So there I am, standing in front of the Statue of Liberty, Canon 5D mkII poised with the lady firmly in my sight. Click ... and nothing. Looking at the LCD display - "Err 30, Shooting is not possible". It recommends I power down and power up again. Same thing again. This is not looking good. Thanks to modern technology in the form of the iPhone I was able to Google the error, but horror of horrors this looked pretty terminal. It looks like it will have to wait for my return to the UK to get this fixed. Having only just had a lens repaired (due to mechanical issues) after a trip to Iceland, I was beginning to think that volcanic dust was to blame (but that's a different story).

Hipstamatic AppOk, so I was here on holiday with my family and it was not my intention to spend the whole time shooting, but this is New York, I needed my fix. By chance a read an article in the New York Times discussing how, with all this modern technology, we hanker after the past - music converters that add the scratches and hisses to clean digital MP3 files. Or iPhone apps that give the appearance of old toy camera ... now that had me thinking. I love the Holga (a cheap plastic camera) and even returned to Cuba to shoot with it. I quickly downloaded an app called Hipstamatic and fell instantly in love. Who needs double digit megapixels - 3 is more than enough.

Unlike a number of other iPhone apps that post process the images, with the Hipstamatic, you select the lens, film and flash (ok, so the 3GS does not have a flash, it is more of an effect). There are a number of films and lenses you can purchase for different effects. The the whole package coming in at less than $10 - bargain (perhaps a even better bargain than my $5 NYC baseball cap).

Hipstamatic viewfinderOnce you select the film/lens combination, it is then a simple matter of using the small view finder to compose (by default the coverage is probably around 60%, but you can change this to around 95%), press the shutter and wait 30 seconds for the results ... and then be amazed.

During my holiday in both New York and Florida, I came away with over 400 images, many of subjects I would not normally take. I even entered one image in the Amateur Photographer APOTY competition and was placed 29th. It was the first ever iPhone picture to be shortlisted.

New York Taxis

My most recent outing was to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. This is a great event, with literally hundreds of old steam tractors and vintage cars. My Canon 5D mk II was still in for repair, but I took my old 5D with me. It spent most of the time in the backpack. The majority of my images were taken with the iPhone.

Word of warning though, this app eats batteries, so a battery pack or two is essential for a long shoot. My guess is that you should get 100-150 images from a single iPhone charge.

My favourite films are Blanko and BlacKeys B+W with the John S lens. I must be honest, I have not checked all of the different combinations. With 6 different lenses and 8 different films (excluding the flash accessories) there are too many combinations. One day I may try them all, but in the meantime check out Dr.K-Miller's Notepad.

There is the usual Flickr group devoted to the Hipstamatic. I have placed a number of images below. Click on the image to go to the gallery.

If you have an iPhone download Hipstamatic NOW! If you don't own an iPhone, then buy one. I am even thinking of getting an iPhone 4 for the increase in resolution and use it solely as a Hipstamatic camera.


Hipstamatic - New York Hipstamatic - Orlando Hipstamatic - Fort Smith Hipstamatic Clevedon
new york orlando, florida fort smith, arkansas clevedon, england
Hipstamatic - Bath Hipstamatic - Great Dorset Steam Fair Hipstamatic - Vehicles Bristol
bath, england great dorset steam fair vehicles bristol, england
miscellaneous North East England Scotland  
miscellaneous north east england scotland