PetaPixel

Lenka: A Minimalist B&W iOS Camera App that Won’t Even Let You Take Selfies

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Characterizing a black and white camera app as ‘minimal’ feels a bit like characterizing an elephant as ‘big’… or a coffee shop in Williamsburg as ‘hipster.’ Of course it’s minimal, it only shoots black and white! But one look at the new iOS app Lenka and you’ll realize why we used that term.

Created by photographer Kevin Abosch, Lenka is the result of dissatisfaction with the black-and-white options out there. As the saying goes: see a need, fill a need; and so Abosch, who has tried his hand at app development before, put together Lenka.

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The app, much like black-and-white photography itself, is stripped down to the bare essentials. You can only use the rear-facing cameras (when it comes to selfies, just say NO), your picture mode options include normal and high-contrast, and you can choose to turn the flash bulb on or off for a source of continuous lighting in dark environments.

Beyond that, you’re also able to share the results out to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Email or iMessage, but there is no in-app social network or further filtering options. If you want to edit and tweak your Lenka creation further, you’ll have to export it into another app.

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But that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Lenka’s simplicity is what makes the app so alluring in the first place. No unnecessary controls, no filters, no color; heck, no front-facing camera functionality.

If one of mobile photography’s most compelling aspects is that it forces you to focus on what matters most — that being composition and light — Lenka takes that aspect to its extreme by stripping away even the option to focus on aught else.

Simplicity, however, comes at a price. The self-described “simple yet powerful” app will run you $3, more than many of Lenka’s more feature-rich competitors like Hueless. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the results are worth the price.

Learn more about the app or pick up your own copy by heading over to the iTunes App Store.