A while ago, a client approached me with a crazy idea. He wanted to bring back to life an almost 200-year-old photographic process. And he needed help from a high tech software company.
I’ve been interested in photography my whole life. I even took some lessons in analog photography and photography in general. I wasn’t too good at it and, fortunately, my life decisions brought me to mobile apps and not photography.
Despite the initial disbelief, the idea of bringing analog photography and mobile apps together seemed too interesting not to get involved.
Analog photography and mobile apps
The client’s name was Ilija. Ilija is a funny, bold and a little bit crazy (in a good way) guy from Dubrovnik. Ilija has a ton of old analog cameras in his private collection. He is in love with analog photography and he had this idea of wanting to develop analog photos using smartphones. At first, the idea seemed crazy as hell.
When we had our first sit-down, he was already building prototypes of Enfojer – a device he wanted to use to develop analog photos from mobile phones.
The idea was to use a mobile phone’s screen to expose a piece of photographic paper.
The phone is placed flat down on top of the Enfojer, while the Enfojer acts as an enlarger and projects and exposes the photo on photographic paper.
In order for the whole thing to work, we needed to develop a mobile phone app that would produce a mirrored negative of the selected photo and project it. This part was fairly easy and straightforward.
The tricky part of the process was controlling the device while it’s placed and closed in the Enfojer. For that, we developed an intuitive way of interacting with the touch screen of the smartphone without actually touching it.
The whole process of photo development is wizard-like and you can use voice commands to advance. Voice commands never took off on mobile phones (I never use Siri), so we think that that’s not the preferred way to navigate through the whole process.
A snappier way of doing things would be – snapping your fingers. You just snap your fingers to advance to the next screen. You can always fall back to voice commands if you’re having trouble snapping your fingers (like me).
I’m really fond of this project and I think that the guys from Fojo are doing something extremely cool and unique.