Platform(s): iOS, Android
Price: 99 cents
How many photo filter apps do you need? Your phone likely comes with an OK one built in; “Instagram” offers their own wide spectrum. If you’re looking for something more retro — ones that try really hard to look like they were snapped in the 1970s and allowed to fade and turn distressingly orange — “Hipstamatic” has long been your friend. It was among the first and best apps to seize upon humankind’s desire to replicate the look of the old, if for no other reason than it made you feel more powerful than you really are.
Now “Hipstamatic” has another round of filters — but, in an admittedly brilliant Machiavellian maneuver, you’ll have to pay for an entirely different app to get them. (Hey, app companies have to make money somehow.) “TinType,”their new child, goes super old, with filters made to look like your photo was taken in the distant past, in the old “daguerreotype” way that captured haunting images of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and the 1851 solar eclipse. (Its name comes from what certain old photos were called.) You can turn your photos a dim black-and-white or tint them a sickly yellow.
And your photos will come out dark. “TinType” allows you to pile one filter on top another; do enough of that and you’ll be left with nothing but an impenetrable black image. But even doing one filter makes them pretty hard to parse. It will take more than a filter to really capture the look of photos taken 150 years ago, when people rocked stiff poses and never, ever smiled or looked happy. But if you’re someone who gets easily bored with the photo filters you already burned through, here’s another one in which to quickly lose interest.
Best of the other photo filter apps
Along with Hipstamatic, we’ve long had a crush on“Old Camera,”which deals exclusively in turning your photos an austere black-and-white.“Mextures”simply allows you to mix and match filters until you have something that looks not retro but simply retina-searing. If you’re into pure abstraction,“PixelWakker”turns your photos into pointillist pixels, making all of us today’s own Georges Seurat.