What’s the hype with vintage filters and disposable cameras? (Jovana Mikicic)

Jovana Mikicic: What’s the hype with vintage filters and disposable cameras?

Our IG feeds have been filled with disposable camera pics and grainy retro photos these days. Our generation is super nostalgic: we are absolutely fascinated by what our parents‘ lives were like when they were our age. Old fashioned photography, or film photography, involves shooting a roll of negatives and then developing them onto photopaper using dark room techniques, which might be very complicated at the beginning. Love the look, but not sure you can handle the whole process of film photography? Well, there are plenty of popular apps that can make your photographs instantly retro. But how are vintage filters build up and is it possible to recreate the look of a disposable camera using only Lightroom cc?

While my website indeed shows that it is possible to build your very own vintage filter, you might still ask yourself why so many of us prefer to take, share and view these faux-aged photos? Nathan Jurgenson describes in his three-part essay „The Faux-Vintage Photo“ from May 2011, that creativity plays a part in this. He says: „In this sense, when taking a photograph we are at once both poets and scribes; […] we are both telling the truth about our lives as scribes, but always doing so creatively like poets.“ Another role plays the „attempt to create a sort of nostalgia for the present, an attempt to make our photos seem more important, substantial and real“, as he argues.

In conclusion: The reasons for the popularity of the vintage look are multiple. Photos are more special and meaningful when taken with a disposable camera due to the belief that real world things are more valuable and authentic than digital ones. We try to make our photos look more vintage to respond to the perceived lack of ‚physicality‘ and ‚materiality‘ in the digital photography universe. All our experience is potentially material to its own documentation. We have become observers of our own lives, and we constantly try to be the tourist of our own experience. With vintage filters everyone has the ability to document what is happening and also to creat a piece of artwork.

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