It's great fun, and as John says it allows you to create images with a bit of emotion, instead of a typical digital print that can be very clinical and cold.
But (and there's always a but with me) - I feel a bit of a fraud using it.
It's a digital app on a smartphone using a digital camera. It's not an old analog machine with bits that click and touch and move and interact, it's a bunch of code designed to emulate something much older.
The colours are a bit washed out, there's a bit of fade and blur thrown in there and when you take enough of them you realise the effect the app is sticking over your images. For example - look at the top three images above - about 20mm from the top you'll notice a horizontal banding effect... on all of them. That's the algorithm for that particular 'lens' and 'film.'
So when I was playing around with it over the weekend I started feeling a bit fraudulent. I started asking myself why this was, and I think it's this: the effects on the images have been created by technology, when they should be created by nature. It doesn't have a natural history attached to it. It's not me doing something fraudulent, it's the app itself.
This got me thinking about how the app (and apps in general) can link with nature.
Augmented reality is one way of doing this - linking digital stuff with the world around you geographically and chronologically.
This view from layar will change over time. More tweets will be added, some will vanish. That's the beautiful thing about augmented reality - it has the ability to show you things in a world you can't see naturally. It's a portal to additional content, and that content can be anything you - or others - want it to be. Very exciting.
But digital photographs don't change over time. Whether they're taken by an expensive SLR, or by the Hipstamatic app, they'll look the same now as they did when they were first taken. Unless they can interact with nature.
Any easy win for me would be to link the Hipstamatic app with the time and date of the iPhone. I want my photographs to evolve and grow old like authentic real-world images. I want the banding effects, the blur, the washing out of the colours to evolve over time. Real time.
You see, now that we've got beyond the two separate worlds of Online and Offline (called Post-Digital by all of us plannery types because that's what Russell called it here), it's about time some of the relevant digital stuff we're creating started living, evolving, growing old and dying - like we all do.
We can emulate something being organic by giving it the same constraints organic things have. Why should an app fake age if it doesn't have to? I want my photographs to evolve while they're in my pocket. I want the pictures I've taken to be a bit scuffed around the edges because they've been in my pocket.
We can take this in any direction we want. If you look at the range of apps on the iPhone, the range of APIs available and now with OS 4.0 having multi-tasking available the future is really exciting.
I want my photograph to know that I've been at the seaside (because I've tweeted it), and it's been raining (because the weather app knows it has been), and that I was with friends (because Facebook knows there was an event).
I want my photo will have little bits of sand on the print, and maybe it'll be a little curled up and washed out because of the rain and it'll automatically be sent to my friends that were present. And, on the back of the print I want a note that is a transcribed audio clip when I was taking the snap (so using the microphone on the phone) - "Let's get a snap to show the others that didn't turn up."
That's just one example of what's possible if digital starts becoming more natural. As Neil points out here, location is where the focus is at the moment, but I also feel other natural stuff should be looked into more.
Digital is great for clinical, precise things but I also want it to be a little more organic, a little more unpredictable, more personal... after all, isn't that we all love about the natural world?