Oggl 1.3: has a red line been crossed?

By on August 22, 2013

oggl_1_3_02 Has a red line been crossed? The new Oggl update is revolutionary and like all revolutions, reactions will be divided. Some will cry foul, others will greet it as progress. The debate promises to be heated...

The major innovation is being able to import photos into Oggl. It is now possible to import any photo into Oggl whether it’s taken with Hipstamatic, or with any other application available on the app store or ... even a DSLR!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have carried out a test with a photo that I took with a Canon IXY 500 in 2004 in Japan (photo 1).

First I opened and cropped the photo using Photoshop; I also changed the brightness (photo 2). I changed the date of the photo using iPhoto: instead of it having been taken in 2004, the data now shows that the photo was taken today, August 2013. Then I imported it into Oggl and I chose the "Shibuya HipstaPak" (Roboto Glitter + Float). The result is amazing - this photo really looks as if it had been taken with Hipstamatic (photo 3).

Hipstamatic Oggl does however tag each photo to indicate the different photo types. If you open a photo in Oggl, a small downward pointing arrow indicates that the photo was taken using another app, a Hipstamatic logo (a yellow "H") indicates that the picture was imported from Hipstamatic Classic and a grey circle means that Oggl was used.

The EXIF data also demonstrates this new function; here is the data for the photo taken in Tokyo in 2004: "Software: Roboto Glitter Lens + Float Film (post-processed)"

Another innovation is that it is possible to zoom into a picture taken with Oggl. I must admit that this function completely took me by surprise - because it means that, Oggl does not initially produce a square photo but in actual fact, a rectangular picture!  The zoom function does not alter the Hipstamatic photo frame, and only zooms into the photo itself.

As I said, this constitutes a small revolution, and I wonder whether a red line has been crossed... at least in some regards. The weekly competitions on Facebook or Instagram risk being compromised and from now on it will be impossible to ascertain a photo's origin, without taking the time to read the EXIF data. But who, save for a few professionals, actually reads and takes an interest in EXIFs?

For me, this only makes me firmer about my position: any photo sent for publication on Hipstography.com must be an original photo so that I can read the EXIF data and know whether Oggl or Hipstamatic was used. I do publish photographs taken using Oggl, but I always indicate that they are "Oggl" photos.

I do not intend to publish any "post-processed" photos... As I have stated in the FAQ's, there are dozens of excellent sites dedicated to iphoneography in general that publish amazing photos edited by an impressive number of ever more fantastic applications. I want this site to be different and, furthermore, I'm not a fan of editing. I do not like and do not use Instagram, I have always found adding filters a bore and I consider it to be in a way cheating.

I’ve just got back from San Francisco where I was lucky enough to meet the whole Hipstamatic/Oggl team. One of the things that struck me was the general view they have of Hipstamatic and of Oggl. I will publish the interviews in September, but one very important point that everyone emphasized was the difference between Classic and Oggl. The two apps are different, they are aimed at different markets and Hisptamatic Classic will remain what it is today. The game is therefore not changing, but the gap between these two apps has just got bigger. Each of us is free to make up our own mind but I think we should avoid jumping to conclusions. And what about you - what do you think?

This post is also available in: French


  1. Eric

    August 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Update: some words from Lucas and Ryan on Hipstamatic’s blog:

  2. Thérèse

    August 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    This August 22 is for me the day of the revolution. As often in the morning with my coffee, I updates my iPhone applications in the App Store.
    There was this morning an update Oggl. I look with a distracted eye . I almost spit my coffee, so I was surprised. Feverishly i opened Oggl. What a surprise, I could enlarge, crop and cut my photos. I try, I test i’m in ecstasy … able to do everything, what’s a advance.
    I start to dream of possibilities, one day maybe could i rework all my photos and give them Hipsta look.
    I talk to Eric, who said, “but it is now possible, even import all your photos …”
    And here it is, they did. I will, in my opinion, spending some time to rework photos that i was don’t satisfied.

