CC 1235 LECTURE 4: Factors affecting the tones of photos

Even when we use the same Polaroid, the outcome may look so different in a sense that the pictures have various tones. Some are yellowish and reddish, while some may have the blue toned.

What to determine the tone of a picture? Is it related to the camera or the film? We list out 4 major factors to clear your mind.

1. Weather/ physical condition

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Photographer: On Chan / Location: Ethiopia, Africa

Instant film is highly sensitive to temps. When you shoot in a freezing cold place (e.g. -10°C to -15°C/ 14°F to 5°F and below), the photos tend to look bluish, lightened and less contrasted. And the heat does affect the film. Under hot weather of 35°C to 40°C/ 95°F to 104°F and above, the images all turn out with a reddish or yellowish overtone.

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Photographer: Ming Chan / Location: Hokkaido, Japan

The tone of colour varies under different temperatures. In other words, it depends on how cold/warm you are placing the photo for development. For the Impossible’s current generation of films (mid 2016), the full development takes 20-30 minutes. During this period of time, if the temperature is around 10°C to 15°C/ 50°F to 59°F, the image tends to look bluish, whereas if the temperature is above 30°C/ 86°F, the image tends to look reddish.

2. Source of light

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Photographer: Eric Luk / Camera: SLR670-S / Film: Color Film for 600

It is also related to the colour temperature of light source. Sun is actually appearing bluish in hue, but incandescent light bulbs eject light in yellow. Our eyes have the ability to compensate this colour difference but instant films don’t. So we usually find the bluish image outdoor and yellowish toned indoor shots.

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Photographer: Eric Luk / Camera: SLR670-S / Film: Color Film for 600

Instant film is daylight balanced. From sunrise to sunset, dawn to dusk, the amount of sunlight determines the tone of picture, too.

3. Batch of film

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Photographer: Simon Bernabel / Film: Color Film for 600

Different batch of film can cause a lot, too. Before mid 2015, Impossible has not come up with the new formula chemical, so the photos were still a little bit reddish and yellowish. Starting from around Apr/ May 2016, Impossible have changed the formula, more chemicals are allowed to spill over. The new films produce more bluish images.

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Photographer: Harriet Browse / Film: Color Film for 600

4. The application of filters

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The use of accessories gives the photo a special tone. For instance, the blue filter will raise the colour temperature, filling blue tones all over the canvas.

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Photographer: Ming Chan / Accessories: MiNT Lens Set (blue filter)

Therefore, please noted that the colour tone is nothing to do with the camera. It matters most with the film and the environment you are photographing.

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CC 1420 LECTURE 6: POLAROID TROUBLE SHOOTING – UNDER/OVER-EXPOSED IMAGE

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INTRODUCTION
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Controlling the exposure value (EV) could be really challenging to both beginners and experienced users. Sometimes you may find it difficult to correctly set the exposure wheel. This may result in over/ under-exposed shots.

Impossible film can be mainly classified into two types: high ISO (600) and low ISO (SX-70). Many people are confused about HOW to take a correctly exposed picture.

 

PART 1.

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Tips about setting the brightness

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To use 600 film in a default ISO100 camera(e.g. SX-70 Model 1, Model 2, Sonar, Alpha)

⇒ Use Flash (half power)/ Turn the exposure wheel all the way to darken (black) / Use ND filter

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To Use SX-70 film in default ISO100 camera

⇒ In normal case, you should keep the exposure wheel in the middle position

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To use 600 film in default ISO600 camera (e.g.SLR670a/SLR680)

⇒ In normal case, you should keep the exposure wheel in the middle position

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To use SX-70 film in default ISO600 camera

⇒ Turn the exposure wheel all the way to lighten (white)

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PART 2.

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Reasons of Under/Over-exposed image

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Film to use corresponding to indoor/ outdoor?

You are suggested to use flash high ISO film (600) indoor and low ISO film (100) outdoor. If you plan to take pictures in both indoor and outdoor, you should use low ISO film and use flash if necessary.

