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 – 

Fuji FP-100C Emulsion/Image Transfer

June 27, 2012 § 5 Comments

Fuji FP-100C - Polaroid Land Camera 100 - Polaroid Emulsion/Image Transfer Kit

Fuji FP-100C – Polaroid Land Camera 100 – Polaroid Emulsion/Image Transfer Kit

The wonderful Sandy Hibbard, of Lyric Marketing & Design, hired me again this past week to take photos for a client of hers, Stephanie McAndrew.   Stephanie is a writer/activist who promotes the empowerment of women & children in the states & abroad.  When Sandy first approached me, she mentioned that along with the some of the more traditional headshot images, she also wanted something out of the box for Stephanie’s portrait.  I racked my brain for a ideas and came up with a couple decent ones but never had “it” figured out.

About a week later, I went to The Film Depot in Richardson to pick up some film sleeves for the 120 & FP-100C I’d been shooting.   Now, I’ve been to this place a kajillion times and I always browse through almost everything when I’m there.   For some reason or another, I had never seen the brand-new-in-box Polaroid Emulsion/Image Transfer Kit that was sitting waaaay up high on the shelf.   I asked the owner if I could pull it down to look at it .. she nodded her head.  I grabbed the box and white flakes came floating down all over me.  I took a deep breath, blew the top of the box and a cloud of dust flew through the store.  The owner laughed, smiled and told me that she’d be willing to make a deal with me.   The box said $25 but she’d take $15.  I opened it up, saw that the deal was good and paid the kind lady.  Score!

The week of the Stephanie’s shoot came up and I had been toying around with emulsion lifts/transfers.   It didn’t quite dawn on me until a day or so before the shoot, but I knew that a collage of emulsion transfers would be a really cool fit for Stephanie’s portrait (out of the box? √ ).  We discussed possible locations the day before and decided on using The Heard Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney.

The shoot was a blast! Stephanie & Sandy were in great spirits the whole time as I took them on a wild goose chase of a photoshoot.   I had been to the Heard before with Synthia and remembered where some of the nicer ‘available light’ locations were.  The only issue was we had to walk about 2-3 miles total to get to all of them (sorry again ladies ..).    About 1/2 way through the shoot, we came to the spot I had planned on using for the collage of emulsion transfers.  I had Stephanie sit on a bench and started snapping away with a Polaroid 100 Land Camera.    I took 6 images in the style of David Hockney and tucked them away in my homemade box to dry.

A day later, once the prints had fully dried, I pulled the materials out of the Polaroid Emulsion/Image Transfer Kit and gathered anything else I needed ..

2 trays (8×10 or larger) to hold water

Thermometer

Timer

Rubber Tongs

Contact Paper

Rubber Brayer (a roller)

Wax Paper & Scissors (not included in kit)

Along with the kit I purchased, I received a step-by-step guide to emulsion transfers.  If you’d like to view a PDF of it CLICK HERE.

The process was pretty simple ..

Trim off edges of photo

I trimmed off the edges of the photos …

Then figured out how much contact paper was needed to cover the back

Then figured out how much contact paper was needed to cover the back

Cut my contact paper so it was about the same size as the print ....

Cut my contact paper so it was about the same size as the print ….

Peeled it apart ...

Peeled it apart …

And placed it on the back of the print to protect it ...

And pressed it firmly it onto the back of the print to shield it from the water …

Once all of the images were trimmed and set up with contact paper, I started heating up some water on the stove.   When the water was 160 degrees I poured it into the one of the trays and filled the other tray of water with tap water.

Set a timer for four minutes ...

Set a timer for four minutes …

Placed the print into HOT water ...

Placed the print into HOT water …

Used tongs to keep the print submerged under water for 4 minutes ...

Used tongs to keep the print submerged under water for 4 minutes …

After four minutes, I moved the print into the COLD water ...

After four minutes, I moved the print into the COLD water …

Pushed the edges of the emulsion towards the center with my thumbs and it eventually slid off ....

Pushed the edges of the emulsion towards the center with my thumbs and it eventually slid off ….

I repeated the process ...

I repeated the process …

*

Moved the prints to the COLD water …

Slid the emulsions off the prints ...

Slid the emulsions off the prints …

At this point, I cut an 8×10 piece of watercolor paper that I had lying around and submerged it in water for a few seconds.  I pulled it out and layed it on an 8×10 piece of glass.  I used the rubber roller to “mount it” to the glass.   Almost time for the transfer …

Put wax paper underneath the emulsion (reverse side should be up)

Put wax paper underneath the emulsion (reverse side should be up)

Pressed it against the watercolor paper ..

Pressed it against the watercolor paper ..

Then used a rubber brayer on top of the wax paper to firmly press the emulsion down ...

Then used a rubber brayer on top of the wax paper to firmly press the emulsion down …

Gently pealed away the wax paper ...

Gently pealed away the wax paper …

Repeat process ...

Repeated the process …

*

*

It was getting there ...

I set it out to dry …

When the piece dried, the watercolor paper wrinkled a bit and little portions of the transferred emulsions were rising up from the paper.  I placed the piece in an 8×10 frame to flatten it but was bothered by the negative space that was surrounding the transferred images.    I’m a stickler.   I went back to the Heard a few days later and took 9 more photos at approximately the same time of day as the first shoot.  The images dried and I transferred them to finish out the piece.

