I would not be a working photographer were it not for two quirky little apps, Hipstamatic and its sister app, Oggl*. I owe these apps big time. They put me in the zone, empowered me to playfully express the human contradiction, and not to put too fine a point on it, are responsible for the rebirth of my self-belief.
What’s Hipstamatic? Cue Wikipedia:
“Hipstamatic is a digital photography application for the iPhone and Windows Phone. It uses the phone’s camera to shoot square photographs, to which it applies a number of software filters to make the images look as though they were taken with a vintage film camera. The user can choose among a number of effects, which are presented in the application as simulated lenses, films and flashes.”
Hipstamatic is polished and gritty. It’s clear and murky plus retro and forward-looking. Not to mention that it’s also square and oh-so-hip. It takes an ordinary photograph and injects a touch of the extraordinary.
What’s so great about artificially enhancing a photo that’s run-of-the-mill? The answer lies in Hipstamatic’s ability to use that alchemy to make you a better photographer over time. The app has a direct line to the passion center of the brain. And that means you can’t help but want to do it again and again. Next thing you know, you’ve done your 10,000 hours and you’re a pro.
Hipstamatic and Oggl’s addictive characteristics have inspired the founding of hundreds of Facebook groups populated by kindred spirits who thrive on upping each other’s creative game. These forums are a perfect way to hone your craft in public. The contests, workshops, tutorials and challenges are fun, instructive and great for your ego. Type the words Hipstamatic or Oggl into the Facebook search box and you’ll find a group to satisfy your every possible interest.
The lenses, films and flashes in Hipstamatic and Oggl have vastly different personalities and provide an infinite variety of possibilities. So lets see what I’m waxing lyrical about and look at some of my favorites hipsta-images.
Shoot the Moon (Santa Monica, California March 2011)
Hipstamatic (Lens: Watts, Film: Ina 69)
The first one that let me believe.
Road Kill (Hillcrest, San Diego, May 2012)
Hipstamatic (Lens: Tejas, Film: DC)
Hipstamatic loves humor. Who doesn’t?
Darwin Awards (Mammoth Lakes, California, July 2013)
Oggl (Lens: Sergio, Film: Rasputin)
Crazy jumpers hurling themselves off a rock into the water 70 feet below.
G. Love is a Giver (Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, San Francisco, October 2013)
Oggl (Lens: Muir, Film: Big Up)
I was in the photo pit shooting G. Love and Special sauce, when G. Love lit a fat doobie. He called me over and asked me to pass it to the crowd on the other side of the barrier. Whether I indulged before the handoff is anybody’s guess.
Pier Pressure (Santa Monica, California, October 2013)
Oggl (Lens: Hannah, Film: BlacKeys XF)
Shot on my first Instagram walk. What, you’ve never been on one?!
Yin Yang (Cape Town, South Africa, March 2014)
Oggl (Lens: Lowy, Film: Irom 2000)
Travel with Hipstamatic and Oggl and you’ll always look back.
Tux Redux (Los Angeles, August 2014)
Oggl (Lens: Hannah, Film: Hackney)
One day, I uncharacteristically drove my car to work instead of my bike. While stopped at a light under the freeway, I looked out the window and saw this. I grabbed my iPhone and composed the shot in the nick of time.
Chucks Up (Los Angeles, March 2015)
Oggl (Lens: Hornbecker, Film: Robusta)
I’ve been trying to get the right capture of these yellow lines for ages. Recently my daughter helped me nail it with a perfect little jump.
There Goes the Bride (Los Angeles, April 2015)
Oggl (Lens: Sergio, Film: Otto)
I was at Disney Hall and realized that I needed a human element to create something photographically interesting. Just as I was kvetching that I hadn’t brought a suitable model with me, this gorgeous apparition came into view. Bam!
Thanks for reliving my Hipsta-history with me. If you’re just starting your iPhoneography journey or are looking for new inspiration, give Hipstamatic or Oggl a shot. These incredible apps took my creativity to the cleaners, threw mud on it and launched me bike-first into the world with a new sense of vision. It could happen to you.
Snap (Hipstmatic/Oggl magazine)
Photoweek from Hipstamatic
Hipstamatic Street Photography
Oggl and Hipstamatic Fans
*Hipstamatic and Oggl both utilize the same system of lenses and films. Hipstamatic makes you choose your lens/film combo before you shoot while Oggl allows you to choose the combo after the fact. Oggl also includes a social media component.
Dubbed “LA’s iPhoneography Wizard” by Forbes Magazine, Alon Goldsmith is an award-winning photographer who has been featured extensively across media and exhibited in galleries around the globe. His recent achievements include Honorable Mentions in the Mobile Photography Awards, a category win in the Hipstography Awards, publication in the Los Angeles Times and Reader’s Digest, features in Snap Magazine, a one-man show in Brentwood and San Diego, and a group show at HaleARTS in Santa Monica. His work is currently on display as part of Click. Boom. Amazing!, an exhibition put on by Hipstography at the Sofitel Brussels.