From Instagram to Camera+, there are hundreds of mobile photo apps that can make your images look all sorts of vintage.
And we pretty much hate all of them.
But among the faux-old-fashioned and pseudo-vintage filter-mania, there is at least one app built on the idea of authenticity. And it’s Canadian.
Ontario-based app developer Ultimate Chemistry has launched Strut Type. Its the startup’s flagship app and it was built by Christine Summers, who drew from childhood memories to create what is arguably the most authentic vintage photo app available for Apple’s iOS.
Christine 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. Her father used what was known as a “strut type” accordion camera; it was the world’s first compact, folding camera series. It was popularized by George Eastman in the late 19th century.
This experience became the inspiration for Strut Type, which renders and edits photographs on your iPhone and iPad into old-fashioned images that evoke a bygone era. There isn’t a filter called Hipster; the effects are designed to accurately replicate true vintage photography. This includes watermarking, foxing, light leaks, and even mold collection.
“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,” explains Summers, the CEO of Ultimate Chemistry. “It was actually the technical ‘mistakes’ of the process that give turn-of-the-century photos their character.”
Strut Type isn’t as broadly useful as a jack-of-all-trades app like Camera+, but as a niche product it delivers great results. If you’re addicted to the vintage craze, this app will at least add a touch of authenticity to your desire for a 100-year-old photograph of a Grande Starbucks Americano.
Strut Type costs $1.99 in the App Store.