This is going to be a rather unusual blog post but please bear with me. Unusual in that I have abandoned the SLR but also will appear to endorse a particular product. Apologies in advance but I have so much fun playing with said product that I felt I should blog about it. All I can say is that I have no vested interest.
Not sure how many of you have an iPhone but I am sure you are all familiar with the ads that seem to be ubiquitous; ads that share the mantra: ‘you want x. There’s an app for that’. Now the technophiles amongst you will know that the camera on the iPhone is pretty rubbish. I have no idea what the pixel count is but its poor. There are far more impressive camera phones out there; but wait, some genius has made the iPhone’s shitty camera work to it’s advantage. The app in question is called ‘Hipstamatic’ and, in basic terms, what it does is allow you to take pictures with your iPhone that look like they were taken with a crappy 50s/60s/70s instamatic camera. In other words you can take a photo with your iPhone that then has scratches, lens flair, blemishes etc added lovingly to it. But there’s more – you can choose different lenses, different film stocks, different flash effects and the results, although low resolution, are quirky, retro cool, fun and, damn it, pretty good.
I’ve not had the application long but today had the first real opportunity to play around with it. This picture is of a vase in our house (it used to belong to my wife’s grandmother and we rescued it from the house clearance after she passed away). It’s a cheap imitation vase that is cracked in several places but it has great sentimental value. Messing about with Hipstamatic this afternoon I took this photo of the vase on the coffee table in our lounge and this is the result. And this is what I am talking about and why Hipstamatic is such a fun application. It is seemingly impossible to take a picture that does not look like a document form 40 or 50 years ago. Of course, this sort of fun application is going to have limited appeal or usefulness for a pro photographer but for me it’s something that can be used for when you need that retro feel or to lift a subject that is intrinsically dull. You may disagree and think that this picture and this post proves otherwise but I have had real fun today playing around with it. Some of my other efforts are in the gallery below. All I can say is that, going forward, after I have taken pictures with my SLR I will also be rattling off a few shots with Hipstamatic. I have a feeling that this application will become huge (and by definition over used) but at the moment it’s a great way to take interesting photographs with the iPhone’s low-res camera.