polaroid transfers

doors: brugges, belgium
doors: brugges, belgium
polaroid transfer created 2003
photo taken 1998

with the news that polaroid will stop making film after they’ve got enough in stock for 2009, i wonder if i should start stockpiling film? i still like taking photos with my polaroid camera, and even though i haven’t made polaroid transfers in a few years, it’s something i’d still like to be able to do. i recently found some great slides from the 70′s.

i won’t detail instructions on creating polaroid transfers here, because it’s been so long since i’ve done it. essentially, you take a slide and project it onto the polaroid film using a vivitar or daylab daylight instant slide printer. then, rather than allowing the polaroid to develop, you peel it apart and transfer the emulsion onto the paper of your choice. the result is watercolor-like, but with amazing detail. and you can use almost any photo: i rarely shoot with slide film, so i chose my favorite photos and have slides made.

it’s definitely not a cheap hobby. slide printers can be hard to find, and can cost a couple hundred dollars. the film is expensive as well: a pack of 20 is around $24, and i’d imagine the film cost will go up as the supply dwindles. your best bet is to find a class and utilize the instructor’s equipment, expertise, and film.

for those of you in the twin cities, the minnesota center for book arts has a polaroid transfer workshop in april. i’d love to go and brush up on my skills, but will be out of town. for now, i’ll continue to contemplate whether or not i should go on a film buying spree.

is anyone else stocking up on polaroid film?

9 responses to “polaroid transfers”

  1. jenn says:

    Not stocking up, guess it’s too late to start that hobby. But on a similar note, I recently went to a new doctor and they took a polaroid of me to put in the file so they could greet me by name. Cool, eh?

  2. Anna says:

    Been thinking about stocking up a little as I still have a camera. I actually have a similar post planned and have been trying to get it done for a couple weeks but I won’t let myself until I hang a couple on the wall. Does your slide printer still work?

  3. fish says:

    i think my slide printer works — i need to dig out my notes and instructions and try to remember how to use it. i’d really like to try doing a few more someday soon. i still have a package of the film, but i’m not sure if it’s any good. so sometime this spring, i’ll give it a shot.

  4. fish says:

    oh, and i will note that since i wrote this post, i used a target gift card to buy 3 packs of film for my polaroid camera. they are stored safely in the fridge!

  5. Jackie says:

    Don’t have a polaroid camera, but I’m wondering about the beautiful polaroid pictures I’ve been coming across in blog/flickr land. There won’t be any more film for such beautiful images. :(

  6. Anna says:

    I think I may remember if you need help.

  7. fish says:


  8. Design for Mankind says:

    shut up– this is such good news! :)

  9. Emma says:

    I’ve been talking to our visiting artist, Prudy about this very issue and she has found a way to make Fuji’s instant film work for transfers. So as long as Fuji continues to make film (which will probably not be forever. . .) there is still a way.

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