“Stories have always been a large part of what Hipstamatic is about. We have an opportunity to let photographers do the stories they want to tell, so we will be giving out grants to these photographers, so they don’t have to find publishers to finance their work.” -Lucas Allen Buick, CEO of Hipstamatic publisher Synthetic, speaking to BJP
This is an exciting development. Hipstamatic, the photo filter app for iPhones (iTunes store link), has announced plans to offer grants in support of photojournalism. We’ve written about the use of Hipstamatic and other iPhone filter apps in photojournalism before. There’ve been a few significant bodies of photojournalistic work produced on the iPhone: Damon Winter’s A Grunt’s Life, Michael Christopher Brown’s work from Libya, parts of the Basetrack project, VII’s iSee exhibition, and Ben Lowy’s iLibya and work from Afghanistan, among others.
There are scant details on how these photojournalism grants will work, but as BJP reports, they could be monthly or quarterly and will involve an application and judging process. The grants will be managed through the Hipstamatic Foundation, an educational arm of the company designed to support photographic storytelling.
Ben Lowy, incidentally, has been posting iPhone images frequently on his tumblr, including recent work from Libya produced on a grant from the Magnum Foundation, and he’s involved at some level with the forthcoming Hipstamatic photojournalism grants. Lowy has entered a partnership of sorts with Hipstamatic to release a Ben Lowy Lens, which will be sold under the company’s GoodPak program to provide funding for the photojournalism grants.
Make sure to check out Tumblr’s storyboard blog for an interview with Lowy about his current iPhone work. They’ll be publishing his Libya photos daily over the next week.
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