Tag Archives: retro effect

Retro Polaroid fun comes to the iPhone with Instant

There are many vintage filters available to add to a photo after shooting the shot. And, there are camera apps that change the way the photo is initially shot to change the experience of iPhone photography. Basically, the second one is just applying a filter to an image from the start since we aren’t really changing anything hardware based on our iPhones. But, the change in the action of taking a photo can be part of the fun too. This is where Instant comes in, it’s all about the retro experience.

Instant first appeared on the iPad where I don’t do much with the camera so the fun was getting lost a bit. Even with the iPad Mini, when it comes time to shoot a photo, I still dig my iPhone out of my pocket. Instant on the iPhone starts off with the option to import a photo or snap a new shot. The viewfinder is similar in look to that of the ‘One Step’ camera. This is not a universal app so you have to buy a copy for your iPhone and another for your iPad if you want to use on both.

01 Instant iPhone

Instant offers a variety of filters to apply to mimic the wide variety of Polaroid photos came out of a camera. Some over exposed, others too dark, some film got a bit old so it was grainy, etc… “30 unique vintage style photo filters, with 10 of them closely mimicking the effects of various classic Polaroid films.

02 Instant iPhone

Age and highlights are adjusted with a slider, each option is adjusted individually.

03 Instant iPhone

Writing on your Instant iPhone photos are not as limiting as the originals. If you didn’t get the writing exactly right on the old paper Polaroids, the photo was damaged with no way to re-print the photo. Now, Instant lets you use different fonts, formats and ink color till you get it right or completely remove without any damage to your snapshot.

04 Instant iPhone

Unlike the original Polaroid film, Instant allows for the paper frame to be colorized. Along with the new feature comes the ability to add the wear and tear of a well shared photo with spots, wrinkles and finger smudges.

05 Instant iPhone

Instant offers ‘export’ to many of the popular social services as well to the iPhone’s photo library. In the settings, you can choose to save a copy of the original photo prior to edits or save only the final edited result.

06 Instant iPhone

Toss a bunch of the features at a photo to get the look like the old snap shot found between some old papers in the bottom drawer of that desk you never use. Finger prints, wrinkled paper, faded in the classic Polaroid Instant frame.

07 Instant iPhone

The filters and effects from many iPhone Photo editors, all available in one… Pixlr-o-matic PLUS

There are apps that give you a variety of ‘film’ effects, like Vintage, Retro, Unicolor and Soft tones. There are other apps that provide lighting effects either through disrupting like burning and leaking light or overlaying with fireworks or Bokeh.

There is an app I just started using called Pixlr-o-matic Plus that brings the many options other iPhone photo editors have to one place. The Universal app lets you use photos on your iPhone or snap new ones. In the work area, you can swipe across the photo or use the random button in the upper right corner to have an effected added for you. Along the bottom is a ‘film roll’ of options to manually choose. As you move left/right through those filter options, the effect being viewed is applied in real time.

Choosing the light bulb provides another group of filters, to the right of the light is frames and finally the ‘save/share’ button. At first glance, the available filter options are small in each group. Not to worry, Pixlr-o-matic Plus has many more in their online library.

Scrolling all the way to the right of the filters is a ‘more’ button (or you can use the film canister upper right corner button), tap to go to a long list of grouped effects. Notice at the top is a film and light icon, both contain their group of effects. Scroll up/down to view the groups, right/left to see the filters in each group. Each of the Pixlr-o-matic ‘packages’ has a download button to pull that group into your iPhone to use on photos.

As you add the different groups of film and lighting effects, they are included in the film roll on the editing screen. Also, Pixlr-o-matic has a ‘My Effects’ folder for a quick overview of what you have installed.

The finished image can be saved to the iPhone photo library, attach to an email, push to iTunes, store in Dropbox or post to Facebook and Flickr. After choosing a method, Pixlr-o-matic Plus gives you the option to choose what size the photo will be exported in size text, including the original full size 3264 x 2448… just right to share onto my 500px account.

Lomo photography on the iPhone doesn’t have to be square, Lo-Mob provides options

When it comes to specialized apps for taking images that look like they were taken with a low end film camera, the list is long of quality and junk options.

The majority of the apps take square photos and offers a few filters. That may work for posting to a few of the popular photo sharing services. There are many other things I like to do with my photos so when I saw the app Lo-Mob offered effects and a variety of image formats, I was happy to give it a try.

Import a photo or take one through the Lo-Mob app then scroll through the options of enhancements to use:

39 vintage and experimental photographic filters for all your pictures
Classic square vintage photography
35mm experimentation : sprocket photography
vintage 35mm slides
square Through The Viewfinder (TTV) simulation
AE-1 Through The Viewfinder
old and modern emulsions
glass contact photography
classic format instant photography + reversed + deconstructed
square, tall and wide instant photography

After choosing a filter/size, some minor tuning can be done. Lo-Mob also supports the changing of the applied effect if your not happy with the direction you chose.

Sharing is big with me so it’s nice to see all the usual social options are available.

The ‘Send to app’ is a nice feature I mentioned in HalfTone. No need to save the photo output from Lo Mob then re-open in another editor, just ‘send’ it photo directly. If you did choose a square format, post directly to Instagram too.