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So Pushy - Art Of Polaroid Manipulation.



Polaroid manipulation what's something I came across quite early in my artistic practice. it was a technique I saw in a documentary Featuring illustrator Ralph Steadman using these techniques to create interesting distortions and almost creates a painterly effect.


After seeing this I knew this was something I want to experiment with. The first thing's first, I had to get an instant film camera and to be specific a Polaroid camera which takes sx-70 film, only this film manipulations. This is due to the emulsion inside the Polaroid taking almost 24 hours to set.

The techniques seem simple but it's actually quite tricky to master. you have to make sure you keep the emulsion in the Polaroid soft and pliable. You can do this a few ways, you can use a hairdryer for 30 seconds between working into it to keep it soft. Or if your fancy pants and have a hot plate you can put it on that or any other warm surface.


to actually push the image around you can use a burnishing tool or a blunt pencil as Steadman suggests. The repetitive movement of the blunt object against the surface is what pushes the emulsion around and causing the distortion in the image.


Steadman is known for a satirical eye when it comes to his illustrations and how he is converted into his polaroids is really interesting.

the two posts below this one are videos of him at work. It is awsome inspiration and makes me want to perfect this technique and adapt to my own practice.


If you want to see more of Ralph Steadman’s work, click on the link :) https://www.ralphsteadman.com/collection/paranoids/







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