Sunday, August 22, 2010


Yes the iPhone camera has limitations but then again, most phone cameras do. However, what's great about them is that you can take photos on the fly when inspiration strikes.

I haven't gotten into the habit of carrying my regular camera with me all the time and, even if I did, to take good shots, you need set up time, etc. With your phone, you can pop pics right out of your car window and sometimes end up with photos that are pretty darn close to art. Okay, so you photogs out there are ready to scream at this statement regarding photographic art - but you're not using your phone camera for artistic expression anyway, right?

And the truth is (mostly), the pictures you snap with your phone aren't going to end up on display at MoMA any time soon but, believe it or not, you can snap some shots with your phone that are worth framing.

Especially if you find the right camera app that achieves a look you're going for. My favorite is called Hipstamatic, an amazing camera app complete with strange lens, film and flash options that give your pics real personality and an edge toward art.

Your initial Hipstamatic download (cost - $1.99) comes standard with three lenses:
  • The John S lens, which bathes your photos in oozing shadow
  • The Jimmy lens, giving your pics an old-timey, yellowy sheen
  • The Kaimal Mark II, producing slightly sleazy shots pulsating with a washed-out red hue
You can use different film types like the "Ina's 1969," which rocks light flares and deepens shadows. Or the "Kodot" choice, giving your photos a slightly unfocused appearance. The "Blanko" film type is smudgey and dirty.

My favorite lens is the Kaimal Mark II because of what it does to light and shadow. It also has a tendency to accent cloud cover and can make a slightly cloudy day foreboding.

Here's a bunch of shots I took with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic camera app. Most were taken from my car window, whether I was going mobile or sitting in an empty parking lot.

After storm shot with John S lens

Truck shot using Kaimal Mark II
Highway (I-88) shot with Kaimal -- note beautiful cloud capture
Glass building shot with Kaimal lens

River shot through Kaimal
House in Long Beach, IN - Kaimal lens
Calm before storm in cemetary - Kaimal lens
Kaimal lens makes this grave shot look like something out of a Juan Lopez Moctezuma film
Kaimal lens totally accents shadows and light
Kaimal lens gives impression of sweltering heat
Here's another Kaimal shot that accents cloud coverage

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