Review: Impossible’s LIFT IT Brush Set

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve recently started using Impossible’s LIFT IT! brush set for emulsion transfers. Included in the set are four brushes, varying in size, which aide in the removal, positioning & manipulation of the gelatinous emulsion during transfers. In the past, I was using regular watercolor brushes to remove the emulsion from the mylar surface of instant images. That had been working OK, but since I’ve gotten these, I’m never turning back …

Impossible Project's LIFT IT!Brush Set

Impossible Project’s LIFT IT Brush Set

I’ve heard, “Aren’t these the same as brushes that I can pick up at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby?” At first, I assumed they might be. Not quite the case. When I would use other brushes, the bristles would flare out and I’d end up using the base of the bristles to push off & remove the emulsion. Sometimes I would end up tearing the emulsion while I was removing it, because invariably I was using the metal/wood portion at the base of the bristles. The LIFT IT brushes are designed well. The brushes that need to stay ridged and/or soft deliver. The #1 brush for instance, stays ridged while you use the soft bristles of the brush to remove the emulsion. This helps the user remove it without the heightened risk of tearing it. When you’re dealing with a gelatinous material, being as careful as you can is key.

Since I’ve started using the LIFT IT kit, I’ve made a handful of transfers for family & friends. I made a couple more this evening for this blog post to walk you through the steps. The steps might vary from person to person. This is one of the methods I use. I used three images to make two emulsion transfers. One will be dried & stowed away in the “another random transfer” file & the other will end up being a card for my grandmother.

Images for emulsion transfers

Images for emulsion transfers

Using a sharp knife, splice the edges of the film ...

Using a sharp knife, splice the edges of the film …

Run the knife around all four sides ...

Run the knife around all four sides …

Run the knife around all four sides ...

Run the knife around all four sides …

Keep going ..

Keep going ..

Carefully peel back the layers ...

Carefully peel back the layers …

Discard the bottom portion ...

Discard the bottom portion …

I repeated the process on the remaining two images ...

I repeated the process on the remaining two images …

The three peeled images

The three peeled images

Pour hot water into a tray/bowl

Pour hot water into a tray/bowl

I submerged the three images ...

I submerged the three images …

Brush #3 was made to shape, distort and to remove contortions after the transfer, however, I found that it also served well as a tool to wipe away the developer residue from the backside of the emulsion.  The brush is super soft and the fine bristles worked really well at this task.

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #3, I gently wiped the developer residue away

Using brush #1, I began removing the emulsions from the mylar

Using brush #1, I began removing the emulsions from the mylar

Using brush #1, I began removing the emulsions from the mylar

Using brush #1, I began removing the emulsions from the mylar

I gently moved the emulsions into a tray/bowl of cold water

I gently moved the emulsions into a tray/bowl of cold water

Once all three emulsions were in the cold tray ...

Once all three emulsions were in the cold tray …

I slid a piece of card stock under one of the emulsions

I slid a piece of card stock under one of the emulsions

I then placed another emulsion on top of the other to help frame it

I then placed another emulsion on top of the other to help frame it

Once I had maneuvered it around to my liking ...

Once I had maneuvered it around to my liking …

I gently slid a brush under the middle and lifted it out of the water

I gently slid a brush under the middle and lifted it out of the water

At this point, I used brush #4 to brush away some of the creases. After a little bit of brushing the creases grew on me; I decided to leave it alone and let it dry.

For the last emulsion, I slid a card into the water ...

For the last emulsion, I slid a card into the water …

Moved the emulsion on top of the submerged paper ..

Moved the emulsion on top of the submerged paper ..

Positioned it how I liked it using brush #1 & #2 and gently removed it

Positioned it how I liked it using brush #1 & #2 and gently removed it

Positioning these onto paper can be a little difficult. It’s best to use small delicate motions with the brushes to move it around. Once the emulsion is spread out, I’ve found you can position the paper underneath, and use gentle side-to-side motions to carefully make water movement push the image around. It takes a little bit of practice. Once I get the image where I want it, I slide a brush underneath the paper and gently push up from the middle to bring it out of the water.

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

Using brush #4, I added some tears around the edges

About halfway through this process, brush #4 was a little gunked up with the gelatinous goo. Nothing a quick dip in cold water couldn’t fix; it was as good as new.

