How to get the best results from Polaroids even when the weather is not good

5 easy tricks to get the most out of your pictures

It’s rather easy to shoot good Polaroids when the weather is nice. But, as you might know, it’s now always nice. Hence I will share my five most important photo tips for rainy, overcast and cold days. These tips are optimised for someone who uses Polaroid Originals film and a vintage Polaroid 600 camera but they can be easily adapted for other Polaroid cameras. If you have any questions about this, just leave a comment and I’ll try to help.

Tip 1 – Low Temperatures

Polaroid Originals color film likes it warm. Meaning 20 degrees celsius or warmer. Therefore when it’s cold it’s a must to warm the pictures as well as the camera. The perfect place: Keep both inside your jacket, as close to the body as possible. If that’s not possible for some reason at least carry the camera in your bag. Never carry to camera or the picture outside in the cold!

Keep the photos during the development close to your body. We use a lanyard and a plastic pouch (see picture below).

Lanyard with plastic pouch and Polaroid

Lanyard with plastic pouch

This will keep the shots warm and protected from harmful sunlight.

The warmer you keep your pictures and your camera the better they will develop. This will lead to better contrast, color and details!

Polaroids shot in the cold

Polaroids shot in the cold (by Snap it See it)

Tip 2 – Grey Skies

If the weather is grey and it’s overcast outside I recommended to try and not have much of the sky in your picture. Otherwise your Polaroid will very likely look washed out and boring. Also the contrast between brighter and darker parts of the scene will often let your picture turn out too dark (see below).

Polaroid of Votivkirche

Too much contrast

If you are keeping your pictures warm if it’s cold outside, you can still get very nice results with rich blues.

Blue Skies in Winter versus Washed out Polaroid

Blue Skies in Winter versus washed out Polaroid

Tip 3 – Use The Flash

A great option for grey fall and winter days with not much available light is to use the flash for most of the pictures (architecture, portraits). This will reduce the average number of blurry pictures (but it’s still important to hold the camera stable). With flash the shutter times are fixed and the camera chooses the correct aperture. The following pictures show, that using the flash in this conditions doesn’t negatively affect the picture quality!

Polaroid of the Vienna State Opera

Left: Vienna Opera House without flash, Right: With flash

 

Vienna City Hall with flash

Polaroid of the Vienna City Hall with flash

Outdoor-Tip: Keep in mind that being to close when using the flash will result in an overexposed picture. Perfect distance to flash would be around 1.5 to 3 meters.

 

Flash versus no flash

Left: Gold Christmas ornaments without flash, Right: White and silver Christmas ornaments with flash

Indoor-Tip: Indoors try to place your subject in front of a background i.e. a white wall (otherwise it can happen that the background is all blacked out).

Tip 4 – Choosing your subject

The outcome of a picture starts with the choice of motif. Generally speaking you should try to go to places where a lot of light is available like wide open spaces. Look for the light and avoid shadowy areas.

In addition actively look for strong colors and colorful subjects like a graffiti, colorful clothes, an umbrella…

Tip 5 – Keep Your Polaroid Camera Stable

The less light available the longer the shutter speed times get the easier it is to blur your pictures.

Find out how to best hold the camera still

Tip: Stand broad, look through the camera, hold still, breathe and calmly press the shutter

I hope these five, very practicable tips will help you in creating better Polaroids! If there’s anything I can help you with, just let me know in the comments. Also go and check out our YouTube channel where we have loads of tutorials that can improve your instant photography.