“Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it; they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need a bad camera.” – Miroslav Tichý (from the Bad Camera App Store page)
Many painters and photographers would disagree with Tichý’s assertion and affirm that photography and painting are very different forms of expression, requiring different skills and, most of all, different ways of envisioning what the artist wants to express. When the painter tries to imitate the language of photography in painting, he’s going to fail; the same happens when a photographer tries to force rules that are proper of painting into his work. As far as the valuableness of Tichý’s take on the subject goes, photographers have indeed in many cases decided of their own accord to use lo-fi equipment – bad cameras from a purely technical point of view – either to test their skills or to make a statement; they also did it simply because with modest or faulty equipment they could obtain photos that are sometimes more original and interesting, or at any rate unlike the norm.
Bad Camera‘s intent would be to provide the iPhone photographers with a tool able to compete with actual lo-fi or damaged equipment in order to accomplish unpredictable and astonishing effects. But as a matter of fact, Bad Camera’s results are far from being strange or surprisingly unique.
- Up to a resolution of 1024 x 768;
- Random effects;
- Share via email and Facebook.
Bad Camera works a bit like Plastic Bullet: you take or load a photo and then you are presented with random outcomes. You can choose from one of them or keep on tapping on the randomize button to get more, until you find something that pleases your eye. You can then save to camera roll or share via email or Facebook.
The difference with Plastic Bullet though is that Bad Camera’s flexibility of use is very limited. Bad Camera achieves its effects mostly by applying textures on the photos. Mixing some textures and photos doesn’t always work and the final effects are sometimes quite lame. Also, there isn’t a great variety of textures – some of them aren’t that great either, especially seen in higher resolution – and you cannot really adjust any parameter, so all the photos processed with Bad Camera after some time look almost identical and the excitement that you might experience at first is definitely short-lived. It would’ve been better to add the random button as an extra, letting the user choose adjustable tones – sepia and black and white – and textures independently. This wasn’t supposed to be the point of the app, but then the developer should have granted more variety, adding more unexpected variables.
As a stand-alone app, Bad Camera’s possibilities are very poor. We hope in some future upgrade.
Name: Bad Camera
Developer: Fungear Studio
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 3.0 or later.