too contrasty : LUSENET : polaroid transfers : One Thread

I have just returned to polaroid transfers after a long hiatus. My new images seem to have lost their "sepia" feel and are very contrasty, almost appearing black and white. I can't remember how I was doing them before and now I'm using the techniques outlined in K. Carr's book (which I wasn't earlier). I've tried printing the same slides as before and the results are completely different. Any suggestions?

-- Deb Burns (, October 12, 2000


I'm like you, it's been a while since I've made transfers so I'll go ahead and state what might be obvious. There are several things that contribute to the quality of transfers. Here are the ones I remember: slide quality, if your slide is contrasty so is the transfer; exposure, you usually have to do a few tests to get your exposure right when you're transferring your slides to film; development time, you usually have to do some tests for this also; paper, I can't remember what works best I think I usually used Rives BFK but I've seen some nice work on Strathmore; sizing, there are lots of different techniques for sizing but the ones I remember are Elmers Glue, starch, and gelatin. I hope at least this might spark your memory and maybe you can tell me how you got your best results.

-- Todd Walker (, October 13, 2000.

Deb, I received your email but when I replied I got an error. So here it is again incase you didn't get it. Deb, I usually do the vinegar bath. You just have to compensate for it. I think all it's doing is neutralizing the acids so if you don't do it your image may look chalky or flat over time. The sizing is not an exact science. I usually just take a small 8x10 tray and put a half inch of water in it and then add about a table spoon of glue. First tear your paper into the size you need them to be for the transfers. Then soak them and hang them to dry. It helps keep the paper from changing shape too much when you wet it to apply your transfer and also helps the image stick better. It makes the process much more successful. I'm not sure about the other types of sizing and film is too expensive to just try aimlessly. If I can contact my old photography teacher I'll let you know. Have fun. Todd

-- Todd Walker (, October 13, 2000.

Deb, Usually the color problems you mentioned in your email are a result of the development time or exposure. I know the film is probably getting expensive but if you try it again do this : first try to get a good positive print before you do a transfer, then try a low, medium and high development time for your transfer based on the time you got for your polaroid positive (high being a few seconds less than what you did for your print). I know this may seem a little excessive but as long as you try to duplicate the circumstances and process all of the other slides should be very close to the same. Make sure you're slide is not too dark or too light and that you have new batteries in your copier. By the way, can you make sure I have your correct email. I would rather be corresponding directly with you but like I mentioned yesterday the one I tried to send to you came back. Todd

-- Todd Walker (, October 14, 2000.

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