I haven’t talked about the little computer programs, called ‘apps’ for the iphone, mainly because it seems like such a boring, nerdy thing to do. And I should probably just write and post an entry as soon as I think about it rather than deliberating for weeks. Deliberating, indeed. If you don’t have an iphone this is going to be useless, so click away, now!
I’m mildly amused with retro-style camera apps. It’s pathetic really, isn’t it? You’d think that someone like me would see a name like ‘Hipstamatic’ and steer well clear of it. My only defence it that I am getting into this with my eyes open, and accused of being a hipster, falsely or not, all I know it I don’t feel like one and I don’t think they would wear an addidas top every day they’re not at work.
And ‘Hipstamatic’ is relatively expensive too. Some of the others (I’ll get to them later) are givin’ it away for free. The hipstamatic app is $2 american (that’s less than $2 Australian (LOL!)). And if you want extra lenses/film/flashes, which are all essentially filters, they come in packs of two or three and cost an extra 99c each. I was really surprised with myself that I bought them—bought them all (about 5 packs in total). But did so under the reasoning that almost everyday I end up wasting some smallish amount of money, like I’ll buy something to eat for five bucks and get halfway through and think, well that was a mistake wasn’t it.
I think the thing that gets the hipstamatic app out in front is the nice packaging. It looks nice and it looks fun. Fun is at the heart of this retro-foto mini-veer, veering away from the 40,000 megapixel ultra-HighDef telephoto lens stuff. Here’s what it looks like:
It’s skinnable in the way mp3 players or browsers are. This is the ‘Mr.Blingy’ skin that comes with one of the packs. It looks nice but actually is hard to see if standing in sunlight.
This is the back, the ‘Cowgirl’ skin, released as a freebie during the recent SXSW thingo. As you can see the view-finder is rather small, which is part of the whole analog thing. If you want to square up exact dimensions when you’re shooting, then the standard camera app on the phone is obviously better. Sometimes the little viewfinder has resulted in wonky shots but sometimes the unpredictability has added nice touches, like here with ancient krean cybermen:
I like how the wheel is partially seen in background.
At present there’s 12 film types and 9 lenses when fully decked out. There’s also 7 flash types. The iphone camera flash is fairly poxy and eats up the battery like all get out. I guess the flash would be good if you were at a party and taking fotos of your friends. I’ve no friends and go not to parties, so haven’t found the flashes very useful. Anyway, there’s a lot of combinations of look that can be cooked up, and I’ve had a jolly old time messing about in that way. From the really hot:
One of the really neat things about it is now that these kind of phones are internet capable is that you can take a foto and upload it straight to the internet. With hipstamatic there’s the choice of sending it to Flickr, fuzzbook, tumblr or an email address. This eliminates the whole process of having to wait until you get home, plugging the camera in to the computer, transferring, transferring again to internet. Who can be bothered with that now? Not me. Small conventional cameras like cannon Ixus, take note. Similarly, the hipstamatic filter sets are good, and good enough, because with time literally speeding up during the last twenty years, who’s got time to be messing about with GIMP or photoshop? I don’t even know how to use photoshop.
It would be good if hipstamatic had a zoom function, but this is not their fault, there is no zoom on the normal iphone camera, and I guess it goes against the whole retro ethos. Also, when I’m sending fotos to flickr, and typing a title for the foto, hipstamatic wants me to start Every Word With A Capital Letter, which is Dippy. Also, all the foto formats are square. It’d be good to have a few rectangle. There’s no good postcards in Korea so I make my own and rectangle works best for that. The square format seems to work best for small things and intimate settings. Expansive, landscape shots look boxed in.
Once or twice I’ve wondered if I will look back at some of these shots in 10 or twenty years and think, I wonder what colour that really was, and perhaps wish I’d just taken a normal foto.
For a minimum or two and up to 7$ it’s been fun, and has got me enthused about taking fotos again—something I’ve done little of in the last two years (barring special occasions). I even took a USB stick down to the printer the other day and had some printed.