First Friday of the Month - Brushwick HipstaPak

I am getting very tired repeating myself these last several months as to the direction of recent lens and film releases from Hisptamatic. Since nothing has really chanced, I will simply proceed to share my test results with you on the Brushwisk HipstaPak with Hanna lens and accompanying Otto film.

Hipstamatic would like you to believe that this combo is well suited for portraiture witht he examples they provide, I have to strongly disagree. Brushwick over-sharpens what ever is photographed, and is not only contrasty, it holds no detail in the highlights, it desaturates certain colors and saturates others, as you will see in the following examples. A true portrait film and lens combo produces nature colors with a little touch of warmth and while sharp, there is no over sharpening and no contrast.


When I first viewed a few results on the iPhone 5S, I felt we had a wonderful clean color film and a sharp lens similar to the Lowry, which is Hipstamatic’s sharpest lens to date. Yet after uploading the images to the laptop and seeing them on a larger screen, my hopes were dashed. Even now, I simply do not know what to make of this combination.

Let’s look at the positive side of the Brushwick HipstaPak. Because of the extra over sharpening capabilities of the combo, city images take on an interesting look and when you view at the sidewalk image among the examples, you can see how the asphalt and concrete’s textures just pop, yet the color of the curb that is to be orange, ends up being yellow.

In order to see how Brushwick HipstaPak combo renders a scene, I have also provided an example in which I used the camera application 6x6, as it displays the scene naturally. 

Left example, 6x6 — right image, Brushwick

You can see that the red brick is more saturated, as is the blue typography in the left sign. There is less detail in darker shadow areas and a slight greenish color shift on the signage above the gate. We also see this greenish color shift when we look at the three examples of the cityscapes above, but also note that, that which is white, remains white.

It is clear the numerous colors are not only saturated but they also pop right of the image, while any detail in the white flowers is lost.

In the remaining examples, you can see I applied this combo not only to natural daylight, but also to various artificial light conditions in order to see how the colors reacted to the Brushwisk HipstaPak. 


In the last example above, I do like the results, since all the metal parts are clearly defined and rendered accurately and only that the many white variations of tones are lost.

In the end, there are a few fine points to the Brushwick HipstaPak under certain conditions. Yet I have also found this film to be unpredictable now and then, making for surprises, a Hipstamatic trademark.

In general the combo Brushwick HipstaPak is limited as to what it offers the photographer and in the end, I cannot with good conscience recommend this months HipstaPak release, but then you will have to decide if you see any value worth your money.

All photographs taken with an iPhone 5S by
©2015 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved


iPrep Tablet Holder Review

Ever since the 2014 MacWorld Conference, where many iPad holders and stands were unveiled, with prices ranging above the one-hundred Dollar mark, this little gem, the ‘iPrep’ from Prepara - a US company - has them all beat by a mile.

A few days ago I discovered the iPrep of all places at a bookstore, especially when you considers the company, Prepara specializes in kitchen gadgets.

The unit is perfect for many different situations, from watching a movie, reading a book in bed or handy as the products box shows in the kitchen, or as I do, using the iPad when editing and post processing my photographs.

The iPrep is light weight, folds up nicely, it has a non-slip grip base, which keeps the iPrep stand planted in place, and the stylus is very useful and keeps the screen clean during use and when not used, it stores in the iPrep’s base.

Their websites claims it has four viewing angles, I say it has three, as for the fourth position, it could be considered that when the iPrep is completed folded back and leaned against an upright surface. The product measures 6.69” deep x 5.76” wide x 1.2” high when folded and weighs 0.54 ounces. It is made of BPE free plastic. The three positions lock in and there is an auto hinge lock release button on the left side of the base. One needs to use a little pressure in order to change the iPrep’s position or to fold it back for storage, but at least you know it won’t accidentally fold back when the stand is in use, especially while using the stylus.

The design of the iPrep is clean, functional and easy to clean. It will let you use your iPad mini or Air or other tablet in a portrait or landscape mode, with three different tablet viewing positions and comes with a stylus for basic tablet functions. It iPrep in white or black, though currently the black version is sold out. Best part, it is affordable at $24.99 US Dollar and comes with a TiPA recommendation.


Prepara website
Prepara iPrep stand

All photographs taken with an iPhone 5S
©2015 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved


Turning Your Photograph into a Painting

With the recent release of JixiPix’s Artisto Imresso, along with any other paint programs already available like BrushSroke 2; Glaze; Waterlogue; PhotoViva; and many more, it is important to prepare ones photograph before introducing it to a paint program for best results. While it is not essential to pre-post edit a photograph, you will still get satisfactory results, but doing so will only make you image appear more custom.

One of the programs I like using in preparation for turning the photograph into a painting is Stackables, but there is also AFilter; Alayer; Mextures; ColorThief; DistressedFX; SnappSeed; and PhotoCopier. All of which will alter the coloration of the image, including adding texture.

When you introduce your photograph into any the aforementioned applications, you control the coloration and by adding numerous layers in the post program of your choice, the results will only assist in the emulation as how the paint program converts your creation. 

Original photograph - no post edits were applied

All four examples were edited using Stackables
Please click on the individual images to view larger

Edited in Artista Impresso, En Plein Air

Edited in Artista Impresso, En Plein Air

Edited in BrushStroke 2

Due to the increase of subtle multi-color layering prior to final post production, a paint program will only have more information to work with. This is important since an artists uses a layering of multi paint strokes of subtle color changes in order to build depth in a painting.

If you are interested in a more realism style painting but still want an underlying paint effect, consider the following method of achieving this. 

Original photograph - no post edits were applied

Both examples were edited using Stackables
Please click on the individual images to view larger

Edited in BrushStroke 2 

Edited in Artista Impresso, Alla Prima

Edited in Glaze

First, you will want your results in the paint program of your choice to be from subtle to normal results for that specific applications, then import the results, along with the original photograph into a program like ImageBlender; Layover; Juxtaposer; or SuperImposer to accomplish this.

By introducing your photograph and the converted emulation photograph of a painting to the aforementioned applications, you then blend the two together. Sometimes placing the original photograph on top of the painted version works best, other times, the reverse order. This is something you will have to try out and see what results you prefer, that which works bests for what you are trying to achieve.

I personally believe that a good number of mobile photographers over app’ their photographs, rather than to limit the effects they introduce on an image. You want the photograph to be enhanced and not have the effects be a distraction. 

Regardless of our camera, we all become very excited when we return home and find that one image that stands out, the one that makes our heart beat just a little faster, only to rush in and start post production editing. While there is nothing wrong about this, it is equally important to revisit an image after a brief time and try an alternative post production edit, just to see what kind of different versions one can come up with.

Here are a few more examples, which show an image post edited in Stackables and then introduced in various in three different paint programs.

Original photograph - no post edits were applied

All four examples were edited using Stackables
Please click on the individual images to view larger

Edited in BrushStroke 2

Edited in Glaze

Edited in Artista Impresso, En Plein Air

Do not limit your imagination, be willing to venture into the unknown and try something new, simply by experimenting. Just remember that children have no fear of exploration. Be willing to make make mistakes, for we learn from our failures, only to try again, until we do succeed. 

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S or 5S and
edited on an iPad 4 with Retina display by
©2014-15 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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