you did not apply enough pressure the result was very unremarkable and there was no room to experiment , if you messed up you had to use another photo. I did find out however that the photos could be taken and frozen after they had developed. They could then be thawed out by holding them in your hands or placing them over a cup of coffee ( or in my case a cup of chai latte’ ) and then manipulated for a time. I really enjoyed making these photos and I hope that you like seeing them – unfortunately the company discontinued the film that had these particular qualities and so when I have used up all I managed to hoard away I will no longer be able to produce these. I am very particular in my subject matter due to this film shortage and found that I liked the effect on buildings the best and signs with words and that I liked subjects which incorporated a bit of the color red . Polaroid ManipulationsSacre Coeur , Paris Polaroid ManipulationsMontmartre

The next photo is of an artist’s studio on a side street leading away from the area of Montmartre and was a gorgeous shade of peelingpaint blue and gray……. Polaroid Manipulations

7 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. It thrills me to see your gorgeous polaroids here!!!

  2. I'm so excited you posted these. Your artwork is fantastic. Can't wait to see your ATC cards (right?) here too!!

  3. M, these are so gorgeous. So thrilled to see them. xo

  4. omigosh, these are beautiful….I thought I was looking at impressionist paintings! Is the red house with Xmas wreaths in the window located on a little back road in Pendleton Co., by any chance? It looks familiar.

  5. WWMD? Love these, M!!! My fave is the Sacre Coeur….It is so dreamy, and the colors are extraordinary. What a fascinating way to create/manipulate a photo.

  6. These are really great. I wish I could get my Polaroid pictures to look like these. Too bad the film we have now isn't that good.

  7. gosh these are beautiful! very painterly and very inspiring!

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