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A Polaroid emulsion lift, also known as an emulsion transfer, is created by manipulating a Polaroid photograph. This video highlights my method for doing an emulsion lift. I begin by cutting the edges of the Polaroid to break the bond that keeps the layers together.  After that, I peel the back from the front, separating the negative from the emulsion. There is often developer (the white chemicals) left on both the negative and the emulsion. I use a sponge to gently clean the back of the emulsion using warm water. I then replace that water with fresh water before performing the next step.

Once all the developer chemicals are cleaned off, I cut around the perimeter of the photo. This is to free the emulsion from glue that bonds it to the plastic front. I use a paintbrush to go around the edge of the photo, gently prying up the emulsion layer. Once the entire emulsion is removed from the plastic, I submerge the new surface, most often a sheet of glass, beneath it. I gently arrange the emulsion and manipulate its appearance. Once I’m happy with how it looks, I leave it to dry. That’s all there is to it!

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