Black-and-white has been synonymous with photography since its beginning when French inventor Nicéphore Niépce captured the View from the Window at La Gras in 1826. Even with the development of the first colour image in 1861, black-and-white continued to dominate for many years.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that colour became the norm when Kodak and Agfa both released colour films. However, black-and-white still continues to be popular – the advent of digital, far from ending the era of black-and-white, has to some degree made it more popular than ever with black-and-white filters.
If 2013 was the year that selfies went mainstream, then 2014 will go down as the year when it was first televised.
Selfies are now official, endorsed by celebrities and TV networks. Selfies are no longer the preserve of teens intent on snapping themselves amidst the devastation of their bedrooms. Celebrities (or wannabes) had got in on the act, photographing their pre-awards show outfits, their ample behinds or make-up free faces.
With more than 200 million active users, Instagram is by far the most popular photo-sharing platform for smartphones. So it was no surprise that when both the app and website shut down on Saturday 12 April for a few hours enough of its users noticed.
They took to Twitter to express their disappointment/vent their spleen/rant, often with a heavy dose of humour.
Imagine the scene, you’ve just seen something that would make a great photo and is sure to get hundreds if not thousands of likes on Instagram, yet when you tap the iPhone’s shutter button nothing happens. The app refuses to function and no amount of finger tapping will make it work.
There can be many causes for the these glitches, from he processor being overworked with lots of apps to a recent iOS update that has resulted in an app becoming unstable.
The people at Flickr have been busy. Barely 16 months after releasing version 2 of their smartphone app, the development team at the Yahoo!-owned photo site have been at it again, releasing version 3 on the iTunes and Google Play Stores in mid-April.
Version 3 of Flickr does not represent any old incremental update; the app has been completely redesigned and rebuilt, providing a streamlined interface and a greater focus on social networking.
The ability to take long exposures on an iPhone opens up many creative possibilities. Yet on first appearances the iPhone looks as though it is severely limited in this area, with its fixed aperture and the shutter speed pre-determined by available light.
Fortunately there are several apps available that enable you to set a long exposure on the iPhone. Previously, I’ve covered Slow Shutter Cam, and I find them indispensable, giving you an extra dimension for taking creative photos.
In my recent review of Camera Plus I touched upon the handy feature introduced with the March 2014 update – AirSnap. This feature turns an iOS device, which can be an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, into a remote trigger that can be used to take a photo on another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Remote triggers have rarely been a feature in smartphone apps up to this point. Yes, you can use the volume control on your earbuds that came with the iPhone to trigger the camera’s shutter button. But this is wired remote trigger with the distance from you to the iPhone limited by the length of earbud cable.
In the HipstaGeneration spotlight this week is Camera Plus for the iPhone.
And there’s no guessing what app category Camera Plus falls into – with a name like Camera Plus its a dead giveaway. Camera Plus, however, is not to be confused with the iconic Camera+, which in May 2012 was the 10th most popular paid app of all-time among iPhone users.
You can read my review of Camera+ here.
Despite the huge benefits generated by the digital revolution for photographers there is still one aspect that pixels just can’t replace from the analogue era – and that is the satisfaction of seeing the printed photograph.
The print gives a photograph an air of permanence and uniqueness, two things that aren’t really associated with digital images. Prints also look good – they can be framed, hung on walls, given as gifts and they look great in galleries as part of an exhibition.
Hipstamatic may have kicked started the photo-filter revolution in smartphone photography, and although it’s still hugely popular, it’s by no means the last word on image effects. App developers have, by and large, used their experience of desktop image editors, like Photoshop and Gimp, when creating photo filters for mobile devices.
To assist photographers in their creativity and increase the speed of their workflow, these effects were made so that they could be applied to an image with just a couple of clicks. They were often bundled into packages, such Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro, now part of Google Nik Collection, that were accessed as a plugin in Photoshop, or as a standalone app like DxO.