If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I delved into the world of Polaroid this weekend. I recently bought a second (or ninth) hand Polaroid 1000 Land Camera on eBay and have finally got round to giving it a go. In this post I am sharing some first timer tips, handy links and my first Polaroids, both the successes and failures.
Buying a Polaroid off eBay is always going to be a risk unless the seller guarantees you it works. You can buy film for a Polaroid Land Camera but it is expensive, £17.99 (plus shipping) for a cartridge that gives 8 Polaroids. It's the cartridge that contains the battery so until you have bought the film you won't actually know if the camera itself works.
I followed this YouTube video to insert the film and I'm happy to say that it loaded up ok. But then it wouldn't take a photo and I was all bereft. I removed the flash unit from the top and then the camera worked fine. I have no idea if that is a common problem but if you having trouble getting one of these cameras working then it's worth removing the flash bar and re-trying.
We headed to a local green space to try it out...
How to use the Polaroid 1000 Land Camera
Once your film is inserted, take your photo, pressing the green (or red) button on the front of the camera. Once the Polaroid has come out put it somewhere dark straight away (pocket, under a book, folder) and leave it for half an hour. It starts off looking blue and gradually develops. Don't panic if your image doesn't appear for a bit, it will come but usually after 30 minutes or so.
Tips for using a Polaroid 1000 Land Camera
Keep a steady hand. It's not coincidence that the photos my children took turned out pretty rubbish.
Try to shoot a still subject.
Remember the focal ares of 4 to 9 feet. I found when I looked through the viewfinder close up at plant thinking I would get a fab arty shot that all I got was unfocused blur.
Stay out of glaring sunlight.
The two photos above are examples of why you need a steady hand and steady subject. The first photo was taken by my 7 year old (unsteady hand) and the second was by me (unsteady subject and glaring backlight).
The first photo above is an example of trying to take a photo too close up, you can see how it's focusing ok on the background. The second was taking in very bright sunlight.
I really enjoyed my first steps into the world of Polaroid and I'll be ordering some more film to try again with on a more overcast day. It's a beautiful thing, taking a photo and holding it on your hand and it's good to use an old camera and give it a second lease of life - but it is an expensive affair. At around £18 for 8 images you really want to be getting the shots right, challenging but satisfying.
For those who don't want the risk and expense I've a nifty little tutorial coming up next for those who want to make their own Polaroid style images from the comfort of their desktop! Like so...