Is it possible to take film photos that look like these HUJI photos?

flamingpeacesign

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Hello, apologies for what must be an irritating question for film photography enthusiasts, but I mean well. Over the past month or two I've been researching and trying to learn about the basics of film photography, as while I have a digital camera that works fantastic (a Sony a3000) and I've been taking photos with for years now, I find that I really enjoy the wait of 'development' for individual images and the point-and-shoot method I tend to use with an app on my phone called HUJI, and I enjoy the results much more than I do my digital photographs. I can compose and edit digital photographs until perfection, but for quick memorable moments that I want to keep as parts of an ongoing casual personal photo album, I've been using the HUJI filter app since 2018 and the photos through it provide me much more joy than my digital photographs do.

I've spent time analyzing what aspects of the photos taken with the HUJI app that I like and want to replicate, which would be the richly saturated colors, the temperature of the photos creating dramatic color pallets, the occasional light leaks, chromatic aberration, the gigantic variety of imperfections from simulated issues imposed onto the photos, the occasional blurring or stretching of details (see second photograph's leaves and the bottom corners of the third photograph, both attached below), and the timestamps are a nice touch that make organizing my photos for printing much easier. I know I could edit my digital photos to have these as well, but editing each photo individually would be next to impossible and I would really like to go more authentic and respect the craft that film photography is, not settle for inauthenticity through a gimmicky app.

From what I understand, the film used and the chemicals used in development would be the most important factors in creating images with most of those visual aspects related to color, its intensity and saturation as described above. For the light leaks and technical errors & imperfections, I wonder if there's specific cameras or lenses that are known to have inspired this trend where people are fascinated by and actively seek out & purposefully create these errors in their photographs, to the point where people digitally edit them in for the visual effects they provide. My question is, how would I go about taking film photographs that look like the products of the HUJI app, if it's even possible in the first place? Are there any resources such as books, websites or stores I could look to to learn more about this in particular, not just about film photography as a whole? Has anyone taken film photos that are even distantly similar to these photos, or include any of the aspects outlined above? How were they achieved?

Attached are a few images I've taken with HUJI on my iPhone 5 that I feel represent the aspects I love about it best- I know they're not 'good' or worth much in terms of quality, composition or anything, but that's because I like to use it for quick shots of moments to look back on later, as opposed to photographs taken with more care and consideration that I would take using my digital camera. And, at the end of the day, even if they're 'bad' they still make me happy which in my book makes them 'good' enough. :)
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limr

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Get a Holga with a plastic lens and scruff up the seals so there will be light leaks.

Other cameras aren't designed for this kind of a look. This is the result of cameras not working the way they were designed.

And film is not going to reliably produce results like this. Part of the fun of sometimes doing this kind of photography is that you don't know what to expect and you get 'happy accidents.' If you want more control over the results, stick to the app.
 

Strodav

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OK, this was a new "Photography" term to me and I've been at this for a while. I had to Google it and found it's a smartphone app that retros smartphone camera images, very popular with Instagram users. Since it's a filter, you can do something similar in Post Processing by increasing contrast and saturating colors, overlaying the date and adding flare and rainbows. Not my cup of tea, but whatever makes you happy ...
 

Grandpa Ron

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Camera algorithm gurus spend untold hour developing programs that appeal to various portions the populous.

Their objective is to produce a photo program that pleases the customer with minimal customer input. Some, like facial distortion programs that make folks look like cartoon caricatures are for fun. Others that shift and distort lines and colors are for serious photo artist.

As I dial the camera knob for portrait, landscape, sports, etc. I am selecting someone's opinion as to how the camera sensor should process the image. Judging from the popularity of phone cameras, it is safe to say the image processing of being use appeals to the mass market.

If the OP has found a program app they like, they should have fun with it, however it will probably never be a main stream option.
 
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flamingpeacesign

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Get a Holga with a plastic lens and scruff up the seals so there will be light leaks.

Other cameras aren't designed for this kind of a look. This is the result of cameras not working the way they were designed.

And film is not going to reliably produce results like this. Part of the fun of sometimes doing this kind of photography is that you don't know what to expect and you get 'happy accidents.' If you want more control over the results, stick to the app.
I've read a few articles about Holga cameras and looked at lots of examples of photos taken with them after reading this reply, and it seems definitely up my alley! Thank you for your recommendation!

Of course, I don't expect results such as the ones in the images I shared 100% of the time. The variety and unexpected nature of how photos will come out is definitely fun and 'happy accidents' are just part of the charm. :)
 
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flamingpeacesign

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Funny I have spent just about my whole life trying to make my photos NOT look like they were taken with a cheap instamatic. :excitement:
It's incredibly respectable that you've put so much time and effort into refining your craft for so long! When shooting 'properly' with my digital camera, I employ all the tricks and tips I've picked up from photography forums, chat rooms and the occasional summer course to ensure high quality and reliability in my results. However, I also separately appreciate the variety of looks and feelings that photos taken on cheap or damaged cameras and/or film create- but that won't take away from my appreciation of 'good' photography and the effort it takes to make your photos look as high quality as possible.
 

Warfarin

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That is the nice thing about Holga’s is they are cheap and you can buy a few of them and modify them for what ever effect you want. Experiment to your hearts desire. And your photography is yours. I am the type that likes technically perfect pictures but there are plenty of people that like what you are after, so like what was said earlier do what makes you happy.
 

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Seriously? Stick to a phone+app for that look. Film? Forget it in 2022. "Lomography" thrived when cheap film and processing were still part of reality. No more, sadly. Friends have scienced out their Holgas and pinholes to where they can get "looks" they're after--most of the time. You'd do better to look to trailing edge digital cameras and still-free(?)plug-ins like those by Nik. Frankly, that light-leaky "Lomography" look has been done to death.
 

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I dunno... I think I'd rather pull out my old Polaroid 3600AF and actually take pics like that as opposed to manipulating a nicer pic to make it look old. I haven't taken pics with that thing since 2001-ish, but it'd almost be worth it to fish it out of storage and take pics just for the look.
 

webestang64

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I just thought, I have an extra Argus C3 that leaks like crazy. Maybe I'll stick it on eBay as an "art" camera......LOL
 

cgw

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I just thought, I have an extra Argus C3 that leaks like crazy. Maybe I'll stick it on eBay as an "art" camera......LOL
Just be sure to include instructions on where not to tape up the back for specific "looks."
 

Soocom1

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Funny. So much of the bad photos taken over the years was due to previously mentioned bad cameras, light leaks and just untrained people in photography.

Along comes the digital age with the brainless photography (we fix everything) algorithms, and now they create the same to junk the photos back up.

The orange tint is the most annoying to me though.
I never got over the loss of color on these things, and moreover, pull out an old VHS of a movie and look at the signal loss. Looks almost like the orange deteriation of the film.


Oh well. full circle I guess
 

Rickbb

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Reminds me of that bad Stallone SiFi movie where the top songs are commercial jingles like the jolly green giant in the background while eating at the 4 star Taco Bell restaurant. :excitement:
 

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