California Desert, Polaroid Style

Instant Results in Palm Springs and at Joshua Tree With a Polaroid 600

3 min read by Kevan Wilkinson. Published in Film & Photography.

Sands Motel in Yucca Valley, California. Taken with a Polaroid 600 Camera and Polaroid Originals 600 Film

The magic of instant film begins the moment you press the oversized shutter button on the Polaroid camera. The distinct noise is apparent immediately, and this is followed by the sound of a soon-to-be-seen picture making its way along rollers toward the front of the camera, where it will be removed. Although Polaroid stopped making film back on 2009, the concept of instant photography never went away. In fact, it has rebounded strongly, and Polaroid returned with a new camera and new film options. 

Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, California. Taken with a Polaroid 600 Camera and Polaroid Originals 600 Film

I have an old Polaroid 600 camera, and it produces really good results with Polaroid Originals 600 color film. I purchased six packs of this film and used them all in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park, California.

The new Polaroid Originals 600 color film worked great in the California desert. It captures the 1950s and 1960s vibe of Palm Springs perfectly. I ended up with an array of muted pastel colors when shooting in bright sunlight, and dark colors with deep contrast when shooting in the late afternoon.

Joshua Tree National Park, California. Taken with a Polaroid 600 Camera and Polaroid Originals 600 Film

Unlike the original Polaroid film that was made for this camera, Polaroid Originals 600 color film takes longer to fully develop, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

I found my pictures to take about 8 to 10 minutes to get to the finish line, and they have the same vintage Polaroid esthetic that I remember seeing when I was a kid.

Early Morning in Palm Springs, California. Taken with a Polaroid 600 Camera and Polaroid Originals 600 Film

Vintage Airstream in Palm Springs, California. Taken with a Polaroid 600 Camera and Polaroid Originals 600 Film

I wasted a few pictures when I let too much sunlight in, but that’s what you should expect with Polaroid photography. As you know, Polaroid pictures with imperfections are the ones that can end up being your favorites.

The new Polaroid film stocks only work with certain Polaroid cameras from years past, so do your research prior to making a purchase. I scanned these Polaroid pictures on a HP Envy 5530 scanner and did not do any editing or manipulating.

I hope you enjoyed these images and the article.