Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Royal Enfield owner uses latest technology
to give the future the look of the past

Royal Enfield owner Chris Bartlett is at it again, living at the intersection of the future as he recreates the look of the past.

I've written about Chris before and his use of electronic techniques to celebrate mechanical wonders, especially the Royal Enfield Bullet.

Chris markets his Brit-bike era clothing at his on-line store, Her Majesty's Thunder. The store has sprouted a blog, among other features, and there you will find his thoughts on what's cool, including some of his own pictures.

I was struck by his recent photo essay on the Heavy Rebel Weekender event he attended in North Carolina. The event just happened, but the photos look like he picked up the developed prints at the corner drug store, circa 1962, right down to the dates printed in the margin. Remember how they used to do that?

The shots would make excellent post cards, I suggested.

How did he do it, I asked? Surely this took sophisticated equipment and hours of time. Not so, he advised:

"Those photos were taken with my iPhone using an app called Hipstamatic, which replicates lenses and flashes from old cameras. I added the dates in Photoshop.

"I think the future will look more like the past than what we currently envision as the future. Technology will change, but the more we advance, it seems, the more we want it to feel familiar. That's what I love about my Enfield. It's new, but it's authentically old.

"Also, I like that postcard idea!

"Her Majesty's Thunder is still going well and we have three new shirts coming for fall.

"I haven't been posting on the Enfield forums much lately. I've been busy, but mostly because my bike has been running so well."

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