It pains me more than a little when I have to admit that there are a couple of generations of modern day photographers who have no idea what the name Polaroid means.
Today’s digital cameras– whether point and shoots, DSLRs, or smartphones– make high quality photography absolutely instant, and images that are close to free. Shoot a photo or movie, see the results instantly. It wasn’t always that way, as anyone who has used a Polaroid instant camera will attest. Here’s how to get that Polaroid look on your digital photos today and reason why you might want to (even after you see the samples).
Photos From Yesteryear, Today
Photographs shot with Polaroid cameras always had a distinct look. Thick white framed edges. The murky look of antique photos not quite in focus, with otherworldly colors. The saving grace of Polaroid cameras was that each photo would spit out of the camera moments after being taken which made the resulting photo image almost instant.
Instead of using Instant— the officially licensed Polaroid instant photo app for the Mac– to take photos, the Mac version takes your current digital photos and gives them a Polaroid look from yesteryear. Instantly, of course. Just drag and drop your selected photo onto Instant, and the view finder pops up. Select the field of view you want, and click Shoot.
Instant then pushes the altered photo out the front onto the screen. You even have to let the digital photo ‘dry’ just as Polaroid camera users had to let their almost instant photos dry before handling. See? Your digital photos become instant Polaroids almost instantly.
Instant also comes with a few dozen vintage effects filters, and nearly a dozen classic Polaroid filters and you can adjust intensity, emulsion, blur, and vignette effects with a few clicks. Instant’s Polaroid-like photos can be saved and shared online. Drag and drop JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and even BMP photos onto Instant to make your new digital Polaroid versions.
For many of us, our iPhones, iPads, or Android smartphones are also the camera we use the most, and there’s an officially licensed version of Instant available those platforms, too, and that’s where Instant is even more instant because the iPhone and iPad version actually takes the photo using the built-in camera. No drag and drop necessary.
It seems strange that we’d take modern and high quality photos and want to send them back to the dark ages of instant photography, but that’s exactly what Instant does, and the results are that memorable Polaroid look with little effort. It looks and feels like a Polaroid, sounds like a polaroid, and delivers Polaroid-like images. It also comes with a few dozen photo filters so you can mimic the famous Polaroid look from yesteryear.
Nicely done. Affordable. Many, many good reviews.