The Flats: Cleveland through a Hipstamatic

It should come as no surprise that I have a fondness of both vintage and technology. I love the nostalgia of ¬†something that’s been seasoned by time, so when I found the Hipstamatic app for the iPhone I was all over it. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been snapping photos left and right with this thing, my cats, my office, pretty much anything. It’s even replaced the standard iPhone camera in the dock, it’s become my go to camera. It does a really nice job of replicating the unpredictability of vintage toy cameras, making everything look like a 1970 print you found in your grandparents attic. The only downfall is that most subjects you point your iPhone at aren’t that old, there’s always going to be a disconnect if you try to turn a Prius vintage.

Today while deliberately trying to get lost in the west bank of Cleveland’s Flats I realized how perfect the atmosphere was for some Hipstamatic¬†faux vintage. The Flats are essentially abandoned and have been since the steel industry took a hit, but all the infrastructure still exist… the skeletal remains of an industry. As I was going through the photos I realized I was taking a look back forty years. They felt genuine. The way Hipstamatic processed the images combined with the aging bridges and factories, these, to me, look exactly like something you would find while going through your grandparents old snapshots. The Flats are great for this. It’s urban decay at its finest. I love wandering around just imagining what it once was, getting lost in beauty of how its aged. Some find it depressing but looking at it through a historic lens seems to make you think of it a little differently.


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Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010