A lot of people have been scratching their heads at the surge in popularity of photographic styles that were once the inevitable defects of machinery long since surpassed and outmoded. While digital cameras that can take clear, detailed, almost “perfect” images are ever cheaper and more accessible (even phones have cameras more advanced than what was available to hobbyists of previous decades), the use of apps that can replicate the imperfections of even the most limited toy cams of yesteryear has proliferated.
Whose Facebook profile doesn't have a “My hipstamatic prints” album? I for one waste hours playing with Instagram and am not among the people scratching their heads at the swelling preference for the slightly blurrier, sometimes washed-out, or oversaturated colors of these ersatz analog images. Despite the randomness of the results (particularly with Hipstamatic, which doesn't let you choose and manipulate filters after a shot is taken), they capture an atmosphere, or they create a more evocative one than existed. They reflect more faithfully the impressionistic messiness of memory.
And no one ever looked better with every pore on display in high definition — so it's not that surprising that the “defects” of previous camera incarnations are regarded more and more as merits. Photo geeks and romantics alike celebrated Saturday night at the opening of a studio dedicated to tintype and Polaroid portraiture opened — Photobooth.