Tutorials on modifying and manipulating Polaroid photos


Lucas Samaras Photo-Transformation 1976
Lucas Samaras, Photo-Transformation, 1976
Patrick Nagatani, Alamogordo Blues, 1986
Patrick Nagatani, Alamogordo Blues, 1986

I’ve picked up instant photography with old Polaroid cameras. It’s an addiction I need to deal with, as I already have three that take 600, SX70 and Spectra film. Most of this was after reading the biography of Ed Land and Polaroid through Instant: The Story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos. It gives the history of Polaroid both from the business perspective, their amazing partnership with artists, their legendary collection of Polaroids from those artists, the ultimate downfall of the Polaroid company, the tragic scattering of the art collection and the upstarts like Impossible Project that have emerged from the ashes.

That led me to pick up several books including Polaroid Manipulations: A Complete Visual Guide by Kathleen Carr which focuses very specifically on manipulating SX-70 film. For the unaware, SX-70 film was revived by The Impossible Project who now goes by Polaroid Originals. Long story short, there are a lot of interesting things you can do by cutting off the edges and separating the layers of SX-70 film.

For the impatient I’ve included a couple videos from Mark of Analog Things on Youtube to show a couple of the quick possibilities in this art form. However, if you own a bunch of exposed Polaroid film, I highly recommend diving a bit deeper with Kathleen’s book and others.



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