    This is a great tool, a new possibility Oggl but nobody is forced to use it.

  3. Jozef Hipp

    August 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    The new import feature for Oggl is a quite welcomed addition for me since I have been deleting my pictures from Hipstamatic Classic over the years in order to save space. Now I can share my best work from that period of time through Oggl. I think most of us had to do that in the past. A little concern would be over-editing the already taken pictures through too many applications. It gives a greater freedom but I think it will de-hipsta the stream a little bit. All in all the pros outweigh the minuses for me.

  4. kimartino

    August 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    You said it perfectly; everyone should keep an open mind & not instantly HATE!

  5. TechnoNut

    August 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This is exactly the feature that will help differentiate Oggl from its sibling, Hipstamatic camera. Added to the first feature that allows users to change film/lens combos after the fact, you now have two unique features that increase the separation between the two apps. If you want to be a “Hipsta-purist”, then you can continue to fumble with lens, film and flash choices on the fly before capturing your images (hopefully before the moment is gone). On the otherhand, if you want to capture your images first (or pick one of thousands in your library), and choose effects at will, later, and/or use a different camera app or even an entirely different device, then you now have Oggl at your command.

    As mentioned in the review above, the design team has created two (now) distinctively separate apps, that just happen to share the same DNA. You now have a choice, either capture it “in-camera”, or create it in post.

    Lastly, I am somewhat puzzled by the author’s remark about “…adding filters [being] a bore and I consider it to be in a way cheating.”, as if Hipstamatic is somehow a real hardware device that gives you those “looks”, as opposed to simply being a set of filters that mimic different lenses and films.

    • Mark

      August 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      You’re correct. The issue I have is people will post photos they did not make, and post photos made with other cameras.

  6. robyn bromley

    August 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    What’s one of the main differences between Oggl and Instagram after the latest Oggl update? That all the Instagram filters are free but you have to be a paying member of Oggl to access all the filters. Oh yes, and Oggl is increasingly being a tits and bums, and other bits, forum.

    I hate the latest Oggl update as it allows you to upload from your camera roll and post – and then send to Instagram. It will create confusion and probable unfairness for the Instagram hipsta community challenges. Imagine a hipsta challenge for bird shots. I could upload one of my DSLR bird photos to Oggl, apply a lens and film filter, and then post to Instagram tagging the post as a Hipstamatic/Oggl. I’d probably be a finalist – no tickets on myself, it’s just DSLR shots of birds in flight triumph always over Hipstamatic/Oggl. Always!

    Oggl is not a Hipstamatic community anymore. It’s just another photo sharing app that offers a camera and filters; like Instagram, like Eyem, like Starmatic, like… like all the photo sharing apps; but more expensive!

    • Joe Montoya (@joe_montoya)

      August 23, 2013 at 12:12 am

      I agree with Robyn about Oggl being a Hipstamatic community made by Hipstamatic. It looks like the folks at Hipstamatic HQ have made up their minds which direction to go. If their goal is to widen their audience, then so be it. What’s to stop all the meme posters from coming in and littering Oggl with pics of celebrities. If that happens, then Oggl is just another photo sharing site with its own set of filters.

      • Mark

        August 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm


  7. MiniBlueDragon

    August 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    TechnoNut your comments perfectly mirror mine from the Hipstography FB page. Hipstamatic is a whole different animal to Oggl and should be used like that.

    Some people work by finding a spot, looking for scenes to shoot, working through ideas on how to best express a story or object and then setting up to take that shot via their chosen device. They might end up in that one spot for absolutely ages trying to get the perfect image they want or going back there day after day waiting for that perfect shadow or person to walk past.

    Other people prefer to take shots as they’re seen; they want to go to an area and take a whole load of photos of an object or scene and then later on when they have time or are feeling creative go though and select the best of the shots they’ve taken for post-processing.

    Neither way is right and neither way is wrong; they’re just different processes and that’s what Hipstamatic and Oggl are catering for.

