Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hipstamatic Baby!

As much as I love to photograph, I kind of loathe having to drag heavy equipment around everywhere.
Being a fan of "gear", it's easy to get caught up in hauling a ridicilously heavy pack, just in case you come across that perfect moment to photograph. Yet, most often, you find yourself in front of something that already has been captured a million times in exactly the same way. Booooring! Who needs another shot of the Eiffel Tower, Delicate Arch, The Statue Of Liberty?
My advice is "buy a postcard". The traditional shot has been's over. Unless you're planning on doing something totally unique, leave your heavy cameras home and go "toy".

Earlier this spring, while playing on my Iphone on the way down to Moab, Ut, I found an Iphone app called Hipstamatic. It was instant love. For a $1.99, you can go completely retro, with square format photographs, changes of lenses, film and an artsy fartsy look of polaroid past.
Hiking around Moab, I found myself full of new creative juices to capture my surroundings in a way I hadn't before, with a look I couldn't do with my fancy gear without spending significant time in photoshop.
Yes, it's slow...and that's kind of the whole point.
As you pull up the app, a camera appears, and after selecting lens and film, you click the shutter and have to wait for a minute while it develops and "prints". There is an element of creative control but also the old "serendipity" of surprise, reminding me of standing in stinky darkrooms and waiting anxiously over tubs of chemicals to see the print slowly develop.

The "prints" are saved into your photos and you can then post on facebook, email, mms, to your heart's content. The file sizes are fairly small, but you can go into the settings and increase your print quality to "high" to get a larger file for prints. That will increase the time you have to wait in between photos, but it's worth it if you ever plan on printing them out on actual paper.
Now, all I need is the new IPhone 4:).


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