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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I met up with Lim for drinks at the only coffeeshop in Jalan Bahar where we talked mostly about iPhone and iPad stuff as well as indulging in some satire about the local political scene. Feels good taking a piss on subjects that are asking to be pissed on.

Lim is still in the midst of enjoying his 10 days leave, the lucky bastard, while for myself, I received some stressful news this morning regarding blitz works to be thrown into my workload for next week.

Ever since the coffeeshop changed hands, it's no longer 24-hours. After it closed, we soon got hungry and decided to go have supper at another 24-hours coffeeshop next to block 502 over at Jurong West. I used to stay around the area opposite the block before I bought the apartment I'm now residing at in another nearby estate.

Block 502
I haven't been back to that area in Jurong West for some time already and being the nostalgic fellow, I thought it was a nice idea to do so to see if there were any changes to that place.

Arriving at block 502 in a cab we hailed by the main road at the edge of Jalan Bahar opposite the abandoned Civil Defense camp rumoured to be haunted, I whipped out my phone to take a snap of the area outside DBS bank where we alighted.

Instead of using the normal iPhone camera, I used the camera from the Hipstamatic app instead. Why? Because I played with it earlier and really liked the result of the pic I took:

That's a night scene taken with flash and just default settings. Gotta say I'm pleasantly surprised with the result. The colours & contrast are all funked up and the picture border that makes the edges of the picture look retro and worn is just lovely, me thinks.

Anyway, before I continue, I just wanna say that I know this is old news to you Hipstamaticians out there since the app was out since.. I don't know, not long after the iPhone was invented? So why am I using the app only now?

Well, it just so happens that I have so many apps stored in my iTunes (more accurately, the 'Mobile Applications' folder where apps are stored; this one's for the geeks). You see, if you have too many eggs in your basket, you sometimes tend to forget to hatch some of them.

Looking at a friend's awesome pic taken with the app on Facebook lately and talking to her about it, I decided to dig the neglected app egg out of my basket and pay close attention to it after all these while. An extra camera app in your iPhone is worth two just sitting idle in your iTunes, I guess.

The stall I bought the laksa from

Back on the main track: So we were there at blk 502 for supper. I ordered a bowl of laksa with extra Tau Pok from this stall and since I liked the little Japanese-esque wooden blocks hanging there with the names of every dish sold there etched on them, I took a pic of the stall while the seemingly bored cook was cooking my laksa.

I like what I see after the photo was developed in the app if I ignore my crappy photo-taking skills. I don't recall my hands shaking when I took the pic and I hope you won't feel nauseous looking at it. Try not to puke.

Hanging around the coffeeshop while having drinks after our supper, I took more pics of the surrounding area I used to frequent. Not much has changed except that the Unity store that used to be here and which I used to service (Unity is one of my clients) has been replaced with another store selling different things.

So by now, I think it's pretty obvious that I like the app. Do I have any gripes about it? Sure, no app is perfect and the initial gripe I had with it was that the preview window is too small.

Hipstamatic's interface
I said 'had' because I soon discovered you can enlarge the preview window by double-tapping on it. But upon enlarging it, there doesn't seem to be any way to shrink it back. I tried tapping and double-tapping on it but instead of shrinking, I took accidental photos. Not even pinching the screen in or out will bring it back to its original size. The only way I know to do that is to close the app and relaunch it.

Edit: I tried that again on the 22nd of July and the pinching out suddenly works. Wonder what's up with that. Maybe my fingers have become unsuitable for touch-screens with the calluses from all that guitar playing.

Another thing is that this app captures a smaller area of the scene or object you are trying to photograph as compared to the wider area that can be captured using the normal camera of the iPhone. This explains why the Hipstamatic photos are squarish. And finally, there's the issue with not being able to rotate the camera to face yourself for some self-indulgent camwhoring (on my iPhone 4 which has this function with the normal phone camera).

However, if you have a mirror in front of you, you can use the reflection to help you aim when taking a self-portrait: just look at how the reflected scene within the viewfinder appears in the mirror and use it to help you aim. It might take a few seconds to get the hang of the counter-intuitive way of orientation caused by lateral inversion.

Anyway, besides the default ones, this app comes with additional lenses & films for more effects which you have to pay for. I think they will be worth it provided you know what you are doing and are well-versed with which lens or film does what instead of buying things using trial & error. Oh, and the sound the app makes when you turn on the flash is kinda cool.

So at around 4:40am in the morning, I had to force Lim to tear himself away from his iPhone so that we could share a cab home since I was getting tired and had to get up for work later.

Yeah, I think you'll start seeing more photos taken with the Hipstamatic app in this blog from this point forth, I guess. I'll try not to go overboard with it though, since if you see too much of something cool, it might just lose its cool factor and revert back to being just another egg you dump back into your basket.

- De Lion Speaks

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