There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Failing to reproduce Polaroid Chocolate film

If you know the details of how Polaroid's long lost Chocolate peel apart film worked, you know that it was a combination of a color negative with black and white chemistry. My understanding is that the original use of the process was by people using 8x10 peel apart film manually combining the required pieces. I shoot 8x10 Polaroid, but the process now is derivative of the integral process, like the iconic SX-70 pictures. I figured I should see if I could recreate that film with the integral process instead of peel apart.

I failed.

Blank frame

For my first attempt, I should have read up on things, because I misremembered and tried using a black and white negative with color chemistry. That didn't work at all. I got a blank white frame (mostly; some of the chemistry didn't spread, so there's a brown blob in the upper right corner). Oops.

But that left me with the required materials to do the experiment correctly, with a color negative and black and white chemistry.

This also failed.

Blank frame

I got a picture, kind of, and as the print has aged over the past several hours, the colors that were present have migrated to a more brown look, but most of the photograph didn't develop at all. If you look closely you can kind of almost imagine what's there, but no, it's not a success.

So, for science, and to save anyone else from the trouble and expense, the new integral-based 8x10 Polaroid does not have the ability to create the classic look of Chocolate film.

It only cost me two sheets of 8x10 to find out.

Posted at 6:41 PM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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