Saturday

Buenos Aires HipstaPak - A Return to the Late 50s


First Friday last month came a week early at Hipstamatic with the release of Buenos Aires HipstaPak, featuring one lens and two films.



Polaroids by Diego Uchitel


This release was inspired by Argentinian-born photographer Diego Uchitel and so Hipstamatic named the lens Diego and one of the films Uchitel 20; the other film is Blanko C16.



Polaroid Land Camera, Model 800


After running a short film and lens test, I quickly began to favor the Diego lens with paired Uchitel 20 film over the desaturated and bluish toned Blanco C16 film, when it is paired with the Diego lens.


    

Polaroid Land Camera, Model 800


The next day I took a drive down our back road towards Concord and along the way I stopping off at a few places. With my Hipstamatic camera set to Diego with Uchitel 20, I took a few photographs.



Alhambra Road, Martinez




Datura Stramonium Seed Pod




Dead Coyote 


For me the Uchitel 20 film not only emulates Polaroid prints but also standard prints from the 50s and early 60s that have become damaged through time or storage. Apart from the Polaroid’s developer smudges on the eggshell-cream colored border, there are very subtle nuances that carefully emulate damages of prints sticking together due to humidity. There are also tiny dust particles that have just the right touch without becoming a distraction. Most of all I like the film’s warm tones and softness, all of which makes it very suitable for emulating the late 50s, early 60s look with the right subject matter and achieve a look when one might have been using a Polaroid Land camera or a Kodak Brownie with 120 film.


When one wants to emulate a certain time period, it is important to understand what type of film was mostly used and especially what type of printing paper and chemicals; and how they related to each other and the results they produced.


Authenticity is the key component when aiming for a specific period look. This begins with the subject matter, then the selection of lens and film combination and any post work or filter application later. Ignoring any of these factors produces faulty results and de-tracks from the final photograph.


Uchitel 20 to me is nostalgic, capturing a time in history, when America entered into it’s Golden Age, a post-war prosperity, now long forgotten. When Doo Wop and Rockabilly blasted from jut-boxes at soda fountains; even the widely popular new invention of transistor radios filled the air with Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”






Stockton Tunnel


Several days later I was able to try Buenos Aires  HipstaPak under real shooting conditions, when heading to my favorite local, San Francisco’s Chinatown, just past the Stockton Tunnel.


The weather was mostly sunny with scattered clouds and my Hipstamatic camera was set to using Diego with Uchitel 20, but after a number of exposures, I substituted Diego with the John S lens for more saturation and contrast, after viewing the images I took of a man standing on the street corner.



Man Standing on the Street Corner


While I am open to further tests with Uchitel 20 film and with other possible lens combinations, I like the over all results I achieved with my brief visit to San Francisco; capturing a number of good street images, all of which I will share next Saturday.


Uchitel 20 to me is nostalgic, capturing a time in history, when America entered into it’s Golden Age, a post-war prosperity, now long forgotten. When Doo Wop and Rockabilly blasted from jut-boxes at soda fountains; even the widely popular new invention of transistor radios filled the air with Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”


I believe that at some point Uchitel 20 will become as popular as the D-Type Plate Film from the Tinto 1884 package. So it will be interesting to see how other mobile photographers will make use of the Buenos Aires HipstaPak and the many other variations that are possible with other lenses or films. 



All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved








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