Polaroid film may be going the way of the dinosaur, but its iconic look is here to stay, thanks to a free, fun software download called “Poladroid.”
Available for Mac and PC, the beta version of Poladroid is a quick download from http://www.poladroid.net. Once installed and opened, the application pops open a graphic version of the swingin’ 1970s instant film camera. Drag and drop images from your photo management program onto the “camera” or import them by selecting Convert JPEG File from the file menu.
Within seconds, the camera spits out a miniature Polaroid photograph, complete with sound effects and a brownish tone that slowly fades away to reveal the image underneath, just like the real thing. Poladroid’s results are impressively real-looking, too, with random color casts in the cyan to magenta range and post-processing preferences that allow you to select the level of vignetting and fingerprint smudging.
A full-size version of each Poladroid image is saved to your hard drive. With a digital camera and a color printer, Poladroid could be a fun diversion at a slumber party or hipster wedding.
Poladroid’s French developer, Paul Ladroid, AKA Dominik Fusina, clearly has a sense of humor. After processing 10 images, the program pops open a message that says, “cartridge empty!” and requires restarting.
There is a companion Poladroid group on Flickr, as well as support forums and a PayPal donation button.
– By Patia Stephens