Tag Archive for 'fuji'

Fuji Image Transfer

Tiffany Teske is a superstar and has been featured and published in several magazines. One of those publications is Cloth, Paper Scissors and in the Nov/Dec issues from last year she was featured sharing her processes for fuji image transfer. As I explained yesterday, I have long wanted to explore emulsion transfer lifts and signed up for one of her image transfer classes thinking that is what we would learn. Last minute I realize that it wasn’t emulsion transfer after all, but as fate was working on my side, the class ended up touching on emulsion lift (enough to figure it out and do on my own later) AS WELL AS learning an entirely new-to-me technique that I think is a bit more involved and interesting than emulsion transfer, so I really lucked out. BOTH techniques ended up being something that I could do at home on my own, and didn’t even know it before.
polaroid colorpack II land camera
The image transfer and emulsion transfer techniques were something that was originally done with Polaroid films. Not all Polaroid film can do this and that was what prevented me from trying it myself at home. Since Polaroid has stopped production on their instant films, Fuji (and The Impossible Project) have picked up where they left off and started producing many films that can fit in Polaroid cameras. When people think of Polaroid film nowadays, they mostly think of the point and shoot and pop out pictures that develop in your hands, shake it like a Polaroid picture! But these are, for the most part, not the types of film you would use for these techniques. Land Cameras like the one pictured above and below, that take pack peel apart film. Fuji now produces 100 film that will fit Polaroid Land cameras. This is the type of film we used for the class, and can be used for both image transfers as well as emulsion lifts.
It wasn’t until the class that I realized that this camera and the film I had been buying already, would work for the technique I’d been dying to try out. Sometimes when I feel really dumb I picture myself, walking down the sidewalk, whistling a happy tune, joy in my heart but not a brain in my head, when suddenly from out of no where a brick comes flying at me and hits me in the head, wherein a trip to the ground. Finding out that I could do emulsion transfers with a camera and film I already had on hand felt like that. Long ago, after reading up on the emulsion transfer lift process and realizing it was a camera and film I didn’t have access too, I just since imagined it was one of those really obscure things that probably also died with Polaroid.

I’ll quickly describe the techniques, but if you are interested to tack a crack at this yourself I’d encourage you to purchase a back copy of the Cloth, Paper Scissors where Tiffany shares her techniques, or just peruse the internets. There are fabulous tutorials and videos out there now. Yeah, if only I had thought to do that myself in the last 5 years, doh!

For the class we did not use cameras, but instead brought our own developed photographs and then Tiffany introduced this amazing machine called the Daylab Copy System Pro. It allows you to place any image on  a glass flatbed, load the pack film, and with mirrors and a flash, transfer your image onto the pack film. If you had a camera that loaded the pack film then you could do it straight from there. Normally, after an image is transferred to the film you would wait, then pull apart the film and negative/chemical side and find your photograph fully developed. In the image transfer technique you do not allow the film to develop to the photograph, and instead peel them apart immediately and place the negative/chemical side onto a porous surface where you want your image to transfer. For emulsion lift, you use the same exact film, let your pictures develop and soak them in VERY hot water until the “emulsion” with image separates from the backing paper. It is transparent and more plastic and durable as compared to polaroid which was more gel like and would rip and tear easily.
During the class I was able to do about 10 transfers and I would say it is definitely something that takes practice, but is fun. The transfer image is more rugged and rough, so if you are looking for a pristine image this might not be the technique for you. Also, depending on your timing, as well as paper quality and texture, etc., your image can turn up wildly different. I do like a weathered image, but I also realized I had a harder time trying to accept that my images didn’t resemble my original closer. I loved everyone else’s grit, but had a hard time accepting that my own was “good enough”. I think this was because I chose pictures that I had taken and that were somewhat already close to my heart. If I was working straight from a camera, I’d never really know what the original would have looked like. I have so many ideas I’d love to explore more, like double exposures and writing and drawing on the surface of the paper before transferring the image. I would also LOVE to get my own Daylab. I’ll have to keep my eye open on ebay as well as at the flea markets and garage sales. I’m sad to think I might have even passed one of these up recently because I didn’t know exactly what it was.

The above two photos are examples of image transfers that I did in class. The image on the right pages are the originals that I brought in, the bottom pictures on the left are the photos developed on the fuji 100 pack film (they should be fairly light because most of the chemistry should actually end up going into your image transfer) and then the top left images are my image transfers on watercolor paper.
So this happened today - fuji image transfers with Tiffany Teske
An instagram of the image transfers I did in class.

The class was great. I had fun experimenting, and learned way more than I expected… such as… did you know that the Impossible Project purchased the Polaroid factory that they work from, but not the chemistry, or instructions to create Polaroid film. They’ve had to hire their own chemists and have to figure things out for themselves. This is why Impossible Project film has to be protected from daylight when first developing, just like early on Polaroid film did. This is because they are working out the kinks on their own, just as Polaroid did when they first started out. Impossible Project film is not Polaroid film, but their own unique formulas. I find that fascinating.

Meeting IRL

Tiffany Teske and Robyn Lisle Illinois

So, this happened!