Fuji FP-100 Emulsion / Image Transfer

Fuji FP-100 Emulsion / Image Transfer

NOTE:  If you’re experienced in transfers and have any suggestions/comments to share, I would love to hear from you!

Also, if you like this technique and would like to have a unique image created for you , email or call me!  I’d be happy to create something original for you!

For those interested, I’ve attached a few of my favorite images from this session as well …

Stephanie McAndrew - Writer/Activist

Stephanie McAndrew – Writer/Activist

Stephanie McAndrew - Writer/Activist

Stephanie McAndrew – Writer/Activist

Stephanie McAndrew - Writer/Activist

Stephanie McAndrew – Writer/Activist

Thank you for your time!

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

BUY Fuji FP-100C HERE! 

Using Impossible Project Film in a Mamiya RB67 aka “The Patrick Clarke Method”

June 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

In my previous blog post, I touched briefly on Impossible’s viewfinder article on Patrick Clarke regarding his use of a Mamiya RB67 with Impossible Project film.    The article did a great job of explaining how it works and for photography-minded individuals nothing further is needed.  However, for people just getting into instant film or photography in general, a pictorial on the subject would clear up any potential guesswork that has be done.

Mamiya RB67 + Polaroid SX-70

Mamiya RB67 + Polaroid SX-70

This method (not what’s pictured above ;-)) works with Impossible’s SX-70 & 600 series film.  When I first read about this, I was stoked because I knew I had the gear to try this out.  It’s a pretty backwards way of taking a photo, BUT the fact that you’re able to do it, is really cool.  Clarke touched on the RB67’s qualities in the article  “… amazed at how technically perfect the camera and its lenses were. I could control the depth of field, the shutter speed and aperture exactly like I wanted. My exposures were dead on, and the images were sharp as I could want” .. I couldn’t agree more.   The fact that you can utilize these qualities with Impossible film is awesome.

Now the how to’s ..

First, from this point forward, **anything inside asterisks MUST BE DONE in complete darkness (in a dark room, light-tight bag, dark closet etc.)**  Dealing with undeveloped film, because it’s so sensitive to light,  has to be kept in the dark until it’s developed.  This particular method, extracting film from a cartridge for use in another camera, needs a certain level of care in order to keep the image undeveloped until you’re ready.

If you don’t have access to a darkroom or a really dark closet, you will need to insert a dark slide into the cartridge to protect the film from light before removing it.

Release the lock to swing down the rollers ...

Release the lock and swing down the rollers …

Pull out the film cartridge just a little bit ...

Pull out the film cartridge just a little bit …

Carefully insert a dark slide OVER the top of images inside the cartridge

Carefully insert a dark slide OVER the top of images inside the cartridge

There’s a great video on Impossible’s website that teaches you how to swap film packs between cameras that talks about these first steps if you’re interested.

Push the dark slide all the way in ..

Push the dark slide all the way in ..

Pull the film cartridge ....

Pull the film cartridge ….

Out of the camera ...

Out of the camera …

Gently press down and push the dark slide all the way up ...

Gently press down with your thumbs and push the dark slide up … NOTE: Do this in a dark area so light doesn’t leak onto the top of the image. 

Voila! Happy unexposed film ...

Voila! Happy unexposed film …

Take the Polaroid back off of the RB67 ...

Take the Polaroid back off of the RB67 …

At this point, you need to put the Polaroid back & the freshly removed film cartridge in a changing bag (a light tight bag used to extract film) or your darkroom ;-).   In total darkness you will need to …

Open the back ...

**Open the back and remove the empty film cartridge**

Place the unexposed photo face down in the film back.  Use a photo before hand to figure out the optimal placement for the film.

**Remove & place an unexposed photo face down in the film back** Use a photo before hand to figure out the optimal placement for the film.

Gently replace the empty FP-100C cartridge to hold the film in place.  Make sure the photo doesn't move when you push down the cartridge ...

**Gently replace the empty FP-100C cartridge to hold the film in place.**Make sure the photo doesn’t move when you push down the cartridge …

Remount the Polaroid back to the RB67 and take your photo!

**Close it up** and remount the Polaroid back to the RB67.

Go take a picture of something!

The RB67 opening is almost the same size as Impossible images ..

For reference: The RB67 opening is almost the same size as Impossible images ..

Once you have shot your image, remove the Polaroid back and put it back in the changing bag with the Impossible film cartridge & a SX-70/600 series camera (or go to a darkroom if you’re so lucky ;-)).  Remove the exposed image from the Polaroid back and …

Pull the plastic light seal down and squeeze the sides of the cartridge gently to make room to insert the exposed photo

**Move the plastic light seal down. Squeeze the sides of the cartridge gently to make room to insert the exposed photo**

Slide the exposed image back into the cartridge

**Slide the exposed image back into the cartridge …**

**Push it all the way into the cartridge**

**

**Reinsert the cartridge into the camera**

**Reinsert the cartridge into the camera**

**Push it in and close the front ... the photo ejects and starts to develop**

**Push it in and close the front … the photo will eject and start to develop**

At this point, I normally slide an empty PX70 box inside the changing bag to store & remove the exposed image.

EXAMPLE:  Note the reversed image when shooting this way … 

Impossible Project PX-70 + Mamiya RB67 + 90mm f/3.8

*

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That’s about it!  Now this method will work with any NPC back that uses FP-100C film.   The only question will be how much ‘real estate’ is being exposed on the negative.

Thanks for reading and thanks to this blog post for the inspiration!

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

BUY IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT FILM HERE!!!

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