July 26, 2010

Shake it like a Poladroid picture: A new spin on a blast from the past

It seems that all things vintage aren't so vintage anymore. Items from another era are ever the rage, whether it be in furniture [thrift and antique store finds], fashion [jumpers], transportation [cruiser bikes] or technology [record players]. What is old is new again. Much of this attitude stems from the emphasis on being "green." Recycling and reusing doesn't stop at pop cans and newspapers. 

And summer provides the perfect backdrop to reminisce. It's no coincidence nostalgia is rampant in the middle months. Lazy days at the lake. Riding bikes in the twilight. Basking in the sun's rays at the beach. Time seems to slow down, prompting people to recall days when checking a Facebook page, updating a Twitter status or ordering that [whatever people drink at Starbucks these days] didn't exist.

The recent recession also has people watching what they spend, making second-hand items even more appealing. Who could really afford that Restoration Hardware coffee table or Williams-Sonoma waffle maker, anyway?

So now you have a bunch of carefree and nostalgic consumers with a conscience on the hunt for a bargain.

But many today are so plugged in, it's hard for them to imagine life without the luxury of modern technology. They want what is old and new.

Enter the Poladroid. An updated twist on a blast from the past. The best of both worlds. The software is free, fun and simple to use. A "Polaroid Camera" icon appears on your desktop and you drag and drop whatever digital photo you want to age in the camera. When the Poladroid spits the picture out, complete with the signature sound, place your cursor on the photo, grab the image and shake it over your screen to "develop" it. You can save the picture in the various stages of developing, depending on how "vintage" you want it. You can also join the Poladroid Flickr group and submit your prints.

Even further evidence of the vintage craze: The real Polaroid Camera was revived this year for an entire new generation. And more proof of the old-new mixture: Lady Gaga signed a deal to be a "creative director" for the company. Marketing an instantaneous product to a bunch of tweens, teens and young adults with short attention spans and immediate gratification mindsets using one of the most recognizable figures in recent pop culture is like trying to convince the "Jersey Shore" cast to drink alcohol and whore for the camera.

And what better way to capture and chronicle these "new vintage" and possibly alcohol-induced moments of the summer then on the epitome of old-and-new-school technology. 

Not to be outdone, Apple offers three vintage-style photo-maker apps for the iPhone ranging from $0.99 to $1.99. ShakeItPhoto was a go-to pre-Poladroid. The Hipstamatic offers the most opportunities for creativity. You can swap film, lens and flashes for a number of combinations sure to please even the most vintage picture snob. Finally, there's the Photo Booth Classic, which turns your phone into an old-school photo booth complete with four chances to make those crazy and cute pictures without the cramped space and long wait between shots.

If you still have time after testing out all the above-mentioned applications, check out this rad Polaroid project. Maybe you could start one of your own?!

[Click to enlarge image of Poladroid demonstration.] 

Instant vintage photo circa 2009:
 [Polaroid picture, left. My original photo, right: Boat Trip, August 2009, Orcas Island, Washington]


Joi said...

Thank you so much for this post! I am off to download this right now! I so want a polaroid camera again! There's something so wonderful about getting your photos right in the moment...especially since I never print any of mine out anymore because of digital cameras!

Thanks again, girl! : )

Anonymous said...

Awesome program! I found you through Joi up there :) Going to download as soon as I get home. And right now I am following your too cute blog!

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