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My Venture Into Polaroid Photography

Another way to play with light

By Samantha ParrishPublished 4 years ago 4 min read

I originally got a photography camera in order to have a good quality camera for cosplay photos, but I also wanted to go beyond using photography for cosplay and see what unique photos I could do. In 2011, I started testing out my photos before cosplay conventions to test the settings. I was impressed with the outcome of the photos, it had a great quality, but I wasn't satisfied with it. I didn't like the way I captured this moment I saw with my eyes. I wanted to take a photography class to learn how I could improve myself.

I got the opportunity to take a photography class back in my senior year of high school. I got to learn how to view my surroundings with the perspectives of bird's eye view and worm's eye view as well as how the term, "Playing with light". There was more of an emphasis on Photoshop then learning about cameras or taking visually striking photos. I understand that Photoshop is a vital part in photography now but, not everyone is a wiz with Photoshop or editing in general. I wasn't happy and it sullied my original eagerness for wanting photography as a hobby.

Years went by and I wanted to do get back into photography, but using a Polaroid camera. At that moment, I was struggling with financials, and it just wasn't in the cards or even in the deck of cards at the time.

It wasn't until Christmas 2018 that my grandpa bought me one. I was so excited to do something creative again. It was a venture back into photography. I already felt a spark in me I hadn't had for a long time.

Some things I've had to learn is within the viewfinder, that is the exact image that will be captured. However I've had to learn that I'd actually have to get closer then what is seen on the viewfinder. Basically if I'm taking a picture of the lake, I would need to get a couple steps closer to achieve that photo of the lake otherwise the lake would look distant.

Photo on the left, I had taken it by leaning back, photo on the right I had to take it while standing on the ledge of a campfire seat set.

I never thought this would be my mark to be creative in this brand and type of photography and I'd like to share some of the various pictures that were captured.

I've had some hits and misses since this is one time shot per photo.

Whether shady or sunny, if the angle to take a picture has too much brightness in the surroundings. If you were to take a picture of the sun through the trees, it's best if it's where the trees can block most of it and try to get not indirectly in the sunlight path. For cloudy days, make sure the camera isn't entirely directed towards the sky, sometimes that bright white can contrast and can't transfer well.

Polaroid photography can do well in sunny days but sometimes the flash can make something to bright with the bright light of the sun and makes it too bright and can't be captured well. On Cloudy days, the photos fared better to capture without too much brightness. The surroundings could be captures better without a flare of white light.

But sometimes, a unique mishap occurs and I end up with photos like these and I don't mind so much that there is a tiny flaw from a brightness problem.

On occasion,some had a immaculate outcome that it could be used for an album cover or book cover. I got lucky a couple of times that the light was perfect. I was in a position to be closer but having my camera positioned in the shade, or pointed that it wasn't too closet to pointing to the sky so my photo wouldn't have a harsh contrast.

I’ve tested it at night , and I’ve gotten lucky around the time it’s past the golden hour , right at the haze of the skies so I have just enough light for an interesting photo. Either far away or close to my control.

This hobby definitely came to my unexpected aid when I had to make a cover for my book. I didn’t have an available artist at the time so I turned to Polaroids to make my cover.

From left to right : gauze, cigarettes, tattoo gun, assorted tools

Testing and creating in Polaroid photography has defiantly been a rewarding experience to have a creativity that I wanted. In a way, this takes care of having to edit photos because I never know how exactly they turn out and it's a one of a kind photo.

It is more then just taking photos of people in a retro fashion (course I'll admit I've taken my fair share of Polaroid selfies).

This is my forte in photography, I've been able to get that satisfaction and creative drive in Polaroid photography. I can look at something with my eyes and capture it in the way I see it with natural enhancements from nature and angles as it should be with photography.

It's my own way of "Playing with light".

If you would like to see more Polaroid pictures feel free to check out my Instagram @themysticalspacewitch for more polarizing Polaroids. Thank you for reading!


About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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