Why I Love Hipstamatic
Do you have an iPhone?
Do you agree that the iPhone’s camera is a bag of dicks?
Let me whisper one word into your ear:
The Hipstamatic app transforms your iPhone camera into generating faux-vintage and fake-ass-retro shots.
See? Faux Polaroid.
The app doesn’t just do one “thing.” You can change the lens, the film, and the flash. Sure, okay, you’re not really changing the lens, film and flash, because the iPhone has none of these things. But what you are doing is changing the filters for each photo. You are in turn discovering an unholy host of new combinations. (Random question: why does my spellchecker accept “combination,” but not “combinations?” Hrrm.)
For example, this creepy-ass shot:
Uses the following combo: John S (lens), Ina’s 1969 (film) and Berry Pop (flash).
This far less spooky snap…
Uses the Helga Viking (lens), Ina’s 1935 (film) and Laser Lemon Gel (flash).
Easy To Use
It’s actually easier to use in some ways than the iPhone camera itself (in part because the button takes up larger real estate, so it’s easier to find and hit if you’re not looking at the screen). Plus, changing the options is a breeze: the app simulates a real camera, so you “flip” the camera, and swipe to change lens, film or flash. Or! Or, you can shake the phone to get a random selection.
Though, I should note: it’s not so crazy easy. You only get a very small window to see what you might be capturing (but this is, I feel, by design). This leads to…
You never really know what you’re going to get out of the app. Especially when you randomize it. It doesn’t seem to take a perfect dead-on shot of whatever you’re looking at — in fact, I’d suggest that the app has a mind of its own, because it quite often captures images and effects you didn’t necessarily expect. Sometimes, they can be quite trippy, as this image exemplifies:
In fact, that is the same view as captured by the first image in this post, but with a different set of filters.
I especially like using the randomize function. In fact, it’s pretty much how I take 95% of all the shots. You can end up with some spectacular and unexpected results this way. This shot:
…looks retro and vintage, but was taken on our Hawaii vacation just a couple weeks ago. I mean, seriously, doesn’t it look like a postcard from Old Hawaii? A shot from the 60s or 70s? Nope. From 2010, baby.
Cool As Shit
You will want to show this off to friends. You will impress them. And they will give you money. And heap garlands of laurels around your head and neck. And have awesome sex with you. True story!
This is perhaps my favoritest reason of all to use Hipstamatic: with my DSLR, I’m capturing the facts of what I’m looking at (color, sharpness, arrangement), but not necessarily the authenticity of the scene. See, the DSLR captures a snapshot in time, but really, photos are also about memories. And memories are gauzy, strange, bound by uncertain margins. Hipstamatic captures this both elegantly and messily: it grabs a weird glimpse, infuses it with that gauzy and uncertain sensibility. It isn’t about precision. It doesn’t care about the right colors or the perfect detail. It cares more about feel. Which is pretty awesome.
It’s like this. This shot, of Waimea Canyon…
…was taken with the DSLR. I like it. I like it a lot. But this shot:
…captures how I felt about Waimea Canyon. That day was hot and hazy and bleary at times, and I almost like the details in the Hipstamatic version better.
This isn’t universal. I took shots at the Hanalei Lookout…
And I personally like the DSLR shot better. The north shore is all about the color, the lushness, the pop, and the DSLR’s shot of the taro fields does that (to me) a lot better. That’s how I remember it.
Like Crack, If Crack Were Also Made Of Meth
Hipstamatic is pretty cheap, and also cheap are the new filters they release for you to buy. Usually a packet of new filters is $0.99, and it’s so worth it. I am addicted to Hipstamatic, for reals. I love, love, love to use it. I carry my iPhone everywhere (duh), and it’s easy to whip out when walking to the mailbox or wandering through the mall or burying hookers in shallow graves. The DSLR is a lovely device, but bulky as hell — okay, get out the case, pick a lens, detach, attach, strap around neck, set the settings, find the shot, snore, ZZZzzz, poop noise. This is why, walking around San Francisco, I did not once whip out the DSLR. Never even took it out of the hotel room. Every shot in San Franwacky was taken using Hipstamatic.
I couldn’t help myself. I still can’t.
Hi, my name’s Chuck Wendig, and I am a Hipstamaddict.