Manipulating Polaroid SX-70 Film

SX-70 MANIPULATION Here’s what you will need:

Bur­nish­ing tools avail­able at art sup­ply stores. Or, use sharp­ened wooden dow­els. Den­tal tools also work well. Use the gen­tle bends, not the sharp points as they can punc­ture or scratch the Mylar film cov­er­ing. A cam­era capa­ble of shoot­ing Time-Zero film (A Polaroid 600 BE cam­era or OneStep cam­era can be adapted.) Time-Zero film Hair dryer (optional)

1. Expose the film and put it onto a hard flat sur­face. Using the tools, apply dif­fer­ent amounts of pres­sure as if you were paint­ing over the pic­ture. The effect is dif­fer­ent dur­ing the var­i­ous phases of devel­op­ment.
2. Apply light pres­sure with blunt instru­ments before you see the image come up. The effect is a gen­eral soft­en­ing and blur­ring of the image.
3. Use a more pointed tool to out­line areas and objects. For the next sev­eral min­utes, the image is slightly vis­i­ble. Dur­ing this time, you can get white or black lines using dif­fer­ent amounts of pres­sure. You can also cre­ate new col­ors in the image by apply­ing slightly heav­ier pres­sure and mix­ing the lay­ers under­neath.
4. The next five min­utes are for stretch­ing and blend­ing the image. Use a blunt or fine tip tool and lightly rub over the image areas you want to dis­tort. Be patient and try dif­fer­ent amounts of pres­sure. Try cir­cu­lar motions or short strokes. Dur­ing the next 5 to 10 min­utes, the image will begin to set. Use this time to blend the image areas.

You can freeze the print at any time after the image has fully devel­oped to store and come back to later. Just warm up the print with a hair dryer and manipulate.

Optional Steps: Dis­as­sem­ble the devel­oped film and peel off the Mylar from the back­ing. This con­tains the image. Wash the white devel­oper off the Mylar to cre­ate a translu­cent image and over­lay it onto another image. Use dyes and paints on the back­side of the Mylar to inten­sify the effect.

If you don’t have an SX-70 cam­era, you can adapt your Polaroid 600 BE or OneStep cam­era to accept Time-Zero film.

Since they use dif­fer­ent film speeds, place a 2-stop neu­tral den­sity fil­ter — avail­able at a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy sup­plier — over the elec­tric eye on the cam­era. This will com­pen­sate for the speed dif­fer­ence between 600 High Def­i­n­i­tion film and Time-Zero film.

One: Insert the card­board “dark slide” from a spent pack of Time-Zero or 600 film into the film cham­ber of a Polaroid 600 BE or OneStep camera.

Two: Insert a new Time-Zero film car­tridge on top of the card­board. Be care­ful not to let the card­board go into the camera.

Three: Remove the card­board, leav­ing the Time-Zero car­tridge in place and close the film door.
You are then ready to shoot Time-Zero film in your 600 camera!

This infor­ma­tion was pro­vided by Kodak– Inspi­ra­tion, A Step-By-Step Guide.

sx 70

This Polaroid came out of my SX-70 cam­era. I used the cap of an ordi­nary ball-point pen to scratch this pat­tern directly onto the image.