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

5 easy tricks to get the most out of your pictures

It’s rather easy to shoot good Polaroid’s when the weather is nice. But, when it’s now always nice. Hence I’ve compiled the five most important photo tips for rainy, overcast and cold days. The tips are optimized for someone who uses Polaroid Originals film and a vintage Polaroid 600 camera but can easily adapted for other camera’s too. If you are having any questions about this, just leave a comment.

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).

This way you can keep them 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!

Picture by Snap it See it

Tip 2 – Grey Skies

If it’s grey and overcast outside it’s recommended to leave as much skies out of the picture as possible. If you don’t do that it will easily make your picture 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).
If you are keeping your pictures warm if it’s cold outside, you can get very nice results with rich blues.

Too Much Contrast (Votivkirche)

Blue Skies versus Grey Skies

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!

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

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.

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 stable here

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.

How to take Polaroid pictures outdoors?

 

Today’s tip is about how to shoot with your vintage Polaroid 600 camera outdoors:

Outdoors, under normal light conditions, use the flash override shutter button. It is located right beneath the flash shutter button. Check out our Manual for Polaroid 600 cameras for pictures and more information.

Watch the following video to find out how it’s done:

Just press it all the way to take your picture. There are some outdoor situations that might require you to use the flash, for example if you want to make a portrait when not much light is available, when the subject is backlit or when your subject is located in a doorway or under a bridge.

Check out this video to see how to apply the tips:

 

Check out our other tips:

How to take good Polaroid pictures indoors?

 

Today’s tip is about how to shoot indoors:

If you want to take a picture indoors, use the flash by pressing the flash shutter button. Check out our Manual for Polaroid 600 cameras for pictures and more information.

Check out the Video and see how it’s done:

 

There are circumstances where you’d rather not use flash indoors, for example when you want to snap a Polaroid of something that’s lit by a natural light source, such as a window.For taking pictures of people indoors with flash it is recommended to place your subjects in front of a light colored background (i.e. a white wall) and stand about 1.2 to 3 meters (about 4 to 10 feet) away when taking the picture.

Watch our video to learn more about the topic:

 

Check out our other tips:

 

How and when to use exposure correction

Today’s tip is an important one for using Polaroid Originals color film. When should you use the camera’s exposure correction?

Exposure correction slider on your Polaroid 600: Default position (middle)

Your camera has a slider to control how bright or dark your picture should be. Adjust it to manually tell your camera to change the exposure of the next picture. With the Polaroid Originals color film (Oct. 7, 2017) we recommend leaving the slider in the default position.

(1) Adjustment in normal bright daylight

Your pictures turn out too light? Move the slider further towards the black arrow (2).

(2) Adjustment for a very bright setting

Your pictures turn out too dark now? Move the slider towards the middle position (3).

(3) Adjustment for when your pictures turn out to dark

(4) Usually you wouldn’t move the slider towards the white arrow.

You might want to move the slider as shown in picture (2) when either the sun or the setting is very bright.

Watch our videos to learn more about exposure correction for Polaroid 600 cameras:

Check out our other tips:

Why do I have to protect my Polaroid pictures from sunlight and how do I do that

Today’s tip is about how and why to protect your Polaroid Originals and Impossible Project color pictures from sunlight:

Instant film contains multiple layers. One of them is a regular film negative, which is why the photo is sensitive to light until it is fully developed. The development time of the Color Polaroid Originals picture is about 15 minutes.

The reason for this rather long development time is mainly caused by the so-called opacification layer. It is another, blue, layer within the film, which protects the lower (light-sensitive) layers from light.

Think of the opacification layer, or opacifier, as a chemical curtain that needs to be drawn over the film to protect the image you’ve created.

The opacifier isn’t perfect protection: Therefore we recommend using the “Frog Tongue” (or film shield), a device that can be installed in most Polaroid 600 and SX-70 cameras which helps to further protect your pictures.

