Ontario-based app developer Christine Summers of Ultimate Chemistry spent part of her upbringing in a photo darkroom, watching her father, an amateur photographer, play with light effects, shutter speeds, vignettes and different types of canvases. He used what was known as the strut type accordion camera — the world’s first compact, folding camera series popularized by George Eastman in the late 19th century.
This would become the inspiration for the new iPhone and iPad vintage photo app Strut Type, which renders or edits iPhone snapshots into old-fashioned-looking images that evoke a bygone era of portraiture and landscape photography. The photo app transports pictures back to the turn-of-the-past-century by way of a range of 18 filters (black & white, gray tones, sepia, greens and cyans) combined with period-specific canvases, textures, watermarking, foxing, vignettes, light-leak effects and frames. There is even an effect that replicates the look of the mold that collects on a centuries-old print.
“The poor lighting conditions in the homes of that era inadvertently produced some great effects. The hand-blown glass of old windows created wavy patterns…and often the timing of the drop shutter produced some wonderful effects as did the texture of photo paper and the adhesive use in framing the photo,” recalled Summers, CEO of iOS application developer Ultimate Chemistry, Inc. “It was actually the technical ‘mistakes’ of the process that give turn-of-the-century photos their character.”
The app allows retronauts and Downton Abbey fans to turn any iPhone into a Strut folding camera — perfect for travel photography of historic buildings,lending a little grainy charm to a wedding portrait or to punch up that bland Facebook or Twitter profile pic.
Here is a link to the Strut Type site.
Strut Type is available for download now in the App Store for only $1.99. Please let me know if you'd like to interview Christine, or if you’d like to test out the app. I'm happy to send over a promo code so you can take some old-fashioned snaps of your own.