How To

Toxic Finger Painting

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Toxic Finger Painting

Polaroid color pack film Type 669, ID-UV, and 690 (the peel apart kind) can easily be manipulated to create a unique and colorful image. This type of film contains a gel that acts as the developer for the picture and is spread out evenly when the photo is pulled from the camera. The finger painting technique is basically to move the gel around between the photo and the negative with your fingers while the photo is developing. This will cause a color shift and reduce/increase the amount of developer in a given spot on the photo.

CAUTION: The chemistry is caustic so be careful when handling the photo. The chemicals will stain clothes and can harm your skin/eyes. Do not touch the chemicals if/when they ooze out. You've been warned.

Tools needed:

1. Polaroid pack film (I use expired Polaroid ID-UV film)

2. A Polaroid camera that accepts pack film. The camera I use is the Automatic 100. Pack film cameras can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, ebay and are pretty cheap.

3. A hard surface, such as a table with news paper or something covering the surface to avoid staining if any of the chemicals leak out.

4. Fingers and/or thumbs.

The Process:

1. Take the photo. I found the best results are when I shoot a solid color subject, one without much detail.

2. Pull the photo from the camera

3. Immediately place the photo down on the table, white side down and start rubbing and pressing on the black side. The harder you rub the photo the more the colors of the final product will vary.

4. If you rub too hard, the photo (white side) might separate from the negative (black side) too soon, so be careful.

6. Continue rubbing and pushing until the recommended development time (usually about 60-90 seconds) has expired.

7. Separate the photo from the negative and throw away the negative.

You can also use a blunt object, such as the pen cap, to create lines in the chemistry. Simply use the tip of the object to draw on the back of the photo.

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2 responses

  • Dave Salinas

    Dave Salinas said (2 Nov 2009):

    Your results are pretty amazing.

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes gave props (18 Dec 2010):

    Love to try this! *voted*

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