Photo App Tip: Taming Hipstamatic

One of my favorite things about the iPhone is the quality of the camera, and it's about to get even better with the iPhone 4s. I love experimenting with the various photography apps available from the App store. As you can see in Figure 1, I have a number of them. 

One app that I have found to be a bit frustrating, is Hipstamatic (Figure 2). Don't get me wrong, it's plenty cool, with its many interchangeable lenses, film types, colored strobes and filters. But that's just it: There are so many options it's pretty much impossible to remember what settings to use to repeat your favorite results. Or, at least, so I thought. 

Turns out Hipstamatic has a built in feature that, when combined with the strategy I'm about to share, can help you reference and manage your favorite settings, so you can get predictable results, every time


First, The Strategy...

You need to create a set of Reference images. Pick a simple subject matter (a still life is ideal), and shoot multiple images usint the Hipstamatic app. Each image should have a unique combination of lens, film type, strobe and filter pack.

Don't worry about keeping track of the photo settings; Hipstamatic automatically records all these settings as metadata. As for the number of reference images, the more the merrier!

Once you have a set of reference images, it's time to put these images to work for you...

From the camera back screen, (Figure 3) locate the picture icon in the lower left corner of the screen. 

Clicking this icon (Figure 4), will open a gallery of "Recent Prints"; i.e., photos previously shot from within the Hipstamatic app.

Locate your series of reference images. You can see mine in Figure 5.

Clicking on any of your reference images will open an information screen for that image (Figure 6).

Scroll down towards the bottom of the list, until you see the menu item, "Match Settings" (Figure 7). Click "Match Settings" to instantly restore all the required settings to match the look of your chosen reference image.

Once I discovered this feature, Hipstamatic went from being a little used "novelty" photo app, to a serious tool in my image creation arsenal.

Let me know if you find this tip helpful.

Happy image making!



Steve Lomas is an interactive media veteran, designer, entrepreneur and idea mechanic. He is the founder of MojoMediaPros.