How to create abstract photography with Hipstamatic

There's this sweet little iPhone app called Hipstamatic which got a lot of attention as it came out. Lately it's cooled down a bit but nevertheless I'd like to share a tutorial with you because it can be a lot of fun if you like abstract photography.

This ist how I do it:

So if you want to get started just do it as I did, set your Hipstamatic app to a very standard setting like BettieXL lens and Ina's 1969 film, don't care about a specific flash yet.

This setting was the one that showed me that you can use hipstamatic for abstracts very easily. Reason is the special attribute of that very lens. To see what I mean just lay your phone on the table, camera lens down. your finder on the screen should be all black now. now trigger the cam in that position and have a look at the result.

As you didn't expect, the result isn't all black, it's your first abstract you've done with Hipstamatic. It should look like this:

This won't be the same with all films and lenses, but the special attributes of some can cause these results. You can now vary the result by lifting the phone a bit at one side. Keep trying different angles and distances.

As if that weren't fun enough you can also try different settings to vary your results. But the most important part is your creativity, you have to find new objects to shoot.

Let's do another example. I love to use my leather iPhone sleeve to do abstracts, because it's not reflecting and it's sucking some light which is perfect for using the beautiful flashlights available in hipstamatic. So here's what I do: I activate a flashlight ( try berry pop, it's beautiful) and hold the camera very close to the leather sleeve, a bit askew and shoot. I vary flashlights, angles and distances a lot untill I finally get a result I love.

I also shoot through bottles of water, a soap dispenser, a glass of ice tea, let the camera look inside a can or do a close up of my work notebook's power led. As you can see, there's no barrier except your creativity.

I bought all gears hipstamatic offered so far and I have to say that the best hipstapak isn't available all the time. It's the dali hipstapak with dreamcanvas film and salvador 84 lens. it's only available from time to time and is sometimes part of a retropak offered for a short period of time. Playing with this gear I spend most of the time I have to say.

But everyone has it's own favorite settings I guess and everyone will find out by playing around. And that's the addictive part of hipstamatic.

Let me give you another hint. If you play around a lot, trying new things, think about disabling the option that Hipstamatic saves every shot to your camera roll automatically, because you only end up deleting all the bad shots twice, or three times if you have your photostream activated or even four times if you're not quick enough and iPhoto saved it from the photostream to your mac :) You can always save a good one to your camera roll manually or post to instagram, twitter, flickr or tumblr directly from Hipstamatic.

Since the last major update you can also do double or even multi exposures with Hipstamatic. You really should give it a try.

Another fact that should not be underestimated is that Hipstamatic brings back a kind of analog feel to mobile digital photography. Once you made your settings you never know exactly what the result will look like. Of course you can edit the shot after saving it to the camera roll, but using Hipstamatic do you really want to edit the shot? Try shooting another one with different settings instead.

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.


Here are some of my favorite results:

Views: 443

Tags: AC Tutorials, Abstract, Hipstamatic, Tutorial, iPhone

Comment by katzuyoshi on December 4, 2012 at 3:51pm

Very nice tutorial Martin! Great job! 

Comment by diet_mar on December 4, 2012 at 3:56pm

Thank you Phil! I'm really unhappy that I had to leave my IG account @hipsta_abstract behind because of time issues...

Comment by katzuyoshi on December 5, 2012 at 4:34am

Yeah it's really sad! :(

Comment by Leisa D on December 5, 2012 at 7:19am

Brilliant post - big fan of hipsta too and you have inspired/intrigued me to get a little more jiggy with it now, thanks :)

Comment by Carol de Britos on December 6, 2012 at 3:32pm

Wow! Really loved this tutorial. I'm another Hipsta-fan and I've never thought of this kind of pictures until now. Gonna try! Thanks :)

Comment by Jonathan Martinez @insomniathan on December 10, 2012 at 10:28pm

Damn! I have not used Hipstamatic. Definitely I will give it a try, thanks Martin!

Comment by Megan Corwin on March 18, 2013 at 7:43pm
Fun,I will have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing.


You need to be a member of AMPt Community to add comments!

Join AMPt Community



Apps gone free

Started by Philip Parsons @HereInMyOwnSkin in APP Forum. Last reply by Philip Parsons @HereInMyOwnSkin Feb 13. 119 Replies

I thought I'd start a post about apps going free. I get my information about photography apps that go free temporarily from the AppsGoneFree app. I'll try to keep that updated here too.If you post to this please add the following:App name,Device…Continue

Tags: free, Apps

Seeking iOS Beta Testers

Started by Jeshua Lacock in iPhone Nov 23, 2014. 0 Replies

First, I hope it is OK to post this here. I am the developer ComicBook (named Best iPad Photography App of 2011 by iTunes) and I currently seeking more beta testers for ComicBook! and our other photo apps.I can't produce the best apps in the world…Continue

Tags: test, beta, app, photo, iPhone

Hello and Help

Started by David Robertson in Newbie Forum. Last reply by David Robertson Nov 20, 2014. 2 Replies

Hi AllI started out as Photographer many, many moons ago. My first job was as a Scene Of Crime Officer and Photographer (C.S.I).I then upped and traveled the world a bit, leaving my expensive kit at home. I'm sad to say photography fell be the…Continue

So i am confused...

Started by Stephanie McNabb (@stepherzme) in Site Feedback. Last reply by Jessica Andrews (@jess1fer) Nov 14, 2014. 8 Replies

I log into Twitter and find that every post or comment i make here is posted there. I'm not very Twitter-savy so anyone?Well they are in my notifications from Stupidcatdoll? …Continue



© 2015   Created by AMPt.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service