Transfer of polarcolor film onto watercolor paper : LUSENET : polaroid transfers : One Thread

I have just purchased a land camera in hopes of doing image transfer onto watercolor paper. Part of the image remains on the emulsion part of the paper and the other half is on the desired surface. How can I get an even picture? Is it possible to transfer without the waterbath process? Did I even need the camera at all? Thanks, Marianne

-- Marianne Clancy (, April 12, 1999



Firstly, I'm assuming that it is the Polacolor ER669 or 559 film that you are using. For instance, if it is the Polacolor Pro100 instead, that process is different, as explained in Theresa Airey's excellent book "Creative Photo Printmaking" (page 100).

There are a number of factors which influence liftoff. This includes a lot of dark areas in your image, or an image with lots of sharply contrasting areas. The type of paper you are using is also a factor: rough or fiberous paper will result in much more liftoff. Whether your paper is wet when you apply the emulsion, and whether there is heat applied during the transfer process are also factors.

I use Fabriano Artistico 140lb hot-pressed paper, which seems to be the best transfer paper available (there may be arguments here, but most authorities will probably agree with me). I soak the paper for only 3-5 seconds in 100 degree water. I use a roller (rolling 6X, with moderate pressure) after placing the negative down on the paper. I then let the paper float on the 100 degree water for 1 minute. I roll it again gently a couple of times after putting it down on a glass surface. I peel very slowly, trying to get an even peel (don't peel diagonally).

To get sharper images, you can place the negative on dry paper (no soaking), and then float it on the water. This is a compromise between the wet and dry technique described by Kathleen Carr. I HIGHLY recommend her book by the way.

I don't use a Polaroid Camera. I use a Daylab slide printer. You may find this option to be more practical, particularly since it allows you to use your best 35mm slides and turn them into works of art.

Hope all this helps (you can E-Mail me directly for further elaboration)


-- charles shahar (, April 13, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