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1-Hour photo takes the ‘insta’ out of your smartphone photos

Patience is a virtue. 


Shadan Larki


Posted on Jul 9, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 12:01 am CDT

Long, long ago before the age of selfies and a myriad of Instagram filters, there was a time when it took an hour for our photos to process. That’s right, we to wait to see what our photos would look like. Now 1-Hour Photo, a new app, promises professional quality black and white photos in exchange for our patience.

The app’s developers, Nevercenter Ltd. Co., seem fully aware of the skepticism surrounding their latest photography-driven app.

It sounds like a bad idea, but you’ll be surprised what it does for your photos. 1-Hour Photo makes all your shots more magical by making you wait an hour before you get to see the results (using our beautiful black and white film emulation),” says the app store description.

I decided to put the app to the test. My trusty subject: my editor’s dog, Abner.

Is the app revolutionary? No. There’s room for improvement, (like the addition of a front-facing camera and the option to take color photos), but it’s free and there’s something exciting about waiting to see how your pictures will turn out. And perhaps there’s something to be said for having a little patience instead of getting instant gratification.

Something about photography inspires us to inject nostalgia into new imaging technology. Instagram itself is a throwback machine, and the recently-launched Reelagram turns photos into View-Master film. 1-Hour Photo certainly takes something new and makes it old again… with new technology. Sure, there’s some reverse engineering going on, but it’s certainly all faster than analog. 

Photo via pasukaru76/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2014, 9:30 am CDT