iPhoneography Apps – Revisiting Hipstamatic: revisit your pictures with an editor

I have a special place in my heart for Hipstamatic. As with many iPhoneographers, Hipstamatic was my gateway into the possibilities for wonderful images created with my iPhone. I selected a lens and a film, and snapped away, leaving hundreds of square images on my Camera Roll. When I posted these images to Facebook, I had several inquiries on how I had made the images. I replied “Hipstamatic”, which led to the next question: “OK, I know you used that app, but how did you MAKE them?” That led me, in November of 2012, to write my first weekly tutorial on Hipstamatic. I haven’t missed a week yet, as creative vistas have opened before me.

Hipstamatic is an idiosyncratic app. One of the things that people loved about it was that you took the picture, but the lens and film, chosen ahead of time, would affect your image in ways you weren’t expecting. This appeals to people who operate on instinct, who like to shoot from the hip. To others, it was a drawback. Some loved being limited to a square image, because it made them think about composing based on that square, rather than counting on a crop in editing. Others wanted to be able to shoot all kinds of aspect ratios.

Hipstamatic has continued on its way for years now, adding new films, lenses and flashes, but sticking to their aesthetic of old film cameras. With film cameras, you were stuck with the film and lens you loaded up when you went out for your shoot – Hipstamatic was the same way (even though it was much simpler to swap out in the middle of a “roll”). Now, with the advent of release 3.0 (or 300, depending on how you look at it), Hipstamatic has changed their game entirely. They have upgraded in three different ways.

– The camera can be switched to “pro mode” which allows for tuning of exposure, focus, white balance, ISO and shutter speed as you capture your image.
– The aspect ratio of the image can be changed from square to rectangular.
– You can edit your photos after capture, changing film, lens, flash and a number of parameters. You can even add that Hipstamatic look to images captured with another camera, or created in art apps like iColorama or Procreate.

My first image shown here is the splash screen, edited in iColorama to make it square, and passed back through Hipstamatic to give it the border of Ina’s 1969 film.


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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Worried Moon” – Chris Cornell

The leader of Soundgarden has a new solo album out, and it doesn’t resemble the music of his former band much. That’s OK by me.

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Forever Blue”

Swing Out Sister – Janis Ian

Lush, jazzy ballad from the dance-floor group of the eighties.


Janis Ian is a prolific songwriter, and on her three-album set of Unreleased tracks, I get to hear those songs the way I like them – just a guitar and Ian’s lovely voice.

Song of the Day – “Homosapien” – Pete Shelley

The Buzzcocks broke up for several years in the eighties, allowing lead singer Pete Shelley to indulge his love for electronica. This is the title track from his first album in 1981.

Song of the Day – “It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go” – Nanci Griffith

Over a quarter of a century after its release on the album Storms, Nanci Griffith recites the truth. I don’t see it ever being just a part of history.

It’s a hard life
It’s a hard life
It’s a very hard life
It’s a hard life wherever you go
If we poison our children with hatred
then, the hard life is all that they’ll know

Song of the Day – “Lay Down Sally” – Eric Clapton

The video shows two British guys laying down a country tune. The song was originally from 1977’s Slowhand, and actually cracked the country charts.

Song of the Day – “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” – Reparata & the Delrons

A bit of 1966 girl-group magic from Reparata & the Delrons. They formed originally at a Catholic school in Brooklyn, and the lead singer named herself after one of the nuns, Sister Mary Reparata.

Their only (minor) hit came with “Whenever a Teenager Cries” in 1964, but this is such a classic of the genre because it hits all the signature hits of a girl-group record, from the spoken bridge to the Spector-ish “wall of sound” production. (With Hash Brown and his Orchestra. Heh.)