Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hipper than I used to be

A while ago, after I upgraded to the Iphone4, I actually paid for an app. I don't generally do that, but this one seemed worth it.
I bought the Hipstamatic photography app for something like $2. Then I bought a few add-ons for it for probably a total of $6. It's most likely the best $6 I've spent in years.
The point of the Hipstamatic app is to turn your phone into a famous $25 plastic piece-of-crap camera called a Holga. The Holga is the camera that proves it isn't the camera, but the photographer who makes interesting images.
I actually printed a photo I took with the Hipstamatic app and hung it on my wall. I almost never do this with my work. I currently have 4 prints hanging on my wall that are of my photos, including the Hipstamatic one. It's this one of a morning glory in my yard.

I am not really a morning person, so I rarely get to see these flowers. I think they are pretty and really liked the way that lines and wood grain made this photo work so well. The flower itself is over-saturated and that is just fine. This photo is a sort of golden mean in a square composition with sweet color. I love it, and when you love art you should have it.
Then there is this photo of some pumpkins:

What can I say? It's freaking pumpkins, but it's clean and simple and somehow elegant. Sure, it's no Weston, but it looks like film and feels like film and is beautiful. This photo could hang on any gallery wall -- and it came from a dam phone.

Mostly I use the app when I'm bored and want to play, which is what my photography should always be about anyway. It's just with job pressures to get something "runable," whatever the hell that means, I get lost in the stress sometimes. Fortunately I get to go to boring assignments from time to time, like school bond issue election parties, where nothing "runable" happens for a long time and I get to make real photos like this:

Trust me, this was one of my best photos from the event and some papers I've worked at would have run it lede, not the Daily Ambush.

The app works well for portrait photos too:

This is Sarah Jane Nightingale, a plucky Brit with the coolest name in history. She's pretty and smart and will hate me for posting this photo, but you have to admit it's awesome. The bus in the back left and smaller face in on the right add so much, but it feels and looks like a classic black and white medium-format photo. I could have made this with some TRI-X 320 and my Mamiya C33, but I didn't.

Weather you're walking your unbearably cute dachshund; or dackel; or waiting for your portrait subjects to show up and noticing the fall foliage

with this app I have the freedom to see and not give a crap about all of the garbage involved in making a "runable" image. 
Seeing is what it is all about and the process of eschewing constraints makes my other work better. 

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