The Hipstamatic Blog

Teetering on War: Ukraine 

Photos by Ilya Turchanik.

"You know, from one side Kiev is a European city with modern architecture, and from the other side it is still a post-soviet union city. I’m just trying to show the world as Kiev looks in reality. It’s really beautiful, and scary at the same time… doing streets in Kiev is a bit of a challenge for me. I just keep my iPhone with Hipstamatic open and look for a candid moment."

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This post is part of our Snap Highlight

Snap is a free monthly digtial publication from Hipstmatic on the iPad. Snap showcases the driving forces behind global creative culture, and explores provocative new ways to interpret the beauty around us.

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TAI O, HONG KONG

Photos and words by Cara Gallardo Weil

The fishing village of Tai O is located on the northwestern coast of Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. The village is a stark contrast to the modern architecture of the airport and the city metropolis, normally associated with Hong Kong.

Tai O is home to the Tanka, or boat people, a nomadic southern Chinese ethnic group who traditionally lived on junks. Their houses are built on stilts above the tidal flats. These structures are interconnected, forming a tightly-knit community that lives on the water. The stilt houses, or ‘pang uks’, were once common across Hong Kong – Tai O is the last remaining community of any scale.

Although Tai O’s fishing industry has shrunk considerably in recent years, fish is still a central part of village life, and one can catch a waft of the shrimp paste (a speciality of the village) and salted fish and scallops can be seen drying on verandas.

The village is unique in a city like Hong Kong and when observing village life, one feels a sense of stepping back in time. Getting there can be a bit of a trek, but well worth it – not only is the village a glimpse of Hong Kong’s past, but the journey there also offers a different view of Hong Kong that will surprise many who only know the skyscrapers and modern metropolis.

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This post is part of our Snap Highlight

Snap is a free monthly digtial publication from Hipstmatic on the iPad. Snap showcases the driving forces behind global creative culture, and explores provocative new ways to interpret the beauty around us.

Download Snap Mag

Wanchai, Hong Kong

Photos and Words by Cara Gallardo Weil

Queen’s Road East is a street in Wanchai, on Hong Kong island. The settlement of Wanchai began as a small Chinese community in pre-British times and centered around the present Hung Shing Temple, which was built in 1847. This temple originally faced the shoreline, but is now surrounded by commercial and residential buildings, built on reclaimed land.

Near the beginning of Queen’s Road East is a Stone Nullah Lane, where the Blue House can be found. It’s a 4-story, balcony-type tenement block and is one of the few remaining examples of “Tong Lau,” tenement buildings built in the late 19th century to the 1960s designed for both residential and commercial use. The block still has residents despite the lack of modern conveniences like flushing toilets. No74 Stone Nullah Lane now houses the Hong Kong House of Stories, a community project which organizes exhibitions on local culture, and arranges “community classrooms” where traditional craftsmen, young artists, organic farmers and housewives act as instructors to pass on the culture and craft skills of the old community. 

(Source: snapm.ag)

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Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Photos and Words by Allen Ezial



In October of 2013, I ventured out to Seattle for the first time to explore the city on foot and discover the cuisine, museums, people and of course, coffee. Victrola Coffee Roasters was my favorite. There were too many good restaurants to mention, however Matt’s in the Market was very memorable. The EMP museum was incredible as was the Chihuly Glass exhibit. I spent at least half a day at these two places.

There’s something about visiting one city and walking it day-after-day. You obviously become familiar with the area, but you also start to feel less like a tourist and more like a local, which results in great photography opportunities. I found by the third day, my shots started to feel less like taking pictures of things I should take, and more like the way I see the world around me.

On this trip, I left my big expensive DSLR at home and shot everything on my iPhone 5 with Oggl, and loved it.

I had a fabulous time and look forward to visiting again. And, watch out Boston. You’re on my radar… 

(Source: snapm.ag)

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Detroit

Detroit

Photos and Words by Khalil Muhsin



Detroit is an intriguing urban haven. In what used to be one of the richest cities, there’s a lot to discover — like Central Station, the Fisher, and the Institute of Art. It’s a beautiful city to photograph, but even more thrilling to explore in it’s rebirth, and you’ll leave feeling like you’ve discovered a hidden gem. There’s a renaissance of creative new ideas and concepts, mixed with historically rich landmarks.

What to do:
Urban exploring: The abandoned buildings in the city tell a million stories. There are hundreds that were set ablaze or boarded up, and now falling apart that intrigues an adventurous photographer. But, if you wander in, be careful.

Where to rest your head:
Cadillac Westin downtown is worth the splurge. The Whitney has a historic charm. And check Air BnB for downtown lofts. If you’re willing to make your own bed, the spaces are amazing and cheap.

Where to eat:
Treat yourself to a breakfast of coffee and baked goods at Avalon International Breads. For lunch, stop by Mudgie’s in Corktown for a house-roasted sandwich. You’ll smell the meat roasting from blocks away. Take your sandwiches to Belle Isle for a picnic and views of downtown Detroit. For dinner, splurge a little on a delicious and fine meal at Roast. But if you’d rather keep it casual, go to Buddy’s for one of the most delicious square pizzas in the nation. 

Where to drink:
The Sugar House is a classic cocktail bar with dim lights and a warm atmosphere but just the name is enough to make you wander in.

Where to stroll:
Go for a long walk along the Detroit International Riverfront. It’s 5 miles long with views of the marina, a wildlife refuge, multiple parks, and a few of these intriguing abandoned warehouses. Take a drive to the funky Heidelberg Project, where houses have been adorned with all sorts of odd things. like stuffed animals and road signs. 

