Monday, November 3, 2008

Camera Bonanza

'Tis almost the season and cameras and camera-related items are always popular Xmas gifts, so here are some interesting camera related items:

1. Poladroid is a desktop app that lets you convert your digital photographs into amazing old-school polaroids. It over-saturates all the colors for you so all your photos can look like 70s deadstock that you found in the attic. Sadly, it is only for Macs at this point.

2. Save Polaroid. This is a website and a movement designed to preserving the wonderful photo technology that is polaroid instant film. From their website:

Save Polaroid. Save the World.

On February 8, 2008, Polaroid Corporation announced that it will discontinue production of all instant film. This site will document the aftermath of this announcement and will serve as a home-base for the effort to convince another company to begin producing the cherished technology that Polaroid has so carelessly abandoned.

This site is not about saving Polaroid, the company, rather the remarkable invention of Edwin Land, the instant film that made Polaroid a household name.

To learn more about the Save Polaroid gang, what they are up to, what they have done so far, and what you can do to help, click here. Of course, they also have a Facebook group.

3. And your MUST HAVE camera item for Xmas 2008, replacing (or augmenting) your Lomo* obsession, is the Blackbird, Fly camera from Japan's Superheadz. Apparently Japanese youth are all over retro photography in response to the proliferation of digital cameras and can't get enough of the various Lomo brands, old Polaroid resells and antique cameras.

This new camera gives them -- and hopefully us soon -- another option for playful, colour-rich photography. The Blackbird, Fly shoots square pictures on 35mm and costs less than a $100 USD, allowing enthusiasts to take part in this movement without breaking the bank (which was a bit of an issue with the original Lomo cameras, as $200 CAD back in the early 2000s was a bit expensive for a toy when you consider you also needed to buy a scanner in order to share your creations).

Hopefully the Blackbird, Fly will be available in Canada soon.

* Looking back, the Lomography community is one of the first, real social networks on the web and is a pretty astounding success story given its reach.

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