Koloid: Developing Digital Photos the Old Fashioned Way
Koloid: Developing digital photos the old fashioned way by Rebecca C
There is nothing better than reviewing an app you’ve never heard of and quickly becoming obsessed with it.
Welcome to Koloid.
Although I’ve complained at times that there are so many apps that give your photos a retro or even vintage-type quality, this is different. Koloid is a completely interactive experience that gives you a modern way to imitate an old-fashioned photo developing technique, a step back in time, sort of.
This is how it works: First, chose square or rectangular format. Take a photo in the app or, since a recent update, select a photo from your photo album. You can tap an area to focus when shooting through the app. The app also has face recognition and will automatically focus on a face, as with the native camera. Once you’ve taken or chosen your shot, you select the amount of collodian or emulsion to drop on to the undeveloped image. Shake your phone. An orange/ brown liquid appears on the image. As you tilt and move your phone your image will begin to develop. The less collodian you select the more control you will have over the developing process. More collodian will cause the image to develop faster but you will have less precise control. The longer you leave or the more passes you make over the image with the collodian the darker that area will become. This can become tricky as you image can turn black rather quickly and there is no going back with an image. Once your image is developed to your liking, you tap the READY button. This drops your image into an “antique” style frame where you can add a title date and “real” signature. you can add within the frame. You can then share it across almost all social media and save to your library, text or email to your friends.
Square format photo
Choose collodion level and shake to begin
keep the collodian moving as the image appears
Tap the READY button once your image is to your liking
I’m not a photographer but I have taken a few photo classes that involved various methods of developing images with chemicals or sunlight. Modern developing techniques as well as digital photography have taken these types labor intensive developing process out of the equation for most photographers.
“The collodion wet plate process a very inconvenient form which required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. Although collodion was normally used in this wet form, the material could also be used in humid (“preserved”) or dry form, but at the cost of greatly increased exposure time, making these forms unsuitable for the usual work of most professional photographers—portraiture. Their use was therefore confined to landscape photography and other special applications where minutes-long exposure times were tolerable.” - Wikipedia
My con for this app is that it does take a bit of patience and skill not to turn parts of your image completely black. Once an area become black, there isn’t anyway to go back in the process. An example of an image that went too dark is below.
That being said, I can’t get enough of this app. The one-off spontaneous aspect of the app is definitely part of the fun and having the experience emulating an old technique is something most of us would never have the opportunity to do in a non-virtual world. Maybe it’s a gimmick and I will tire of it, but for now it’s a complete blast and for $.99 it’s well worth the fun!!
Kolioid is available through the app store for $0.99
This review was conducted on an Iphone 4S