In a condition of very bright light, even when you use SX-70 film (ISO100 film), it is still possible to result in over-exposed images. There are 2 solutions: adjust the exposure wheel to darken, or use an ND filter and keep the exposure wheel in the middle position.

Most of the SX-70 cameras are programmed as ISO100. In most cases you should use corresponding SX-70 film (ISO100 film) as this will ensure the image is correctly exposed. If you want to use 600 film (approx. 6 times more light sensitive than SX-70 film) in your SX-70 camera, you need to put an ND filter before shooting or you will get over-exposed images.

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Temperature differs?

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Photo tends to look pale and with low contrast under cold weather.

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Shield after shooting?

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Impossible film tends to be sensitive to light. Shield the picture immediately after ejection and avoid exposure under the Sun or bright light. You can use the darkslide (the black cover that ejects immediately after you insert a new film pack) to cover the image. Or even better, use Impossible Frog Tongue to make the shielding easier. Once it is ejected, leave the picture face down for 10 minutes for Impossible B&W films, and 30 minutes for colour films. This will largely increase the successful rate of developing nice pictures.

 

REMARKS

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  1. Frog Tongue is available for all boxtype/ folding SX-70 and Image/Spectra cameras.

2. The light bulbs on top of SX-70 is the original Polaroid Flash Bar. It is a disposable flash with a 10-times use flashbulb unit. Suitable for SX-70 Camera/ OneStep Rainbow. These flash bars are no longer manufactured and have been gradually replaced by electronic flash.

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That’s why MINT created MiNT Flash Bar 2, which is a revolutionary re-usable high quality electronic flash bar device for all Polaroid folding and box-type SX-70 type cameras. It comes with 2 filters for your creativity.

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3. Lens Set for Polaroid SX-70 Cameras is also available. The set includes Fisheye, Close-up, Blue filter, Yellow filter, and ND filter. You can get as close as 12cm, take selfies with friends, get the nice blue colour of the sky, create higher contrast in B&W photos, and shoot 600 film in SX-70 cameras. It is definitely another must have item besides the flash.

SFA 1203 Lecture 4: Fuji emulsion lift workshop

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In this lecture, you will learn about how to do emulsion lift using Fuji instant films. It can be made using FP-100C and 8×10 films. In fact, the process is pretty similar to the Polaroid / Impossible film. The biggest difference between the two is their emulsions. Extra works are needed during the process.

 

WHAT YOU NEEDinstant-university_yellow-border

Instant photo x 1

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Scissors x 1

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Soft paintbrush x 1

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Hair-dryer x 1

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Tray of hot water (around 70°C / 160°F) x 1

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Carrier surface
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Acetate x 1

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1. After taking a picture, pull film out and wait for like 1.5 minutes for full development. Then you can peel the negative image away from the positive.

2. Air dry the print until it is completely dry. Or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.

3. Cut all the white borders around the image.

4. Put the print face up into the hot water. Make sure the print is literally submerged. By rocking the trap back and forward, you will see some white bubbles appear on the image surface, and in about 4 minutes, the emulsion should start falling off from the print.

5. If the emulsion has not completely separating, pour some more hot water and continue the agitation. Use fingers to assist the separation, until the emulsion has totally come off.

6. Take a sheet of acetate and slide it under the emulsion, flatten the lift as much as you can.

7. Put the image on the carrier surface, at this time, the image should be in between of the carrier surface and the acetate.

8. Moisture the carrier with little water, put the acetate over the carrier where you want your image to be.

9. Carefully remove the acetate.

10. Apply the acrylic medium (glass gel medium is fine as well) with a small brush on the image area.

11. Air dry the finishing piece overnight and you are done!

SFA 1203 Lecture 3: Polaroid / Impossible emulsion lift workshop

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Emulsion lift (also known as emulsion transfer) is an interesting photographic technique. By using this method, you can transfer your image onto a completely different surface like mug, paper, t-shirt, or tote bag, for creative printmaking.

It is all about the jelly-like emulsion layer of instant film being separated from its clear layer. Afterwards, a picture can be reattached to other surface you want. Other than that, you can enlarge or change the shape of the image during the process.

