Poladroid Polaroid

For the past few months, there has been a lot of talk on the web about the application Poladroid which takes a digital photograph and turns it into a "polaroid" photo. Below are some test shots from Anne Bowerman (Flickr anniebee) which I think accurately show just how awful this program is at creating a fake Polaroids and based on other "Poladroids" I have seen, I have to assume that the people using the application are not all that familiar with the images produced by a real Polaroid instant camera. But that hasn't stopped over a million and a half people from downloading the application.


And this isn't the only application to try to fake the look of film based photography. The photo editing website Picnik offers "Lomo-ish" and "Holga-ish" filters. Camerabag for the iPhone has filters called "Helga" and "Lolo" (Holga and Lomo type filters) as well as it's own "Instant" look. And there are a host of Photoshop actions and filters that achieve the same thing on people's computers.

But why do this?

Perhaps all these attempts at retro-imitation indicate that people are just getting bored with the crisp, clean, clinically "perfect" images that digital cameras now produce. Or maybe these are attempts to connect with some old memories of times gone by.

Who knows for sure?

My only question is how can I get that square vignette from my Polaroid SX-70? My camera must be defective.

Picnik Fake HDR Effects

Picnik.com is an online photo editing website. You can upload the photos from your computer or pull them in from Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket etc. The site is free to use but there is a "premium" version that costs $24.95 a year for some extra features. I had a quick browse this evening and was immediately drawn to "Create" section. Being a user of both Holga and LOMO cameras, I was very interested to see a "Lomo-ish" and "Holga-ish" button. It takes a lot of skill to create a good looking vignette and this programs fails at that (although the "Holga-ish" fakes didn't look too bad I suppose.)

However, I then noticed a "HDR-ish" button and said to myself "I have to give that a try".

Five seconds later after I bumped up "strength" to 600% I had the most hideous HDR photo imaginable.


OK, so it's not the most hideous HDR photo imaginable. There are way more hideous ones that this in Flickr Explore right now along with hundreds of views and loads of "Wow - awesome HDR" comments. But this one is pretty well up there in the hideousness scale.

Of course, this isn't real HDR. Even if I knew what I was doing, I couldn't create a real HDR photo using any tool. But based on what I see on Flickr, this effect seems to meet the requirements for what a lot of people think HDR is.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'll ever have the need to use Picnik but for people with no Photoshop or other editing software, this could be useful.