The SX-70 Polaroid Process & Manipulations

The process

There’s something very special about creating SX-70 manipulations. Like so many other alternative processes, that…

…I have no idea how this is going to turn out…

…feeling is always there right from the start. This is often combined with the inevitable feeling of not really knowing where to begin once you select your tool of choice and start the actual manipulation process. But all of this mystery is part of what makes the process so enjoyable and addicting. And if you love to paint, you’re going to love this. : the sx-70 polaroid process.

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One Response to “The SX-70 Polaroid Process & Manipulations”

  1. Jason Says:

    Since its introduction in 1972, Polaroid’s SX-70 film (along with the SX-70 Instant SLR Camera) was designed and improved with photographic manipulation in and out of the camera in mind. The SX-70 camera had options for exposure control far more sophisticated than any other instamatic camera to that point, what Polaroid had not predicted was how photographers fell in love with manipulating the emulsion during development.

    Over the years SX-70 film has had a several upgrades including the Time-Zero designation (given to illustrate the faster development time) and currently comes with a built-in ND filter along with adjusted chemistry to give a perfect exposure, and for those looking to be more creative after the shutter clicks it also provides more time and situations for personal modification similar to FX found in today’s most complicated image manipulation software.

    SX-70 film has the ability to be manipulated as quickly as the print is processed from the camera and in some cases for up to a few days after the image was taken. The emulsion is gelatin based covered by Mylar to protect the print, this also prevents water vapor from passing and the emulsion stays soft and easily manipulated. Using tools as simple as a pen cap or even a pencil eraser, the photographer can start pressing down on the Mylar covering to create such common photo manipulations. Given the right conditions one can view the SX-70 print as wet paint on a canvas and create motion blurs, blend colors, highlight edges, and other sharpening and diffusing techniques.

    In many ways the ability to make a dark room out of an instant print the size of your hands was the creative fuel that helped build digital editing today. For many this is where the art of photography still lives and not an action downloaded from a website.

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