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Remember The Joy Of 1-Hour Photo Prints With An App

By Kishore Sawh on July 5th 2014


Photography is a romantic thing. Not necessarily like a sweeping Bollywood epic, but the bare fact we are recording a moment in time, for future reflection, nods to its romantic nature. It’s reminiscing. In an age where technology and everything else with it is moving at the speed of thought, the idea of slowing down a process, is a touch unusual. Slowing down anything in photography is not really the way the wind blows in our business as we’re always fielding faster cards, cameras, etc, and we drink info like it’s a shot of tequila.

Slowing down may appear to be business suicide. For whatever grain of salt it’s worth, I think so many of us would do well to slow down; to think; to compose; to actually reflect.

[REWIND: Photoshop’s New ‘Focus Area’ Tool Makes For Easy Masking & Great Portraits]

It’s tough, especially if photography is your bread and butter, to have much of this luxurious pause-and-reflect time; you’re always speeding through edits, setting up shoots, keeping current, fitting in what’s left of your life in-between clicks. None-the-less, I believe thought and time make for better produce. I also think waiting for something makes getting it sweeter. Now I’m not exactly saying that in our field instant gratification isn’t the best form of it, nor that satisfaction is the death of desire, but that anticipation does make for a special moment. The makers of 1-Hour Photo app, get this.


This is about an app, an app which sounds at first like a failing idea. The app, which shoots in quite nice black and white, makes you wait 1 hour to see the photos you’ve just taken with your mobile device. This actually accomplishes a few things at once. It’ll force you to think more carefully about your shot since you can’t review it immediately, you won’t be distracted from the actual moment by looking at what you’ve just shot, and the wait makes you anticipate and look forward to seeing the produce.

By the time you see your photos, the moments they’ve captured have already become memories, which changes how you feel about them forever.


Yes. It is trying to bring some of the virtues of film into digital, and we’re probably better for it. I tried out the app a few hours ago, then went to the movies, and have just come back to see what I’d shot (some stupid photo of my desk), and there was really this little smirk, little bit of excitement to see what I’d shot. If you haven’t had that feeling of picking up your photos from a one hour developer recently, or perhaps you have never had it, try this. Sure it’s a harp back to an older, slower time, but for many of us, a time that led us here to this vocation in the first place.

Get it here – it’s free.

Source: The Phoblographer

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Eric Sharpe

    This is exactly why I shoot a roll of film or 2 every month. You have a limited number of shots, and no looking at the back of the camera. It really is great exercise to train the photographic mind. I know there are easier ways to do it than to shoot film, but eventually, you’ll end up cheating!

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  2. James Matthews

    After reading this it almost makes me want to get my old Pentax K-1000 out and buy a roll of film…if I can find one anywhere ;)

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    i really love the concept

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  4. Ralph Hightower

    If I want wait, I’ll shoot film. Oh, I still do that; I’ll shoot film along side a DSLR. C-41 film, I can get developed in an hour, including C-41 B&W film like Kodak BW400CN and Ilford XP2. With traditional B&W film, I have to send it out of state and it will take about 5-7 day turnaround.

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  5. Michael Chapman

    Very well written article that has soul and meaning sprinkled throughout it as to why we do photography in the first place. Does EVERYTHING in life have to be quicker, faster, and right now. I appreciate the sentiment of slowing down and sucking out all of the marrow. Photography is PART of our overall lives of course, and should make us better thinkers, more patient, more fulfilled in the little things; not just robotons cranking out images as fast as we can produce them so we can go get more s&*t that in five years will be obsolete. Hedonism is overrated. I also like the “development dark-room ” idea by Herm. Great suggestion.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Michael, “sucking out all of the marrow”- – graphic. I like it. Cheers man.

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    • Michael Chapman

      Kishore, that’s from a poem by Henry David Thoreau – the famous stanza is this: “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”

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  6. Servando Miramontes

    Cover the rear screen on your DSLR for the same effect! Boom! Mind blown! hahahahaha

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  7. Herm Tjioe

    What would be cool is to take it a few steps further. Take pix, present the negative image, use darkroom mode to set image processing parameter controlled and fixed by the user, and wait and watch how the final “print” will look like over a time period, including the “drying” phase. To me that’s a fun one to have. Dodge and burn feature could be the second round after first image is developed and printed

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    • Steve Enoch

      That actually does sound pretty neat!

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Herm… I agree with Steve. That sounds pretty sick. So much so in fact, I’ve just emailed the company with your suggestion and link to this page. Lets hope they take heed. Cheers.

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    • Jordan Buckway

      That would be awesome! Hopefully they see Kishore’s email.

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  8. Herm Tjioe

    Oh, hahahah . . .this hour wait will not be a central reason in getting this to most current day photographers. My 24 year old daughter has the attention span of a fruit fly and assuredly won’t get this. For those of us who had waited a week for that drive-through Fotomat pickup knows this all too well. My gosh, I thought at first the advent of 1 hour processing was VooDoo magic not to be trusted.

    I have since dusted my Nikon and Canon analog SLRs, even the Olympus/Minolta point and shoot film cams to revisit the art of shooting that brought joy to me. It’s a different kind of joy and achievement than the digital way.

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