I was lucky enough to travel to Barbados last year and I was looking forward of course to photographing my journey around the island and documenting some of the scenes and the life of this beautiful Caribbean island. I had recently downloaded the Hipstamatic app. for my iPhone 3GS and was keen to try it out. In much the same way as if I buy a new camera or lens it’s important to me as a professional photographer to give new kit a thorough workout and discover how it performs under as wide a range of conditions as possible. The iPhone camera intrigued me because there are no controls of any kind, no exposure compensation (though I did find a workaround for that), no focussing as such (although you can determine an approximate focus point) and no sensitivity controls for the camera sensor. In a way this can free you up as a photographer to concentrate on the visual side of things and particularly the composition of the frame.
The Hipstamatic app was interesting. First of all the image area is square which I have always loved since I bought my first Mamiya C330 way back in the film days. Secondly, you can determine a whole range of looks with this camera application by choosing (software based) ‘lenses’ and ‘films’ within the programme. Added to this was the quirk that you had to wait about 20 seconds between frames. Just like loading large format film, you had to be *really* sure you wanted to take the photograph :) No machine gunning of the subject with this camera. By the way, the app. has been upgraded since my trip and the time between exposures is now a lot less. On the plus side, well, the camera is a phone really so no one pays that much attention to it in public which means you can get some cool shots without being noticed.
I was looking for an approach to my photography in Barbados so decided to exclusively use my iPhone for the photography. A bit mad I realise, but my back thanked me for not lugging around my usual kit. I used one particular setting in the Hipstamatic app. as a sort of unifying look to the series and set off to document the details of the towns, villages and beaches of Barbados. If you like you can scroll backwards through time on my iPhone photography blog or click on the archive button to see the rest. Thanks for looking and any comments are welcome!