Polaroid 600-type camera with built-in film shield

And this is how you take and remove a picture using the film shield for Polaroid 600 box-type cameras:

There’s another method to protect the Polaroid if you do not have a camera with a built-in frog tongue. Watch our video to learn how to install the film shield in your Polaroid 600 camera:

Hit the shutter button. Right after the photo got ejected, quickly turn the camera by 180º or take the picture with the darkslide (put it on the side with the developing picture). Then quickly place the picture in a bag, pocket, book or let it develop face down (be careful to not bend it).

Darkslide – A cardboard that protects the film from light

Avoid exposing and developing in direct sunlight; this will cause overexposure and reddening of the final result. Polaroid instant-photos are no longer sensitive to light after a few minutes but it will take about 15 minutes to fully develop the Polaroid. It might even develop further after that point!

And that’s how it works:

How to protect the Polaroid picture from light

In short: Expose your Polaroid as little as possible to sunlight.

Watch our video to learn more about the topic:

Check out our other tips:

How to create colorful Polaroids?

 

Today’s tip is about how to really make your colors pop:

There is one key ingredient to colorful pictures: Color! If you want to have saturated colors in your Polaroid Originals instant picture the subject must be colorful. How to get good colors in cold weather? Check out tip #4. Tip #9 is also helpful!

The first picture is the perfect colorful subject. The second not so much 😉

 

Check out our other tips:

Get close and make your subject the main focus of your picture

 

Today’s tip is about making your subject the main point of interest:

To make the most of your instant-shots we recommend getting close to your subject and making your subject the main interest of your picture! Frame it in your viewfinder as big as possible and keep the background simple. Don’t think too much about it: Often the simple things work best in a Polaroid.

Check out our video for more info:

 

A few sample pictures:

 

Check out our other tips:

What is a parallax error and how can I work around it?

 

Today’s tip is will teach you about the parallax error, what it is and how to work around it. The Polaroid 600 type camera will take the picture through the lens, but you’ll see the scene through the viewfinder next to the lens. This results in a so-called parallax error. This error is bigger the closer you are to your subject, it’s less visible the more far away you are.

Polaroid 600-type camera

Parallax error

If you are for example framing your subject in the middle of the viewfinder, your camera in fact “sees” it closer to the left, upper corner. To work around that we recommend avoiding full frontal framing of your subject. Rather go for a side angle. You could also frame the subject a little bit more to the left, leaving space on the right side of the viewfinder. Another note: Your camera doesn’t show you the full scene it’ll capture in the viewfinder. It’ll add a little bit on all sides. This makes the parallax error seem smaller.

In short: We think it’s very hard to successfully work around the parallax error. Our tip: Don’t worry too much about it – rather embrace the imperfection 🙂

Watch our video for more info on the parallax error:

 

Check out our other tips:

How to prevent blurry and shaky pictures from happening

 

Today’s tip is about how to avoid blurry Polaroids. Hold the camera steady until the picture leaves through the exit slot. This is especially important when there isn’t much light available. In dim light the camera shutter stays open longer than in bright light. Any movement (of the camera) while the shutter is open will result in a blurred picture.

We therefore recommend holding the camera in your left hand, your palm on the bottom of the camera.

This will simulate a tripod and give your camera extra stability. Be careful to not block the film exit slot at the front of the camera! Press the “flash override shutter button” from the bottom. There’s the most space for your finger!

This is how you should hold a Polaroid 600-type camera

Press the shutter button the way it is depicted

Watch the video for more tips on how to avoid blurry Polaroids:

 

Check out our other tips:

Shooting Polaroids when it’s cold

 

Today’s tip is about what to do when it’s cold outside. When it’s cold outside (below 13 degrees Celsius or 55 degrees Fahrenheit) it is crucial to warm your camera and your pictures. You can achieve this by carrying the camera inside your coat (preferable) or in your bag.

In addition we highly recommend putting the Polaroid picture as close to your body as possible once it left the camera, at least your coat’s inner pocket.

Be careful to not bend the picture. The warmer you keep the picture the better the colors and contrast will be.

Here are a two samples of what can happen when you do not warm your pictures:

The following picture shows that even in winter it’s totally possible to create beautiful Polaroids:

Watch our video to learn more about how to shoot great Polaroids on cold days:

 

Check out our other tips: