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Hipstamatic Dying - Or Simply Experiencing Evolution ?

chrisD46

MobiStarlet
Real Name
Chris
*I notice the Hipstography web site now can go for weeks without new Hipstamatic images / combos being uploaded ... So this occurrence made me reflect on the title of this post : "Is Hipstamatic dying OR simply going through an evolutionary process" ? ... Please Note : This thread is not meant to be a "bash Hipstimatic" thread but rather a constructive thread to evaluate where we currently are with the Hipstamatic evolution - as I still like the app very much and only desire to see it keep growing and evolving as an artist's tool ... If Hipstamatic is going through an evolutionary phase - how then can it be made better ? ... I'll start by saying a lot of Hipstamatic users buy a pak then experiment with it awhile before growing tired / bored with a pak - then buying a new pak and then the process repeats itself until the user grows tired and thus searches out other apps . Yes , "gimmick" paks or poorly conceived paks could be another reason why previous users have moved on . Most likely , with so many paks - the Hipstamatic user is simply over whelmed and has moved on to other apps OR refrains from buying new paks and simply uses a few old favorites they like best and are familiar with . With the above said - I do believe I hit upon a technique (shared by Leslie) thus I refer to it as: "The Leslie Technique" that makes better sense of how to better use the Hipstamatic platform : That is , to use a couple of neutral , color app combos - then see how an image looks ? Next , consider if you want to stay in the color realm or convert to a B&W look ? From there I believe best to experiment one - by - one with first the film , followed by the lens and lastly the flash - all being separate entities in the Hipstamatic selection process before lastly deciding on slider settings , whether to keep a frame or remove it , etc. ? Lastly , I envision a sort of: "Hipstamatic Color / B&W Wheel" whereby I am trying to wrap my head around all of the various paks / combos I have based on some sort of semi - intelligent groupings ... Perhaps a key could be further development of the Hipstamatic architecture itself to better categorize paks / combos into a more useful user experience via AI or some other development practice ? ... Lastly , I realize I have just covered a couple of basic Hipstamatic areas (hope I did not bounce around too much) - what are your thoughts on how to make Hipstamatic evolve (beyond developing better paks) into a more continued , viable entity in the iPhone photography process ?
 

lkbside

MobiLurver
Real Name
Leslie
Device
iPhone 8 Plus
It is overwhelming. Sub folders for combos or elements would be helpful.

I’m a die hard user but I’m retired and have plenty of time to spend (waste) on it.

If I were more talented or creative I’d probably envision what I’m going for at the time I’m shooting, but I experiment with combos til I get a clearer vision or inspiration. Aka the “Leslie Technique”:)

Like all businesses they need a stream of revenue hence the monthly creation of progressively more boring or weirder paks. It would be very interesting to see how many users pop for the monthly purchase. Are they the same core group? Most regular participants in my FB Hipsta365 buy them all, but here in mobitog people seem more selective.

If you use Lightroom there's no end to making presets. And there are tons of sites that will be happy to sell them to you. And I think VSCO and other iOS apps have a subscription model, although clearly I don’t have time to get into other apps. ;)
 

chrisD46

MobiStarlet
Real Name
Chris
Thank you to chime in Leslie . The addition of sub folders for combos or elements would be a plus ! Yes , I believe Mobitog participants are a bit more selective in pak purchases than the norm ... I will only bite on a new pak if it is a solid color or B&W addition that there is nothing close to currently in the pak line up . Otherwise , I'll focus on improving usability and visualization of what I already have with Hipstamatic .
 

RoseCat

MobiStaff
Site Staff
MobiSupporter
Real Name
Catherine
Device
iPhone 7 Plus
Yes , "gimmick" paks or poorly conceived paks could be another reason why previous users have moved on . Most likely , with so many paks - the Hipstamatic user is simply over whelmed and has moved on to other apps OR refrains from buying new paks and simply uses a few old favorites they like best and are familiar with .
You’ve described exactly how my process went. :thumbs:

Perhaps a key could be further development of the Hipstamatic architecture itself to better categorize paks / combos into a more useful user experience via AI or some other development practice ?
YES!! I don’t even have all of the paks, yet there are so many in my camera bag and it’s so cumbersome to organize (and why can’t we put them in folders?) Until a better way to sort them comes along (If ever! I really feel like Hipstamatic mostly cares about churning out pak after pak :( ) I don’t see Hipsta bring my go-to, as Snapseed and VSCO are.
 

