‘Oggl’ app test shots, 14th May 2013
My friend @DutchDoscher gifted me an installation of the new Hipstamatic social app ‘oggl’ and I took advantage of a train trip to Gatwick yesterday to try it out. I’ve posted a few of the more interesting, albeit abstract results, above.
I must admit, I’ve never liked Hipstamatic’s hermetically sealed, no-import environment, its fiddly skeuomorphic interface, or its fixed pre-selected filter approach. I much prefer to shoot in-the-moment and edit my shots after I’ve taken them. For me, Hipstamatic is the enemy of spontaneity.
‘oggl’ has grafted subscription based social networking on to the Hipstamatic model that, for a quarterly or annual fee, provides all the filters available. While the app now supports changing filters after shot has been taken, it is still encumbered by Hipstamatic’s original limitations: square only format; no zoom; no crop; no image imports and filters that have no adjustment options (if the filter you like has a frame you don’t, you’re stuck with it). Like Hipstamatic, the distinction between ‘lens’ and ‘film’ is largely spurious. ‘x’ number of lenses can be combined with ‘y’ number of films and that’s it. A finite number of ‘looks’ that very quickly become familiar and tired through over-use.
With the possible exception of the ‘Salavador 84’ lens, that produces the kind of random ‘double-exposure’ superimpositions I’ve shown above, most of the filter looks can be found or achieved in a range of apps that typically would be found in any self-respecting photographer’s iPhone armoury. Little wonder then that Hipstamatic/oggl retain the pseudo-exclusivity of the sealed environment. It is their only USP.
So, sorry Dutch, its not for me. Which is not to say that others have not mastered the app and made it their own with exquisite results (check out Nettie Edwards’ blog) but each to his or her own, eh.