Hipstamatic 300 - Nice concept, but . . .

Splash screen for version 300
A few days ago I was excited about the update to the Hipstamatic app. It has all kinds of potential. You can use the classic camera setup, or you can switch UI and use a new version which allows you to change aspect ratios, manually adjust focus, white balance, shutter speed and ISO.  Other improvements include putting your photos into the regular camera roll instead of dumping them into the Hipsta prints bin.

Another big plus right now is that everything, all of the packs and films, lenses and flashes, are free. This includes some of the promotional packs that were no longer available (like the Cowboys vs. Aliens pack).

If you notice in my first sentence I wrote that I was excited.  Past tense.  I suppose I am partly to blame for the issues I am having, because yes, I am still using a virtual antique of a phone. (My phone carrier will allow me to upgrade in December...).

So what is the issue? The same one being reported by a lot of users.  It is slow and it crashes. A lot. Like every two to three photos I take the app freezes, screen goes blank and then returns to the home screen.  Sometimes when I relaunch the app the photos are still in the processing queue.  Most of the time they are not.

New version of the Classic camera has some minor UI changes
Also be aware that this new version is a huge memory hog on your phone.  The old version took about 360 MB on my phone.  The new version is taking a whopping 1.1 GB. If you have a 64GB or even a 128GB phone this is not much of an issue. For me it is. Keep in mind that after my IOS I only have 5GB left on my phone.  Add in a few other apps like Instagram and a couple of camera and image editing apps (including Oggl) and suddenly I am running out of memory on my phone after just a few dozen images.

In defense of Hipstamatic,they already rolled out an update patch to version 301 that some users are saying fixed their crash issues.  For me, no such luck. I am going to try stripping off almost all of my other apps and see if having more memory available helps things run better.

Right now I feel that if I had the choice I would roll back my phone and revert to version 280. It crashed too, but it did not use up more than 20% of my total phone storage with one app that crashed.

The new camera view for Hipstamatic.
However, not all of us iPhone 4s users are unhappy.  I came across this review and the user, who also uses the iPhone 4s, is liking it.  He does not indicate if he is using the 8GB or the 16GB phone model though, so he may have more memory to work with.

Have you upgraded to version 300 yet? If so, what have your experiences been like?


Finally here: 300! (iPhone Hipstamatic Users Rejoice?)
Those of us who use the Hipstamatic app on our smart phones have been hearing for a very long time now that there will be a new version coming "soon."

Today is "Soon."  If you read the details of the app it says that it is "Free for a limited time" and that it is for IOS users only.  They mock Android users "Sorry, not sorry, Android users."

A visit to the iPhone App store shows that Hipstamatic is being featured on the Best New Apps feed.  Version 300. Now I can only hope that it will bring about far less crashes than version 280.  I have loved the app when it runs, but when it crashes it often eats the photos that were processing on the phone, and I  am suddenly without my photos.  So here I am, crossing my fingers.... XXXX.

The new verions features some things that have been missing. I know that the idea of the hipster camera app was to be like the old plastic Holga cameras, but there are times when it would be really, really nice to at least control the focus point.  They have that option now.

The app lists the classic mode, plus multiple exposure and Pro Mode.  Not only can the Pro Mode control focus, but also exposure and white balance, and even aspect ratio.

I have been using other camera apps and importing the photos into Oggl to get the filter look I want. Now I may be able to ditch the other apps and just use Hipstamatic.  My old iPhone 4s has limited storage space after all, and dumping those other apps will mean more room for more photos.

What else is the purpose of an iPhone if not for photography?


World Wide Photo Walk - Gallup Edition

On October 3, 2015 there will be tens of thousands of photographers gathering in cities all over the world as part of the World Wide Photo Walk event.  There are walks all over the place, including right here in Gallup, New Mexico.

I have been selected as the walk leader for the Gallup walk.  Come out, take a few pictures around downtown Gallup, make a new friend or two, and make some great photos of our historic downtown area.

The walk is free to participate in, but you do need to register. So visit the KelbyOne website and sign up.

After the walk we will meet at Sammy C's for a bite or a beverage and some more socializing.  Then share your best photos on the Flickr group page.

I hope to see you there.


Counting and liking the hits?

 One of the traps that is easy to fall into while sharing creative work on the internet is trying to gain validation.  Does my work, my words, my ideas, expressions, any of it have value?  We are social creatures, and electronic media feed that idea.  We post bits of ourselves and hope that those pieces get instant approval. We look at the number of hits or likes, and we can feel some satisfaction in knowing that people agreed with our ideas. We did something good or right. 

But what happens when the likes and re-posts are not there?  When you put what you feel is a fantastic photograph on Instagram (or YouPic or 500px or.....) and there are no likes, no views? Does that mean that your image was a failure? Maybe that means that YOU are the failure...

I know I have done it. I have looked at other photographers and seen them racking up dozens or hundreds of likes or whatever the site you use calls the up vote, and wondered why it is that I don't have more votes for my own images.  It can be an easy trap to fall into.  My 365 Project is an example.  There are a number of photos on the project that only have one or two views.  Others don't have any views. Then comes the worst part of the trap - the self doubt.  "What am I doing wrong?" "Why don't people like me or like the work?" "Why isn't anybody talking about my work and having it go viral?" 

Take a breath.

First of all, does it really mean that nobody appreciates your work? There are a lot of images being shoved in front of our collective eyeballs every second. I am on several different sites and if you post an image to YouPic five minutes after I log off and move to EyeEm the situation is not that I didn't like your work.  I just never saw it.  Or maybe it was posted on Tuesday and you had a photo of a kid kicking a soccer ball that was pretty solid, but I just spent three hours photographing and editing images from a soccer game. I may be a little jaded towards soccer photos and may give it a pass instead of a like when I scan through the new images feed.

Let's move away from the not seeing my photos reason though. Maybe people did see my images and still did not click like. What does that mean? While you try to figure it out ask yourself this: Is the photo you are wanting people to like and validate really and truly a good photo?  Is it interesting?  Does it have good composition and interesting lighting? Does it do a good job telling a story? What is the contrast and color like? Is it like every other image you have posted in the last three months? Does it have anything that really makes it stand out where you can honestly say it is a good photo?

It does? Then ask yourself  who it is that you are showing it to.  If you have some psychedelic night skateboarding images and you share them with your mother and grandparents are you really appealing to the right audience? How are you getting your work out there - just spray and pray? If I post all over the place hopefully somebody will see it and love it. Maybe that is not the best plan.

If you are trying to market a business and the images you are sharing are not getting attention then you need to be looking at what is going wrong with your work.  What can you change to get more hits and more likes. Is your style right for the audience you are trying to reach? Do you even have a style?  And also ask yourself if your number of hits and likes really matters.  Are you keeping busy with clients and keeping them happy on the jobs you do? Then do those hits and likes really matter? I would submit then that those hits and like don't much matter. Maybe your business model can do without so much attention to social media and more attention to in person client relations.

What if you are not running a business, and just shooting photos because you enjoy it? If you are doing it as a way of self expression, as a pleasurable pastime like singing along with the radio in the car, then again I would suggest that those likes and shares are not of any importance.  Do it because you like the images you create, because you are touching on the emotions and meanings and messages that interest you at the moment.  Do it because you are figuring out your style and learning and are on a voyage of self discovery.  Take and make those images for yourself.

Be self involved in your images and find happiness in your work.