How do you proceed if you enjoy creating photographs with your phone-camera, but are bored with inkjet output? While you’d like to try a historic process, you don’t want to sacrifice full color for monochrome. Luckily, more photographic possibilities are now available than at any other time in history. With over 150 years worth of various techniques to explore, it’s a wonderful time to be a photographer.
A few months ago, I introduced the Hipstanotype, a fun combination of the digital and handmade, which merges the Hipstamatic photo app with the 19th Century cyanotype process. Here we will explore the Classic INSTA app and create a final print using what is arguably the most beautiful and delicate photographic technique of the past 100 years, the three colored gum bichromate process. On their website, ClassicINSTA claims that their app “turns an iPhone into a perfect instant camera. It reproduces all features of an instant camera, from the operations to the results…” It is more accurate to say that their algorithms alter images to reproduce the look and format of several classic instant films. The app allows you to choose one of four cameras, which provide the format, and easily swipe through eleven unique filters such as black and white, saturated, toy camera, sepia and many others. The many options offer great possibility for experimentation.
Contrary to popular belief three color gum is a simple though somewhat time consuming process. At first you may encounter a few small obstacles, but once these are hurdled, the results are wonderful.