photo Manuela Spaggiari
photo Ilona Cerowska
- Large areas of very dark or black
- Not many details in shadow areas
- Note: dark or underexposed photos are a different issue from photos which are completely black
There is simply not enough light for your photo. Remember – instant cameras love light! If you are shooting inside, most of the time ambient light alone will not be sufficient, and you need to use flash. Polaroid film is between 160 and 600 ASA, and Polaroid cameras generally use small apertures (f8+): this means that the film is not very sensitive to light and the amount of light being let in is quite small.
A subject which is backlit, such as a person in front of a window, or shooting a portrait into the sun, will cause the subject to be too dark.
More rarely, it is an issue with the camera itself: the camera’s built-in light meter may not be reading the scene properly, and therefore failing to expose properly.
How to avoid:
- Ensure plenty of natural light
- With low – medium sensitivity film and very small apertures, you need to ensure plenty of bright, direct light (preferably sunlight)
- Shoot with flash
- Always use flash, especially when subject is backlit
- Manually increase exposure
- Rotate or slide the exposure compensation control towards white. This instructs the camera to let in more light and make the photo brighter