    • roberto murgia

      August 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      the red line has been exceeded for some time…
      my thinking is very simple and I’ve already expressed that. without wishing to be offensive to anyone, for me OGGl is so different (in the way of thinking about the photo shoot) from Hipsta that mix the two app it seems to me a misleading things, it becomes an unbearable mess. if OGGL is not sharply distinguished from Hipsta, inevitably becomes the death of Hipsta and the philosophy behind it.
      in a nutshell: have mercy, free me and Hipsta from OGGL!

  8. Jennifer Sharpe

    August 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Very interesting discussion. I’m of the school who likes to shoot first and edit later when I have some peace and quiet. I will still use Classic Hipsta because it has random, flash and double-exposure – in fact I always keep Classic on random, and I love the other two features dearly. I use Oggl sometimes but usually when I know I will have the patience and curiousity and time to go through and try different combinations – it can be overwhelming to me other times.

    Oggl is wonderful in that it’s bringing the beautiful filters Hipstamatic is known and loved for to the world at large. I actually do read EXIF data – and Oggl’s marking each photo as Oggl, Classic, or Post-Processed will make a difference for me in terms of curiousity re: tools. But really when I curate, which is what I mostly do at Oggl (I have gathered over 900 photos from others which I absolutely am proud to show – the talent is inspiring and needs to be seen and supported!), I will be picking an artwork which is fantastic no matter WHAT it was made with. That is the bottom line for me, not the tool. I find the quibbling about tools in any profession that uses a camera (I make experimental video too, that is my main love) to be besides the point, and kind of well… nerdy. So I’ll stick to my critera of “great art” and give kudos to all the artists out there who do exciting and new things with Oggl.

    • Ralf_BCN

      August 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Yes, I’m of the same school – first compose the image, edit later. What needs to be updated on the Oggl-app is the flash and the double-exposure.

  9. Cary Gossett

    August 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I occasionally upload to oggl to thin my roll. I’ve never posted a shot taken with oggl cam and I’ve opened the app only twice to curate a few shots and to follow friends. But I’ve not looked at my feed except once. It was so frustrating that oggl is basically non existent to me. The fact that *any* shot can be ‘hidden’ in Hipstamatic guise now is an open door to Trojan horses and a reason to block all oggl shots from challenges. I can tell you I won’t be selecting any oggl shots as a moderator, entering any contest accepting oggl shots, or spending time on oggl. I’ve already spent as much money on oggl as I’m going to: $0.00. What a major disappointment. Can only hope the ‘minds’ at oggl won’t apply such brilliance in ruining Hipstamatic Classic. Namaste, C

  10. Ger van den Elzen

    August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    For me the red line bas been crossed at some point! This article made me even more aware of the fact that this ‘update’ is the greencard for cheat!
    A compliment for the web based Oggl.me portfolio they came up with and the great Oggl Pro version they built just for the Nokia1020 Windows Phone. With this version I’m a lucky photographer–>it has no library import, so no post processing. So it is not all bad news ;-)

    • Tamás Zahorán

      August 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Ger, be sure the update will come to your Nokia too sooner or later…

      • Ger van den Elzen

        August 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        @Tamás; if it comes on my Nokia it will be the same as currently with the iPhone,….I do not use this functionality. It is like my spare tire on my Ford Focus. It is there but i never used it and hope that I never have to!

  11. Tamás Zahorán

    August 22, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Great article Eric and an inspiring discussion over here! Respecting the route oggl has taken, I’m probably chosing the other direction and leave oggl. Does anybody know of a similar network of fine photos free of obscenity and dslr-postprocessed-stuff? Or will hipstography.com be the last place to look for mobile-only hipsta photos…? ;)

  12. Sanchez

    August 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I’m not a defender of Oggl. In fact, I’ve detested it from the start. But for the first time today I saw it’s potential, more as editor like a hipstamatic snapseed then an actual shooter. My biggest problem with Oggl is still the clunky UI. For me, it’s just not as user friendly to the touch as other apps. Also, it’s just not as relieable a shooter. But now, being able to import photos I’ve taken with apps that are more reliable and higher quality, and then being able to add hipstamatic’s filters to those images is very exciting to me. For the first time I think they may have something I can use and become part of my work, if even occassionally.