Geek1956

MobiAddict
Real Name
Kevin
Device
iPhone X
As to Hipstography I recall that Eric Rozen who started and runs the site did post recently that he would no longer be doing a Hipstography awards or doing regular posts as he was becoming more heavily involved in animal rights/vegan issues. As to Hipstamatic....hipstamatic our letting the Oggl site fall into "disrepair" and as a result of because off the numbers appear to be dropping off. Personally I enjoy the older Paks and I still feel that the black and white combos our hard to beat. Having said that I'm becoming more attracted to exploring other apps, especially retro
 

chrisD46

MobiStarlet
Real Name
Chris
As to Hipstography I recall that Eric Rozen who started and runs the site did post recently that he would no longer be doing a Hipstography awards or doing regular posts as he was becoming more heavily involved in animal rights/vegan issues. As to Hipstamatic....hipstamatic our letting the Oggl site fall into "disrepair" and as a result of because off the numbers appear to be dropping off. Personally I enjoy the older Paks and I still feel that the black and white combos our hard to beat. Having said that I'm becoming more attracted to exploring other apps, especially retro
*Now we know why Hipstography has lapsed ... Thanks for the update on Eric !
 

richardgrant

MobiStarlet
Real Name
Richard Grant
This makes me sad to contemplate. Hipstamatic was my first love when I got an iPhone and started using the camera. It wasn't quite brand-new, but there were only a few paks out, and there was genuine excitement when new films and lenses were released. The first new pak that I recall was the one with Melodie, which became my main lens for a while, supplanting John S.

Memories! But there were other things. Bugs took a long time to get fixed. Then a "model" update (like from 120 to 140) would happen, and new bugs would proliferate. The company was also noted for developing products and then neglecting them, or botching them; what was that photo-"developing" app where you added chemicals and the machinery cranked and bubbled, and the photos swam into view? And InstaBooth, Disposable, Cinematic, the peculiar magazine project (Snap! I think)...

Anyway it's always been a quirky, imaginative, never-quite-reliable venture. (Like, 30 seconds ago I attempted the utterly routine task of changing films, and the interface on my XR is whacked.) I've always felt like, This is what happens when you leave the garret unlocked and the artists escape and take over the business. For occupational purposes, I've been reading about the Trickster figure in mythology and, it turns out, all kinds of other places, and it's been eye-opening. Hipstamatic remains a beloved app, and thanks to the generosity of members here, sharing their own photos and experiments, I've kept a hand in and still get some enjoyment out of it. And spend some money.

BTW, whoever among you invented the combo Takashi + Bream + Apollo: job well done! That kept me going right through the winter a year or two ago.

I doubt the creators of the app will ultimately get their shit together, and I'm guessing Hipstamatic is in a phase of terminal decline — but with creative types, who can say?
 

RoseCat

MobiStaff
Site Staff
MobiSupporter
Real Name
Catherine
Device
iPhone 7 Plus
It wasn't quite brand-new, but there were only a few paks out, and there was genuine excitement when new films and lenses were released. The first new pak that I recall was the one with Melodie, which became my main lens for a while, supplanting John S.
Yes, I remember those days!! I too was a bit obsessed with Hipstamatic. Although now, looking back on many of my Hipsta images, I wish when shooting I had made one with Hipsta and one with the native camera. My *style* has changed and so many of my images garner an “Ugh!” now as I wish I could re-edit them differently.

The company was also noted for developing products and then neglecting them, or botching them; what was that photo-"developing" app where you added chemicals and the machinery cranked and bubbled, and the photos swam into view? And InstaBooth, Disposable, Cinematic, the peculiar magazine project (Snap! I think)...
Totally forgot about all these!! I used them all for about a minute then moved on...