When I was finished transferring the emulsions, I used the soap provided in the LIFT IT kit and thoroughly cleaned the bristles. They were clean within a matter of seconds and I set them aside to dry.

– The Transfers –

Example #1

Example #1

Example #2

Example #2

Should you buy it? Of course. Why? For a couple of reasons .. the main one is they really do work well and if cared for properly, these brushes should last you many, many, many transfers (years!). #2 – Do I really have to say it? You’ll be supporting one of the only instant photography companies by purchasing it. Buying their products empowers them to keep providing us with great analog materials to create art. It’s a no brainer!

Help keep instant alive!

If you have ANY questions whatsoever, please send a message my way. I’m always happy to help in any way that I can.

Thanks for your time!

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

CLICK HERE to buy Impossible’s LIFT IT! Brush Set

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The “Out of the Blue” exhibit at the Impossible Project NY Gallery Space

October 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thursday October 25th, the “Out of the Blue” exhibit is opening at the Impossible Project New York gallery space!  I was chosen, along with 29 other talented photographers, to display our images celebrating what’s become possible with Impossible’s newest films.   I’m grateful and honored to have been selected with the likes of such creative individuals!

If you are in the New York area, please stop by and check it out.  Not just for the unique images on display, but also to meet the incredible people that work there.  The exhibit will be up for roughly 3 months, until Jan 31st, so you’ve got plenty of time!

– CLICK ON FLYER FOR DETAILS – 

Out of the Blue Flyer

Out of the Blue Exhibit – Impossible Project New York

As always, thank you for reading my blog!

– Justin Goode

www.goodephotography.biz

CLICK HERE for more information about the Impossible Project New York Gallery Space

Spreadin’ the love of Impossible Project Film at Brookhaven College

October 5, 2012 § 16 Comments

About a week ago, I got in contact with Daniel Rodrigue, the journalism & photography instructor at Brookhaven College.   He had seen a post about the PolaWalk that I was hosting at the State Fair and after a brief telephone conversation, we decided to meet up.   When we did, he and I instantly clicked.   We’re both like-minded individuals and the passion that we share for instant photography is one in the same.   During our meeting, he asked me if I would mind talking to his students at his Photography 1 class about instant film & The Impossible Project.  After some thought, I quickly agreed and it was decided that I’d meet with them the following Tuesday.

I messaged The Impossible Project and they were ecstatic that I had the opportunity to help spread the word about instant film and would send some promotional material for the students.  I was really excited for the students and also very grateful for the opportunity from Daniel.

I’m not a public speaker.  However, I’ve been inspired to talk a lot about this medium.  It’s moved me in a way that no other facet of photography has.   It’s incredibly unique and the company that provides it, is just as much.

Following my meeting with Daniel and my conversations with TIP, I wrote a three page introduction about the company and its films; history, how to use it, special techniques and finally, closed it with a little bit of motivation to help spread the word.

Tuesday came along and I was fully prepared with everything that was needed.   I had a handful of cameras to show & use, Impossible Project film, an emulsion/lift transfer kit with examples, cork boards filled with many of my favorites Impossible images and finally, the confidence needed to pull this off.   This was my FIRST public speaking event.   I would by lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.   I woke up very early that day and was hyping myself up all morning.   I knew I had the knowledge to give them, but more importantly, I hoped that some of the inspiration I’ve gotten from using instant film would rub off on them.

When I got to Brookhaven, Daniel was all smiles and very excited for his students.   I brought in my box of goodies, gave Daniel a poster from The Impossible Project and started organizing all of the material.  Students eventually started to make their way into class, and I could tell many of them were enthralled with some of the images I brought.   It made me happy and also was a little calming to see the excitement that was brewing.

Ten-thirty rolled around and I began the class.   I started off talking about why I like instant film, how it’s completely different than using digital and the ways it can help improve your skill set.  One of the main reasons I love instant film, is that it forces you to slow down.  When every shot really counts and burning images, like one does with digital isn’t an option, you think about EVERYTHING (light, exposure, composition, the development temperature, etc.)  You inherently become a better shooter because of this.  Doing this day in and day out, with every image you take, increases your awareness of what is needed for a successful image and improves on your ability to take great images.   Slowing down helps you to produce quality images a lot more frequently.

