Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Photographing Old School

In my third issue of CRAFT magazine, which will no longer be published (yes, I feel I got screwed out of my fourth magazine), there was an article about Polaroid emulsion transfer which allows you to transfer images from photos you take onto any object you want. I became quite enthralled with this process that I went on a hunt for a Polaroid camera. Being the whimsy, go-getter that I am, I didn't research my cameras closely enough before buying a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera. When I got my film a week later, I couldn't get it to fit in the camera. I realized that I had purchased the wrong camera. Luckily it was an inexpensive eBay purchase. I went back to the gargantuous online auction site and found the pack film camera I needed (after extensive research this time). I won the bid on my wonderful, old 1970s Polaroid camera in is nice carrying box with a flash holder and old flash cube. I could hardly wait! When the Polaroid Countdown 90 Land Camera arrived in the post box I ribbed open the package and quickly briefed myself on how to load the film. I got my film pack in and was ready to take photos when I realized I didn't have batteries. Searching "local" camera stores, I found that my battery need was very specialized and pricier than some batteries. I went back to my online film site and found my weird batteries and decided to order more pack film while I was there. So I waited once more fore a package to creativity.

On Friday I came home to a package tucked into the corner of my porch, tottling on the edge of my doormat. I squealed with excitement and quickly opened my door. I threw down my bags of groceries, tore open the package, grabbed my second Polaroid camera, and proceeded to clip in the batteries. With the metal-to-metal contact of the second battery and buzzing, beeping sound was emitted from the camera. Another squeal. I took some pictures of my cute guinea pig hanging out on the bed and was very disappointed in my photos. Big white blurry streaks and a faint hint of a pig somewhere in the middle. I took a few more and again got blurry blobs of guinea pig and bedspread but managed to get better developing this time. Still saddened by my ghostly photos I headed out to the balcony and took a picture of the cat stretching out. Blurry and dark. Then the red lanterns hanging from the awning. A bit more artistic this time but still not a clear image. Then I tried to capture some things around the living room and even dale with a lamp much too close to his face. Nothing but black squares and clownish out of focus person. Disappointed that something was wrong with the camera after my long, anxious wait, I put the the Countdown 90 back in it's slightly moldy black box and put it back on my crafts books in the corner.

On Saturday I became determined to figure out what was wrong with the camera after a few more blurry tries. Surely I could get it to take a decent photograph. I was still befuddled by the number 2 on the red button on the top and the number 3 on the lever to ready a new sheet on film near the lens. Where was number 1? I browsed the book, remembering a picture of a bob-haired blond model being used to show focused and non-focused images. Of course! The number one had been in front of my face the whole time and I didn't realize there was a focus finder next the the view finder. The cat, staring at me from her perch in the window, stared at me and listened to my gasp of excitement. She was my view finder victim. Too close at first, I backed away, slide the number 1 component sideways, and voila! I had her in focus. Click, pull, pull, beep, peel, and there was the cat, right out of a 1970s photo album, perched in the window on that classic white backed little rectangle photo paper, sharp as a digital snapshot. At last! I grabbed the guinea pig and recreated the bedspread background and repeated the Polaroid process. Again, a crisp image of a little white pig in a sea of orange filigree. I can't wait to tote this giant, cumbersome camera around and create a time warp of modern images. I am once again inspired to take up my cameras.
Happy Crafting!
Cerise : )

*P.S. I think this process might work with modern printers. I found the image on a penguin tag fully peeled off from its photo paper one day. I'll have to try that out as the pack film is not cheap!*

See how to do it!
Polaroid Emulsion Transfer

1 comment:

Michelle Koury said...

those photos look great, I am excited to see what else develops (hehe)