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Madison Mathews • Jul 31, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The addition of the smartphone into the collective consciousness of the digital age has changed how the simplest of tasks is done. Since there’s practically an app for anything nowadays, users of devices like the iPhone have a new way to interact with the world around them.

This includes photographers.

The iPhone might be able to make calls and receive emails, but it’s also one of the best digital cameras on the market, making it a must-have device for photographers of nearly any skill level.

Using the iPhone to snap a picture wasn’t the first thing that occurred to Jennifer Molley Wilson when she got her hands on the device two years ago.

After downloading Hipstamatic, one of the App Store’s leading photography apps, to capture a hummingbird in action, Wilson became hooked.

“What I loved most when I started discovering Hipstamatic was the square format. I found it very challenging from a composition standpoint, especially when you think of photographing this area with the lakes and the mountain vistas and all that,” she said.

Hipstamatic recreates the retro look of plastic toy cameras, such as the Diana and Holga, complete with the ability to change lenses and films to produce an image.

Using her life-long love of photography and the added inspiration from her iPhone and the Hipstamatic app, Wilson began taking pictures solely with the smartphone under the name, “The HipstaChick.”

“To me, Hipstamatic is more like shooting with a real camera, and I think we’re seeing that more and more photojournalists out in the field are using Hipstamatic because the best camera is the one you always have with you,” she said.

Soon, Hipstamatic took notice of Wilson’s work that were posted to the app’s Facebook page. Bristol became the first city in the country to be included in Hipstamatic’s global photography project, Adventures in Hipstaland, which included cities as diverse as Hong Kong and Zimbabwe.

Since iPhoneography has become one of the latest art movements to take the world by storm, hundreds of apps have been made available via the App Store, with Hipstamatic and Instagram being two of the most popular.

Other popular photography apps include Big Lens, which gives depth-of-field to iPhone photos; DMD Panorama, an easy-to-use panoramic picture app; Autopainter, which turns any photo into a painting; TiltShift, a tilt-shift lens app; GridLens, which turns a series of photos into a collage; and a host of filter apps like Camera Plus Pro and CameraBag.

With so many options available — all made possible by having an iPhone — Wilson said iPhoneography has changed the face of photography. It’s become one of the leading tools of social media, giving everyone a glimpse into little slices of life.

“This is going to be one of the most well-documented periods in history. What this revolution has done is it’s made the mundane interesting,” she said.

As iPhoneography has become more popular amongst beginners and experts alike, companies have started producing camera gear solely for the iPhone.

Some of the gear Wilson typically uses when out shooting includes an Olloclip, a three-in-one camera lens, an external battery pack and an OWLE Bubo camera mount, which allows photographers to use interchangeable lenses.

The rise of iPhoneography has even impacted the world of filmmaking, as may do-it-yourself directors have started using the iPhone to make a short film rather than spending thousands of dollars on high-end cameras.

iPhoneography has streamlined both photography and filmmaking to the point where it has been stripped to the bare essentials.

“If you have a standard SLR camera, there’s the aperture and the shutter priority settings. I think if you just have a phone and you just have one button, it’s not intimidating and you’re not worried about the technical aspects. You’re just capturing the moment,” Wilson said.

Making photography more simplistic with a few apps and the iPhone has brought more and more creativity to the table, which means it’s only going to grow in both popularity and artistic merit.

“It’s grown and grown and grown, and I can’t see how it’s not going to keep growing,” she said.

Wilson’s work is on display at 606 State Street Art Gallery in downtown Bristol. Visit TheHipstaChick.com for more of her iPhoneography.

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