Lo-Fi tries to turn back time for digital photographs

Saturday, February 26, 2011; 5:53 PM

Kids these days may not remember, but there was a time when pictures were taken on this stuff called film. And while film was temperamental, sometimes the mistakes made on film added a certain character to snapshots. Lo-Fi, a desktop application for Windows and Mac, aims to restore that character to digital photography and blends low-tech style with high-tech functions.

With a cutesy camera-shaped interface, users can drag and drop photo files into Lo-Fi and play with a range of effects that mimic the photographic mistakes of the past. Users can modify their pictures one at a time or apply changes to a group of images. "Film" effects let you play with the grain of a photo, "Mood" settings give you the opportunity to mess with the colors and other effects, and "Frame" settings let you pick how to set off the whole effect. There's also a randomizer button to get you started. The application also offers one-click sharing options for Flickr and Facebook, and the user gets quite a bit control over which specific groups see the images and at what security levels.

At $29, the price is steep, and real photo enthusiasts probably would rather do it themselves instead of using the cookie-cutter effects that the app has to offer. But Lo-Fi is a fun application and a neat way to add a little old-school flair to your digital images.

- Hayley Tsukayama

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