Polaroid has apparently stopped making its icon instant film but Poladroid is doing its bit to keep the spirit alive, by providing a free program to convert ordinary jpeg images into something that looks like a Polaroid.
The software is available from www.poladroid.net and is simplicity itself to use. When you start it up, you get an icon of a Polaroid camera on your desktop and you can convert any picture by dragging the picture onto the icon.
You can see the development process happening in a little window on your desktop and, any time you like the results, you can right click on the image and save a copy at that stage of development. When the image is ready, a bell rings and the final version of the picture can be saved onto your hard drive.
The development process is slow, just like a real Polaroid print, and, just like the real thing, shaking the print speeds up the development. There were apparently only 10 shots per Polaroid cartridge, and the program even mimics that, processing only 10 pictures at a time, before you have to restart it.
As I said, Poladroid is very easy to use but I would recommend that you read the accompanying documentation, even if only because the language is so charming. To quote from the manual, “Poladroid is an addictive software (you’ve been warned!) because it is so easy to use and unexpected”. Another eloquent passage goes, “Eventually, you’ll be surprised to discover pictures that were thought to know”.
Great fun, and the results are interesting!