With Pocketbooth, once again modern technology found a way to bring back a popular phenomenon from the past. Photo booths, even if in a totally new form, are enjoying right now a moment of revival and are contributing in establishing new photography trends.
If I have to be totally honest: I’ve always hated photo booths. Every time I had to use one to take photos for ID or other documents, I felt like hyperventilating and fainting. I’ve always found photo booth shots of myself in special way very embarrassing and ugly. Mainly because I am not in the least photogenic and when I know I am being photographed I unconsciously switch to awkward face mode. It’s nice though that this is an idiosyncrasy and not a sentiment shared by a wider number of people. Otherwise developers of apps like Pocketbooth, which we are going to talk about in this review, would be very sad indeed.
Pocketbooth imitates 1950’s-era Auto-Photo Model 11 photo booths. Easy recognizable for its rounded ends design, Model 11 was initially developed in the late 50’s for government and military use. Differently from other similar machines manufactured in the same period, Auto-Photo Model 11 allowed development of more photo strips at a time — it could handle up to seven strips! It was operated by a second person that pressed an external button while the subject was inside.
- Up to 489×2608 pixels (4 poses) or 652×1956 pixels (3 poses);
- 4 color effects (color, b&w, antique, sepia);
- 2 types of paper (glossy, matte);
- Black or white border;
- Set time interval between shots;
- AirPrint compatible;
- Share on Twitter, Facebook, or send via email.
Pocketbooth allows the user to take a series of shots in the photo booth fashion and to save, print or share them. On enabled devices, both flash and front camera can be used, while on other devices, it’s still possible to use rear camera only. As with original photo booths, taking photos doesn’t require much effort, especially if you are able to make use of the front camera. Before shooting, it’s possible adjust various settings: color and paper effects, number of poses (you can choose among 3 or 4), color of border, interval between shots. Unlike other apps, you cannot choose to manually take each shot separately. This makes perfect sense, as it is part of the analog photo booth simulation to grant a certain degree of spontaneity in the subject.
From the viewfinder, you have a preview. The light indicator will be red during the shooting session and green at other times, so that you always know when you have to put on your clever face and when you can just relax and take it easy. After you have your strip of photos, which is stored in the app’s gallery, you can save, print or share it as you prefer.
Although I must admit I have never used a Model 11 photo booth, the effects delivered by Pocketbooth look to me quite authentic and none of them is overdone; the output quality appears good as well, also for printing purposes. The UI, well-balanced and stylishly designed, works flawlessly: getting the job done is very easy even if you are using the rear camera instead of the front one.
Pocketbooth by Project Box will be able to bring instants of amusement to those intrigued by analog photo booths. Of course there’s no need for me to say — but I will say it in any case — that you can just ignore the original app’s purpose and employ Pocketbooth as any other action camera to take a series of shots in a given time interval. With a little creativity, Pocketbooth lends itself to many unforeseen uses. It’s up to you to find them out.
Developer: Project Box
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad 2. iOS 4.0 or later.