Summertime is the best time for shooting Polaroid Originals film: longer days with plenty of natural light, sun-drenched afternoons at the beach, and road trips with friends. With one arm out the window, and all our worries somewhere in the rear-view mirror, it can be easy to forget that Polaroid Originals film is a bit more sensitive to the heat than we are. By taking care to keep your film and camera cool, you can be sure you’ll get better and more consistent results.
When Polaroid pictures develop, several different reactions happen, and they need to occur in a well-timed fashion for the best results. Chemical reactions are temperature-dependent, and our film is designed to work best between 13-28 ℃. Outside of this range, you’ll still get a result, but you may notice some interesting or unusual photo characteristics. Here are some sample photos where the ambient temperature was above 28℃.
photo Deborah Santarpia
photo Nigel Willox
While the warm, vintage aesthetic (especially when shooting color film) might be desirable in some cases, the below tips are intended to get you through the dog days of summer with more consistent, true-to-life results.
- Store your film cool prior to shooting
- Full article: How to store Polaroid film
- Let your film develop in a cool environment
- Inside your beach cooler, or under a cold beverage are convenient options - just make sure to keep the developing photo dry!
- Under-expose your photo
- The chemical reaction is temperature sensitive process and generally better results can be achieved if you move the camera slider towards darken.
- Relevant article: Lighten / Darken Control: how and when to use
- Use a yellow filter (applies to black and white film only)
On the bright side, the warmer the temperature is, the faster the chemical reactions are occurring, and therefore you’ll probably notice a quicker development time.