Bring it down to one line: „make that Instax burn!“. Maybe after all pyromaniacs and lomographers can share a common playground in the future!
Sometimes pictures do not have that extra edge to them, so why not experiment and alter them?
The thing with instant pics is, that they are expensive. So you might hesitate to burn them, after all one Instax could easily sum up from 50 cents to one Euro in costs. So I collected some Mini-Instax , done by others at a fair. Therefore it didn’t hurt at all destroying them. I tried some ways of burning and developed some techniques, which I will explain later on. I worked with a lighter, but it could be a good try to use matches as well, then you could draw onto the pictures with the burned tip of the match as well…
You have to keep in mind though, that it is still a slightly dangerous thing to do. Watch out for the black smoke while burning and you better don’t experiment with fire in an easily inflammable environment.
This scan is pretty 3D. Especially with all the ash falling down and with all that bent instax-paper, but this gives the pictures some very exiting touch. You can really feel them, as they would be in front of you. As the paper is not so flat anymore after burning you should press it down. This is a crunchy and messy thing to do. Because the moment you press the top of the scanner onto the burned instax the ash breaks off the picture. I would recommend to put a white copypaper between the instax and the top of the scanner. It is coil and it would stain your white cover of the scanner-top. You should really thoroughly clean the glas of the scanner and be sure to get rid of all remains to avoid stains on your next scans.
Ever since people printed photos they have used measures to reframe a picture. Maybe to highlight some part of the picture more than another or sometimes to tell a different story, you might have expected. Nowadays we can also work with uneven structures, why not have awkward edges and parts totally burned out. Everything is possible… with fire.
Hence a instax is consisting of various layers you can try to burn just the top plastic layer of the picture. This creates some effects. It could be, that the heat makes bubbles or it destroys the top layer and makes a lighter colour-layer visible underneath.
I made the experience, that it is easiest to burn a hole by coming from two sides. You point the flame on a certain dot on the top of the picture and then repeat the same method on the opposite side of the back. Burning on just one side would take ages and also makes the hole too big.
I understood, that the colour inside the instax becomes hot and fluid when you burn it. You can smear that
colour onto another instax or just on any paper and make something creative out of it.
„Gone with the wind“
The good thing with fire is, it is unpredictable. It takes ist room and burns in any direction you cannot plan. Sure you can stir the hunger of the fire in holding the instax in a special way. You can also lit the fire at the bottom and the flame goes up.
„Two at a time“
After some burning it might gets boring just to burn one instax at a time. You might put two or more together and burn them. So you can get similar patterns or you use the flame of the one picture to inflame the other. But don’t get too excited and lose it consedering the almighty feeling of holding fire in your hand.
I like one technique in particular: shoving. Once a Instax burns you can use another another Instax to shove into the burning part. So you remove the ash when it is burning and you gain more space. The whole procedure is quicker and more dynamic.