Many Instant Photographers may have the same X-ray concern about carrying undeveloped films when traveling. In this chapter, you will learn what to do and what NOT to do when traveling, without X-ray damaging to your instant films and cameras.
BRING FILMS AS CARRY-ON LUGGAGE
Unprocessed film is sensitive to light just as they are waiting to be exposed. Although Impossible Project film has a rather low ISO of 160 for SX-70, and ISO 640 for 600 cameras, X-ray of checked baggage screener may still penetrate and expose the film. Whereas carry-on baggage screener has a much milder X-ray – films under ISO800 such as Fujifilm instax mini film and instax wide film are usually not affected.
So never pack unprocessed film in baggage that will be checked. Or you can politely insist on hand-inspection of the film whenever possible.
PHOTOGRAPHING IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES
Extreme cold guide
When you want to take photos in a freezing cold place (e.g. -10°C to -15°C / 14°F to 5°F and below), you should put the camera inside your bag or your coat pocket and keep it near your body prior to shooting. Using your body temperature is a good way to ensure that your camera will work well.
Instant film is highly sensitive to temperature. After the camera ejects picture, immediately place it in your pocket or directly onto heat pads. A moderate room temperature of around 25°C / 77°F is optimal for developing camera pictures. Warm the photo with your body temperature is the easiest way. Low temperature will overexpose a photo. It may look bluish, lightened and less contrasted.
Extreme hot guide
Travelling in a place with hot weather (e.g. 35°C to 40°C / 95°F to 104°F and above) is a different situation. Keeping the developing image under shade and keep it cool will help correcting the white balance and prevent reddish and yellowish to a large extent. DO NOT leave the exposing photo under direct sunlight.
Hot temperature has a greater effect on B&W film than color. If you wish to get a better result with Polaroid cameras, snap with Impossible Color Film!
Impossible Project film can deliver good results when used within a temperature range of 13°C to 28°C / 55°F to 82°F, while 5°C to 40°C / 41°F to 104°F for Fujifilm instant film.
Even with Color Protection Film, it is possible to be overexposed under strong sunlight. The first few seconds are extremely crucial for image development. Always shield the film from light when it is ejected.
Can I use a black card, to cover the film with a hand or quickly turn the photo upside down?
To put a black card at picture exit slot is economical and may help, but it will not work as perfect as the Frog Tongue from Impossible Project.
THE USE OF MANUAL FOCUS
Some Polaroid cameras such as SX-70 Sonar, use sonar to auto focus. When you are on a coach or railway cabin, visiting in museum or aquarium, as long as there is glass between you and the object, the sonar auto focus will not work because sonar will bounce back when it hits the glass. In order to shoot through glass, simply switch to manual focus and you are good to go!