As the name might suggest, this film was not made for snapping at birthdays. But, it does take you to magical realms, inside the guts of a Polaroid picture…
After shooting a few packs of the Polaroid Artistic TZ and being quite pleased with the instant-vintage results, I decided to give the “Fade To Black” variant a try and this film was a bit more than shoot-and-run. You need to make decisions (more than when to hit the shutter button) and you need to fiddle with the Polaroid – cut it open and stuff. Yeah.
The thing with this film is, from the moment the image appears before your eyes, it starts growing darker every minute, until after 24 hours, it turns completely black (well, more like very dark brown, that is). At any given moment you can decide to stop this process by cutting around the edges of the photograph and peeling the positive side from the negative side, letting the emulsion dry and therefore stopping the developing/darkening process.
One thing I noticed after scanning the images, is that after you cut the photograph open and let it dry, it actually turns lighter. And greener. So you actually need to go darker than you intend to, in order to get the (still unpredictable) desired result. You can see what I mean in the following two galleries (the last image is the end result, after peeling and drying):
Another thing that I noticed while experimenting, is that the longer you wait with stopping the process, the bigger the chances that the emulsion is going to stick to the positive side of the photo, leaving you with a beautiful negative, and a positive that turns much less green when it dries off. See the following example, showing the final images from the last two galleries as they look like when separated:
I had a lot of fun messing around with the Polaroids. There’s a lot to play around with (soon a tipster!), but be warned: this film produces gloomy images!
The images in this article were scanned every hour more or less.
For more info and the peeling technique