*Lo-Fi, you know you want to.

I received an email the other day from a contact I’d made while doing the review posts for Alien Skin letting me know they had a new desktop app to process jpeg images in a fun and creative way.  The app is called Lo-Fi, and it is AWESOME!  Having just recently posted a couple of my tricks to age and vintage-i-fy digital images, I have been in a post production, digital file aging mood and this app is a quick and easy way to get a huge variety of looks.  Read on for links and images…

It is an exciting time to be involved in digital photography.  So many cool tools being produced to immediately allow those of us that enjoy such kitschy techniques the ability to employ these simple click and save applications for a departure from the ho-hum snapshot.  Officially produced by Wingnut LLC, this app is a consumer targeted standalone “desktop application” that integrates with the organizers in Photoshop Elements, ACDsee, Picasa and iPhoto as well as allowing for direct upload to flickr and Facebook from the app itself with full control over tagging, grouping and privacy control.  It is an easy and enjoyable interface which makes for a quick processing tool with great results.  I started playing around with it this morning and have been loving it.

When you launch Lo-Fi, it opens as if you’re staring at the back of a Canon G or Nikon P series camera.  To upload images, you can drag and drop, or, add via the “+” button on the multi direction pad.  From there, it’s pretty self explanatory…

*image borrowed from http://www.lofiapp.com

With images uploaded showing up in the filmstrip at the top left of the app, you can quickly cycle through them, changing the FILM, MOOD and FRAME settings at the right offering a multitude of combinations.  This app only processes JPEG images so you’ll need to convert your RAW files, PSD’s or TIFF files prior to playing around with them.  There is no limit to the size of JPEG file, so you can drag your 20+ megapixel image in there to maintain the native file dimensions for large prints.  To save, you can click the disk button and save to wherever you need to on you computer or you can directly upload to flickr or Facebook via the dedicated buttons to the right of the main screen.  Easy breezy.

There’s not much too it, which plays to the simple and efficient mantra that has become so commonplace with these types of apps.  Best of all, it’s fun.

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The printed images are beautiful and if you really wanted to, you could certainly take your Lo-Fied jpeg files into Photoshop or some other image editing program and tweak to your heart’s content.  As is, this offers a fun, simple and effective stand alone app which will immediately satiate those looking to produce replications anywhere from a plastic lensed Holga, to cross processed film, and vignettes to crumpled photo paper.  Give it a try, it’s free for 7 days and if you find yourself smitten, it will run you $29 which is a small price to pay if you want to create a vintage series with consistent results for print or show, or even fun processes for personal or professional output.  There is no shortage of cool applications and plugins out there to spend money on, but for me, this one is well worth the small price tag.

You can download the free trial here: http://www.lofiapp.com/

And view an intro video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU5e-IHOC1c

I’d love to see any results you come up with by dropping them in our flickr group HERE, and don’t forget, if you haven’t already, sign up for email updates and posts at the top right of the page!

Thanks and happy shooting,



6 thoughts on “*Lo-Fi, you know you want to.

  1. http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?q=Lo-Fi is a group in Flikr for Lo-Fi pix.

    What’s a bit unclear after looking at your samples, the three videos on the Lo-Fi site plus the Youtube vid is exactly what’s being done to the pics. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes I’m wondering, “Ok, so what’s retro about THAT shot”?

    Not sure I’m into blurry. I just sorta get that w/o trying and they rarely survive beyond the first look. 😉 Some of the effects are strangely attractive.

    S’pose I’d have to download the trial ap and see what Lo-Fi does with some my pix. Can’t lose more than $29, I guess. Thanks for pointing it out, Tyson!


    • Hey Terry,

      Great to hear from you! I think, more than “retro” or “vintage” these apps, be they iPhone apps or more powerful computer applications like this one, are geared to be more a “look at what I can do quickly and easily to my photo” all the while using a more kitschy tag line like “retro” or the like. Honestly though, to be fair, there are many results from various ‘retro’ cameras that fill the full breadth of the photographic quality spectrum, from blurry to sharp, grainy to soft, etc. As a stand alone program, Lo-Fi merely takes some cool effects and makes them really easy to apply to any photo. Like any tool, it can be used to a varying level of effectiveness for any given task, and with the right eye I’m sure this (and many other apps and plugins) can be used to help facilitate a particular vision if it were to suit a particular photographer’s fancy. Also, I’m sure there are many out there that prefer to avoid programs they see as gimmicky perhaps, some of us that like to tinker with these types of things, and others that just flat out love using a program like this, and fortunately there’s enough room in the photographic world for us all. I should clarify in the post that after 7 days the trial will just expire, so you would actually need to choose to spend the $29 to purchase an activation code to enable the application to continue to work. Certainly worth playing around with for free for a week though. I’ve been having a blast all night myself!

      I hope you’re doing well and it’s great to hear from you.

      Take care,


  2. Pingback: *Snap Art 3, unleash your inner artist! «

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