Oh, Hipstamatic. Maligned by many, revered by the rest. When it comes to camera apps for the iPhone it was my first love, and although I know many of you may be thinking “been there, done that” when it comes to Hipstamatic, I wanted to pay a little tribute today to the app that started it all for me.

In light of our celebration of perspective on the blog this month, I started thinking about how our mobile phones–those tiny virtual handheld darkrooms–give us a limitless ability to change the perspective of any photo with a touch and a swipe of the finger. And while post-processing is half the fun of iphoneography for me–(I can spend hours editing a photo with different apps)–there is something about the way Hipstamatic keeps the mystery alive by forcing us to choose our lens/film/flash combinations before we click the shutter, with no in-app adjustment capability after the image is captured.

With literally hundreds of different combinations to play with it can be a little daunting. I set out the other day to try a few of my current favorites for a side-by-side comparison…

Combinations from top left, clockwise: 1. Chunky lens, AO BW film; 2. Libatique 73 lens, Blanko Freedom13 film; 3. Foxy lens, Sugar film; 4. Americana lens, Blanko Freedom13 film.

I love how you get such a different feel and mood from each photo. The Americana lens/Blanko Freedom13 film combination (bottom left) is one of my all-time Hipsta favorites. Here, let’s take a look at a few more…

My creation

Combinations from top left, clockwise: 1. Chunky lens, AO BW film; 2. Buckhorst H1 lens, US1776 film; 3. Americana lens, Freedom13 film; 4. Jane lens, Ina’s 1935 film.

Now while I do love that bottom right shot with my go-to Americana/Freedom combo, the image above it is my favorite in this set. I love the dreamy, vintage perspective that the Buckhorst H1 lens and US 1776 film combination gives, even though it does fade out the Empire State Building in the background a little bit.

I’ve always admired how my flickr friend Stephanie (aka Keenemomma) works her magic with the Hipstamatic so I asked her to share a few of her own “naked Hipsta” images to show us a few more perspectives…

My creation

Combinations from left: 1. Jimmy lens, US1776 film; 2. Jimmy lens, Blanko film, Jolly Rainbo flash.

My creation

Combinations from left: 1. Chunky lens, Blanko Noir film; 2. Melodie lens, BlacKeys B+W film.

Stephanie told me that she loves to use the Jimmy lens, and the Jimmy/Blanko/Jolly Rainbo is a combination she uses often. She also favors the Jane lens with Blanko Freedom13 film for indoor shooting or low light situations. And her fave for indoor black & whites is the Lucifer VI lens with BlacKeys Supergrain film.

Now, what Stephanie does really well is take her Hipstamatic shots and process them into the most gorgeous pieces of art using other apps. Take a look at these two beauties that I saw in our Mobile Monday flickr pool this past week:

Across the water

One minute every day

Seriously gorgeous Stephanie, thank you for sharing all of these shots with us! If you have a moment, check out Stephanie’s Hipstamatic set here on flickr. You can see the Hipsta combos she uses and the other apps she brings in the mix to process these beautiful landscapes!

I’d like to end my homage to the Hipsta with a few tips that you may or may not already know:

  1. Did you know that you can enlarge the tiny viewfinder to be full-screen if you double click on it (or pinch-expand)?
  2. You can select your focus by pressing and holding the screen in a certain area (iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S only).
  3. Save your favorite combos for quick access. Go to your “recent prints” in the Hipsta app. Choose the photo with the settings you want to save. Double click on the image and it will flip over–press the small camera with the star on it to save the setting.
  4. You can also shake to randomize the lens/film/flash. This is a great way to discover new combinations. If you are shaking your iPhone like mad and it’s not working, try going into your “settings” app on the iPhone, scroll down and go into the Hipstamatic section and turn on “shake to randomize”. And when you shake, make sure you have the camera back (where you can see the viewfinder) facing you or it won’t randomize.
  5. You can change the order of the lenses, films and flashes so the ones you use more often are at the beginning when you start to swipe through your list. You can even disable ones that you don’t use often. Go to the front of the camera, choose the film button and then the edit button at the top center of the screen. On the next screen you can change the order, disable, and remove items from the “shake to randomize” pool. Along the bottom of this screen you will see icons for the lenses and flashes which will also allow you to edit those options.
  6. There are lots more tips, sample images, suggested combinations and more in the Hipstamatic Field Guide.

If you have any of your own tips, favorite combinations or links to Hipstamatic shots please share them in the comments…I’d love to see them!

I hope you enjoyed our tour of Hipstamatic today! If you thought you were “over” the Hipsta app perhaps you’ve been reinvigorated or learned something new. If you’ve never tried it before…what are you waiting for? If you’re like me, you’ll never tire of its random, unpredictable beauty.

Happy Mobile Monday!

~Christy | Urban Muser