This is what happens when you leave the garret unlocked and the artists escape and take over the business.
:lol: Good analogy. I do love “artist types” so that gives me a different outlook on Hipstamatic now. :thumbs:
 

chrisD46

MobiStarlet
Real Name
Chris
Yes, I remember those days!! I too was a bit obsessed with Hipstamatic. Although now, looking back on many of my Hipsta images, I wish when shooting I had made one with Hipsta and one with the native camera. My *style* has changed and so many of my images garner an “Ugh!” now as I wish I could re-edit them differently.


Totally forgot about all these!! I used them all for about a minute then moved on...


:lol: Good analogy. I do love “artist types” so that gives me a different outlook on Hipstamatic now. :thumbs:
*Rosecat : Key point - your style has changed - has Hipstamatic kept up with your evolution as an iPhone photographer ?
 

FundyBrian

MobiStaff
Site Staff
MobiSupporter
Real Name
Brian Townsend
Device
iPhone 8 Plus
My 365
My MobiTog 365
I’m very on and off about Hipstamatic. I can’t even say it is a love/hate relationship, because I never got to the love part. Rarely does it give me what I want. I have bought a great number of paks and have often bought the monthly offering in the hopes that maybe THIS time I would find something I like. With so many packs it is completely impossible to remember what they do. The names don’t help at all. It becomes completely random.

I often like the results that other people get with Hipstamatic. With my own I find I always prefer the straight shot over the Hipstamatic version. I think I like the results that other people get because I never saw the original. Probably if I saw their original photo, too, I would prefer it over the Hipstamatic version. Very often in editing if I’m getting closer to what I want I look and notice I have the set the lens to None and film to None.

The problem is I expect more than what Hipstamatic can give wrt image quality. Too many combos start out by blowing out the highlights - that I consider an unforgivable sin. I always save the original RAW version of each photo and it is always better than the Hipstamatic version. As a photography app it lacks the controls I have come to expect in a camera app. As an image editor it has a very clunky layout. Several of the controls do not perform as expected. For instance the highlight and shadow controls each affect the entire image range, not just the highlights or shadows.

There is a fundamental truth involved. With a digital camera app on a cell phone it is exceedingly difficult to improve the image quality. To produce a better image than the native camera app you have to use RAW files and be very precise in what you do, and be prepared to spend more time with every image in RAW development. You get into heroic measures with obscure DNG techniques. On the other hand it is very easy to degrade an image. There are countless ways to reduce image quality That explains why we have such a proliferation of image degrading effect apps. Now if they could just convince us to like degraded images they would have more things to sell with little effort. I’m not liking it.

It would make a HUGE difference to me if they got the live preview working. Mostly, if I could see what the combo was going to do, and didn’t like it, I would try something else. Instead I have a raft of failed attempts in my camera roll to sort out later. Having a working live preview makes such a difference in effects apps. It allows you to work with the effect to get the best result instead of guessing and hoping.

I had Hipstamatic Classic way back and very soon deleted it when I found it would only make square pictures. I don’t want to be confined to an image shape by the camera. The image dictates the format. Once the newer full frame version of Hipstamatic came out I used that and never went back to the square. You might say, well you can crop the square image any way you like. But remember that the square image is already cropped square from the full frame sensor image. You start out by throwing away 25% of the image area.

The key to getting good results from Hipstamatic is in making simple solid images that capture a decisive moment and don’t rely on any type of image quality to make them work. A good solid image can survive the worst Hipstamatic has to offer and still live. It is my impression that no matter what Hipstamatic combo is used people look through it or past it at the image beneath. When the underlying image is solid enough they will ignore any amount of defects as if they aren’t there and appreciate the captured moment.

I am annoyed that Hipstamatic portrays our historic photograph past as being nothing but image defects. It concerns me that people new to photography and seeing what Hipstamatic does, claiming to be a representation of certain old lenses and films, will get the impression that photography in the old days was a hopeless disaster overcome only by the advent of digital photography. You realize that one way to eradicate appreciation of the past is to rewrite history in such a way as to make it appear a hopeless disaster with no redeeming value. That is Hipstamatic to me. I don’t want to say I’m ancient but I photographed with film for over 30 years and often experimented with antique cameras. I never once found a camera that didn’t produce good results. I used to do camera repair work 20 years ago and had the opportunity to encounter a great many different old cameras. I never found a single one with light leaks, or foggy edges, or any of the other defects that Hipstamatic represents as being typical of film photography. I have printed images from antique glass plate negative that were surprisingly detailed and sharp.
I challenge anyone, everyone, to show me a real example of antique photography that is as hopeless as Hipstamatic. I’m not talking about photographs that have been recovered from a flood, left out in the sun for 20 years, or driven over by rush hour traffic, or developed by careless students.

