Where Poserframes comes from
I started work on what would become Poserframes in the autumn of 2022. I had bought a book with photography by Walter Hirsch that summer at an outlet in Höganäs and I was really smitten by his grainy black and white photography, a lot if it shot with a Canon Dial half-frame camera. Many of his photos were scanned and reproduced with the film rebate visible, as I understand it a way of showing that nothing had been cropped out. I had had film scanned with borders like that in the past, had always been fond of the look and I then wondered if it was possible to somehow approximate it for digital photos.
I looked around for existing solutions and found none that did what I wanted. I didn’t want a static PNG overlay, even if it was scanned from a real film negative. I wanted something that would produce less uniform results and that I could automate, so it didn’t increase the time spent in front of a screen by much. By then I also started wondering if it would even be a good idea to make something like this. Would fake film borders be something I would be ashamed of in ten years time, like filters and split toning? I decided that the kind of borders I wanted fell on the right side of my personal cringe line, but as emotional protection I chose the name ”Poserframes” as a preemptive defense against criticism.
I read through Adobe’s scripting guidelines, poured over the Internet looking for preexisting code, asked a lot of questions in forums and eventually found a way to translate vectors to textual strings, so I could store shapes inline in a script. Bit by bit, through a lot of trial and error, I finally had a starting point. The first version of Poserframes could only do cropped frames (like the ones in the Walter Hirsch book) for images in 2:3 and 4:3 formats.
From that first version, I added support for the common aspect ratios and drew the negative shapes and scanner mask shapes from real 35mm, 645, 67, 4x5 and 6x6 film scans. I found a way to make it (almost) resolution independent, I expanded the scope from the cropped frames to looks of scanner masks filed down for interesting border shapes and I found a way to run it with user-editable Photoshop actions. I built the script to mimic the actual scanning process, so it first makes ”the negative” by adding a negative shape to the image, then adds and moves a scanner mask shape on top of that. My goal has been to make it into a versatile toolbox that I can use to generate a wide variety of border styles.
Poserframes is a labor of love and I still make it mostly for myself. It has been wonderful and slightly surreal to see it in use with other people’s work.