Saturday, August 1, 2009

That Polaroid Look

So the client asked for a set of images to use in a video. The images had to have the distinctive "Polaroid look" to evoke a mood that is casual but elegant, artsy but spontaneous, practical but environmentally conscious. "Umm, well OK" I said. How does this translate in photographic terms? Polaroid images are famous for being blurry, having blown highlights, strong vignetting and a somewhat shallow depth of field. Yellowish high tones, blueish shadows and low color saturation are also part of that look.

Rather than grabbing a Polaroid camera and some old film
I decided to shoot with an (old) digital camera. I will have more control on the results the images won't need to be scanned and I will be able to make higher resolution prints. Using a point and shoot instead of my trusted DSLR will make the images look a little more casual. Like, a dude who got a lucky shot. But how do I change the color scheme and tones to get the desired "Polaroid" look. Enters Lightroom and its famous presets. The LR community has developed a number of them that are freely available and easy to install. So I got a few, tweaked them to my liking (usually reducing contrast, adding more vignetting and changing the color balance. And here are some of the results. Not bad.

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