 

WHAT YOU NEEDinstant-university_yellow-border

Instant photo x 1

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Scissors x 1

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Soft paintbrush x 2-3

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Tray of water (in room temperature) x 1

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STEP-BY-STEPinstant-university_yellow-border

1. Use scissors to cut the edge off the picture.

2. Remove the whole frame. You will get a square image.

3. Peel the black plastic foil away from the image. 

4. Soak the picture into the water for few minutes.

5. Use a paintbrush to gently brush the image layer (thin emulsion layer) away from the transparent plastic foil in water.

6. Pick the plastic out from the tray. Only keep the emulsion layer in the water. Make sure your image is forward.

7. Take the carrier material you have already prepared. Gently place it underneath the emulsion layer.

8. Carefully position the image layer on top of new surface by using paintbrush. Of course, you can use your fingers for help!

9. Remove the transferred image from water. After it is taken out of the water, you can still create or remove wrinkles and move the image around or even flatten it.

10. Once you finished playing around the shape, let it dry for about 24 hours. The emulsion will stick on the new surface. And you have a Polaroid / Impossible emulsion lift!

 

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You have to do the emulsion lift within 2 or 3 days after the image is taken. Once the image solidifies, you will no longer be able to separate the layers.

SFA 1203 Lecture 2: After effect – Manipulation by Impossible film

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Manipulation is an alternative artistic “painterly effect”. You can convert a normal picture into an Impressionism painting or oil painting! It is very creative, isn’t it?

From old films like Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero or 600 to The Impossible Project. You can create an image with unique result through manipulation, before the emulsion dries.

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“Manipulation makes your Impossible PX70 and PX680 like a little impressionist canvas.” – Carmen Palermo (Credits: The Impossible Project & Carmen Palermo)

 

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Manipulation involves taking a blunt object by applying pressure to a still developing Polaroid. The tools used to the process could be a wooden stick or Cold Clip Pen by Impossible. Sharp tool would ruin the emulsion layer so avoid using it.

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Use pressure to create a blending and slight distortion on the chemicals. Remember, the picture can no longer be restored.

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**Drawing on Impossible film is not as easy as the original Polaroid SX70 film. To do so, it is better for you to heat up the image by hairdryer first and draw harder.

CC 1420 Lecture 3: Air traveling with instant films and cameras

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WHY ANNOTATE?
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Many Instant Photographers may have the same X-ray concern about carrying undeveloped films when traveling. In this chapter, you will learn what to do and what NOT to do when traveling, without X-ray damaging to your instant films and cameras.

 

HOW?
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BRING FILMS AS CARRY-ON LUGGAGE

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instant-university_CC1420-lecture-3-air-traveling-with-instant-films-and-cameras-#5Unprocessed film is sensitive to light just as they are waiting to be exposed. Although Impossible Project film has a rather low ISO of 160 for SX-70, and ISO 640 for 600 cameras, X-ray of checked baggage screener may still penetrate and expose the film. Whereas carry-on baggage screener has a much milder X-ray – films under ISO800 such as Fujifilm instax mini film and instax wide film are usually not affected.

So never pack unprocessed film in baggage that will be checked. Or you can politely insist on hand-inspection of the film whenever possible.

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PHOTOGRAPHING IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES

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When you want to take photos in a freezing cold place (e.g. -10°C to -15°C / 14°F to 5°F and below), you should put the camera inside your bag or  your coat pocket and keep it near your body prior to shooting. Using your body temperature is a good way to ensure that your camera will work well.

Instant film is highly sensitive to temperature. After the camera ejects picture, immediately place it in your pocket or directly onto heat pads. A moderate room temperature of around 25°C / 77°F is optimal for developing camera pictures. Warm the photo with your body temperature is the easiest way. Low temperature will overexpose a photo. It may look bluish, lightened and less contrasted.

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Travelling in a place with hot weather (e.g. 35°C to 40°C / 95°F to 104°F and above) is a different situation. Keeping the developing image under shade and keep it cool will help correcting the white balance and prevent reddish and yellowish to a large extent. DO NOT leave the exposing photo under direct sunlight.

