I was asked the other day why do I use my iPhone so much for photography and will I be taking 'proper' photos again at any point soon. I answered that I really enjoy the effects and treatments that apps like Hipsarmatic and Instagram add to photos and suggested that this may be because I have never had a collection of photos with that kind of feel to them, that seemed like they were from a particular period of time.
Photos from my mother's albums or my grans all have an unreal quality to them, like looking through a filter that blurs and discolours them but also unites them through a common 'feel' in a way that a skilled photographer would unite their photos in a particular style.
Of course that supposition, that I liked the aforementioned apps because they hark back to a halcyon time when photos were automatically united with idiosyncrasies and quirks, which appealed to me because I missed this time myself, is probably incorrect. It would be more truthful to say that as a child of the 1 hour lab and the compact 35mm camera, I'm used to not quite framing correctly, not knowing immediately how a photo is going to look (now I have to wait an agonising 10 seconds for a Hipstamatic 'print') and I'm used to the permanency of my efforts.
What my apps offer me is surprise, nostalgia, fun and of course off kilter images. Using an app is a different discipline but it can still produce 'proper' photos as well as eliciting skill and attention from it's user.
The above photo was taken using a Canon 400D and not an app, and then the effect was created through post processing in Photoshop. I was going for a retro look, inspired by the subject, but wanted something of higher quality than the files produced by an iPhone. It's an unfortunate restriction that Hipstamatic is bound to a subpar camera and I'm looking forward to the day that Cannon, Mamiya, Nikon et al have App Stores and bespoke camera apps too. Imagine if, instead of RAW and JPEG you could choose RAW and Hipstamatic, wouldn't that be cool?