Hipstamatic’s New TinType App Rocks

Ladakh boy

Ladakh boy – photographed by Mike Alexander on the Ladakh 2014 Workshop.

 

Screenshot 2014-10-23 14.38.41 Screenshot 2014-10-23 15.20.06

 

I have been a huge fan of tin type photography since, well… forever. In fact my very first Depth of Field wasn’t a podcast it was a written post on Robb Kendrick and his use of tin type in the 21 century on assignment with the National Geographic Magazine. So it is no wonder that when I got an email today from Hipstamatic informing me they have a new app called TinType that takes your iPhone photos and does it’s digital magic on them and make them the closest thing to a real tin type you can find digitally. The App is ¢.99 in the US App Store and if you like this kind of effect, it is well worth it.
This app is simple to use. Simply load a photo from your photo library or take a photo. The app starts the tin type conversion immediately. You have some options to choose from once it is loaded. You can choose from B&W or color under Style and then you are given two options for cropping; a standard crop or a square crop for Instagram. The next option is a slider that gives you a variation of the “Plate Grain”. With the Plate Grain you control the amount of distress on the photo, as in how much scratches and fade you want. Next is a “Frame”. It is just what you’d think: Frame allows you to choose from a couple of frame options. The frames are really variations of distressed borders. Next come “Eye Intensity”. This does really crazy things to the eyes. It super sharpens them and brightens them. At first I didn’t like it. But when I thought back to some of the real tin types of old, the photographers seemed to dodge and sharpen the eyes. So it kind of fits. Lastly you have Depth of Field, an option to control the amount of blur in the photo. Of course it is not real depth of field, it is more like a type camera effect, but works nice.

I really enjoy this app. I am not sure how long something like this will keep my attention. But I can see using it every so often for fun. I can also see using it on images taken in an environment that looks old. It really adds a nice touch to the finished product.

 Click any image to view it larger.

The Instagramish square crop just crops it down to the center of the frame. It worked this time.

The Instagramish square crop just crops it down to the center of the frame. It worked this time.

 

This is the full from a photo that was imported to my iPhone using Fujifilm's Camera Remote App.

This is the full from a photo that was imported to my iPhone using Fujifilm’s Camera Remote App.

 

I quickly found several things that I would like Hipstamatic to add in the next version. Here is my short list:

  1. I wanted to use this app to transform some of the photos I took on the set of Indian Summers. But when I tried to import them into my iPhone they never showed up in the “Choose Portrait” option in the app.
  2. I am very confused about how the app modifies the photos. Depending on the photo, it will either ask users to make a duplicate photo then then save a copy. Other times it changes the original photo in the library without making a duplicate. Yet, on the photo of the Indian lady below I cropped it to put on Instagram. Afterwards, I remembered I wanted to use it un-cropped in this post. It was then I noticed the edit button on the top let of the screen. When I hit the edit option it took me back to the editing screen where I could recrop the photo and save another version. So there must be an original image saved somewhere. But I can’t say where. Why not just save a fresh copy of any photo it changes to a new folder?
  3. The option to crop square works great if you’ve centered your subject in the image. But I rarely center my subjects unless I am shooting for Instagram. So it keeps cropping my subject in half. I would like to be able to move the crop square.
  4. It would be nice to allow users to fade the amount of color. Right now when you choose the color option, depending on the image there can be too much color and there is no way to dial it back.
  5. I wish there were more variation of the frames. After a while they start to duplicate as you can see in this post.

 

Still, I was so excited with this app, I wanted to review it right away. This is really a fun addition to my photo apps. Lets see where Hipstagram is going to take it in the versions to come.

 

A smaller size image brought into the iPhone from my X-E2 using the Fujifilm Remote App.

A smaller size image brought into the iPhone from my X-E2 using the Fujifilm Remote App.

 

This black and white images is stunning. Compare it to the color version below.

This black and white images is stunning. Compare it to the color version below.

 

I am not as fond o the color version. It reminds me of a Cibachrome print from a color transparency.

I am not as fond o the color version. It reminds me of a Cibachrome print from a color transparency.

 

Again compare this to the color print. Both are nice, but I like the b&w better.

Again compare this to the color print. Both are nice, but I like the b&w better.

 

Another example of the color option in the TinType App by Hipstagram.

Another example of the color option in the TinType App by Hipstagram.

 

If your subject is dress in period clothing it helps bring authenticity to the image.

If your subject is dress in period clothing it helps bring authenticity to the image.

 

This is an iPhone shot.

This is an iPhone shot.

This is one of my favorite conversions. I think the angle of the subject help ed pull of the faux depth of field along with the slight motion blur.

This is one of my favorite conversions. I think the angle of the subject help ed pull of the faux depth of field along with the slight motion blur.

