If you’ve ever shot instant film, then I’m sure you’ve heard it before: shield your photos from light! It’s extremely important if you want the best results possible with your film.
Polaroid film is sensitive to light even after it has been ejected from the camera. During these sensitive first few seconds, the film shield installed on your camera will extend on top of the photo and protect it from light. This allows enough time for the blue opacification layer to spread over the whole frame.
After the first few moments have passed, your photo can be removed from under the film shield. The photo is still sensitive to light, however, and should still be kept shielded from strong light sources until it has developed further. For example, you could keep your photo:
- Face down on a table
- Inside a jacket pocket
- Inside an empty film box
- Under your armpit
Shielding the photo during the development time (check the back of your film package for exact times) will ensure that you get deeper saturation, sharper details, and that your final image is not washed out.
If your camera does not have a film shield installed, we strongly recommend that you purchase one, here. You can learn how to install a film shield on a Polaroid 600 camera in this article and how to install one on a Polaroid SX-70 in this one. All new and refurbished cameras sold by us have a film shield pre-installed.