Brace yourselves, winter is coming or Shooting in winter

No, this not a Game of Thrones review, but I hope you got the joke! Winter is indeed coming and the declining temperature brings some essentials with it, every photographer who uses instant film should master. As you already know, and if not, now you do, the temperature affects the development process enormously. The lower the temperature, the slower and less effective the development process is. No minimum warmth = no picture or bad picture. When your picture turns out greenish, faded to white tones with white blurry spots or green strokes and pretty dark, you know it’s cold outside! Although it does not really look like winter outside , for now, let’s get started!


But first about the film and cold. Of course the best way to store a film pack is in the fridge at the lowest possible temperature, by under no circumstances it should go below zero! For the best results Impossible recommends letting the film reach the room temperature, but this is not really necessary if you have the right temperature for developing. As mentioned above, before putting the film pack in your camera you do not have to take any special care of it, meaning heating it or so, unless it’s freezing. When the temperature reaches below zero this could kill your film. By this I mean there is no way back after the film froze because the developer paste is not able to defrost into its original structure and dies…

Description on the Impossible film’s box tells us the picture develops best somewhere between 15 – 25 degrees Celsius. This is unfortunately impossible in cold weather, no kidding right? As mentioned above, the picture needs a certain temperature to develop so we need to produce it artificially. In the first part we will go through three most common ways of heating the your pictures. I used the 600 type round silver frame colour film from the Impossible Project for the test shots as well as 600 B&W Impossible film of second generation. Read the first part to find out how did it go!

1. Pocket


This is the most common method of heating your pictures sufficient in lower temperatures. Your body warmth is the easiest and of course the cheapest source of warmth for not only your pictures! Simply put your picture in your pocket, that’s it. I myself prefer wearing shirts with front pockets, which is the best option, especially when wearing another jacket or a coat on top of it. Pockets on your pants work very well as well, but be careful when crouching or sitting down, pictures can get bent, brake and leak, with the final result of a destroyed picture. During the first minute or so I also like to keep my hand on the pictures while in the pocket, just to make sure the picture has more warmth in the first important stage of developing.

2. Armpit


If you have the feeling your pockets will not be warm enough use your armpit. Simply put your pictures under your armpit and keep it there and keep it there tight. You will look a bit odd with your arm pressed close to your body, but hard times call for drastic measures!

3. Warming pouch / „Hand warmers“


This is probably the most sophisticated and also the most comfortable way of heating your pictures and very helpful in „extreme“ conditions or simply when you have a lot of pictures. The pouches can be bought in tourist supply shops etc. (I got mine at TESCO). Just put them in your pocket or bag and et voila, you have colors like in summer! There is only one slight problem, the heat might cause the developer paste inside the picture to surface on it, due to the heat. The colours are also richer in my opinion. See for yourself.

In the second part of the Shooting in winter tutorial we will take a look at ways of developing your instant pictures with Polaroid cold clip for pack film and cold clip for Impossible, made specially for developing integral pictures. Stay tuned!