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Using the iPhone camera to create art

I do love to take pictures with my iPhone camera. The quality of the camera is getting better model by model and the software to use with photos I have taken for my mistakes, the images are finding their way to many place. I use them on cards, as backgrounds… and even to share with friends.

Just about the time I’m happily taking nice clean images, a ‘camera’ app comes out that goes back many years. Hipstamatic is an app for the iPhone which changes the way pictures are taken. It isn’t an app that you use to process images in your Photos area, this app actually processes thing differently for the picture being taken at that moment. Which means you can’t go back and change your mind and it requires more time to take a picture. Thus, this will be an app you will use when you going for a particular look that you have thought about up front.

The Hipstamatic app allows you to mimic many very old cameras through lens and film choices. There are 8 films and 6 lens options… you do the math. Oh, and there are different types of flashes too, 7 of them.  An ordinary green ball on an ordinary wood floor, isn’t so ordinary anymore.

Each of the films and lenses you can choose have unique properties, much like going from one manufactures camera to another (yesteryear, these days they are pretty closely matched until you get into the high dollar pro lines).

Below is side by side two films and lenses to see the slight differences that can be found by making tweaks in Hipstamatic prior to taking your pictures.

Choosing a picture in the ‘Recent Prints’ area results in a view of what lens, film and flash was used to make that image. Like I said earlier, this is not a filter your applying to a photo in your iPhone, these are the images as they were taken. If you ‘share’ your images out to others on Facebook, the picture includes the below information so others can see the lens/film chosen.

From the front of the camera image you can see which lens your currently using. Along the bottom is the action buttons (left to right): Change film type being used, change flash, choose what graphic your using when looking at the ‘camera’ on your iPhone screen, the cart is for purchasing additional lenses and film types, and button to the far right is for flipping the ‘camera’ over. Yes, you did read the ‘buy additional’ correct. Hipstamatic comes with a limited of very nice and functional lenses and film types, but you can buy more via in-app purchase.

With the ‘camera’ flipped over, you can see what film type your using, a limited view finder (shows less area than your actually taking), a flash on/off slider and the big shutter button. Note the green light in the lower left corner. That is yellow right after you take your picture, then when green you can tap the little stamp icon to go see in the drawer what you just snapped a shot of. Judging by how long it takes from shutter to output, there is a lot of software filtering going on to deliver the final images.

The Lens options can be swept through, each with their own special features descriptions and examples of the final image.

From the lens area, you can jump in to adjust the other Hipstamatic camera settings making it faster to get to the final image set up then in/out through the buttons on the front ‘camera’ image.

When you choose the film option, you get a view of the film canister which you swipe to move from one to the other. Keep swiping when looking through since some of the ‘included’ films are intermixed with the ones you can buy.

In closing, the camera set up takes much longer than just snapping an image with your iPhone’s normal camera. It may/may not take longer than moving that picture into another app to edit in the special effects. What Hipstamatic brings is the joy of photography. Back to a time of having to think through a shot with a final goal in mind. It just might be the best medicine for a over busy day too…

Sure gave the elevator area a different look

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Posted in Advanced, Application reviews, Fun.

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