Polaroid transfers

21 10 2007

I was introduced to the Polaroid transfer process about 15 years ago. At the time, I was shooting 35mm film (not digital as I do today), and was always on the lookout for creative uses for my images. After much trial and error (and many $ spent tossing out rejects!), I got the hang of it and produced some really beautiful images. I sold some on eBay and they even caught the eye of an executive at Polaroid’s Digital Imaging headquarters. He purchased eight images, printed in 11×17 format on archival paper. My father matted and framed the images for me. That was quite a thrill to get that order! I haven’t done any in several years, and have been experimenting with recreating the look with Photoshop (it can be done, but nothing compares to the original process, in my opinion). I had a line of 12 greeting cards printed about 11 years ago and sold some in small boutiques; but I mostly used the cards as a self-promo and for gift giving. I had 2000 images of each image printed, so even after selling and giving away a few hundred boxes, I still have ample inventory in my store room! I made corrugated cardboard portfolios for the boxes sets and also sold them individually. If you’re not familiar with the Polaroid transfer process, check out the sites below.

Legend has it that when a photographer’s assistant at the Polaroid labs accidentally placed a Polacolor negative face down on a counter top, he had no idea a new photographic medium was being born. Returning later, he lifted the negative and found the image had been transferred to the countertop. Rumor has it that the head of the Polaroid corporation forbid any farther experimentation with the technique, but word about this new method leaked out to the photographic community.






© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



4 responses

30 01 2009
Johanna Carr

I was browsing for a picture of Ipomea lobata and, as happens, I followed the links to your website. Lots of fun, informative, outstanding photography and blog, excellent all round. Thanks for putting it together for others to enjoy.

30 01 2009

Hi Johanna!
Thank you so much for the wonderful comment on my blog. You have certainly made my day. I hope you come back often. Do you have a blog to share? What part of Canada are you from? I have a dear friend who is from Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia (he’s actually living and working in Alberta since last year).

23 02 2012

hello cindy
your pictures are really amazing. i too take pictures but they are no way near to yours. i tried the links on polaroid transfers they don’t seem to be working.

23 02 2012

Hi Hiraman,

Thank you so much for your comment!. I checked the links and you’re right—one is no longer working. I deleted it and have added several more that give great detail on the Polaroid transfer process. Check it out here: https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/10/21/polaroid-transfers/

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