Lesson 13: Getting Hip

OK, I was going to wait before introducing a new app.  Especially another one that costs money.  But, I can’t help myself.  Today, we’re going to look at Hipstamatic.  The good news is that it’s available for several types of phones; the bad news is that it’s $1.99.  And, there are so many add-on packs that you’ll probably want to spend several dollars before you’re done with this app–it’s a little addictive.

But, we’re going to start with some “included equipment” to keep the cost down.

Hipstamatic’s tag line is “digital photography never looked so analog.”  Essentially, through the magic of software, the app creates images with the characteristics of old, analog equipment.  The irony is wonderful.

If you look in my iPhonography Gallery, you will find many Hipstamatic images.  The vast majority of the ones I chose to share were created using an add-on pack that simulates a tin-type effect.  However, since that’s not included, I’ll save that one for later.

The way Hipstamatic works is that is allows you to change the “lens,” “film,” and “flash” to create the look of the historical equipment you choose.

Today, we’re going to select the film and lens, but let’s not use the flash.  To do this, click to enlarge the following instructions:

20130809 13 Getting Hip.001

Now that you’ve got the hang of switching lens, let’s choose the Buckhorst H1 lens (with the bright orange circles).  Next, we’ll choose the film.  Click to enlarge the instructions:

20130809 13 Getting Hip.002

Let’s choose the Kodak XGrizzled film for today’s lesson.

I have found it takes a while of shooting with a particular film and lens combination to figure out what effects they create.  I suggest not trying another combination until you feel like you know what that combination will do.  You can save the combination by tapping the star and creating a favorite.

Now, let’s try taking some photos.  Click to enlarge the instructions on how to get back to camera mode and enlarge the viewing area:

20130809 13 Getting Hip.003

Now it’s time to take photos.  Hipstamatic will create the effects and save the photos to your camera roll automatically.  Once you find a combination of film and lens you love, you’ll find it’s an incredibly fast way to get a really cool effect–very hip.

After you’ve taken some photos, here are instructions you can click to enlarge so you can see how to find your photos from inside the app:

20130809 13 Getting Hip.004

To get back to the camera mode, tap the image to see a frame with buttons and tap the bright yellow camera icon in the upper right corner.

One last pointer about Hipstamatic:  it creates square images.  This can have an amazing effect on how you view the world.  It also makes our earlier lesson on symmetry come in handy–symmetry works particularly well in square images.  Of course, asymmetry will also work if that’s what the subject calls for.

Your Assignment:  Go photograph everything!  Photograph small stuff up close, big stuff from far away, bright lights, indirect lights, skylines, dogs’ noses, and your key chain.  Photograph anything and everything that will hold still long enough for you to grab a shot.  It’s digital!  You can delete what you don’t like.  Take a look at what you got and decide the following:

  1. What kinds of subjects work really well with these effects?
  2. What kinds of subjects really don’t work well?
  3. Why do they work or not work?
  4. Can you take something that didn’t work and make it work by changing the angle or distance you’re shooting from?  Try moving your body up and down.

What do you think?  Is this a film/lens combo you can get addicted to?

5 thoughts on “Lesson 13: Getting Hip

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