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Archive for January, 2012

Polaroid and the Evolution of Photo Sharing

by on Jan.26, 2012, under Art, Tech

Polaroid, the company that popularized instant photo sharing, demoed a smart camera device at the 2012 Consumer Electronics show.  The new 16 megapixel camera based off of the Android operating system, features a 3x optical zoom, wifi and bluetooth connectivity along with one-button sharing to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumbler.  Polaroid’s origins are rooted in photo sharing and, unlike Kodak, they made the transition from film based photography comfortably, so this product seems like a natural extension.

Despite the firm dominance of modern digital photography, consumers are still enamored with the old photographic effects of toy cameras.  Perhaps it’s nostalgia for a simpler time but it’s coupled with an ironic usage of new technology to intentionally create the by-chance effects of old analog cameras.  Instagram offers single-click filters to mimic these old-timey effects over your smartphone snapshots, but people can also create toy camera effects in Photoshop and several apps offer the ability to replicate the Polaroid photograph, from the white frame to the vintage looking images themselves.

For the die-hards, the original, physical Polaroid is the way to go.  Although Polaroid stopped producing the instant film in 2008, a team of former employees created the impossible project and endeavored to preserve Polaroid’s analog photographic art by developing and releasing new forms of the instant film for use in the millions of functioning Polaroid cameras still in use.  They’re keeping the art-form alive and in addition to selling the film, they also host galleries of artistic work created with the cameras that are shared digitally on their website.  It’s more than a digital filter slapped over a snapshot.  It’s intentional art.

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