With the modern world at the peak of its diversity in technology, vast differences between today’s and the beginning of the camera technology, there still remains the foundations and habits that occur in both the analogue and digital eras. For example; with the Polaroid App I have on my phone (‘ShakeItPhoto’) the digital mimesis seeks to aesthetically copy the faded colours of the image and create a more snap shot look to it. However, it also gets the photographer involved with the processing of the film by asking them to ‘shake’ the ‘polaroid’ (in this case the digital polaroid on the screen of your iPhone), it shakes on screen and slowly develops. The thing with this mimesis is that in the physical sense of the actual Polaroid, shaking the Polaroid doesn’t actually help to develop the the image any quicker or better. The digital mimics a mimic that wasn’t even true in the first place, it’s quite humorous. It seems to fake a fake rumour! With the digital mimesis, even if you do not shake the ‘Polaroid’ (iPhone) the image still develops but slightly slower. I just think it’s funny how it copies the action of the shaking and it never worked on the genuine article in the first place. It’s all very odd!
Through further research I found that the ‘Toaster’ filter was named after Kevin Rose’s (Internet entrepreneur and inventor) dog, Toaster.
I also found that the ‘Kelvin’ filter was named after Lord Kelvin A.K.A. William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin.
Like previously stated in a post, they seem to sometimes name their filters after anything really, depending on their mood and thoughts at the time.
On 1st December I had a tutorial with my tutor and I am struggling to recognise a theme or subject matter I could use for my minor project. Because of the nature of my project it is primarily the process itself that is more important than the subject matter in front of the camera. As I am looking into the phenomenon of the digital mimicking the analogue and how iPhone apps help produce the mimesis, I’m not sure of a specific ‘theme’ is therefore needed. However, because of how I work I always think that I need a subject matter that surrounds the project, as the photographs are the project. Through discussion with my tutor we noticed that coincidentally I have taken photographs that complement the chosen filter for the image. The filters are the key to the subject matter, they each represent a time or aesthetic that is common with a certain type of photograph. For example, (all using Instagram):
This image was taken with the ‘Toaster’ filter, which resembles the aesthetics of a Polaroid snap shot. With vivid colours and the white border mimicking the Polaroid image, the image suggests a happy, in-the-moment experience that means something to the photographer.
The image above was taken using the ‘1977’ filter. This again gives the effect of a Kodachrome/Polaroid snap shot, with the dreamy quality and white border around the outside of the image.
This image was taken using the ‘Toaster’ filter. Kodachrome images tended to be typically taken at the beach, enjoying family days out and taking snap shot images requiring little concentration and ‘in-the-moment’ events that are taken on family holidays etc.
This image, taken with the ‘Nashville’ filter is an example of snap shot photography and in my opinion is complimented with the correct filter. I think this because Fuji RVP slide film would have been a good film to use to show your snap shot images in a slide form, what better to snap shot than a family birthday meal.
This image was taken using ‘Gotham’ (an old filter). I think this compliments the image because it’s linking the old with the new…a younger me and an older me.
Progress within my project in terms of ‘subject matter’:
As highlighted above, certain ‘types’ of photography can be pin pointed to specific types of aesthetics, or filter in this case. The subject matter could relate back to the original origin within analogue photography eg. Polaroid = snap shot etc. Or I could mix things up and go against the convention of the original use. Deliberately going against what is ‘right’ for that type of image.
Through my own observations at looking at the filters I have related some of the filters appearance to aesthetics that I am familiar with, for example:
- Nashville: captures the appearance of Fuji’s Velvia (RVP) slide film, it includes the rebate of the film, showing it as a whole.
- Lomo-fi: captures photographs with extremely high light sensitivity, creating bright coloured images. Mimicking the Lomography phenomenon.
- Inkwell: could possibly mimic black and white polaroid photographs.
- X-pro II: mimics X-pro film, which makes everything more vibrant and vivid.
- 1977 and Toaster: inhabit the aesthetics of 70s photographs and Kodachrome film appearances. With it’s vivid colours and dreamy qualities.
Because I wasn’t too sure about why some of the filters are called what they are I decided to e-mail the Instagram company and ask them why the filters have their names and whether they mimicked an aesthetic in particular. If anyone was going to now, it’ll be them! I e-mailed saying:
Having sent this e-mail, I promptly received a reply saying:
The e-mail pointed me into the direction of two separate web-links corresponding to a website Quora. One link answered to some degree as to why they name their filters what they do:
And the other link replied in ways of describing how they develop the filters:
Instagram, previously referred to as a digital application that transforms digital photographs to mimic the aesthetics of analogue photographs, uses a selection of filters that allows the alterations. These filters vary in ways of final appearance and are called different names, which I am assuming refer to the different original aesthetics of the analogue, these are: Amaro, Rise, Hudson, X-pro II, Lomo-fi, Earlybird, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Valencia, Nashville, 1977 and Kelvin. Because I am unsure as to why the filters are called what they are, I am going to research the different names and try to discover why.
