Looking for something creative and experimental with instant film? You might want to try transparency lifts. It’s a project more popular for Polaroid instant films but turns out that you can also do it for Fujifilm Instax films. It’s a permanent alteration of the prints, but maybe it could inspire you to get extra creative and make some interesting images out of it. Last year, Marco Christian Krenn of Analog Things shared how he creates transparencies out of Polaroid black and white films. He followed it up with another cool tutorial for using these transparencies into a multi-layer transparency lightbox using Polaroid black and white instant films. Since then, he’s been getting questions about whether it’s possible to do it with Instax films as well.
Well, it turns out that the Instax films don’t work the same way as the Polaroid films. After trying many different ways and failing, he found out that Instax films have a lot of layers, and it’s easy to destroy layer upon layer, so you end up without an image on the transparency. He eventually cracked it. He first needed to wash off the black pasty layer with hot water after cutting around the edges of the print and separating the transparent backing. Next, he needed to wipe off the second dark layer and the white developing paste layer using a wet cloth. Not too harshly though, as it might destroy the thin layer where the actual image sits. Another important detail, however, is to start with this process shortly before the film stops developing.
Why would you ever want to do this to your Polaroid or Instax prints? Why for experimental images, of course! In all the tutorials below, Marco shows how you can swap different colored paper backgrounds to produce an interesting duotone effect, as well as a cool 3D effect when you stack the transparencies and house them in a lightbox.