"Painterly Photography" by Elizabeth Murray. Pomegranate Art Books,
This book contains beautiful examples of how to use SX-70
manipulation to produce Impressionist-like images (Murray has also
authored the book "Monet's garden", and clearly favours painterly images).
Many of the manipulated Polaroids in Murray's book have been
handpainted as well, creating images which are very much like oil
paintings. Murray provides a section at the back of the book
describing tools and equipment which can be used for manipulations, a
resource list suggesting where to obtain cameras or art supplies, and
contact information for Polaroid. Also included are instructions on
how to adapt a Polaroid 600 series camera to accept SX-70 film, and
how to project slides onto SX-70 film using an enlarger. This book's
main strength is the wonderful inspiration it provides through
examples of Murray's exquisite images.
"Instant Photo/Instant Art" by Dominic Sicilia,
Price/Stern/Sloan Publishers, 1977, out of print.
This book provides a wealth of information on the actual technique of
manipulating SX-70 images. Sicilia describes how manipulating the
emulsion affects the fluidity and colour of the image, how the light
and dark areas of the image respond differently to the process, and
how each film batch differs in fluidity and colour rendition. He
gives detailed information on using different treatments depending on
what the subject matter is, and gives examples of what techniques to
use on such subjects as buildings, seascapes, trees, flowers, people,
cars, faces, etc. Sicilia also provides suggestions on how to expand
the highlights in the image to add emphasis and how to add patterns
to the background. This is by far the best book on the "how-to" of
manipulating an SX-70 print.
"Creative Photo Printmaking" by Theresa Airey. Amphoto, 1996.
This book contains a chapter on SX-70 manipulations, and also deals
with Polaroid image and emulsion transfers, solvent transfers, liquid
emulsions, etc. Like Murray's book, this publication also explains
how to adapt a 600 series camera to accept SX-70 film, but Airey
provides much greater detail as well as a series of photographs
illustrating how to actually accomplish this. Similarly, Airey goes
on for several pages describing how to use an enlarger to project
slides onto SX-70 film, again providing pictures demonstrating what
steps to take, whereas Murray covered this topic in a few paragraphs.
Like Murray, Airey gives some information on handcolouring the
manipulated print, and like Sicilia she notes that lighter colours in
the image respond better to manipulation than do dark areas. Airey
provides helpful information on how to warm up the print to
facilitate manipulation, as well as how to freeze it if you need to
delay working the image. She also gives good technical information on
film and exposure if you choose to duplicate your manipulated SX-70
prints by making slides or negatives from them.
Availability of these books:
"Painterly Photography" and
"Creative Photo Printmaking" can be
found at large bookstores or ordered from a local bookshop.
They can be also ordered on-line
from Amazon.com directly from these pages. Both are
likely available at some university libraries or large public
libraries. "Instant Photo/Instant Art," on the other hand, is out of
print and not as easily located. An online bookstore such as Amazon
might be able to find a used copy, or an inter-library loan service
might be able to obtain a copy from another city for you.
"Painterly Photography" provides all the information a beginner needs
to get started with SX-70 manipulations, and contains a gallery of
beautiful images which many people credit with inspiring them to try
their hand at this technique. For more detailed technical
information, the chapter on SX-70 manipulations in
"Creative Photo Printmaking" is an excellent resource. For those wanting in-depth
information on ways to manipulate the image itself and a wealth of
ideas on how to treat different subject matter, "Instant
Photo/Instant Art" is an unparalleled resource and well worth