On days I wasn’t shooting for clients at my studio I liked to play with Polaroid material. I used my 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras to transfer images to water color paper, usually Arches. The interesting thing was that during the transfer process I never knew exactly what I would get... no matter how hard I tried. It became a matter of negotiating in that space where chance meets skill. Oddly, sometimes chance was more cool than skill. The process was very addicting and 20 shots later the box of Polaroid would be gone and I’d be out more than a hundred dollars. Polaroid transfers had a very romantic look that couldn’t be replicated by any other means that I know of. I saved quite a few of them to dark storage. They haven’t faded, which does surprise me.
Digital photography has a way of making photographers strive for perfection... down to the last pixel because perfection does seem possible. Enter Photoshop. As you work to perfect the photograph it is very easy to kill the spirit of the original image. The polaroid transfer process would not allow that to happen. I have been thinking about these issues for a while now as tech just keeps moving forward.