If you’re running into an issue where your photos are developing dark and without detail in shadowy areas, you likely just need more light!
Remember – instant cameras love light. If you are shooting indoors, most of the time ambient light alone will not be sufficient, and you need to use flash.
NOTE: SX-70 cameras do not include a built-in flash, so you’ll want to make sure you have a flash bar (purchased separately) for any photos shot indoors.
|(backlit background without flash)
|(backlit background with flash)
Here are tips to avoid dark pictures:
- When shooting with Polaroid, it is very important to ensure that you are using lots of natural light. Our camera sensors are a little sensitive and love having lots of light to play with. Also, if you are new to Polaroid we recommend always using the flash.
- When shooting indoors, it's highly encouraged to always use the flash. Another note on shooting indoors, it’s best to have your subject stand in front of something like a wall, to reflect the flashback for brighter pictures. If your subject is standing in a big room with a lot of empty space behind them, the background will be entirely dark in your photo.
- When shooting outdoors, never shoot directly into the sun. A backlit subject means that your subject will come out dark. Shooting your subject under the shade can also lead to a darkened photo. We also recommend that when shooting outdoors, the subject is no more than 2 meters away from the camera. The reason is that when a subject is too far away, it might not appear as sharp. Make sure you are shooting in a well-lit area and keeping your subject close for the perfect portrait. Please consider Polaroid film has a very narrow dynamic range. That means it's not possible to have the same grade of exposure and details in bright and dark areas.
|(taken far from the wall with flash)
|(taken with flash indoors, close to the wall)
Here you can see the difference between shooting indoors with and without flash. As you can see they are 2 very contrasting photos. It's important to always use the flash when shooting indoors and there isn't an abundance of light.
Here are some tips when shooting with/without flash:
- If you are taking photos indoors and you do not have a wall/backdrop right behind your object, the background will be dark. That is completely normal for analog photography. The flash bounces off the first object it hits, and the camera will correctly expose that object. The light which bounces off the background reaches the camera only after the shutter is already closed and the picture taken. Also, keep in mind that flash is less effective over distance so make sure your subject stands in front of a background.
- While taking indoor photos with flash, please be sure to aim correctly at your subject. If you aim further and half press the shutter button, the camera light meter will calculate the distance and adjust exposure for the further object in this case, hence your subject is overexposed (and not perfectly in focus).
- If you are taking photos indoors without flash, remember to switch on all the lights you have and use a tripod or be very still. If you do not do that, you will risk having a blurry photo (as without flash the camera will make a longer exposure, that is why it is important not to move the camera until the photo is completely ejected). Note also that shooting indoors, you could have a yellowish photo (or pink, or blue), depending on the color of the indoor lights. For best results, we recommend always shooting with flash indoors, however.
Sometimes, it may also be an issue with the camera itself: the camera’s built-in light meter may not be reading the scene properly, and therefore failing to expose properly. In this case, we suggest getting in touch with our customer support to verify what's the cause.
Still, need help? Contact our customer service team using this form and we can figure this out with you.
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