Musings: Hipstamatic – Why I like it
Glyn Evans over on the iPhoneography blog posted his thoughts on very popular Hipstamatic app over the weekend. In case you don’t regularly check his blog, this is an excellent post that you should read before it rolls off the front page. Also, what is really, really cool about this post is the huge amount talkback from other iPhoneographers in the comments section of his post. I would venture to say that there are few things that polarize the iPhoneography community more than how they feel about Hipstamatic.
I also joined in the conversation there. My response is towards the bottom of the second page of comments on the post. If you give up and don’t make it past the first 20 comments, what I wrote — what I think about Hipstamatic is below, after the jump.
A good post, Glyn. I’d like to add to the conversation.
I like Hipstamatic. There are times when I like the analog experience — the thrill of getting one, maybe two chances to capture the shot. I like the look of many of the filters. I have my favorite lens and film combinations and am willing to experiment photographically when I see a combination that I like and haven’t really tried out before. I acknowledge what you don’t like about it, but for me it isn’t an ender.
I like the looks that the app can give to an image. I like the noise, light leaks, tonal qualities and textures that it can add to a photo WHEN USED PROPERLY.
My problem with Hipstamatic isn’t with the app — it’s with the jillions of new users who think that all it takes to create art is to take a crappy snapshot and app it up with Hipstamatic. It’s still a crappy snapshot, only now it’s wearing the look of a nice filter. You can’t use Hipstamatic as a crutch in place of good photography.
However, many times, people just want to take snapshots and have them look a little fancy as they email them to family and friends. That’s cool. I don’t have a problem with that. Should we as iPhoneographers begrudge people of that? It’s a fun app. I say let people have fun with it.
One other very important point is that Hipstamatic is a large number of users’ first exposure to real iPhoneography. It’s the app that opens the door to the possibilities of the iPhone camera. Many realize that the iPhone is much more than just the regular cell phone camera that was on their old Nokia.
Once a user sees what Hipstamatic on the iPhone is capable of, they’re more likely to explore other iPhone photo apps. Many are open to recommendations of other apps. Many have a desire to improve their photography beyond bar snapshots with their buds. Many get that bug and get the desire to grow as photographers, to trust their eye and pursue their vision.
Not everyone, but I run across it more often than not. For that reason alone, Hipstamatic is a great app for the iPhoneography community.
I try to share my knowledge and experience with these fledgling photographers when I’m given the chance. It’s a lot easier to talk to someone about Picture Show, lo-mob, or FILM LAB when they have Hipstamatic on their iPhone. As a community, we should be giving good constructive criticism and direction to to those willing to share their images in a public forum.
We were all newbs once. Because of the iPhonegraphy blog, my blog LifeInLoFi.com, and others, photographers like us are ahead of the curve when it comes to apps like Hipstamatic. I tell you what — despite its flaws, I was giddy when i first started shooting with it. I still obsessively hit refresh on the App Store update page the day the new Hipsta model is due to be released. I still await with eager anticipation any new HipstaPaks they sell.
With a jillion copies sold, Hipstamatic is everywhere. So yes, I think as a community, we’re probably oversaturated with bad Hipstamatic images now. But many of these are from people who are either just shooting snapshots for fun or new photographers who are still finding their way.
But through the eye of a photographer with a good vision, I still think it’s a great app and it’s still possible to create good photography with Hipstamatic.