Flower and a beeOver the last week, I’ve been having some fun testing out the iPhone photographic Hipstamatic app, which the makers describe as “an application that brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras from the past”.

The camera comes with three standard lenses called John S, Jimmy and Kaimal and three standard frame effects or as the app describes them “films” – Blank (a white border), 69 Ina (a beige fabric like border) and Kodot (a rough edged border on white).

Here’s a test sheet showing the different lenses and films:
Left to right – John S, Jimmy, Kaimal
Top to bottom – Ina, Blank, Kodot, Blank
A test sheet of hipstamatic photos

As you can see John S has a dark blue filter appearance, Jimmy a yellow filtered appearance and Kaimal a magenta/red filter appearance. Jimmy also comes through as the brightest – which works particularly well in the shot of the flower, on what was quite a sunny day.

One of the hardest things about the app is that, much like the toys it replicates, the image in the viewfinder bears very little resemblance to the final photograph, thus making composing a shot rather experimental. So often a good shot can take up to 6 attempts – unless you can just get lucky the first time.

There is of course a Flickr group dedicated to the app, full of examples of what’s possible. My eye also caught this discussion in the group wondering if it gave users a false sense of creativity. Of which, I’m sure such queries were raised at the introduction of the Brownie camera in 1900, and of the toy cameras that the Hisptamatic takes its inspriation.

The app enables you to send your photos straight to Flickr, although the iPhone Flickr app doesn’t enable you to post your photos to Twitter or another dedicated blog. So, I’m collating some of the best results here on Flickr but the more experimental ones are also appearing on my Twitpic page, such as this one, which believe it or not took a number of attempts to get right:

Cup of tea

2 Comments

  1. Cup Of Tea is showing for me as a great big 404 :o(

    It’s especially suited to tea, I think – and canals.

    1. Thanks Alan.
      It seems that Twitpic is using Amazon’s cloud to store pics and is giving sessions for the images, of which the one I used timed out.

      Will replace and upload with the original instead.

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