How Do I Get That Crappy 70’s Look?


Technology today is amazing. We can carry around 20,000 songs in our pocket, watch 3D movies in our home and we have the internet at our fingertips every moment of the day. We have all the tools we need to never have to interact with another human being face-to-face ever again. It’s magical.

Photography is an example of a medium that advances drastically with each passing year. Digital photography has revolutionized the way we take, keep and display pictures. Most family memories are kept in a folder in a computer hard drive instead of in a shoebox in the closet. The majority of us now carry a camera with us at all times (as the poor individuals on PeopleofWalmart.com can attest… or they could attest if they owned computers).

Even picture frames are digital now. Heaven forbid we have an attention span long enough to put one picture in a frame. Must. Have. Constant. Stimulation.

This year Hasselblad came out with a 200-megapixel camera that can be yours for the low, low price of $45,000. 200-megapixels? No one needs to be seen with that kind of clarity.

While most of us don’t have a 200-megapixel camera at our disposal, even the camera on my iPhone is 5-megapixels. The digital camera I bought a couple years ago was only 8-megapixels.

So even our phones can take amazing, clear, beautiful pictures. How can we best utilize these amazing advancements? I know! Let’s make our photos look like they were taken by a cheap 70’s camera and then stored in the pages of an acid laden photo album for 40 years.

Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic give smartphone users the ability to add all kinds of filters and effects to their photos. For those of you who aren’t tech savvy, let me give you an analogy of the effect you get with a photo filter: it’s like buying a new pair of jeans, throwing them in a mud puddle and ripping them into shreds because you feel it adds “character.” Oh, wait! That is a current fashion trend. But I digress.

In the spirit of full discretion I have to admit that I love crap-a-fying my photos. Overexpose? Yes please. Add a lens flare? Don’t mind if I do. Fade all the colors? Indubitably. Crisp, color photos are boring.

So what is the point this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Sometimes technological advancements don’t equal advancements in entertainment or artistic expression.

Actually, that’s not really my point. The real point I’m trying to make is that we don’t all need to be photographed with amazing digital clarity and crispness. If I don’t have a photo retoucher at my disposal 24/7 then I might as well just overexpose the hell out of my pictures and throw a nice grunge filter over it. Amazing how my complexion clears right up.

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One thought on “How Do I Get That Crappy 70’s Look?

  1. I love “Adding Character” to my photos on my Iphone. The Iphone can take really amazing pictures. Who needs a 300.423 megapixal Nikon camera? I actually have one of those too that takes great pics. Nice post!

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