First Friday of the Month - Brussels HipstaPak

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

I have been having a Love - Hate relationship with Hipstamatic’s ‘First Friday of the Month’ HipstaPak releases, but April’s offering is certainly better then last month’s Versailles HipstaPak, with the Savannah lens and Luis XIV film, which I elected not to review.

My belief has been that Hipstamatic has lost sight of their direction and so it certainly has been difficult to say anything good, and while I am not going to rave about the Brussels HipstaPak, I will admit the combo has a certain charm that makes me want to shoot with it more and more and here is why.

While the results greatly depend upon the quality and direction of the light, the Brussels HipstaPak produces either bold contrasty colors or color shifts with certain colors. Yet when one looks at the images of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge or the daylight industrial image, the results remind me of a 50s hand colored postcard and I like that.

Driving on the Golden Gate Bridge

While images taken in my garden, especially of my cat Sasha, there is an unwelcome color shift in Sasha’s face and one I see in other images when yellow is one the colors base that does shift and flatten out.



Parts of my garden

There is more contrast with this combination of lens and film, as well as some colors appear desaturated and others more saturated. Shadow detail in saturated areas is lost, but all this does not bother as does one of the random grey colored anomalies that appears not only fake but alters its shape insignificantly as it appears at various places of the frame and at the edge of an image.

Chevron Refinery, Richmond

Woman Sitting at a Starbuck’s Shop Inside Barnes & Noble Store

On the other hand the light beige smudge marks also found on the border could be a little more random, thereby less repetitive, it does remind me of the Buenos Aires HipstaPak, with the Diego lens and Uchetel 20 film that emulated older 50s Polaroid prints, see my review:

We also have the appearance of a faded light-leak on some images, this is followed by an anomaly on the opposite side that is not a light-leak, but rather has the look of dirt from a Polaroid roller extending upon the entire image but not the frame. This effect either appears in a vertical or horizontal position. These two special effects are subtle and rather nice when they do appear.

Mannequins Inside an Adult Sex Shop

Most mobile photographers and myself included would have preferred the Brussels HipstaPak were a borderless film, so I would like to suggest that in the future Hipstamatic includes the option for the user to select what kind of frame they would like, by having the ability to choose one as they do a different film, lens, or flash. This would be a fantastic update/upgrade, as well as offering future design frame packages, which would earn Hipstamatic additional funds. Are you listening Hipstamatic.

Another aspect of the Brussels HipstaPak is having areas go flat of any detail as we see in the roadway of the bridge by turning the area into a solid single solid color. We also see it in the woman sitting at a Starbuck’s shop inside Barnes & Noble store, as we look at her left jeans leg. It is also evident with the tree trunks photograph, as it works itself into the trees textures. This random effect is another one I like seeing from time to time in my photograph.

A Garden Rose

There are some colors that the Brussels HipstaPak is unable to render without virtually posterizing that particular color as we see with the rose. I also experienced this effect when photographing a deep red rose. In general, I noticed difficulty in handling the red/magenta spectrum.

Exploring Merchandize at a World Market Store

I have not tried the Brussels HipstaPak with other films or lenses, but shall at some point, using not only the Classic Hipstamatic camera but also Oggl. 

Though I would have wished for a no border with its effects or the random grey anomaly, believing that the other special effects, the desaturation or over saturation of some colors and that some images appear as having been hand colored post card with some registration issue would have been enough. I even believe that in the near future, we will see this combo being applied to a commercial fashion photo shoot.

Bottom line, despite the few objections I have listed, this combination should be seriously considered to be part of ones lens and film collection.

Finding Abstracts at a World Market Store Floor

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

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