Impossible Project App: A Bridge Between Analog and Digital

Dr. J Caldwell is joining us on the blog today as a guest blogger. The topic of todays post is the Impossible app, which is now available in the app store. You can download it here. J talks about the app, the community behind it, and why it should be on your phone weather you own an Instant Lab or not.


The newly minted Impossible Project app and Instant Lab are billed as “a bridge between analog and digital” and rightfully so. One example, Jake Messenger, has shown that truly unique analog iPhone photos can come out of the Lab. His review of the lab can be found here. Myself and two of the guys at Snap It See It, Francisco and Justin, have all had a chance to to create with the lab and will be posting our review in the near future.

The lesser-appreciated aspect of the app, and the thrust of this post, is that it’s also a great community resource. After you swipe through the brief tour you learn that there’s a “scanner” function.


Like the name implies, you can capture your analog photo with your iPhone camera:



precisely crop:


and upload to the Impossible Project gallery:



Once your image is the gallery you can share it to via different social media channels and, most importantly, you can scroll through other submissions. After a few minutes of swiping, I found a photo from one of TIPs team, polaroidgirl


and an excellent photographer I have never heard of – Amber Byrne Mahoney



Another great feature of the scanner is the ability to save the images to the camera roll on your phone. With this option you can share your images through email or text and use other apps to manipulate your images. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few scanned images with the app.




This is what it comes down to, a central resource to share and view impossible project photos, heart and comment on posts and follow particular fellow instant enthusiasts. For those of you who might feel left out that they don’t have an iPhone, you can browse the gallery on the web.


Chris Kale >>>
Polaroidgirl >>>
Francisco >>>
J Caldwell >>>
Amber Byrne Mahoney >>>

The app is still in it’s infancy and, as these things go, there are some bugs and room for improvement. The image capture/crop/upload/share feature is pretty perfect as is, so is the built-in shop, but the gallery could stand to incorporate a 3×3 grid view with endless scrolling (or at the very least improved scrolling), hashtags and search function — all things that I imagine will become incorporated in future iterations.

Technical specs at time of publication:

iPhone5 running iOS6

Instant Lab app version 1.3




  1. The only problem that I find with this app is the lack of quality in the scanned image. I can get away with a little blur when it’s a landscape or still life but not when it’s a person and their facial features look out of focus. Maybe it’s my 4s and the 5s will improve in quality. It’s frustrating when you get the focus right with the SX-70 but the scan comes out blurry.

    • I’ve found the best way to “scan” the images is to do so with the Polaroid in direct sunlight, most often coming from a window. Usually at the end of the day, as the sun is setting and sunlight is flowing through a window, i put the image in said light and snap the picture. the image comes out perfectly, and i am more than happy with it, considering it’s an image of an image. The iPhone camera loves all the light and it let’s it focus sharply on the Polaroid.

      For example:


  1. […] where to feature your photo! Also this week we had a review and a small walk through of the new Impossible Project App! and if you missed our amazing spotlight on Henry Gaudier-Greene, make sure you don’t miss […]

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