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Pixels Death Squads Now Prowling The Streets for Hipstamatic Dali Goodpak Mirror Shot Revolutionaries

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Hipstamatic, the app suite everybody loves except me and a couple of other people who wisely prefer to remain anonymous, released a new filter pack today, apparently. Included in it is the Dali Goodpak for Hipstamatic. I’ve already received two submissions using the app. I passed on both.

(Please: no offense to the people who sent the pictures in. I know your other work, which I post often. I have been planning a new Hipsta screed for a while.)

57 Channels and Nothing On by Reservoir Sally

First off, I hardly EVER post mirror image pictures here on the site. Most of the time, I write to the artist and ask him/her for the original, un-mirrored picture, which tells the actual story.

What does a mirrored image tell us? That it is a mirrored image. And that’s it. There is never anything else in the picture. I’ve seen hundreds. I know of one, and only one, artist who can create mirror images and get away with it, but he does so much more one barely notices.

Double Bacon Please by Reservoir Sally

They’ve programmed Hipstamatic Dali Goodpak to do some left-right variation in color/contrast, but, like every other Hipstamatic imprint, it is entirely predictable and stale coming out of the box. The fact that the Hipstamatic people made a plug-in that automatically makes a mirror image implies to me a kind of aesthetic bankruptcy. But I am certain they will make bank with it.

“Knox,” you say, “why do you have such a problem with Hipstamatic? Everybody loves it and the pictures are cool!”

In short, Hipstamatic does not allow people to app pictures in the same way that, say, EffectTouch, or PhotoFX, or FilterStorm, or even Lo-Mob, do. Hipstamatic generates such an over-powering imprint on most (note I say most) images that the artist’s personality is all but lost: all that is left is “this is Hipstamatic speaking.” Not the artist who took the picture.

I have written to many artists in whom I detected a good eye for composition, but whom were lost in the Hipsta matrix, to ditch the app and explore other apps. Almost without exception, I have received thank you notes, and have subsequently witnessed amazing growth with said artists. Hipstamatic seems to me to be sort of iphonographic karaoke, kind of a hipster affectation, not a true tool for individual expression, but rather an app used for tribal identification.

In general, Hipstamatic is a limited set of tools lazy people use to create the iphonographic equivalent of trip-hop for retards.

Note my admonition in the right column of this site: “Aim well, shoot fast, and app that bitch until it sings.

Hipstamatic doesn’t sing: hipstamatic dribbles.

If you must use Hipstamatic, please remove the frame and re-app the bitch until it at least squeals!

For more rants about Hipstamatic and such, click here.

And another: No I will not post your Hipstamatic shot of a putrefying cat carcass.

But here it is, the picture that finally drove me over the edge some months ago regarding Hipsta:

Such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Will we still publish Hipstamatic shots here on Pixels? Of course! When the apping matches the image appropriately without overpowering it as the app usually does.

Next week, or the week after, maybe I will make more friends by sharing my thoughts on posting one’s really good pictures alongside really crappy ones from other people on multiple sites.

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13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Breaking: Hipstamatic “Back Story” May Be Fabricated … nooooooooooooooooo say it isn’t sooooooooooo!!!! | Pixels—The Art of the iPhone

  2. Just like with every artistic tool; one has to know how to use it. The Dali pack has its place as does the Hipstamatic in general. It is not to be used all the time, but once in awhile, it is the right tool for the job. I also dislike having borders on picture (and then cropping them out can sometimes ruin the composition of the shot) and not having an unprocessed image, but there are many things about the Hipstamatic that are exceptional.

  3. Hipstamatic made its way into Apple's "Hall of Fame"… :-)

  4. I totally agree. It nice to push a button and see this great picture come out without putting any real work or effort into the shot. But, it's a lot more personally rewarding to go out, find that next great shot, then put your own person touch in the art.

    I've gotta admit that I'm a sucker for Hipstamatic, but I'm slowly trying to break myself free from it.

    Here's to cold tukey!

  5. I think the argument is that we sacrifice creativity, when we rely on cookie-cutter, template driven, and canned approaches to the expression of our artistic imagination. While that can happen with any app, it certainly becomes way too easy with some in particular that make it easy to short-cut the artistic and substitute somebody else's dispositions. As Knox notes, one sad result is the underdevelopment of artistic voice.

    Then again, it is not necessarily Hipstamatic, or any other cookie-cutter app, itself, but that last point above, or the lack of the artistic imagination that bothers me — at least given my own assumptions and biases about art — and that can happen under quite varied circumstances.

    But Knox, a post further developing what you see as the relationship of "apping" to artistic sensibility would be good. Technology has always occasioned changes in artistic sensibilities, etc., but the confluence of mobile interfaces, apps, etc. are drivers of some interesting "technographic" changes now, as we see in iPhoneography. I think there is far more texture to your statement about "apping" and its connection to the artistic, but I'd love to see you expand on it.

    Thanks again Knox!

  6. Hipstamatic is definately a "taster" app .

    It wets your appetite for the great things you can do with the i-phone and leads the way to try the other apps. I agree in a way that the app itself shouldnt be relied on too heavily as it can stifle originality, but I think if you you have any artistic flair and vision you should be able to create something remarkable .Its about experimenting and exploring the potentials of the apps . Any one can pic up an iphone and take a picture but not everyone can take it beyond that and create something special .Hipstamatic can highlight the difference in the divide if that makes sense .

  7. Hipstamatic is a good app for getting people into iphoneography.

    I know it worked for me.

    It's great for showing people what can be achieved with an iphone/camera.

    I think of it as creative trainer wheels.

    • That is a very good point, Benjamin. Marty Yawnick has reminded me of this idea any number of times. He calls it a gateway app. I must concur. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. I am sure you can produce good pics even with Hipstamatic. The problem is that people take there Hipsta shots as they are and don't use additional apps to manipulate the material and create something really unique.

  9. In life we are always taught to follow. Rarely do followers make anything of importance. It is the people who are different that stand out. The same goes for art.

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