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The Magic of Image Transfers

Just in time for World Photography Day, today's tipster will focus on one of the most popular alternative photographic processes out there - Polaroid transfers!

Polaroid Image transfers are of the easiest, most flexible, and most rewarding ways to print out your photos. It gives them an impressionistic, painterly effect which is just awesome! In a nutshell, what you basically do is transfer the half-developed instant film on a surface. That’s where the magic happens!

Photos from: sarahwichlacz.com

What you need:

  • Polaroid camera or slide printer.
  • Pull-apart type instant film such as Polaroid 669 or Fuji FP100c.
  • Watercolor paper (or any other material – you can try out wood!).
  • Brayer or roller (you can use a rolling pin!).

What you need to do:

1. Load the film and shoot your subject OR load the slide and process.

Photos from: sarahwichlacz.com

2. Remove the film from the camera and wait for 10-15 secs.
3. Peel apart the film and lay the emulsion face down of the paper.

Photos from: sarahwichlacz.com

4. Use the brayer/roller for a good 30 seconds.

Photos from: sarahwichlacz.com

5. Place something heavy on it like a book or an iron and leave it for 90 seconds.
6. Remove the weight and carefully peel the emulsion.
7. Presto!

Photos from: sarahwichlacz.com

How did it go for you? There are literally hundreds of literature dedicated to the art of image transfers so try them and see what works for you. Of course let us know the story of each step you take! Here’s some transfers as well courtesy of the community!

written by cruzron


  1. adi_totp


    wooow! great stuff!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. kiteflyin


    This is some cool stuff! I've got to try this if and when I get some film for my Polaroid.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. dirklancer


    here are a few of my transfers (2 of them were done on the spot, without the use of a developed slide!): http://www.lomograph(…)d-transfers let me know what you think!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. lawypop


    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. dearjme


    Soooo good!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. domo-guy


    Cool article! Can you do this with instax film? Just askin ;D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. patriciapetunia


    like domo guy asked: does it work with instaX????

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. mafiosa


    Awesome. I've been waiting for someone to write a transfer tipster.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. gracia27



    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. eskimofriend


    I tried it once but the negative was sticking so hard on the paper that half the paper came of along with it - it was more of a paper (onto a negative) transfer :((
    if anyone can help pls write me a message!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. cocottebleue


    love it ! does it work on t-shirt ?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. alexiagraphy


    woooow *__*

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. cruzron


    @domo-guy and @patriciapetunia - sadly no. you have to scour old photo shops for the peel apart film!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. shoujoai


    I tried it with Polaroid Sepia Type 100 film and it don't work... the film does not stick at all :/

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Nederlands & Deutsch.