One of the best things about using the iPhone as a photographic capture device is the wide range of photo apps that are available. From camera replacement to photo editing and manipulation apps, the iphone photographer is spoilt for choice. Being a recent convert to the iphone this is one of the main areas that has injected a new sense of excitement into my mobile photography work.
But with such a wide range of apps to choose from, knowing where to start can be a difficult. One of the first photo apps I decided to download was Hipstamatic as many of those I follow use this app with amazing results.
Hipstamatic is a camera replacement that enables the iphone photographer to select from a wide range of films and lens options to give the photographs they take a different look and feel. From black and white to vintage, from vibrant colours to muted and decaying borders. The sheer number of different combinations can be overwhelming and knowing where to start can be daunting.
This is why I decided to seek advice from the iphone photography community in order to pin point the most popular lens and film combinations to use in order to quickly to get the results I was after with Hipstamatic.
Blackeys Supergrain with John S or Jane Lens
As a result of my search I quickly identified the Blackeys Supergrain with either John S or Jane lens as a combination that seemed to effortlessly produce the look and feel that I look for in a photograph.
I like the contrast and subtle quality of the black and white result it gives. There is a softness about the lens/film combo and the vignette effect is something that seems to be becoming a common theme in the photography I produce. For me this instantly became a favourite. I am sure there will be many more to come as I explore other alternatives in different situations and conditions.
In the first of a series I spoke to several talented iphone photographers to find out a bit more about their work and favourite Hipstmatic film/lens combinations.
Paul Cutright: Matty ALN with BlacKeys B&W and Tejas with Kodot Grizzled
Paul Cutright is a fine art photographer and visual artist living in Asheville, NC. After many years of working with traditional and alternative film methods, Paul took up digital work about 10 years ago. He now exclusively works with digital media and has been strongly seduced by the rapidly emerging movement of mobile photography in general and iPhoneography in particular. His work has been published in books and magazines and exhibited in galleries.
My work is meant to present the familiar in a slightly (or not so slightly) unfamiliar way. An intention of my work is to challenge the viewer’s assumptions about what is real, beautiful and valuable.
I want to touch that place in the viewer that knows, in their heart of hearts, that the world is not quite exactly as it seems. My desire is to produce images that evoke feelings of mystery, wonder and surprised recognition that open the possibility, if even for a moment, that our existence is subject, much more than we realize, to the power of our Spirit and inspired imagination.
I believe that beauty, whatever that might be for you, is as essential for nurturing the human spirit as healthy food is to the physical body.
I have been using Tejas and Kodot Grizzled the longest and just recently started using Matty ALN and BlacKeys B+W. With Tejas and Kodot Grizzled I especially like the quality of the color and the way light is rendered. Images tend to be both saturated and soft, almost ethereal at times.
With Matty ALN and BlacKeys B+W I like the quality of the monochrome, film-like feel to the images. And often the images render very subtle reds, blues and greens in subjects with those colors, lending an almost hand-colored appearance.
Federico Sardi: John S + US1776 and Foxy + Claunch 72 Monochrome
Federico Sardi lives in Montevideo, Uruguay. I’m bassoonist of the Montevideo Philharmonic and OSSODRE orchestras. His passion with mobile photography began almost accidentally a few years ago when he got his first iPhone. As an orchestra musician he travelled a lot to study and perform.
As I always travel with my instrument, accessories, music stand and a long etc. the only camera I can afford to carry with me is my iPhone. I started documenting all my travels with that little device and found that as a camera not only was it not to bad but it could get to many places where a “real camera” could not. That’s where my passion for candid portraiture and street photography began.
After coming back to Uruguay from one particular trip, I started looking at my country with “tourist eyes”. I started discovering new details every day, just like I was visiting a new country. From that moment on I have been photographing Montevideo daily… getting to know its architecture, its people and its little secrets from a completely different perspective. Through candid’s I’m capturing slices of life, I’m documenting life in Uruguay from an artistic point of view.
Thanks to my camera-phone, I discovered a new passion I couldn’t live without; photography.
I can’t remember exactly when I started using Hipstamatic, but as I got into iPhoneography I got involved in the app world, always looking for the very best app for every situation. I absolutely loved Hipstamatic ever since I downloaded it. At first didn’t use it much, because I wanted more control over my photography, but since I got more into street photography, I found that some Hipsta-combos gave an absolutely incredible look to my images. Also I fell in love with its interface and the concept behind it. Now that Oggl is up on the App Store (and it feels like a beta version) the only thing I’d love to add to Hipstamatic is the ability to import images from the camera roll to apply the Hipsta-effects (yes, I know it goes against the whole concept behind Hipstamatic).
One of my favourite Hipsta-combos is the John S lens and US1776 film. Together they provide a grainy, dirty combination which is perfect for street photography. I find the vignette effect of the John S lens blends perfectly with the vintage look of the US 1776 film. I have used this combo extensively while shooting city life, taking candid portraits and documenting cityscapes. The results have always been very rewarding..
I took this image on the old part of Montevideo. I saw this beautiful old door, and the chaos surrounding it and thought it would be a perfect image for the combo I was shooting with at that time (John S + US1776). I waited for a few minutes until the perfect character crossed the frame. This guy’s body language and his oversized suit made it a perfect fit for the image by enhancing its message.
This is another case where the combo adds to the overall look of the image. The grain, the vignette, the shadows and highlights enhance the cold, impersonal feeling of the image and the buildings… two awful, insipid blocks of cement. It keeps me wondering how life will be for those who live there.
Another combo I love is Foxy + Claunch 72 Monochrome. Rarely seen on Instagram and other photo sharing platforms this combo is an all-rounder. I’ve documented a month trip to Chile entirely with it, and used it for candid portraits and landscapes with equal rate of success. This combo is great for bright situations as it tends to be on the dark side. If you are getting dark, muddy images you may want to use Melodie lens instead. Foxy and Melodie and two of the “neutral” Hipstamatic lenses, so they can be replaced with almost no visible changes to the mood and overall look of the image.
I took this photograph of the house where Gabriela Mistral’s was born on a little town on the chilean mountains, called Vicuña. I absolutely loved how the tones of the Claunch 72 Monochrome make the adobe walls stand out.
This photograph was taken by a beautiful lake (Llanquihue lake) on Frutillar, Chile. I used this combo because I wanted a monochrome image with the strong silhouettes (given by the Foxy lens) of that “balcony” without getting a cold image. The sepia tones of the Claunch 72 Monochrome were just perfect for that. It’s such a shame that it was a cloudy day, so the beautiful Osorno volcano on the center of the image got completely covered by the clouds.
What’s your favourite combo?
If you are an avid Hipstamatic user let us know you favourite film and lens combination in the comments below or if you have a story to tel and an outstanding selection of Hipstamatic iphone photography to showcase then why not get in touch.