enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Friday, April 29, 2011

I-Phoneography? The I-Phoneographs of 41 I-Phonagraphers... TONIGHT!

Could the days of carrying cumbersome cameras with huge telescoping lenses, tripods and film (memory card) soon be over? Well when just about anyone can take a photo by clicking a button on a phone you do have to ask the question. With the rise of camera phones into our technologically crazed society everyone is a photographer now. Not just can you take photos with your phones but you can send these photos anywhere around the world in a matter of seconds for all to see. 

But with all this technology at our fingertips there are a few nostalgia heads that are using I-Phones in a more anological way, so to speak. So you invent an app for the I-Phone that takes photos like an old analog camera such as the 1980's throwback the Hipstamatic and voila you have some cool vintage looking images! Well apparently that is the case and on Friday, April 29th 41 would be photographers are having an exhibition of these amazing little images that they have taken with their I-Phones. 

Vegas from the Hip - A collection of Las Vegas iPhoneography 
Opening Friday, April 29th at the Nevada State College Library, 5pm-8pm. Nevada State College Library will host the opening of Vegas from the Hip, a collection of Las Vegas photos shot with iPhones and the Hipstamatic app. The show features 99 images from 41 photographers.

Nevada State College Library
303 S. Water St. (BW2 building)
Henderson, NV 89015
For more information please call Gregory Robinson 

About the Hipstamatic and the show by Gregory Robinson

In the 1980s, the Hipstamatic was a real camera, a plastic “toy” created by Bruce and Winston Dorbowski. It sold less than 200 units, but it was an impressive little camera. The iPhone app mimics the look and feel of the original, providing a tiny viewfinder, random light leaks, and changeable lenses and films. Although the iPhone camera itself is capable of providing a clear, detailed image (5 megapixels was impressive not that long ago), the app does the exact opposite.

Digital photography never looked so analog.

These photos recall a time when you cared about the pictures you took, but did not really know how to take them. The results are random, haphazard, and often somewhat out of focus. At times, (like any other camera) Hipstamatic photos are complete junk. More often than not, they are beautiful and nostalgic. They give you the feeling of coming across an old photo in your grandmother’s attic, even if they were just taken yesterday.

The medium is the message.

The Hipstamatic helped to start an entire photographic movement, now called iPhoneography. There are books, blogs, dozens of Flickr groups, and hundreds of specialized apps available, all devoted to it. The governing aesthetic in the iPhone community is that the photos must be taken and edited on the iPhone, without any help from a PC or Mac.

In late 2010, New York Times photographer Damon Winter used the Hipstamatic app to shoot a series about the war in Afghanistan War. It made the front page. Critics went crazy, but not in a good way.

Chip Litherland saw it as another sign of the death of photojournalism, saying that the Hipstamatic shots were “dig[ing] another knife deeper into the back of its decaying corpse.”

It is nice to see that art still makes people a little grumpy.

Yes, you could take these pictures with a regular camera, and they would probably look better by most standards. They would be clear, properly composed, and colored in realistic way. That is not the point. Unlike your regular camera, the phone is always with you, ready to catch everything. iPhoneographers tend to value quick shots, “from the hip,” emphasizing spontaneity over composition, and dream-like blurriness over the precision clarity of high-end digital cameras. The result is a colorful, random, off-centered look at Las Vegas.

Photo provided by Gregory Robinson
Photo provided by Gregory Robinson
Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
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Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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