Sunday, April 13, 2008

Interesting Topic of the Day: Polaroid Manipulation

Today's interesting topic is Polaroid Manipulation.

Polaroid Manipulation is, in short, a sort of old-school, analog Photoshop. You know those old-style Polaroids that come out wet, start black and then develop into color, and that you apparently aren't supposed to shake to dry? Well, if you do shake it while it's still drying, you'll come out with a surreal, wavy, wiggly, painting-like picture, that looks almost like a reflection in water. Shaking it different ways results in different patterns of waviness. People have turned shaking the little pictures into a sort of art, telling how you have to shake just the right way to achieve just the desired effect.

The fall picture is a good example of a photo that was truly "shaken like a Polaroid peec-tchah!"

Another way people can manipulate Polaroids is with a toothpick or something of the sort, scraping the dye off in places to achieve another kind-of painting effect. They can outline things, shade things, make things look like snow, make random borders... This way of manipulating Polaroids requires slightly less practice and slightly more creativity and drawing talent. Even though it may at first sound inferior to the wiggly-wobbly picture produced by shaking a Polaroid, you can do some really awesome stuff to your photos that way, too. A good example of a scraped Polaroid is the picture of the lamp.

(photos from here and here, if you check out the Flikr pools they're in, you can find some other really cool manipulated Polaroids, too)

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