    That being said, Eric, I love your site, but anyone who says that post processing with filters is “cheating” simply does not have any understanding of the technology he is using with both hipstamatic and oggl. In fact, if you’re going to run a “hipstography” web site I think you need to educate yourself and revise your views. The reason is this:

    Hipstamatic and Oggl are founded on the idea of “cheating” filters just as photography has always been. Whether you use those filters in the moment of shooting or afterwards, you are still manipulating the image of that moment in time with a technology that “stylizes” the moment based on one’s creative sensibility, light, and the technology one is using. It is actually no different from any photography or dark room developing that has ever been done, only it’s being done on your mobile device with 0s and 1s and not chemical compounds.

    My point is: does the eye see in black and white? No, not even if you’re color blind. Does the eye see in polaroid or through a helga viking lens. No. It does not. But we use these aesthetic manipulations to construct a piece of expression out of light, mass and shadow.

    To say that any aspect of this process is “cheating” when you are fronting basically a propaganda site for the company that founded “filter based mobile photography” is truly one of the most hypocritical misstatements I’ve read about mobile photography, and I can only assume comes from your ignorance of the facts and the technology. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s insulting. We welcome your response.

    • Eric

      August 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Sanchez, I understand your point of view and you are right… But first, I was speaking about my experience on Instagram (I hate changing the filters); then, sorry but I am a French speaker… The words in English are perhaps not the good ones… In French, I wrote “cela fausse le jeu”.

      I don’t know how to translate in English (I can’t call at 10.30 PM my translator ;-) but it means “it distorts the game”. It’s a reference of the fact that you have to know each lens, film or flash on Hipstamatic Classic; it takes time but it’s fun to understand the impact of each filter.
      It’s not the same “game” than changing the filter on Oggl or instragram.

      I hope it’s clear now and sorry if I offended someone.

      But I am not agree with your comment about a “propaganda site for the company…”. It’s not true and it’s insulting. I have no link with Hipstamatic, I just love the app… ;-)

    • odilonvert

      August 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Sanchez I agree as an editor, which is what Oggl seems to really want to become, they desperately need to fix their UI. If they want to go in all directions with editing they should consider a different design. That is why I find it overwhelming to change looks with all those lenses and films. It takes forever. If they had something more like Jazz where you push a button and your photo is transformed into several different looks without your choosing (but then you can edit any aspect of the photo version you like best once you choose), that would be MUCH less of a headache to me.

      It seems they have some definite direction but their software design and function needs to catch up and hone that, much more elegantly and simply. This is super important to people who work on as small a surface as an iPhone (iPad people have a bit of an advantage in comparison). You want to do stuff very simply and quickly so your eyes don’t fall out of your skull. Apps that can do that end up staying on my phone, those that can’t get deleted off it.

    • yaksox

      August 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      I agree completely with what this dude says.

    • Ralf_BCN

      August 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Now that importing images from a camera-roll on iPhone is possible, why not make it more comfortable and have a desktop version of Oggl? At least that’s much more comfortable. No first uploading on iPhone/Pad and then editing on a small screen. (Still no iPad version for H or O).

  13. Alexandra McCormick

    August 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    It’s interesting that debate has arisen with the release of the new Oggl import from camera roll feature. There is a lot of discussion going on between the ‘pure’ Hipsta users, the now ‘pure’ Oggl users and those who want the flexibility of editing any photo. For a long time people bemoaned the fact that with Hipstamatic they couldn’t edit photos using the apps films and lenses. They now have that ability with the new Oggl release.
    I find it’s a double edged sword. On the one hand I like to ability to edit my photos. That’s the creative process that I get a kick out of. On the other hand the skill is about getting a great shot with my phone, not my DSLR.
    The question is whether people will now see Oggl as just another editing app. For me, I’ll use the new feature, but stay true to the art of mobile photography.