Teaching Brookhaven students about Impossible Project film

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching Brookhaven students about Impossible Project film

Teaching Brookhaven students about various Polaroid cameras

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching Brookhaven students about various Polaroid cameras

I had an hour for this portion of the class and I was going to meet back up with the photography club at 3 o’clock to show them how to perform emulsion transfers & lifts.  At this point, I had talked and answered questions for about 20 minutes, shown them various cameras that I use, but I really wanted to get some cameras & film into the hands of these people.  Sometimes seeing & feeling what it’s like to shoot instant film, is what it really takes to push people past the tipping point.   I went over how to shield their images, how to shoot the camera and off they went!  The energy was palpable!

Armed with a handful of Polaroid One Steps, some PX-680 CP and PX600 film, the students ran outside and started snapping away!  Daniel and I raced around, trying to find the groups of budding photographers that were snapping off instant film as if it were going out of style.   Integral film was blazing out of these cameras.  It was a sight to see!  Many of the other students around campus were looking and I’m sure wondering “Why did I not take a photography class? Polaroids?!? ”  Strangers were walking up to Daniel asking him what was going on.  It was greatness!

Enjoy some of the images they took …

 – Students, if you would like credit for the images you took, please email me and describe which one/s are yours and I will add credit (first & last name) to your image – 

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Jennifer Chevallier

Photo: Jennifer Chevallier

Photo: Brian Finch

Photo: Brian Finch

Some of the images I took of the action …

Unfortunately, it was nearing the end of the hour and the students had to get to their next class.  We found most of them and regrouped for a quick photo.

I asked the students if they would mind if I held onto to some of the photos to scan for a blog post.   All of them wanted to keep them (of course) but I assured them that I would bring them back within a couple of days.    We spread out an assortment of photos that were taken and took a quick snapshot ..

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Happy students!

The bounty of images!

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – The bounty of images!

Photo: Justin Goode - RAWR! The Brookhaven Bear!!

Photo: Justin Goode – RAWR! The Brookhaven Bear!!

Later on in the afternoon, I taught their photography club how to do emulsion transfers & lifts.   I had made a few examples at my house a few days earlier.

Emulsion Transfer Example

Emulsion Transfer Example

Image Lift Example

Image Lift Example

Once everyone had arrived, we arranged some trays in a sink and I started showing them how to perform a transfer.   For most, if not all of them, this was the first time they had seen anything like this.  I really enjoy seeing people’s expressions, when they see the emulsion become detached from the plastic cover of integral film.   Most jaws are usually dropped once the emulsion starts to separate.  It looks like an octopus underwater!  I wave my arms around, with octopus-like motions, or what I think an octopus-like motion looks like ;-), when I describe the process.

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer

Photo: Justin Goode - A student peels apart the negative from integral film

Photo: Justin Goode – A student peels apart the negative from integral film

Photo: Justin Goode - A student separates emulsion from integral film

Photo: Justin Goode – A student separates emulsion from integral film

Photo: Justin Goode - Moving the "goop" from hot to cold water

Photo: Justin Goode – Moving the “goop” from hot to cold water

Photo: Justin Goode - A successful first transfer!

Photo: Justin Goode – A successful first transfer!

Photo: Justin Goode - A handful of emulsion transfers

Photo: Justin Goode – A handful of emulsion transfers drying

After I had finished teaching the photography club, one of the students, Scott Mitchell, asked me if he could take my portrait for an article he was writing.  He was going to pitch it to the school’s newspaper later on in the week.   He wanted an image of me, with an assortment of Polaroids taken in their studio.   I dragged the box of cameras in, arranged them on a prop table and he snapped this pic …

Photo: Scott Patrick Mitchell

Photo: Scott Patrick Mitchell

I had the most amazing time teaching these students.   I wouldn’t have done this, if it hadn’t have been for my enormous love for instant photography.  I want to infect people, like a virus, with the passion that I have for instant film.

A giant TEXAS-SIZED shout out to Impossible for providing such an incredible product.  I can’t express enough, how incredibly happy each of them were during this whole process.   Your film just makes people smile and brings joy into this world.  Instant photography is so special.  I haven’t met ONE person that doesn’t appreciate its value.   THANK YOU for enabling me to give the gift of your product to these students.  I have no doubt that I have impacted and inspired them.  I am forever grateful …

Sincerely,

Justin Goode

www.goodephotography.biz

– If you’d like to buy film for your Polaroid camera from The Impossible Project, CLICK HERE – 

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