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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Polaroid Photo-Tip #9: Protecting Impossible Pictures from Sunlight

Polaroid Photo-Tip #9: Why do I have to protect my Impossible pictures from sunlight and how do I do that?

by Thomas Preyer (Last Update: Dec. 22, 2016)

Today's tip is about how and why to protect your Impossible color pictures from sunlight:

Instant film contains multiple layers. One of them is a regular film negative, which is why the photo is sensitive to light until it is fully developed. The development time of the color Impossible picture is about 30 minutes. The reason for this rather long development time is mainly caused by the so-called opacification layer. It is another, blue, layer within the film, which protects the lower (light-sensitive) layers from light. Think of the opacification layer, or opacifier, as a chemical curtain that needs to be drawn over the film to protect the image you’ve created.

The opacifier isn’t perfect protection: Therefore we recommend using the "Impossible Frog Tongue" (film shield), a device that can be installed in most Polaroid 600 and SX-70 cameras which helps to further protect your pictures.

Polaroid 600-type camera with built-in "The Impossible Project" frog tongue

And this is how you take and remove a picture using the Impossible Frog Tongue for Polaroid 600 box-type cameras:

There's another method to protect the Polaroid if you do not have a camera with a built-in frog tongue.

Hit the shutter button. Right after the photo got ejected, quickly turn the camera by 180º or take the picture with the darkslide (put it on the side with the developing picture). Then quickly place the picture in a bag, pocket, book or let it develop face down (be careful to not bend it).

Darkslide - A cardboard that protects the film from light

Avoid exposing and developing in direct sunlight; this will cause overexposure and reddening of the final result. The Impossible instant-photos are no longer sensitive to light after a few minutes but it will take about 30 minutes to fully develop the Polaroid. It might even develop further after that point!

And that's how it works:

How to protect the Impossible picture from light

In short: Expose your Polaroid as little as possible to sunlight.

Check out our other tips:

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