Digital Imitating Darkroom (TTV & Polaroid)

TTV (Through the viewfinder)

This technique involves using two cameras, the first being a twin lens reflex which sits at waist height so that you can peer down at your image within the viewfinder. You then use a digital camera or even a mobile phone to take the image within the viewfinder. This will record all of the scratches and flaws present within the viewfinder of the reflex giving you an aged vintage image. The three images on the previous page are TTV replicas carried out in Photoshop using a layered border. It is an easy and effective process which turns a sharp focused image into one that has focus fall off around the edge another characteristic of the TTV process where the square lens within the reflex camera begins to convex. You can also see that the centre of the image begins to look over exposed and more saturated than the outer vignetting edges.

Polaroid Emulsion

A Polaroid Emulsion is a similar technique used to the Polaroid lift only this time the image isn’t soaked in water but merely rubbed on to another surface. This gives a more formal but rough edged feel to the image but can work effectively when used with textured papers.

Again this can be applied in Photoshop using layers and a Polaroid frame. The images I have used show a very basic version of this technique but used in conjunction with patterned or coloured frames works really well too. The images I have used have also undergone changes to saturation and the levels have been brought down to imitate that of an original Polaroid. I feel that the bottom image is the best example showing lots of brown tones within the image, a characteristic of Polaroid’s.

Polaroid Lift

Cut around the edge of the Polaroid and removed the plastic cover and backing. Then soak the remaining image in water to remove the powdery sediment left over from the developing stage and the image will then start to lift from the remaining backing. What you are left with I can only describe as a skin like film that contains the image. It is very delicate and stretches out to a larger surface area than the original Polaroid. This can then be placed on to different surfaces such as paper, stones, wood to create a once off artistic photograph.

However you can also imitate this process using different layers and the liquify tool in Photoshop as I have done with the following images.

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