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

by Oleg Kubay on Mar 11, 2021

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, 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 be adapted for other cameras 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 the 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 gray and overcast outside it’s recommended to leave as much sky 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 gray 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 these 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.

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