I hadn’t noticed this within the recent updates of Hipstamatic, so thanks to Richard Koci Hernandez for pointing out that version 2.55 now comes with a new lens (“Jane”) that leaves a picture almost unaltered – compared to the rest of the lens portfolio.
Not a big deal from Hipstamatic’s perspective probably, but newsrooms who have reporters working with iPhones should take notice. With the “Jane” lens it’s possible to use Hipstamatic as a photo reporting tool without applying major alterations to the original picture.
Some of the Hipstamatic films support this pure approach, in particular “Blank Noir” and “Ina’s 82”. If you prefer b/w or sepia instead of colour, “Claunch 72 Monochrome” or “Rock BW-11” will do the trick.
Let me add one brief observation from last month while visiting the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hannover. After seeing most of the portfolios it struck me right away that the festival was not about photo journalism alone anymore.
It’s becoming a festival for post production as well.
Most of the projects were obviously edited in post production and quite far away from what the camera captured at first without applying additional love. Nothing seemed odd or un-ethical, it was just so uber-obvious.
Altering photographs (not viciously manipulating) is becoming an accepted way of telling a story in a more compelling way. It’s one item in the big creative toolset of a visual reporter.
I’m fine with that. No, even more: I’m applauding it.
And I wish senior “professional photo reporters” would stop the bigotry, implying that iPhone folks do not qualify as serious visual storytellers because they use apps to alter their footage. If they have issues with this, they’re actually having issues with the next generation in their own industry. The elephant is in their room, too.