(Source: snapm.ag)

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Words and Photos by Linnea Covington

Tap into your inner explorer and put this Wonder of the World on top of your travel list. The time to go to Machu Picchu is now; well actually, it was 10 years ago before this 15th-century Inca site in the Cusco region of Peru became one of the hottest destinations. This area became known after 1911, when American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it, and after cleaning up the foliage that had taken over, visitors could see how these peoples in this immaculate village lived, worshiped, and cultivated the land before the Spanish invasion. Now many tourists clamor to climb around the 2,430 meters-high ancient and beautiful ruins, and soon, I predict it won’t take too long for them to put an even stronger cap on the visitors. Heck, already you can only have 2,500 a day, so make sure to get tickets in advance.

While visiting Machu Picchu, stay in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes (also called Machu Picchu Pueblo), a quaint spot filled with tourists and locals alike, and soak in this truly wondrous place.

When to go: Peru has two seasons, wet and dry. Though both work for visiting Machu Picchu, and I was assured it gets tons of tourists all year long despite the weather. However, the dry season in July and August is the best for walking around and hiking up the precipitous stairs of Wayna Picchu, that large mountain you can see in the background of many photos. The wettest months take place in January and February, so unless you like mud and water, try and avoid this time of year.

What to do: Of course, the main reason to go to this area is to explore Machu Picchu (get tickets from machupicchu.gob.pe, about $40 or 128 sol), and honestly it’s the best thing to do. This is not a late-night town, so get up early, explore this Wonder of the World, and then take a dip in one of the hot springs Aguas Calientes was named after, like the Santa Teresa’s Cocalmayo, where, for about $4 or 10 sol, you can relax your muscles after climbing all those steep steps. Also make sure to check out the large handicraft market by the train station for all your Peruvian textiles, alpaca, and clay figurine needs.

How to get around: Unless you are the adventurous type who wants to wander the Inca Trail for days, the only way to get to Machu Picchu is by taking a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the town closest to this magnificent monument. From there, you can hop a bus at the Puente Ruinas Train Station, which will drive you up the steep, winding side of the mountain to Machu Picchu. Tickets cost around $6 or 17 sol, and the last bus leaves the site for the town at 5:30pm. As far as Aguas Calientes go, it’s a small place and you can easily walk it.

Where to eat and drink: One of the best meals can be found at Inkaterra Café, located right across the train tracks overlooking the hills. Order the quinoa pancakes for breakfast, and for lunch, quinoa-crusted chicken, and Soltero salad, a traditional dish made with chopped cheese, buttery Andean corn, fresh fava beans, chilies, and egg. You can also find causa rellena, a classic yellow potato dish often stuffed with chicken and olives, and plenty of bright ceviche. This café also serves cuy, aka guinea pig, and if you want to try alpaca, head to El Antojito for their take on this meat. Get a jar of cuba libre, pisco sour, or the traditional purple corn drink chicha at just about any bar around, just make sure to drink early, there are laws about consuming liquor past 11pm.

Where to stay: If you have extra money, splurge and stay at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a gorgeous luxury property built to evoke an Andean Village. Stone paths run the length of this quite, lush, 12-acre property, which is only a five-minute walk to the train. They offer private tour guides, a gourmet buffet breakfast, and on-property excursions like bird watching and an orchid walk. Rates start at $274. For a more economical choice, book a room in the center of town at El MaPi Hotel. The breakfast is just as good, but the rooms smaller and more modern. Rates start at $200.

(Source: snapm.ag)

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Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka

Photos and Words by Paul Harding

I needed some sun, some adventure; wild empty beaches, ancient history, exotic creatures. I needed Sri Lanka! 

Sri Lanka; its recent troubles still echoing but with a smile and a ‘Hello, good morning Sir’ from everyone I met, this was a holiday made for my Hipstamatic!

From the historic Fort of Galle with a mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture to the golden sands and crashing waves of the near deserted South Coast. Heading inland for a sunrise safari and then to the City of the Ancient Kings on the most amazing train journey, climbing through misty mountains and tea covered hills.

This island is just a dream to photograph.

(Source: snapm.ag)

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The Slippery Slope of an Internet Hoax


The Slippery Slope of an Internet Hoax

Words by Rheanna Martinez / Photos by Leonardo Correa Luna

I’m sure you were entertained by the live tweets of the note-passing war on a delayed Thanksgiving flight, where producer elan Gale got into a heated hand-written exhange with fellow passenger Diane. Maybe you were #TeamDiane

or #Teamelan, associating with whoever struck some relation to your past travel experiences. Well friends, it was all a hoax. Perhaps it was intended simply for entertainment value, or to increase followers, or maybe — just because.

We were following along closely, shaking our heads, offering our own opinions. And even major news networks were covering this. They obviously fact-check, so it had to be valid, right?

In an age where we value the internet for late- breaking news, what can we accept as true? These social sites not only provide us with news, but entertainment…and a lot of it. everyone is trying to go viral with video, live-tweets, anything. So what does this mean for media outlets and journalists trying to get a competitive edge and be the first to report a story — are they taking the time to fact-check?

Unfortunately this isn’t just occurring with entertainment value stories. It’s real-life, urgent breaking news, and major news outlets we trust that are stumbling and mis-reporting. Take for example, after the Boston marathon bombings, when several people were falsely labeled as

the main suspects on Reddit and two falsely labeled on the cover of the New York Post. This is unfortunate, inaccurate journalism and happening everywhere.

Sometimes it might be a lighthearted story like the note-passing feud, easy for us to pass off, but we’re not always lucky enough to laugh at our gullibility. Common sense — and not getting lost in the dramatic heat of a late-breaking moment
— could probably serve us well, and often answer our own questions of plausibility. So let’s try to remain skeptical about what we read and believe before joining the masses of social sharing. 

(Source: snapm.ag)

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