Roadmap Photography | Landscape & Travel Photographer


Fine art photography blog of Roadmap Photography. Read about my travels, photography techniques, press coverage, and more. Based in Southern California.

Polaroid Photography in the California Desert


I woke up early, made a cup of coffee, and checked the weather app on my iPhone. It said it was going to be 80 degrees and sunny in both Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree National Park, so I told my wife it was a great day to go on a short road trip. I always go places with my Leica M (Typ 240), but for this excursion to the California desert, I also took my Polaroid camera and five boxes of Polaroid color film. My Polaroid camera lets me capture images with the nostalgic charm, faded colors, and subtle vintage characteristics that can’t be replicated with editing software or filters.

Instant Gratification

My wife and I arrived in Palm Springs for a late breakfast, and I snapped some pictures around town before heading out to Joshua Tree National Park. Much to our surprise, there wasn’t a long line of cars in the park’s northeast entrance, so we got in right away. We spent the entire afternoon exploring the main highway and side roads throughout the park, and I snapped pictures with my Leica rangefinder, and selected pictures with my Polaroid camera. There are only eight images in each pack of Polaroid film, so every shot counts. The bright sunlight made some Polaroid images appear overexposed, but they are still worth keeping. A few of them ended up having red and orange sun flares, which are unintentional imperfections that even the most discerning photographers appreciate. 

Retro Travel Companion

Polaroid cameras were introduced in the 1940s, and they make excellent travel companions. They are also conversation starters. While using it in Palm Springs, and at Joshua Tree National Park, people who were taking pictures with their smartphones would often stop to watch me press the big red shutter button that produces the famous Polaroid sound effect while ejecting the photo. A cool-looking photo would fully develop after about ten minutes, which was just enough time to get to a new location. Thanks for visiting my website blog.