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Hipstamatic: Best. Camera. App.

These photos were taken this past weekend while I was doing stand-up at the Punch Line in San Francisco (btw, thanks to everyone who came out–the shows were friggin fun!). They are all the product of Hipstamatic, a super kick-ass vintage camera app for the iPhone. Nerds have been swooning over this for the last couple of months, and now I see why. It allows you to swap lenses, flashes and films to create Mad Men era-looking images. It’s $1.99, and with in-app purchasing of extra lenses and whatnot, you’ll spend about $8 total, which is still aces in my book.

LET ME BE CLEAR: I don’t claim to be a photographer. I’m just a dude who travels a lot and takes craploads of pictures. This app made that more fun. Things like flash burn, saturation and worn edging were all products of different lens, flash & film configurations. In some cases I took the same pic with different settings just to test the range of image processing. Also, I did my best to keep anything too contemporary out of the shots to make them look authentically old.

And no, they are not paying me to say these things. I don’t even know who “they” are. I’m glad we resolved this. Wanna grab a pizza?

SIDENOTE! The original Hipstamatic was a toy camera created in 1982 by two graphic designing brothers in the Twin Cities who were tragically killed before they were able to mass produce it. Only 157 were made. Read more about that here or visit the surviving brother’s tribute blog, The Great Hipstamatic 100.

SIDESIDENOTE! The song in the slideshow is called “Stratus and Cumulus” and is from a late 50s album of science songs produced by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer. One of their other songs, “Why Does the Sun Shine?” was covered by They Might Be Giants for its eponymous 1993 EP.

ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

Expect Permanent Deaths For AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Expect Permanent Deaths For AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Where in the Galaxy is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

Where in the Galaxy is Grand Admiral Thrawn?



  1. Dork says:

    I actually believed that backstory for almost a full 24 hours. Gullible much?

  2. caserrr says:

    NOOO!!!! I’m sorry, but I feel the need to speak out here. Hipstamatic, while it initially seems like a great app, isn’t. One of the first things I wanted to get when I finally got an iPhone (after havinga camera-less iPod Touch for a couple years) was look into photo apps, primarily in the field of Lomo/Holga/old-school effects. Of course, trying to find the best app out of a selection of many that seemingly do the same thing is a pain, and I ended up getting 5 or 6 different ones, 3 of which were paid apps, and Hipstamatic is undoubtedly the worst one. The concept of the physical “camera interface” and the different “parts” available is slightly charming for a moment, but having a square-inch of viewfinder is retarded. How the hell am I supposed to know what effect it’ll have to “put a different lens” on, or “use different film”?! It’s incredibly unclear and a fundamentally stupid way to have the entire thing set up.

    Sure, it performs decently, but I just have to point out that there’s a MUCH better one out there called L0-Mob. Right off the bat, it had more options and effects presets than all the other ones i tried combined (and thats probably including all the add-on ones for Hipstamatic), and it also only cost $2. On top of that, it was also the only one I got that let you use photos from your camera roll (it’s a lot easier to just take a photo with the regular camera app, instead of having to find your other photo app, and wait for it to load and such [that “warming up transistors” bullshit or whatever in Hipstamatic?! retarded]), as well as being able to turn on/off any of the elements of the preset effect (focus blur, vignetting, border, etc.) allowing really a lot of customization.

    I dunno, i realize this probably sounds like a crazy-person rant, or a covert ad from the people behind Lo-Mob, but it’s not. I just have used Hipstamatic, and I have also used other ones that made me see how shitty it is. Now I am on a crusade to try and enlighten people.

    Seriously, Chris, get Lo-Mob and tell me that shit ain’t better.

  3. samantha says:

    I bought this app shortly after reading this post. DEAR GOD, THANK YOU. I luuuuuuv it so much.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of polaroids and lomo cameras and this pretty much takes away ALL the hassle and you get such fantastic pictures!

  4. Jackie says:

    Pics from the sky, awesome.

  5. friedzombie says:

    Awesome app, but sad side story to it, I be living up here in minnesoter :P, and WI and MN stories like that have been shared about failed business ideas time and time again. Glad someone is bringing back the classics, sure the family is happy to have their old ideas brought back to life

  6. For some reason I thought this title was HIPSATANIC camera. I think that would be a totally different kind of iPhone App. Probably something that Rob Zombie might like. Maybe it was the reading and watching of the CSI Rob Zombie piece on the website. I don’t know, either that or I’m a closet satan worshiper. Someone else needs to figure out what the fuck is wrong with me, I can’t be bothered.


  7. Barny Boo says:

    I would really like some pizza actually. Thanks!

  8. Deltus says:

    Gotta admin, those pics really did look old. Well done, iPhone app!

  9. imajica21 says:

    Very cool slide show. I have a program similar to it on my droid called fun to play with. Can’t wait for the new Web Soup Episodes!

  10. Ashleigh says:

    that song was great! The pictures are awesome, makes me want an iPhone…

  11. Michael says:

    Man of the distant future is going to be so confused by this…”the 1950s looked liked this…b-but then 2000 looked like that…and then the world in 2010 looked like the 50s again? C’MON, man.”

  12. Ben says:

    Absolutely freakin’ fantastic. This completely quelled the urge for a tough-to-justify lomography setup. Cheap and fun FTW.

  13. sewdotcoe says:

    Ah, wow, those are cool!! I’ve been using Poladroid to old-ify my snaps after the fact, as I am iPhoneless… (also, your’e lucky you weren’t attempting to photo on Tuesday last as the weather was terrible…)

  14. rhys says:

    This is the first iPhone app that has made me jealous of the iPhone (I have a Pre). I don’t really care about apps that much but I do have an interest in photography. Glad you could make it to SF as well.

    –The Cylon Attorney

  15. Kristen Behrendt says:

    So awesome…makes me miss my city.

  16. very cool–I’ll definitely have to get that app! The parade shots look really authentic. Don’t sell yourself short as a photographer. 🙂

  17. smartbunny says:

    Good lord you’re a nerd. (hooray!) This is so neat. I am looking to buy a pink Instamatic and play with that.

  18. Derek B says:

    Glad you included some shots of the ATATs. Good stuff.

  19. Trude says:

    I’ll have to check that one out! Have you tried ShakeIt? Soooo fun, it even has the Polaroid noise! Instant cool factor. 🙂

  20. Kaileigh says:

    NICE. Music makes it.