Technology has changed a lot over the years since the original Polaroid and those developments have not stopped. I was doing some research into instant photography and Polaroid and came across something that shocked me at first, but having looked at it online I am now intrigued by it. This research resulted in me becoming face-to-face with a new Polaroid camera…a new DIGITAL Polaroid camera.
Below is the new Polaroid Z-340 camera, which is being introduced as the new instant camera. The camera has a high quality 14 megapixel camera, with an additional 2.7″ LCD display that allows you to see the image before you print it. The concept of placing film (or in this case paper) into the camera and the image is then ejected from the camera after taking the shot is still there, however, with this camera there is a delay between taking the camera and it then materialising as a physical image. As this Polaroid camera is digital it has features like an ordinary digital camera, for instance being able to dismiss and delete a photo before committing yourself to the finished artefact. Surely this fundamentally goes against what Polaroid is all about? Polaroid is a snap shot tool to capture things in the moment, to to capture something that could take several tries to get what is wanted. With this in mind, I’m stupidly finding myself drawn to the camera and its uses and modern perks. You can even choose to place the original Polaroid border around the image before you have it printed. It’s a strange phenomena, but I’m strangely drawn to it, even though I’m more of an original, analogue type girl.
A minor downside to this particular camera is that it retails at £229.99 (without paper), paper costing an additional £14.99 for 30 sheets, which in hindsight is cheaper than purchasing the original Polaroid film that retails at approx. £17 (plus p+p) for just 8 exposures. Digital has taken another lead into being a cheaper option to the original analogue approach.
Instagram is iPhone’s most popular photo taking/editing app that is available to iPhone users. It is a free app that allows you to take or use existing photos on your iPhone’s camera roll and place varying filters onto the photo to change the appearance of the image. It also allows you to add a ’tilt shift’ onto the image, creating a blurred effect. Having created your image so easily, you are then able to tag the location you took the photo and upload it onto your Instagram feed. Instagram also allows you to ‘follow’ fellow Instagram user so you are able to keep track on other’s images and decide whether you wish to leave a comment on that image, ‘like’ it or to simply enjoy the photographs that other enthusiasts create and upload. When uploading your image onto Instagram you are also able to upload to Facebook, Twitter etc. at the same time. Being able to share your images has become increasingly easy and convenient.
These are a few screen shots from my Instagram feed:
This is a screen shot from my own Instagram feed. This is one of my own own images that I uploaded – It shows my user name on Instagram, the location that I tagged on it, which is where I took it. And underneath the image it shows the ‘greengoeskiwi’ ‘likes’ my image. It also shows how long ago I uploaded it too at the top right.
A good thing with Instagram’s popularity is that celebrities even join in with the photo sharing, such as Jamie Oliver. You can ‘follow’ them and see what they are getting up to too. Leaving comments and the choice of ‘liking’ it too.
This is a photograph taken by my boyfriend, which again shows his user name, time uploaded and underneath the image it shows that I have ‘liked’ the image.
I love this app, it by far my favourite iPhone app!! The effects you can get with it can be really amazing. I find myself using it a lot, even if it’s just to see what other people have been up to.
These are examples of my own Instagram images:
To show how easy it is I have done some screen shots on my phone showing the process in making an Instagram image:
Take a photograph or select an existing photograph on your camera roll and scale the image to your specifications and then push ‘Choose’.
Here, you are able to scroll through the varying filters that can be put onto the image, there are currently 16 to choose from. You are also able to add the ’tilt shift’ effect too, which is the teardrop symbol at the top along the black banner. You also have the option to remove the frame that is put around the image with each filter, this is the square symbol at the top left of the black banner.
The eye at the bottom right of the screen allows you to see the image without the filter panel in the way. The red cross allows you to go back and choose another image and the green tick proceeds you to the next step…
Here, you are able to add a caption to the image, Geotag the image to the location where you took it, and to select options if you wanted to upload to Twitter or Facebook, email the image etc. Once selections have been made (if wanted) touch ‘Done’ at the top right of the screen.
The image then appears on your feed page, where people who are following you can see it. Simple!!!