Marie on Polaroid

So yesterday I had a shoot with lovely Marie from Flag Models. I haven’t been doing much portraits this year and I thought it was high time to change that. Marie was such an inspiring model, that I even took some polaroids! And with my ever shrinking stash of the stuff, that is saying something. Anyway, I took two polaroids and then bleached the negatives, the results of which you can see here. :)

Rainy days and origami cranes

What do people do on Sunday afternoons? Exactly. Make origami cranes and hang them up on the ceiling and then take pictures with them! Duh. ;)

I don’t know what it is with me and origami. I just get so fascinated by it. Back in the day when I was still young and innocent and working on my first 365 project, I already had a strange love affair with origami birds. I guess it is just one of those things you can’t explain.

Anyhow, after making some digital self portraits with the cranes, I also made a polaroid self portrait. And while doing that, I also made a behind the scenes video! It’s like I’m three people in one! ;) So here’s a little insight into what goes on in my living room when I get a creative rush.

And here is the scanned polaroid. :)

We’re the oil in this machine

If you are a film fan like me, you probably have already heard Fuji is discontinuing one of my favorite polaroid films: fp3000b. Now if you want me and other photographers to be able to shoot it in the future, please head over to this link and sign the petition that might make Fuji reconsider. It’s a long shot but there are a lot of people out there who will miss this film very much. So even if you don’t use it yourself, do all film photographers a big favor and sign the petition! It literally takes two seconds. Thanks to everyone who does so!!! (you know I never asked you anything before, right? :-))

This photo here was of course shot on fp3000b, and I think it really resonates what I feel. We must cherish our beloved film and keep the companies interested in making them. Now go sign that petition! Go I said! Goooo!


Her white blank page

Renée on polaroid by Els Vanopstal

This day was so much fun, and so exhausting at the same time. I had a shoot planned with the lovely Renée but I didn’t quite know what the concept could be. I was thinking about it for two weeks, going back and forth and about two days before the shoot was due, I decided I was going to do a shoot inspired by the color white. This was one of those things I had been thinking about for quite a long time, but didn’t quite know how to pull it together. I got so excited about the idea though that I forgot my ‘impeccable’ timing and decided to just go for it. So the day before I went to the store, bought some cheap white fabric (one for a tutu, another for a dress), and folded hundreds of white origami flowers. And even though it was a lot of work in very little time, I really enjoyed it. I would quite like to get more into ‘set making’ and things like that. Well, enough talk, here are some polaroids!

Renée on polaroid by Els Vanopstal Renée on polaroid by Els Vanopstal Renée on polaroid by Els Vanopstal Renée on polaroid by Els VanopstalRenée on Polaroid by Els VanopstalRenée on polaroid

Model: Renée @ Flag Models
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal

Saving instant negatives

Today I tried something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. I bleached some fuji instant film (fp100c). This is a ‘peel apart’ kind of film, which means that you get two images: a positive image (the print) and a negative image that is covered in black, so most people throw this away. But somewhere along the way somebody found a method to make some use out of the black negatives: when you bleach them, you can get a proper negative that you can scan.

There are several ways to do this, I chose to try it this way, because it didn’t seem as messy and damaging as some other videos I saw. For this method you need:
– some fuji fp100c negatives
– masking tape
– a piece of glass (for example from a photo frame)
– a (soft) paint brush
– bleach (i used cheap toilet gel with javel)
– two small containers (bleach in one, cold water in the other)
– paper towels
– something to hang them up for drying.

The steps are quite easy, you first take off the excess paper around the edges, then tape the negatives to the glass (black side up). Then apply some bleach with the brush, take off the black with a paper towel. In my case, the black came off almost immediately, but this will depend on your bleach. Dip the brush in some water and go over it again, and take off the rest with the paper towels. After that you take off the tape, and rinse the negatives in some water. The front is a bit slimy, so I rubbed it gently until all the goop had come off. After that, just hang them up to dry!


Here is an example of what you get after scanning (and some color correction):

reclaimed negative

And for comparison the positive image (this was fp100c silk, which I tried for the first time and then found out it has a raster over the image. Wasn’t too happy about discovering that only after I bought and used it.):


 As you can see, the negative is a lot sharper and brighter than the positive. It also has more ‘faded’ colors. And it doesn’t have that awful raster (never buying silk again /holds a grudge). It takes a lot more time and effort, but I do like the results. Off to bleach some more!

PS: Always be careful when using bleach, this product is damaging to skin, eyes and clothes. Wear something you don’t care too much about, if possible gloves and protective eyewear. Only use it in a well ventilated area. Also, if you’re doing this for the first time, try this on an unimportant image before applying it to your best work. ;)