How Things Develop, Sometimes.
The strange, wonderful, and sometimes annoying thing about Polaroid films is that they age, sometimes ungracefully. For the best and most predictable results, you have to use a fresh, recently-minted film pack, or at least one that’s been refrigerated since it was somewhat fresh.
Then again, when the Polaroid film’s not fresh, the fun begins — but only if you like surprises and unexpected results! This could include slight or extreme color-shifts from aging chemistry, bubbles and streaks, uneven developer spread that makes squinch-marks throughout the image area, or a beautiful “epic fail” when the film has one or more lumps of dried developer that catch on the rollers and crinkle the image with wild effects. If the film’s old, you have no idea how things might develop, and that can be a good thing…
Today, without checking its age, I grabbed a pack of Polaroid 600 film that had been sitting out, unrefrigerated for a few months. After a morning walk at the beach, I got home and looked at the fully developed photos. The results were not what I expected — not wild or crazy as I described above — just a little “off” in some interesting ways. All three of these shots taken by the shore were washed out and high-contrast, with a blue-green color shift, loss of detail, and lots of tiny bubbles in the developer. But the one on the left (below) had some great streaking and wrinkling that I could appreciate. What do you think?
Camera: Polaroid SLR 680SE (vintage)
Film: Polaroid 600 Color instant film (new-ish…)
Photographer: Russ Murray (vintage)
Location: Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT
See you tomorrow!