Tips:
Hot temperature has a greater effect on B&W film than color. If you wish to get a better result with Polaroid cameras, snap with Impossible Color Film!

Impossible Project film can deliver good results when used within a temperature range of 13°C to 28°C / 55°F to 82°F, while 5°C to 40°C / 41°F to 104°F for Fujifilm instant film.

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SHIELDING

Even with Color Protection Film, it is possible to be overexposed under strong sunlight. The first few seconds are extremely crucial for image development. Always shield the film from light when it is ejected.

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Can I use a black card, to cover the film with a hand or quickly turn the photo upside down?

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To put a black card at picture exit slot is economical and may help, but it will not work as perfect as the Frog Tongue from Impossible Project.

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THE USE OF MANUAL FOCUS

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Some Polaroid cameras such as SX-70 Sonar, use sonar to auto focus. When you are on a coach or railway cabin, visiting in museum or aquarium, as long as there is glass between you and the object, the sonar auto focus will not work because sonar will bounce back when it hits the glass. In order to shoot through glass, simply switch to manual focus and you are good to go!

CC 1420 Lecture 1: Film storage – How to keep film in good condition

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AFTER PURCHASE
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When you purchase a fresh pack of film for your Polaroid camera, normally an unopened package is allowed to store for 12 months. For opened film, better to finish photographing within a month.

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Optimum range of temperature for Impossible Project film storage is between 15°C – 20°C (59°F – 68°F). As the film is super sensitive to light, avoid any exposure to sunlight. Otherwise it may cause undesirable chemical reaction.

For Fujifilm instant color film, keep it in the fridge at temperature below 10°C (50°F). Opened film packs can also be kept in the fridge by placing them into polyethylene or vinyl bags.

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Store your films in a cool place and avoid sunlight. Do not store your films in damp proofing box – film chemicals will dry and will no longer develop images. Before use, try to settle to room temperature if the film is placed in the fridge. If you use the film while it is still cold, the photo quality may be adversely affected by condensation.

 

AFTER CARE
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(In short run) Shading

When the photo is ejected immediately after photographing, that will be the critical moment! Shield it from light immediately.

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When developed film is exposed to strong light, the image will increase it brightness by approximately two stops. Somehow this will ruin the picture.

The best and most effective approach is to use a Frog Tongue. The frog tongue will essentially cover the photo when it is ejected, leaving it no chance at all to encounter light. Or a more economical way is to tape a black card on top of the picture exit slot. It acts similar to the frog tongue but it could be annoying to tape on and off.

After ejection, do not leave the film under direct sunlight while it is still developing. Also, do not bend, fold, or put pressure on the photo or else may cause unevenness on the image.


(In short run) Development

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Keep shielding the image from light when developing. In about 15 minutes, the image will nearly be developed and stabilised.instant-university_yellow-border

(In long run) Location

The quality of finished images will change during storage. The key is to store the image in a cool place, preferably the fridge (not freezer).
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(In long run) Temperature

Storing in crisper drawer is the optimum solution for image stability. Do not store the film under 0°C / 32°F as this may devastate images.

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(In long run) Meth
ods

A. Make good use of your fridge

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For the best results, put the photos in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. The temperature and humidity in crisper drawers (where to store fruits) can slower down the speed of changing colour and is effective to keep the color on films. After 2 weeks, you will find the pictures become rigid and stiff, that means the pictures have already “cooled down” and can exhibit like normal.

For Fujifilm, keep images in a dark dry and well-ventilated location away from gases. You don’t need to keep Fujifilm in the fridge like Impossible Project film.

B. Emulsion lift

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It is about removing the emulsion layer from a sheet of Polaroid / Impossible or Fuji film and transferring it onto other surfaces such as clothing, painting paper, mug etc. After that the image is forever kept. During the process of emulsion lift, you can even enlarge or change the shape of the image. Special kit is needed for emulsion lift.

C. Air the chemical

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Some will cut out 2 blank boxes behind Polaroid / Impossible image so as to fasten up the speed of drying chemicals. But after a certain period of time, the image will fade especially Black & White photos. Moreover, the back of image is unavoidably damaged thus many photographers avoid using this method.