This week Multimedia Monday takes a look at the SmartPhone photo app, Hipstamatic.

The square format of the camera in Hipstamatic is the first noticeable clue that things are going to be different in this app. In terms of “film” cameras—you know, the Old Days—we would be looking at looking at a 6mmx6mm negative. This format ruled the roost for Hasselblad, Rolliflex and Yashica-flex cameras. It was perfect for record album covers (those big square illustrated cardboard sleeves) and could easily be cropped to a horizontal or vertical image for print/advertising use.

There is something about the square format that draws me in. By its very nature it is a bit circular, yet it posses a certain angularity with its corners and straight geometric sides. It provides an equilateral canvas for us to display our vision.

I am new to Hipstamatic and have slowly melded into the fold of using it on a consistent basis. It provides numerous film/lens/flash combinations for the user to get varying results before taking the photo. That’s right, the effects are applied prior to clicking the shutter and further editing is not necessary—although it is possible to do post-processing with other apps, but why?

Below are some recent photos that I have taken to illustrate the many effects that can be achieved by selecting different combinations of lens, film and flash.

You may be asking yourself, “Why would I want my super-duper digital smartphone photos to look washed-out/grainy/blurred?” Why not? If you wish to evoke a mood, or a distant memory, do you want to do that with a tack-sharp photo or something that has an air of mystery? I am not recommending using Hipstamatic for every photo that you take. What I do suggest is that you try it to help yourself “think outside the box.”

As with most apps these days, Hipstamatic offers many in-app purchase options for lens/film combinations. A way around that is a 3-month, or 12-month membership in oggl (see link below). That gives you access to all of the Hipstamatic gear, which updates on the beginning of each month.

I promise to post more about this app in the future as I gain experience with it. It has only been a month since I really focused my attention on it and I must say that I am hooked by it.

What is the current state of your mobile photography? Do you have a favorite app or current Flavor-of-the-Month?

Related Links

  • Hipstamatic Blog — the Developer’s website.
  • Hipstography — an Enthusiast’s website where you can find photos and tips on using Hipstamatic.
  • oggl — The app for the next step in editing and sharing photos from Hipstamatic
  • theiPhonearts — views and reviews of apps and exhibitions
  • HipstUpdate — Watch this video for a peek at what’s ahead.


  14 comments for “Hip2B²

  1. July 21, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    One foto teacher insisted we do all our editing before we take shoot. Hipstamatic satisfies that challenge. I do like the rich jewel like quality it often has. Thanks for the essay. I’ll pass it on. How do you keep track of of the different filters and choose?


    • July 21, 2015 at 5:57 PM

      I checkout the examples on the Hipstography website that is at the end of the blog and I experiment on my own by picking a lens and trying various films with it.

      Today I took NW Frame of Mind’s suggestion and used the “Shake” method of random selection. I came up with a Matty ALN lens and Sussex film with a Triple Crown Flash. I like the combo and would probably not have found it on my own. Ω


      • July 21, 2015 at 6:01 PM

        Shaking how much is that ? ! Thanks for the insightful reply. How about printing them. I need to make photo book and I want to use some of mine. I’ll experiment.


      • July 21, 2015 at 6:37 PM

        Shaking is free, but the components have to be enabled to do it. Follow this link: http://hipstography.com/en/manual/user-tips-5-shake-to-randomize.html

        A photo book of combinations sounds interesting. It would have to be more of a list because each month a new combination or group goes into the app.

        Here is a tip on how to put some order into your gear in the app: http://hipstography.com/en/manual/user-tips-6.html

        Good luck, Ω


      • July 22, 2015 at 12:02 PM

        Great help Allan! I just put a link to this post for my One Word Challenge post. I don’t know if you you allow pingbacks but you may get one.
        PS Let me know when you want to come over to the East Bay for another POV


  2. July 20, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    Great images, Allan. Hipstamatic is one of my favorite apps and for the past few months I’ve taken one shot every day using the “shake to randomize” feature. I set up the photo and Hipstamatic surprises me with a lens/filter combination. It’s a fun way to explore new things. :).


    • July 21, 2015 at 6:23 AM

      Thanks for the tip. I saw that option when I selected “edit camera bag” to organize the lists of my lenses and films. i will give it a try and post any good results. Ω

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July 20, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Very creative and impressive results!


  4. Sue
    July 20, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    Gives some interesting results!


    • July 20, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      It does and it is my understanding that you can change lens/film combinations after-the-fact with the oggl app. Ω

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue
        July 20, 2015 at 1:51 PM



  5. July 20, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    You’re winning me over to this app, Allan, (and I love your title.) I went to the App Store, but the app’s $1.99, which isn’t at all expensive, but not free. Just wanted to add that.



    • July 20, 2015 at 1:39 PM

      I must have caught a promotional offer. Thanks, I will update the post. Ω


Questions? Comments? Let's talk...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: