How to make digital photos from your smartphone look old

Like the allure of vinyl records, classic video games, and even the early Internet, the fascination with old photographic standards like point-and-shoot cameras or 35-millimeter film persists, even in people too young to remember when that equipment was state of the art. the art. The appeal of “vintage” photography goes beyond nostalgia and Instagram filters, judging by the sheer number of apps designed to emulate the film, lenses, and visual quirks of pre-digital photos and films.

Despite the irony of using a high-end smartphone camera to produce imperfect images that appear oversaturated, jittery, low-contrast, unfiltered, or otherwise analog, opting for a retro look can help you practice your compositional skills. If you’re not ready to buy the original equipment, you can still evoke the creative sensibility of a different historical period. Here’s an overview.

Before you dive in, here are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you can undo any changes to the original image; creating duplicates for your experiments is a safe backup. Second, keep in mind that some apps capture content with built-in effects, leaving you with a permanently vintage-looking photo or video.