1-Hour Photo : Wait & see. Literally.

In today’s world, a picture can be taken, edited, shared, liked, commented or even forgotten in less than one hour. You get an immediate result. This has some positive sides, as you can check your photo and take it again if you’re not satisfied with it. But at the same time, some of us end up taking 12 pictures of a burger, waiting for the perfect one to be uploaded on Instagram.

Be patient …

1-Hour Photo suggests you to wait one hour before being able to see what your snapshot looks like. Nevercenter, the company behind the app, states that by waiting an hour, “each photo becomes a little present to your future self”. It can also be seen as a little present to your past self, that child that couldn’t wait for the pictures he took to be developed.

As explained on the App Store, “It sounds like a bad idea, but you’ll be surprised what it does for your photos”. And it actually works! It’s not just a Placebo effect, pictures DO look better when using the app.
Well, first, waiting is effective. You really look forward to seeing whether it will enhance your picture. Then, when you are able to see the photo you took, the moment captured has already become a memory, which makes you look at it differently: it’s all about that precise moment. Finally, the picture is edited with a deep black and white filter and a film grain, specific to analogue photography.

Here's a picture I took during a concert, using the app

Here’s a picture I took during a concert, using the app

Keep it simple !

The interface is as simple as the concept: a big button in the middle to snap a picture, with the number of photos processing on the left hand side and the number of minutes left until your next photo is ready on the right. The app’s icon also shows you how many photos are being processed via a badge icon.

The app rides on the slow tech movement, which intends to reduce some of the “damaging effects of excessive technologies in human life, primarily through promoting slower or less extreme interactions with certain technologies”. It is actually more than a “hipster app”, because the treatment and the time you wait do improve the picture. And last but not least : you can’t use the front-face camera, so no selfies please !

Problem : the app used to be free but is now worth 0,89€. So Nevercenter is basically gambling on making people pay to wait one hour. Kind of risky …

If you have an iPhone, you can download the app here. It is however not available on Android yet.

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