How do you get a blue (as in sky) insted of turquoise? : LUSENET : polaroid transfers : One Thread

When making image transfers, I have no trouble getting a deep or medium blue, but when I attempt to get a light blue It looks a ugly blue-green. Then, when I attemp to correct the color It throws the color ballance of everything else off. Does anyone else have a problem with this? Is it an intrinsic problem with the process or am I missing something? Does any one have any suggestions?

Best wishes and thanks.


-- John B. Chandler (JHARTT2360@AOL.COM), February 26, 1998


I've only begun doing image transfers, so what I'm suggesting might be wrong. But first...Have you tried calling Polaroid directly? They have a group of technicians who seem knowlegeable about the process. Also you might want to check out Kathleen Thormod Carr's book on image and emulsion transfers. Also checkout her web page

I think that the problem that you're having may be part of the transfer process. I remember reading (although I don't remember where) that when a polaroid develops normally, first the yellow dye moves to the positive, then the cyan and magenta. That's why, when you're doing an image transfer, you only let the image dev for 15 seconds (or there abouts) before you separate the negative from the positive and start the transfer process. This way you get some yellow to transfer to the water color paper (or whatever paper you're using) before it all migrates to the polariod positive. I think, but as I said I'm not sure, that the problem is part of the process. The ugly blue green that you get might be a result of the yellow dye mixing with the cyan dye. Therefore color correcting won't have any effect because you're allowing the yellow dye to transfer to the image. Again, this is all conjecture on my part.

Two suggestions. Have you tried "washing" the print in an acidic bath (I think I read about washing the transfer in vinegar) to remove some of the yellow? Doing this supposedly removes the yellow that permeates the whites. If it's removing some yellow from the whites, it would seem that it might remove some yellow from the blue greens as well. The other thing that you might want to try is waiting a little longer (i.e. 20 secs) before separating the polaroid negative from the positive. The additional time allows the yellow to migrate to the polaroid positive (the portion that you could use for an emulsion transfer), thereby removing some yellow and intensifying the blue. Check with polaroid to see if they have an estimate of how much longer you should wait.

I don't know if either of my suggestions will work. I do know that the process is sort of expensive to play around with. That's why I've suggested contacting Polaroid.

If you want to contact me directly, feel free to do so.

-- Stuart Goldstein (, March 01, 1998.

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