April 21, 2021•324 words
Some time in 2017, a friend came to visit and apart from the usual kumusta, she showed me a camera app that she started using called Gudak. It mimicked the interface and parts of the experience of taking photos using a point and shoot film camera right on your smartphone screen. Comparable in four things: you wouldn't be able to see the photo right after taking it, you could only take a select number of shots per time limit (like the limitation of a roll of film), the touch of a time stamp, and the picture that "develops" could surprise you. I haven't substantially shot pictures in film, but I understand part of the appeal are these "mistakes" that make a picture unique and special. Imperfections that add texture to the image. There is less of the precision that is marketed in modern cameras with their cutting edge autofocus systems and algorithmic light meters, where they lessen the chances you could go wrong. But of course, people shoot, either film or digital, differently. And Gudak was a gimmick, and many other similar camera apps or filters became trendy until now. In my own experience, Gudak did, temporarily, interrupt my use of my smartphone like the smartphone it was so designed. It had me taking photos, waiting till they got "developed," then created a feeling of a cheap thrill in finally seeing them. I didn't use the app for very long. A layer of the experience was that it was performance. It was entertaining and enjoyable to do, until it wasn't.
These are some of the photos I took in that short while. I don't have copies of the pictures without the filter that Gudak applied. So I can only see them as photos from a certain period and a certain way I took photos. Practices like metadata, data about data.