My sister, Mudmama, detests telephones. I’m not crazy about them either, but I’m not as phobic as she is. I can answer the phone, and if I really, really have to, I can make a call.
I don’t know why we have this fear of phones. Maybe it was because we had a party line when we were kids, which meant that our phone line was shared among half a dozen households. Neighbours could, if they were so inclined, eavesdrop on your phone conversations. This possibility may have piggy-backed a fear of telephones onto my fear of public speaking.
Or maybe it was because our mother insisted that girls do not call boys. Ever. Boys call girls. Girls wait to be called. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it. Actually, I don’t even recall that there was any reasoning behind it. It was just one of those arbitrary rules that confuse you as a child and make life seem so complicated. But this rule might explain why I can receive phone calls more easily than I can make them.
Anyway, however it happened, Mudmama and I are not enthusiastic users of the telephone.
I’m enjoying my iPhone though, precisely because being a phone is just a tiny, insignificant part of its raison d’etre. I use it for email, geocaching, calendars, to-do lists, tracking stuff, listening to music, bus schedules, photography, surfing the web and much, much more.
I’m pretty sure even Mudmama would like this phone.
She says the only thing about the iPhone that appeals to her is a photography app called Hipstamatic. So I downloaded it two days ago, for $1.99 plus $5 for all the accessories. It converts the iPhone’s camera into a virtual replica of the 1960s Hipstamatic camera. There are seven interchangeable lenses, nine types of film, and six flashes. You can select one of each for each picture, or allow it to randomly throw three together for you.
So anyway, I’ve kind of gotten hooked on the Hipstamatic. It really does produce pictures just like the ones you took in the 60s or 70s or 80s with cheap plastic camera equipment and film and flash bulbs. They’re really that bad, with light leaks and streaks and odd colour casts. My thumb ends up in about a third of the pictures. It’s almost impossible to compose a photograph with any precision because the viewfinder is small and not very wysiwyg (what you see is what you get).
But the charm is that you have no idea of how your picture will turn out until after you take it, especially if you use the random feature. It’s all a big surprise. A lot of the pictures are undeniably awful, but there are some happy surprises too. And even the bad pictures are cool in their own nostalgic way.
I’ve taken over 300 photos with it in the past 48 hours. I end up taking multiple photos of the same thing, since I’m curious to see how the different effects will change the result. My usual 45 minute walk took an hour and a half today because I needed to take so many pictures of corn and geese and cows and flowers and sky and trees.
I think this camera app would be especially good for taking photos of old things – antique cars, vintage trailers, old household stuff, vintage clothing, etc. It’s even good for taking pictures of older people, since it doesn’t magnify every flaw in crisp detail.
If you’d like to see some really good Hipstamatic snapshots, check out the monthly Hipstamatic photo contests.