Polaroid vs Instax

With the desire to embrace analog photography, I have also explored instant film too. I grabbed my old Polaroid 600 and expired film for some less than pleasing results such as low contrast and faded colors. This is understood and acceptable even the film expired 13 years ago. Thanks to the Impossible Project a few years back they have recreated the film. After purchasing a new 600 film pack I received similar results.

Since then, the Impossible Project had purchased the rights to the then defunct Polaroid brand and made it their own. Recently they introduced the I-type series cameras and film. With anticipation I purchased the One Step Plus w/ Bluetooth for some added features including double exposure, timer and more all connected to my phone. Neat, yeah?

Well no. I received similar results with the contrast and color to my disappointment. After a week of back and forth emails and examples of my photos from both the 600 and I-type films to Polaroid support they were kind enough to explain indirectly that I may be to blame or even that the film I purchased (from Target, Amazon) is the issue. Not exactly supportive here.

Today, I exchanged the camera, inserted the new film I purchased through Polaroid directly and… same results. Low contrast, dull colors.

Compare all of this to the Fuji Instax instant cameras and film. To the point, much better results. The colors are vivid, the contrast is perfect. I still need to work on the lighting and flash use but these issues are trial by error and correction.

I’ve sent off a refund request through Polaroid and will wait for a response. If past support is an indicator then I will use up the film with throwaway shots and shelve the camera or sell it in favor of a sexier Instax camera upgrade instead.

Creative edit of the Polaroid film protector

Minimalist Photography

For awhile now, I have been playing with the idea of minimalist images. This means sticking with the black and white, monochrome images but using less to compose an image with. An old friend named Brandon helped create a unique emulation of the old Kodak T-Max film as a preset in Lightroom. The idea being I would recreate the film look in my images.

This image was made in White Sands, New Mexico in February 2019.

Post-Processing The Past

A year ago, it feels like eternity now, I visited California again; this time through Route 66. I took this photograph in Joshua Tree. I never really got around to processing those images except for a few. Like most of my images they’re stuck in digital storage. I’ve been taking advantage of the pandemic to organize these images and eventually post-process and print them. It’s a small way to distract myself and a big step in organizing the archives. I need more opportunities for landscape photography capture and apply what I’ve been reading up on.


I just got back from a quick road trip and took almost all my camera gear in one backpack. It was fun but exhausting.

The simplicity of the iPhone camera brings back the same happiness and exploration that made me love photography. I rediscovered the joy of every day life and documented it. Even the mundane. The camera’s limitations force me to focus fully on the subject I am shooting. That child-like wonder wakes up and the mind opens to the possibilities.
I get to discover new surroundings and re-discover the familiar. How did I miss that before? Snap.

The phone can fit into tighter spaces better than a DSLR because of its size. No worries here about apertures, ISO or shutter speeds. Shooting from the hip is possible as opposed to holding up a camera to your face all the time. Brilliant.

Adding some unique character to the photos through a wide variety of apps helps as well. It is fun to play with settings and adjust color, light, shadows and more all without losing the original image. These adjustments can alter the mood or expression as needed. It can be crisp and digitally perfect or go old-school analog photography. Mobile photography has massive creative potential compared to traditional photography.

While we are experiencing a world-wide contagion and the weather is pleasant, it is good for me to get out, remind myself to look for new perspectives and remember the creativity and joy of mobile photography.

More Thoughts On Family Photos

I take a lot of photos of my daughter. She was born with a camera documenting everything like I was the paparazzi.

There are so many pictures of her throughout the years it is difficult which ones to choose for prints or in a yearbook. I’m trying to balance what photos are important to me and what photos she will treasure. What will she remember when she looks back at them? Oh sure, the exasperation at dad for asking her to pose or document her is real enough now, but will she look back with gratitude?

This makes no difference to me since I am unlikely to change my ways and keep snapping every chance I get.

When the time comes, I want those family photo albums that my mother has curated over the years. As an active child, my young life was a blur. Those photos will help anchor my memories. I can only hope that my daughter will feel the same way.

Perhaps this was clearer and more helpful than my earlier post.