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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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!

Credits: maximum_b, artpunk, skac, noexit, cynister & legacy

written by cruzron on 2011-08-18 #gear #tutorials #diy #instant #tipster #polaroid-transfer #polaroid #fuji #wpd #world-photography-day


  1. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    wooow! great stuff!

  2. kiteflyin
    kiteflyin ·

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

  3. dirklancer
    dirklancer ·

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

  4. lawypop
    lawypop ·


  5. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Soooo good!

  6. domo-guy
    domo-guy ·

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

  7. patriciapetunia
    patriciapetunia ·

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

  8. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

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

  9. gracia27
    gracia27 ·


  10. eskimofriend
    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!

  11. cocottebleue
    cocottebleue ·

    love it ! does it work on t-shirt ?

  12. alexiagraphy
    alexiagraphy ·

    woooow *__*

  13. cruzron
    cruzron ·

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

  14. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

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

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