experimenting in lockdown

I’ve been playing with different polaroid techniques that I haven’t attempted before, admittedly with mixed success but its been a good learning curve, and I’ve had some great assistance from Stefan who curates the Arles and Paris exhibitions. This is something I love about the ‘polaroid community’ is the sharing of techniques and info. As well as the book - ‘polaroid - the missing manual’ by Rhiannon Adam and all the online videos including from Polaroid

So first the gold leaf failure -i’ve used gold leaf before in jewelry making - its easier to work with low content gold because it doesn’t blow away if you start breathing, low content means its mostly copper, so I had some of these sheets left over and thought id try gold leafing the back of a transparency (got that idea from Stefan) the first attempt I did what id done with the jewelry I painted the back of the image with liquitex matt medium and stuck the gold to that - it made lots of ridges on the front side and rapidly went green (about 3 hrs) 

first image is strait after gluing, second after a couple of days and last one after couple of weeks. also I didn’t like the texture it made on the front of the transparency. So I asked Stefan how he stuck the leaf to the transparency and he explained but I misunderstood and with my second attempt and using a bad photo for this kind of technique I got this result by immersing briefly the polaroid in warm water.

Similar time scale on images - The problem is if you don’t use 24k gold the copper content oxidises with the silver in the photo and in my case the added moisture technique just accelerated that - this is a lesson in how not to do it obviously.

My third attempt using a better photo and a dry sticking technique that stefan kindly shared with me was better.

I had to use 4 pieces of gold to cover the back of the image though different sizes are available that can cover it in one. I’ll be getting some 24k one size gold to attempt this again without oxidisation. I think its a truly beautiful technique but I’m still the student here.


Part 2 - Emulsion lifting from the polaroid manual, the real key to this is BW freshly shot film - colour is very difficult though I had a kind of beginners luck accident with my first attempt, though not entirely successful I like it. The black and white once I understood the importance of the freshness of the shot is pretty easy and good fun. I’m still thinking if I want to do some more work on them. 

If you don’t like seeing women’s nipples please don’t read further, I’m fed up with internet censorship on this subject.

Then a small bonus the negatives that came out of this, turned to positives in photoshop because these are not like fuji peel apart negatives.

these were adjusted using levels only.

and finally the accidental lift, onto another polaroid -



chronicles of svala beach

Chronicles of Svala Beach
I’ve been photographing the beach at the end of our road for 20 years. From 2008 I started using a Holga and got more dedicated to our moments on the beach. Lots of initial mistakes with the camera on B gave me some super mysterious blown out images but after a while it became a record of our time down there. The photos are mostly social, family, friends, still days long drawn out moments. 

But there has also been a severe fluctuation down there.
At the East end of what is a kilometre long beach facing North is a small rocky promontory - it creates a tiny bay at that end and also changes with the winds and the almost negligible tide of the moon in the Mediterranean. When the beach is big on summer days there is also a passage through the rocks. The main feature there is a separate rock we call the shark - I don’t think its separate but connected to the whole formation there but it’s change of position throughout the seasons is fascinating. 

The beach overall has lost maybe 10 buildings to the sea since i’ve lived on the island (30 years) but that is mostly towards the middle and west end of it - I do have some record of that but its for another post - probably somewhere between 20 - 50 metres in various parts has gone to the sea in that time.
I thought I would ‘chronicle’ the work I have on here in stages so this is the first - the shark. 

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