OK, I have to admit it, for a long time, Hipstamatic really annoyed me. I think it was because I first learned photography several years before digital photography came into its own and as such, I learned how to do things the hard way. The effects that Hipstamatic and similar pieces of software produce used to take hours in the darkroom and as such, I felt it was cheating. I remember working for hours on creating and painting custom emulsions, doing large-scale negative to negative enlargements for special contact print effects and dozens of other labor intensive processes to achieve effects that can now be done in minutes. Of course, all of that is really silly. Art must, in the end, be judged by the final product not the process. I know this may start an unrelated argument, but if I have to know how a piece of art was made in order to appreciate it, then the work is not complete. In any case, I’ve been using Photoshop for years to fine tune contrast, perform burn-and-dodge processing and the like with no similar feelings of guilt even though even those changes would take several tries and a lot of darkroom time. As I’ve seen more and more excellent photos coming out of Hipstamatic, I’m starting to get over my old fogey feelings about it.
However, my other complaint about Hipstamatic that still remains is its lack of flexibility. The limited number of lenses, flashes and film mean that at you end up with a lot of similar looking photographs. I’ve been looking for a tool that can deliver similar levels of high quality effects but with a lot more flexibility and with Nik Snapseed for IPad, I think I’ve found it. With this tool you can layer multiple effects out of the hundreds of possible filters. Additionally, this product provides a wonderfully simple and powerful mechanism to perform burn and dodge effects with its Selective Adjust feature. Finally, with use of the Apple Camera Connect Kit, I’m able to use high quality photos from my various cameras in the tool. This tool really brings real photo editing to the IPad. Additionally, this tool treads well between ease-of-use and professional levels of control. If you are looking for a photo editing tool for your Ipad, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Below are a few more sample photos that I quickly created with this tool: