Unlock the Artistic Magic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Polaroid Emulsion Lift Technique for Stunning Photographs

All Photos From The Participants of the Polaroid Emulsion Workshop

What is a Polaroid Emulsion Lift?

Polaroid Emulsion Lift is an alternative art technique using Polaroid film and copying the image onto another canvas.

Getting Started:

Make sure you have all the materials together:

Polaroid instant film

Polaroid camera

Scissors or craft knife

Small bowls or containers

Warm water

Brushes

Watercolor paper or other suitable paper for emulsion transfer

Protective gloves

Prepping the film:

To get started, make sure that you have your container or bowl of warm/hot water ready, your Polaroid film, a paintbrush, and some scissors.

Cut the white borders of the Polaroid film out so that you’re left with just the square image itself. Next, peel the black layer on the back of the photo, or in the case of fresh film, peel the plastic layer off on the front.

Now, Place the photograph into the water, emulsion side down (the side with the image). Gently agitate the water, allowing it to penetrate the film and loosen the emulsion layer from the film base. After a few minutes, you will notice the emulsion layer starting to separate from the film base. Patience is key!

Using your fingers or a soft brush, carefully lift the emulsion layer from the film base. Start from one edge and slowly peel it off, taking care not to tear or damage it!

Transfer the Emulsion to a New Surface

Prepare watercolor paper for the emulsion transfer & begin to place the wet emulsion onto the new surface and gently manipulate it to position and shape it as desired. This may take a few tries but patience is key! Once you get it onto your paper, take it out and use a brush to smooth out wrinkles or air bubbles. Let it dry and then you can seal it with Modgepod and or put it in a frame!

Get creative and have fun!

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