Hot weather shooting tips

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 55-82 °F (13-28 °C). Outside of this range, you’ll still get a result, but you may notice some unusual photo characteristics. Photos that have been exposed to high temperatures during development may be faded and orange-toned. Here are some sample photos where the ambient temperature was above 82 °F (28 °C)


photo Deborah Santarpia
Note: red/yellow color cast, slight over-exposure


 photo Nigel Willox
 Note: drastically reduced contrast

Here are some tips to get you through the dog days of summer with more consistent, true-to-life results:

  • Store your film cool prior to shooting
  • 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
  • Use a yellow filter (applies to black and white film only)
    • Using a yellow filter generally creates higher contrast black and white photos
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