Saturday, December 27, 2008

Digital Nostalgia...

I read quite a few blogs.  I recently turned my mom on to the world of blogging. Sort of. She logged on and read my blog, and clicked through to Jorie's Blog, which she loved. Now, whether or not she can find them again remains to be seen, but as we have not yet done our tutorial on google reader, she gets a pass. I'll just send her a link. 

Today, when perusing one of my favorite creative blogs, I ran across a bit of software heaven. When one of the first things I noticed was that it had only recently released the PC version, having a mac-only following before that I knew it HAD to be great.  When I tried it out, I was blown away.  When my highly critical professional digital imaging photographer hubby declared it "incredible" I knew I had a treasure.

I remember my Mamaw's Polaroid camera. I can picture her holding that dinosaur of a camera in front of her face, making sure we were all in "birth order" and directing the whole grand group from behind the viewfinder until we all were moaning, "Maaamaaaaawwww...just take the picture!"  I remember the satisfying churning  sound as the old camera chugged out a murky image framed in crisp white that we kids would fight over who got to wave in the air to help it "develop" faster. The images were spotty, usually poorly exposed, and had an amazingly short lifespan.  But, they were precious. Valuable.  Worth more than a 4 gb card full of today's images, most of which will never make it to paper or be held in someone's hand.  They were one of a kind. They could not be ordered in bulk from Shutterfly for less than a dime each.  They couldn't be scanned and emailed. They were, in their own magical way, one-of-a-kind treasures, and now, they are icons of my childhood, almost forgotten.  Until today.

Some very clever, forward/backward thinking techie genius has developed a software that will take one of the thousands of digital images stored on your hard drive, memory card or thumb drive, and churn it out of a virtual Polaroid camera, right onto your desktop.  Complete with sound effects...and the murky brown color.  You can even virtually grab your print and wave it in the cyber-air of your desktop to help it develop faster, without even having to fight your cousins for the privilege. The resulting "Poladroid" is an almost artistic version of your digital pic, with spots, stripes, vignetting, and colors that are unpredictable at best.  This guy is a genius.  Check it out. Download the software.  Bring a little bit of nostalgia to the digital age.  I'll bet you won't be able to resist waving it in the virtual air...just a little bit.

A few tips that took me a while to figure out:
*the files aren't "developed" (and saved) until the red X appears on the bottom of the print.
*the final file is saved by default into the pictures folder of the logged in user. (mac)
*the files can be double clicked during the developing process and saved in all of their burnt sienna glory. 
Have fun! 

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