Day 269 / This Photo Is An Insult

Today, this tuesday, I was back at the office.  It was nice to be back in a place that I am so used to. It was a very relaxing morning.


I recently downloaded this super-popular app for the iphone called Hipstamatic.  It’s a truly amazing app in that it gives you the ability to take pictures with your iphone that get processed into cool looking vintage-style prints.  It’s based on a real camera by the same name and you can learn more about it here.  The app also offers you the chance to buy different virtual lenses and flashes which process the resultant images in different ways.


I started seeing photo’s from this app showing up on my friends facebook pages.  I actually commented on one of them saying “This is an amazing photo, what kind of camera did you use?”  He replied, “You don’t want to know.”


I took some snapshots of my co-workers at the office and we were all kind of “oooh-ing” and “ahhh-ing” at the pictures but it also brought up the concern that this all seemed a little too easy.  Getting these really cool pictures without a lick of knowledge is a little upsetting to me.  The pictures are so good that I think it would be hard to tell the difference from the real thing, at least when viewing it on the internet.  I think this app might come off a little insulting to a person who truly loves the original Hipstamatic camera.


Since I was feeling this way I decided I wouldn’t post Hipstamatic pictures as my creative thing.  Instead, I decided to research what exactly is going on inside the app to create these cool results then I’d perform the function myself.  That way I could perhaps put my own personal touch on it.  I found this quick video tutorial which showed how to, basically, do it in Photoshop Elements.


At it’s core, what the Hipstamatic app is doing to your pictures is adjusting the levels on each separate color channel (Red, Green and Blue) to a certain place. Then, it adds vignetting and a bit blur here and there, finally it slaps on a photo border and boom, instant vintage print.


I used what I learned from the tutorial as a basis for experimentation.  I played around as much as I could.  I went more blue with some pictures and more red with others.  It was actually a very good experience as I felt I was learning a lot.  I might use this process on photo’s in future posts.


For the photo borders, I also made those from scratch using the brush tool and following this tutorial here.


In the end, I’m still not sure which pictures came out cooler, mine or the Hipstamatic’s but I feel much better about my pictures since they were created every step of the way by myself.