Monthly Archives: June 2010

Hipstamatic Action and Swanky Swanko Lab

So, we got a puppy from our local shelter about a week and a half ago and boy am I tired. She’s great but it’s like having a newborn in the house (minus all the physical aftereffects of actually giving birth). Fortunately our new four-legged friend, dubbed ‘Dingo” by the friendly folks at the SPCA, is very food-motivated. She’s catching on quickly to house-training and obedience but the bruises on my legs will prove that we still have a ways to go.

It’s tough to balance a camera in one hand and an active puppy on a leash in the other, so I haven’t been shooting much film lately. What I have been using is my iPhone (since it’s always with me) and a fantastic app called Hipstamatic. It’s a very cool program that lets you choose between retro lenses, films and flashes and gives your pictures the toy camera treatment.  The Hipstamatic comes with the John S Lens, the Jimmy Lens, the Kaimal Mark II Lens, the Standard Flash, the Dreampop Flash, Ina’s 1969 Film, and Kodot Verichrome Film. By mixing and matching lenses, films and flashes you can achieve a wide array of toy camera-like results. By purchasing other packages you can get other lenses, films and flashes to play around with as well. My personal favorite package is the Shibuza which  comes with the Roboto Glitter Lens,  Berry Pop Flash and Float film. This combination gives your pictures some crazy colors and beautiful warm tones with nice vintage-looking dirty margins around your prints.

Yes, it does cost $1.99 for the program and each Hipstamatic pack is also $1.99 but I am ever-so-glad I finally pried open my wallet and spent the money. It’s tremendously fun to use and I really love the effects I’m getting. I also use Camera Bag and Shake It pretty regularly but Hipstamatic blows them out of the water. The ability to mix and match elements plus the high-quality effects make this an app that I will continue experimenting with for a long time.

Of course, there’s always a downside to things. You do have to pay for it but really, it’s cheaper than a fancy coffee drink. The one BIG drawback is that you have to take pictures within the app. There’s no ability to apply effects to photos you’ve already taken. A bummer for sure but those Hipstamatic folks are so clever, they’ve designed a darkroom program as well called Swanko Lab.

If you’re a fan of  Hipstamatic you’ll dig Swanko lab too. By mixing and matching chemicals you can turn ordinary photos into cross-processed, instant or black and white goodness. The combinations are really endless in this program as the order in which you mix the chemicals is just as important as the quantity of chemicals. Again, this program costs $1.99 and for a one-time fee of $1.99 you get access to Uncle Stu’s Photo Emporium, a collection of chemicals not available in the base program. The best part about the Emporium is that all future updates to the catalogue are free for current subscriber. Endless chemicals for everyone!!

Check out these two worth-while apps and the amazing things people are producing with them. Flickr is full of some great Hipstamatic art. Personally, I haven’t been this excited about a digital camera product in a long, long time.

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