Posts Tagged ‘current-events’

The new age of Photojournalism : Hipstamatic Phone

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Benjamin Lowy, iAfghanilandistan: Afghanistan by iPhone

Hipstamatic on the iPhone has been causing a stir. not just for smartphone users, but also in the photojournalism world.

Later this year, Synthetic, the maker of the Hipstamatic application, has planned to launch Hipstamatic Foundation for Photojournalism which is to  “support photographic storytellers”, who use smartphones to tell their stories.

They are also expected to launch, a pack of digital lenses and films dedicated to photojournalists in order to raise funds for its newly created Hipstamatic Foundation.

The Foundation will also help to educate and to support “the next generation of photographic storytellers who are using smartphones with Hipstamatic to tell and broadcast their tales”, as the Foundation’s Facebook page reads.

In an interview with BJP, Synthetic’s CEO, Lucas Allen Buick, explained: “The idea behind it is to create an educational platform, where professionals will be able give some of their time to educate up-and-coming photographers on how to go into Libya, for example, and not get shot.”

Since the app’s launch in 2009, it has high rocketed to even more success in 2010. That was when it was adopted by photojournalists.

One of these users is Lowy, a Reportage by Getty Images photographer. “I’ve been kind of experimenting with an iPhone for the past four years, ever since it first came out,” Lowy told BJP earlier this year. “Then I discovered Hipstamatic two years ago and liked the idea that I didn’t have to do anything in post-production – the app sort of did it automatically.”

Lowy had started shooting with it, mostly on the side, when he was home, for example.

“It was a way to refresh my mental energies, as I was constantly shooting with a 35mm Canon. And then I received a film assignment – I hadn’t done one since I was in college. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it right, so I took a film camera, a bunch of chrome and I shot it, but I had my Hipstamatic with me, and I just shot a second body of work.” It turned out the client actually liked the Hipstamatic images the most and decided to use them.

“I realised there was something good going on,” said Lowy. “I started shooting other assignments with my iPhone. I’ve been in Afghanistan a few times, for example, but I really started using the app in Libya. I think I shot more with it than with my Canon.” When he came back, he sent an email to Hipstamatic’s communications director and “we started a dialogue”.

Lowy’s idea was to build a relationship which would develop into the production of a digital pack that would help to assuage some of the repulsed as well as negative  feelings the app had created by purist photojournalists. “Those who say Hipstamatic is not ethical and not representative of actual events,” said Lowy. “I wanted to create a look that didn’t have such variables and led to questions on the ethical implications of such photography.”

You can see his professional Tumblr blog, where his pictures are:

For more information about Hipstamatic, visit

Follow British Journal of Photography’s updates on Facebook at

Read more on the article that this post was based on:
[copyrights go to BJP]