Photojournalism~The Future Is Hipstamatic
Photojournalism ~ a type of journalism in which photographs are used more than words. Someone who reports news using photographs is called a photojournalist.
Hipstamatic~ iPhone camera app called Hipstamatic that allows users to digitally manipulate “lenses,” “flashes,” and “film.”
DSLR~ camera often preferred by professional still photographers because they allow an accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure.
One of the first shots across the bow of “traditional” photojournalism occurred in November 2010 when NYT photog Damon Winter went to northern Afghanistan to capture the efforts of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division.
With an iPhone and the Hipstamatic app.
His pictures subsequently won third place in the Pictures Of The Year International.
What’s happened lately?…well get this.
VII Photo Agency which represents the world’s eminent photojournalists has opened a new show_ i See The eyes of VII in the hands of Hipstamatic
Need more proof?
Legendary photojournalist Ron Haviv covered the fall of Tripoli with the Hipstamatic app.
Ron Haviv, Rebel soldiers fight for control of a pro-Qaddafi neighborhood.
There is a HUGE difference.
Instagram is a sharing app where you apply a filter of choice to the picture after it’s taken. They basically look vintage.
Hipstamatic on the other hand is much different. It’s name suggests that the images will look vintage. But in truth the name applies to the analog feel of the app. You chose a combination of lens , film and flash. The app processes the image in the phone. You can’t really do much after the picture is taken to enhance the image. Much like film.
The Hipstamatic app may have brought about the death, or eminent death of straight DSLR photojournalism, whatever that is, but not on it’s own. The move from content to aesthetics has been going on for quite some time now. Brought about by photographers of course. Also the big contests, and editors have been pushing them along. Today a Cartier-Bresson straight black and white print would never stand a chance against a vignetted, grainy, high contrast World Press Photo type image in a contest. Of course editors have chosen aesthetics over content to sell magazines.
Damon Winter, Northern Afghanistan
So what will it take to put traditional photojournalism in the grave? Time. Within 10 years it will be gone. If Apple decides to use some of it’s $100 billion to develop a stand alone camera (Oh…please…pretty please)…..maybe sooner.
News photography may take longer. Newspaper and wire images are still living in the world where realism and content are king. But this will change. Straight DSLR images that come over the wire seem tired and uninspired when compared to Hipstamatic images. As newspapers go online and the need for newsprint colour balance isn’t required, we’ll see much different news photographs. Pushed once again by photographers and contests. But mostly by editors. They desperately need to sell their product. Now more than ever.
And news photographers capture sports action images. Something that isn’t possible with an iPhone…..yet. But remember the $100 billion? If Apple comes out with an iCamera with telephoto, fast auto-focus and external flash capabilities, it’s all over.
Are Hipstmatic images accepted by readers as real and true?
The answer is yes.
What does this all mean for the young photojournalist? By all means get a Canon or Nikon kit. You still need it to break in. But keep it simple. Try not to invest too much. Get an iPhone and learn the Hipstmatic app. You don’t need a cell contract. Just get the phone.
What it means for Canon and Nikon is a much more interesting question. Let’s just say I wouldn’t buy any shares.