How To Make a Polaroid Emulsion Lift – A Step by Step Guide.
How To Do a Polaroid Emulsion Lift.
I have decided to put a few bits of my old Uni stuff up on my blog in order to try and help anyone out that is maybe studying the same things I did. This particular blog piece was written as part of a creative applications module where I had to write about how to do various creative apps (Craps) techniques – Enjoy:
A Polaroid Emulsion lift is a very simple way of transferring an image from a Polaroid print and placing the image onto virtually any other surface. The procedure for this is simple.
Film: To start with you will require the correct film. More commonly 669 polaroid film is used however Fuji now also manufacture a similar film called Fuji FP-100C which is a very similar, the only difference being that it does not have an adhesive properties and so a PVA/water mix is required at the end to ensure the emulsion has adhesive properties.
Image Transfer: Now you have to decide how you will get an image transferred to the film, for this there are two options:
Camera Option: There are only certain Polaroid cameras that will take the specific film required to do a Polaroid lift and so care and attention is required to ensure any purchases are researched correctly. Here is a list of some Polaroid cameras that will take 669 or FP100 film.
- 100 Series: Automatic 100,101,102,103,104,125,135
- 200 Series: Automatic 210,215,220,225,230,240,250
- 300 Series: Automatic 315,320,325,330,335,340,350,355,360,M60,…
- 400 Series: Automatic 420,430,440,450,455, Countdown 70, Countdown 90
- Pro Models: 180,185,190,195a
Day Lab Option: A day lab is used in conjunction with a film negative. The negative is loaded into the day lab along with a film pack. Light is then passed through the negative and the image is transferred onto the polaroid film.
Once the image has been transferred to the 669/FP100C film the process can then begin to lift the emulsion from the film.
For this you will require:
- A Kettle
- Boiling Water (preferably distilled)
- A container to hold the water – A clear glass Pyrex dish is perfect
- A second container to hold the final lift
- A small paint brush
- Small tongues or similar to lift the emulsion out of the hot water
Once you have these items the process is very simple and takes only a few minutes.
- Firstly boil some of the distilled water up in the kettle (using distilled water stops any impurities occurring on the final lift).
- Once the water has been dispensed to your primary container you need to submerge the Polaroid into the hot water and then wait for around 3 minutes for the hot water to begin to manipulate the Polaroid. After a few minutes you will notice the corners of the Polaroid (the actual emulsion) begin to peel away or ‘lift’, this is the start of the process.
- Now use the small brush to massage the emulsion away from the Polaroid, working from the corners and towards the centre of the picture.
- Continue to massage the Polaroid until it has completely lifted away from the Polaroid.
- Now use the small tongues to transfer the emulsion to the secondary water container. By keeping the image in water you can keep it pliable until you are ready to transfer the emulsion.
- Finally apply the emulsion to virtually any surface you want, for example; paper, card, wood, and glass. Remember that when using the FUJI FP100C film you also need to make a thin mixture of PVA glue and water in order to give the emulsion adhesive properties.
That’s it your done, enjoy the results. You may also like my article on Polaroid Image Transfers HERE