Hipstamatic App Review

I recently purchased the Hipstamatic iPhone app after months of looking at it in the App Store and thinking, “hmmm this looks fun buuuuut what am I really gonna use it for….?” It seemed niche-y. And all of the effects or filters are applied to your shots as you take the photo. I am a man who likes to control his work, not leave the final outcome of a shot in the hands of some app. Then I read up on the whole “hipstamatic movement” that surfaced back in the 80’s. It all started with a camera, The Hipstamatic 100.  Basically the application for iPhone mimics an old, cheap camera that you can produce different effects with depending on the combination of “lenses”, “films” and “flashes”.  Each of the three components offers a different look and feel to the photos you take.

One of the sweet operational features is that you can upload your photos or “stacks” (collections) directly to Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr or email them at full size.  Also, all of the settings used to compose the picture (lens, flash, film), are saved with the photo. So let’s say you take a picture and you LOVE the way it came out,  you can then automatically re-set the cameras settings based on the lens, etc used to make that photo.

The whole idea behind the Hipstamatic photo movement is that you don’t necessarily need to have everything straight or in focus, your exposure can be off and you can be as abstract as you like.  The point is to JUST SHOOT…. and KEEP SHOOTING.  Back in the days of the original “100”, obviously you would have to be able to afford film and developing your images, so the “just shoot” mentality could get real lame, really quick if you didn’t like too many of your shots.  But now in the days of digital, all you have to worry about is how fast you can push the button to capture your photo.  So, that being said, if you want to be totally crazy and  “shooting from the hip”, Hipstamatic has a nice little feature that randomizes your picture settings.  Give your iPhone a lil shake and Hipstamatic chooses your lens, film and flash.  Get creative! Another fun thing about this app is it uses the older-style square picture, not a rectangle like everyone is used to today.  Just another little feature that makes you think differently and hopefully pushes your creativity out of its comfort zone.

I’ve had the app for a couple weeks now and it’s been difficult to put down.  Once I started using it, I began to see everything in a Hipstamatic-type way.  I highly recommend this app.  It runs $1.99 and comes with a decent start-up kit of films, lenses and a flash.  Other packages can be purchased for 99¢ and include fun additions to your camera bag.  You can get a feel for the app with just the initial $1.99 investment, but to have a LOT of fun, I highly recommend ponying up the extra few bucks and getting the complete app.

There are a couple drawbacks I have found to which I would love to see improvements.  1. This app KILLS battery life if it’s used consistently.  It’s nice because it is a “background-able” app that keeps uploading or processing an image if you close out, but it will suck battery in return.  2. The app takes about 5-10 seconds to “develop” each image.  I don’t know if the creators were looking to make this aspect mirror the nostalgic “100” or it just takes waaaaaay too long to produce a finished photo due to all of the effect rendering.  I’m thinking it’s the latter since even the native Camera App now takes a few seconds to process an HDR photo.  The lag between being able to take pictures gets slightly annoying if you are capturing something in motion or if you are using the randomizer feature and you don’t like the shot you just took. If you want to re-do it, you could lose out on a second chance over 10 seconds.  Definitely not nearly enough bad to out-weigh the good with Hipstamatic, though.  I still recommend it 100% for anyone that likes taking pictures, being creative / abstract, or anyone who wants to try a non-technical photography app that produces AWESOME pictures.  GOOD SHOOTING!

Here are some of the images I’ve created using Hipstamatic for iPhone.

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~ by Blake's Photography Solutions on December 18, 2010.

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