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i have been a photographer all my life. there has always been a thrill in capturing a moment. this has expanded over the years to producing television and video projects, but i love taking pictures. one of my favorite types of film is polaroid. the immediacy of taking a shot and developing it in your hands is an amazing marvel and i can now share that with my girls.

despite having been an official polaroid artist for a number of years, back in the day, i continue to learn more and more about the techniques available using the film.

i was on a flickr discussion thread the other day when someone was providing information on reclaiming the negative from the fuji pack film. over the course of a couple of experiments, i was able to reclaim the negative of an image.

simple shot

nothing remarkable intended, but the image was taken using a polaroid pro-pack camera and fuji fp-100c film. this is the successor to the venerable 669, et. al. polaroid stopped making; although the ccolor fidelity is great it does not have the same feel as a true polaroid film.

despite that, i kep the negative flat and allowed it to dry completely. some of the recommendations on the forum suggesting cleaning the negative first, but in my initial experiements i continually scratched the wet negative.

also, since i will most likely be on location(s) when i use this technique i wanted to insure it would work on a preserved negative image.

once the negative was dry, i placed the negative flat against the smooth surface of my utility sink and rubbed the black backing of the negative with a paper towel damp with bleach. using consistent repetitive scrubbing, i was able to remove all of the backing thus exposing the negative image.

as soon as all of the black backing was removed i washed the negative in cold water for several minutes, taking care no to scratch the fragile negative. then allowed the negative to dry completely.

when i got into the office this morning, i scanned the image on my canon scanner using vuescan’s software and obtained this image:

as you can see, there is a lot of shadow detailed that is evident in this negative that gets lost in the final polaroid image. the ability to have a great instant shot while also retaining a negative for further work is awesome.

i am kicking myself for tossing a bunch of 4X5 negs from a shoot the other day at the magic kingdom, but live and learn.