Video Blog #10 Photo Interview with Fernando Gros and more…

 

 

Yes, it is true, this is a video blog post. I know you thought it was dead and gone. Well it was only sick. ;-)  I have tried breathed into it new life. Well, I least I hopes to.

This Sunday I am off to Ladakh, India for a two week workshop. After Ladakh the group heads to Srinagar, Kashmir. Then in February, 2015 I head back to Rajasthan. The question begs answering are photo workshop worth it? Are they worth the time and the financial investment? So this issue we will look at the benefits of photo workshops. To do this I have an interview with Fernando Gros from FernandoGros.com. Continue reading

A few thoughts of the Fujifilm FX56 mm F/1.2 R

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Fujifilm FX56 mm F/1.2 R

 

This is part two of my thoughts on two lenses that Fujifilm Malaysia lent me this past week. In the last review I looked at the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS. Today I am giving you my thoughts on the FX56 mm F/1.2 R.

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A few thoughts of the Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

 

Last week my friends at Fujifilm Malaysia loaned me two of their latest and greatest lenses to play with and asked me if I would share my thoughts. I have been waiting for these two new lenses probably more than any of the other lenses in their entire lineup. The two lenses are the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS and the XF56mm f/1.2 R. On a cropped sensor, such as the two cameras I am shooting with – the Fujifilm X-E2 and the X-T1 – they represent a full frame focal length equivalent of 15-36 mm and 85 mm respectively. I recently bought the X-T1, but I do not plan to review the X-T1 as it may be one of the most reviewed cameras on the planet, to date. It definitely is the most reviewed Fujifilm camera till now. Continue reading

Review: Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Smartphoto Printer

fujifilm -instax

Probably one of the biggest surprises of this Fujifilm Rajasthan Photo Trek was my last minute purchase of the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Smartphone Printer. This printer opened so many doors with people to photograph that it should be considered a must have for any photographer traveling to new places.

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Review: iBattz Mojo Refuel Battery Case (iPhone 5)

iBattz Mojo Refuel Battery Case

iBattz Mojo Refuel Battery Case

One of the great things about using an iPhone (or any smartphone, for that matter) is that you can do so much on the phone from email, photography, graphic rich games, navigation using your GPS and so much more. The problem is that all of these tasks create a huge drain on your battery. By the way, while Apple doesn’t publish their battery specifications, doing a quick Google search reveals that the iPhone 5 has a 1440 mAh battery, iPhone 5S a 1570 mAh battery, and the 5c 1507 mAh battery. These are not huge. Comparatively, the Galaxy S4 features a 2600 mAh battery. To combat this lack of power, many companies are offering power banks and cases. Continue reading

Pushing the X-E2 to it’s limits and finding them.

f/1.4, 1/50 sec, at 23mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

One of the few quiet moments my camera could handle this morning.
f/1.4, 1/50 sec, at 23mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

 

Day two of Thaipusam. I was up at 4 am to catch the action on Waterfall Road. Waterfall Road is one of the busiest spots during this festival. Long lines of people making their way to the temple to deposit their kavadis of milk. I brought the Fujifilm X-E2 thinking it would do well with the constant movement of people I would encounter. After all, it certainly did well in the Philippines last month. The difference is that when I used the X-E2’s AF-C (Auto Focus Continuous) in the Philippines it was in daylight. This time it was in the wee hours of the morning with very little light and it failed..badly. Almost every frame was out of focus. I didn’t just shoot in AF-C I also shot in AS-S (single) and tried to capture scenes on the move. Continue reading

Fujifilm X-E2: A Real World Review In The Philippines

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Just days before leaving for Christmas in the Philippines with my in-laws I traded my Canon EOS 5D Mark III for a Fujifilm X-E2, a Fujinon 23 mm f/1.4 and the Fujinon 55-200 f/ 3.5 – 4. If you recall from a previous post I had a few fears about selling my full frame gear and jumping headlong into the X-System cameras. I had heard so much about the X-E2 and how fast the AF was that I decided to risk one 5d MKIII body. I have not been disappointed. In fact, the the contrary, I have been amazed. Continue reading

Fujifilm X – Switch or not To Switch

Shooting the X-Pro1 on Safari in Kenya. Anything is possible. Photo by Jon McCormack

Shooting the X-Pro1 on Safari in Kenya. Anything is possible. Photo by Jon McCormack

I‘ve had many emails and Facebook messages lately asking me if I have switched completely over to the Fujifilm X-series cameras. The Fujifilm X-series for those of you who have been living under a rock or are just not into camera gear, is the mirrorless, small somewhat compact camera system that has a retro rangefinder feel and look about it. They are an amazing group of cameras and are chock full of innovative technology to enhance both the user experience and the final image. The flagship camera for this new system is the X-Pro1 followed closely by the X-E1. Both cameras sport an APS–C size sensor thus giving an image quality of a DSLR. Continue reading