Probably about 5 years ago I was involved in an online creative community that sprung from the Etsy forums. It was called Create-A-Day and the challenge was to post the things you create on a daily basis to the group blog. The community started huge, but over time there was a small group of us that continued on and really connected.  A testimony to the friendship that we created is that 2 group blogs and 5 years later there are 6 of us that still keep in contact. We have such a variety of talents; Sheila (who I believe founded the original Create-A-Day group) and is now a wine connoisseur, Joon who has about a bajillion etsy shops and makes lovely handmade treasures and artwork, Bri who is an amazing and stylized designer, artist, traveler and student of the world, Stacy who is a crazy productive jewelry artist, and Tiffany who is an accomplished, published and professional photographer, mixed media artist and educator.

We are spread all around North America – from Banff, Canada, to Hawaii, and all over in between. Even though we often dream of a vacation where we all get together to get our creativity on, a few of us have had the opportunity to connect in the real world. I think Bri visited Sheila in Oklahoma and this last week, finally, finally, finally I got my chance to meet one of these lovely ladies.  Tiffany has been traveling with the Create Mixed Media Retreat and she was here to teach in the Chicagoland area. Since first meeting Tiffany online and finding out that she is also passionate about polaroid and instant photography I dreamed of being able to glean some of her wisdom and talent in person. I think back to all those years ago and never would have imagined that dream would actually come true! When I found out she was going to be teaching nearby I immediately knew I wanted to take a class in Emulsion Transfer, something I’ve been wanting to do for the last 15 years. I’d read about it online, but never had the right equipment, or materials and in the meantime, Polaroid went belly up. Little did I know that emulsion transfer still exists!

I wanted to take her class Wednesday evening, but naturally it was my crazy stressful week at work. On top of that, I had not prepared for the class in time and since I don’t have a car, it wasn’t something I could jet around over my lunch break and pick up the class supplies. I realized there was another image transfer class Sunday morning so I decided to sign up for that one instead. The night before the class, while reading the class description again, I suddenly realized it wasn’t emulsion transfer and kind of freaked out. As it turned out, everything worked out for the best because the image transfer with instant film was a technique I had never even heard of, AND, I was still able to learn the emulsion transfer technique as well.

I met up with Tiffany a little bit before the class Sunday morning for a quick breakfast in the hotel lobby. I was nervous and anxious, but really, once we met, it wasn’t weird at all. She was exactly like how I’ve known her online all these years, kind, talented, fun, beautiful and super friendly. I didn’t even have to resort to wearing one of these masks, like Sheila suggested ;) Still, I was a little star studded, but Tiffany has such a calm, laid back personality, she put me at ease. She shot the picture of us together and gifted me a pinhole camera kit. It was great to meet her finally, and I hope that someday the entire group really does get together for our own little creative retreat.

As for the class, and the things Tiffany taught and the pieces I created, I will share some of that tomorrow.  I’ll just leave this post saying that I am excited about these new techniques that I learned, so check back again tomorrow for more.

Birthday Presents – Fuji Instax 210

10.5.11 instax
For my birthday I got some AWESOME presents. For real awesome, not just “yay, socks and underwear” awesome. I’ll have to post a couple separate posts to share. My brother and sister in law got me the Fuji Film Instax 210. I’ve been wanting one of these forever, but could never justify spending that much.

10.5.11 instax shot
People, it.is.so.awesome! It’s an instant camera, much like the beloved old days of Polaroid instant. The only (itty bitty) downfall (for me) is that the pictures are rectangular, where my heart really lies in the square format. Thinking about that, it’s kind of funny because in art school we were always ushered away from using a square format because it is harder to create balanced compositions, but I’m a rebel. Back to the camera, did I mention it’s awesome? Because it is. It comes with a lens to take close up pictures. What I would have done for one of those on my old polaroids (shaking fists towards the sky). If you are unfamiliar with instant fuji film, they also have pull apart films that I use on my Polaroid Colorpack II Landcamera. They have a second smaller Instax camera that comes in white and takes itty bitty baby instant pictures. I preferred the larger just because I already have my Polaroid Pogo Printer, which prints tiny digital pictures from your camera or phone.

When Polaroid announced that they would no longer be producing instant film I went into hoarding mode. Sadly, I still have packs left because I was afraid to use them all up, but the film is going bad because they are all REALLY expired. I realized with this new camera, only 2 pictures in, and I’m already being waaaaay to cautious about using the film.  I need to lighten and loosen up and have some fun. I need to take pictures and enjoy my birthday present.

Instant film aside, I realized the other day that it was a good thing that I’d fallen in love with instagram and taking pictures with my iphone because since we moved I couldn’t find our battery charger. If it weren’t for camera phones, no pictures would be taken during this time. A few weeks ago I broke down and just bought regular batteries at the store to tide me over. Next thing ya know, Matt uses them, AND the batteries from my camera, to put into his wii-motes. Yesterday after hunting (for what felt like hours hours) through boxes of storage in the basement I finally had a meltdown. That was all it took for Matt to go to the basement and 10 minutes later return with the battery charger, sigh. Well, now I can take pictures AND Matt can have friends over to play Super Smash Bros.