The Polaroid transfer technique is both easy and fun – once you’ve figured out what equipment to use and where to find it. Gary Auerbach shares his experience.
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Polaroid Image Transfers
Early in my career, at my first studio, I experimented with Polaroid image transfers. I was working with a 4/5 Noba Studio camera ($500.00) and a Heliar older style lens ($250).
This is controlled by an air bulb… which will give a consistant speed shutter but is definately not mechanical.
I would encourage participation of clients on Downtown Saturday Nights the local arts walk. I offered to do three transfers for $15, they would keep two, and I would keep one. I got to make the first selection.
This was 15 years ago, so price was not too out of line. Doing it like this, I got to build a portfolio of polariod image transfers quickly. Two of them are showing here.
I would do a warm transfer on the back of a light box, using Arches paperfor a full laydown, or use Cranes stationary paper if I wanted a more abstract version, with more lift.
Notice the air inlet for the pneaumatic bulb ( soft squeeze gives you 1/10 sec exposure and hard squeeze gives a 1/25 exposure. The electric cord gives me a X’ sync. The 300 Heliar gives a sharp focus on the image plane, but softens considerably in foreground and background. It has a special quality of diffusion. The shutter that works behind the Heliar lens is a packard shutter.
Shooting direct 4×5 type 59 film in a polaroid holder gave me a sharpness in the final image that I have not been able to get through enlarging a smaller negative.
That’s it! Hopefully you can now get started with the Polaroid techniques.
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