  14. Scott Swiecki

    August 22, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I feel about the same as Alexandra. Like most Hipstamatic and Oggl users, I have always appreciated the uniqueness of these apps, each in its own way, and would hate to see either become ‘just another photo editor.’

    I currently exclusively use my iphone for photos, and enjoyed the challenges presented by the nature of these apps. I do also appreciate having the option to import and modify previous, non-Hipsta/Oggl photos through the app, but can see where it has the potential to lose some of what made it so special, as folks begin to flood the community with photos taken in any number of ways. I’m curious to see where this goes, and show the community at large reacts over time.

  15. @Cairenn

    August 23, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Dear Oggl…
    I *Love You – but – I do not like your recent choice of change.
    I solemnly swear to only ever *Upload *Like *Curate Hipstamatic/Oggl original images.
    I’m *Sorry… but this is my *Choice.

  16. Mark

    August 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    The problem I have is, mobile photography integrity is taken away. People will be able to post photos’ made with DSLR and point & shoot cameras. Now the app is just another EyeEm and Instagram app.

  17. Gary

    August 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    The solution could be for Oggl to prohibit the upload of post processed images to the Oggl system. I.e. only images taken through Hipstamatic or Oggl should be uploaded to Oggl. Currently there is a big increase in the amount of porn in the Global feed to the Oggl system – all of it post processed.

    I would like to see only the images posted by other H & O users and not see any post processed images.

    • Gary

      August 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      …and why are Post Processed pictures being chosen in the Editor’s Picks from team Hipsta. Currently in the first 4 Editor’s Picks photos, 3 have been post processed!

  18. emilyk

    August 24, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Ha, who is this “editor” exactly, their choices seem very general public “i only like photos of flowers and horses” type photos. Just like instagram.

    They said OGGL would be different, not the usual “instagram” photos of sunsets / feet / mountains / sunsets / feet etc etc. But there it is in their “photos of the day” …mountains, food, sunsets, beaches blah blah blah.

  19. MiniBlueDragon

    August 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Hipstamatic is a whole different animal to Oggl and should be used like that.

    Some people work by finding a spot, looking for scenes to shoot, working through ideas on how to best express a story or object and then setting up to take that shot via their chosen device. They might end up in that one spot for absolutely ages trying to get the perfect image they want or going back there day after day waiting for that perfect shadow or person to walk past.

    Other people prefer to take shots as they’re seen; they want to go to an area and take a whole load of photos of an object or scene and then later on when they have time or are feeling creative go though and select the best of the shots they’ve taken for post-processing.
    Neither way is right and neither way is wrong; they’re just different processes and that’s what Hipstamatic and Oggl are catering for.

    For me I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve notices something I want to photograph, I’ve gone to Hipstamatic and chosen a lens/film and taken a shot to find it too dark or too grungy or not the right feel to it and by the time I’ve gone through several combinations the object or scene has changed and I’ve missed it. I’d much rather get a load of photos while I can and edit afterwards so Oggl’s perfect for that (now).

  20. Ralf_BCN

    August 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t know if this was already mentioned here but the online site needs to be protected! There should be a watermark on each photo and users should have the option any time to decide if they want their pics on the web or only inside the app on the phone.

  21. Charles Robertson

    September 8, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I hate to burst your bubble, but both Hipstamatic & Oggl post process, although the former just gives the illusion that a filter is being placed in front of the lens. I used to use Hipstamatic all the time. Now I just snap with the native iPhone camera & add filters using Oggl. Far easier & more creative, because you can really experiment & see which filter works best. You can even add one filter on top of another, if you save out each filter change. The bottom line as always, is that you have to create a good composition & take a good photo in the first place! Happy snapping…

    • petelebow

      March 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      I agree with this method – I didnt use Oggl at all until I was able to re-import from camera roll – the ability to layer filters has given even larger numbers of combinations of creativity that can be achieved.

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