Organizing or quantifying Hipstamatic combos would be a very difficult task. Even just describing and naming the types of effects would be tedious. If you could name a type of effect and quantify it then you could place similar combos in a progression from weak to strong. When you want a certain type of effect you go to that section and pick the degree of intensity you want. But then there are many combos that exhibit multiple effects combined so a complicated series of cross-references would be needed. Even trying to describe 10 combos gets too complicated, let alone trying to remember which is which by the meaningless names.

Now, imagine if Hipstamatic chose instead to emulate the many wonderful and successful film and lens combos known throughout photographic history. The beautifully fine-grained and detailed films and fabulous lenses. Lovely tonality, rich detailed shadows, excellent highlight detail. You can see the problem here. Hipstamatic is not up to the task.
 

FundyBrian

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Brian Townsend
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iPhone 8 Plus
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I keep wanting to love Hipstamatic but I think I’m doomed to failure.
I can relate to this sentiment.

Actually, I did learn something interesting from Hipstamatic. Pictures that rely on fine details for their interest are turned to mud by Hipstamatic.

But there is another type of picture that has a simpler form that Hipstamatic can’t ruin. You can wreck the colour, add light leaks and textures, burn out the highlights, make it very hazy, but the essential nature of the image remains unchanged. People are actually looking past the damages inflicted by Hipstamatic to the image beneath.
I would like to make more images like that.
 
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FundyBrian

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Brian Townsend
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iPhone 8 Plus
My 365
My MobiTog 365
But then no one is forced to use Hipstamatic and it has a LOT of fans.
You’re right. I haven’t used it in quite a while. I’m mystified by reports that lots of people like it and I wonder if that information is true or hype. A lot of fans could be 15. How many people still like it compared to how many used to like it?

Hipstamatic has had its day. It hasn’t been able to come up with anything new in a long time. It just keeps repeating the same old stuff in new guises. Tiny variations on old themes. Meanwhile the underlying structure of the app remains the same. For instance, it still has not been able to get the image preview working again. The fad has passed.
 

FundyBrian

MobiStaff
Site Staff
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Real Name
Brian Townsend
Device
iPhone 8 Plus
My 365
My MobiTog 365
Checking the storage space list on my phone revealed Hipstamatic and it’s add-one we’re using 353.6MB. Time to bite the bullet. Put your money where your mouth is, as they say. Who is that “they”, anyhow?
Gone, Hipstamatic deleted.

I’m sure if something earth shattering takes place with Hipstamatic I will eventually hear about it and decide if I want to give it another shot.

Edit: Of course, I’ve deleted it before...
 
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Ryn S

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Ryn S
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iPhone 7 Plus
My 365
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I’ll keep it until it becomes subscription, then it’s gone. I rarely use it. The thing I use when I do pull it up is the combo that makes the sky really dark in B&W.
 

Starzee

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Star Greathouse
Device
iPhone Xs Max
My 365
My MobiTog 365
I keep wanting to love Hipstamatic but I think I’m doomed to failure.
I have had a tough time using it. However, since I learned about the the Hipstography web site, with different combo shown, I have been using it to morph photos to use in composites and collages. There’s a couple that I particularly like.
 

Celine Lumiere

MobiFan
Real Name
Celine Lumiere
Device
iPhone 6
I have had a tough time using it. However, since I learned about the the Hipstography web site, with different combo shown, I have been using it to morph photos to use in composites and collages. There’s a couple that I particularly like.
I can not imagine my photographic life without Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic was THE reason for the purchase of the iPhone. I'm totally against software subscription, but Hipstamatic would be my only exception.
 
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