Teacher by Day, iPhoneographer by Night
Tom Nußbaum: Teacher by Day, iPhoneographer by Night by BP
I’m proud to introduce you all to Tom Nußbaum. The second artist I met through the “Moose” collaboration with Atle Rønningen. Tom is one of the most enjoyable, supportive artists on the photo social networks. I have seen his name everywhere I tend to frequent; AMPt, DroidEdit, individual feeds…he really is a great supporter of not only the art of mobile photography, but the artists. It’s due his time to have a feature on Juxt and to learn more about him and his work.
With that I introduce to you Tom…
B: BP T: Tom
B: Who are you and what do you do?
T: I’m an addicted iphoneographer and mobile editor by night, and maths and physics teacher in a polytechnic by day. I live, work and love in Innsbruck, the capitol of Tyrol in Austria. This mobile photography passion all started when I met Tina and we shared our first pictures together. I was in love with her Hipstamatic shots and exactly 2 years ago I bought my first iPhone and also started to use Hipstamatic. I love to be outside and explore the nature that surrounds me, i read a lot, go skiing in winter, biking in summer and have a wishlist on my bedroom door. My students sometimes ask me if i could show them some tricks or work on some posters when we don’t learn about numbers together. I sometimes wished they had the same passion for mathematics, not only design. It feels so good to see them grow in knowledge and wisdom, how they think, grow together and solve problems. It’s been a truly honor to follow their way and guide them through a short period of time they spend on our school.
B: Can you describe in more detail where you are from; its people, the culture, and the scenery? How does this help in your creative process? Does it influence your work?
T: I’m a ‘nature lover’ and in my spare time you will find me mostly outside. Either climbing mountains or riding my bike through the alps exploring the nature with my niece. Living in the mountains, especially in a valley is something I hear people dream off. Well that’s what they write me in their IG comments all the time and I can assure you it’s beautiful. I try to capture the beauty of mother nature with all my heart, enjoy the seasons we have, the colors of the trees, the snow. Especially in winter you can adopt the atmosphere and the white snow looks like an overdose of sugar over the mountains. Time stands still and I gasp and enjoy every breath I have been given.
B: What do you shoot in? Do you use a 3rd party app? Do you shoot in native? Can you give us a breakdown of what’s in your “camera bag” and also let us know why you like those apps?
T: When I started using my iphone as a camera I thought I will go with Hipstamatic. But soon I found out I am not the best photographer. I failed to focusing on the motive and scene, was never happy with the limitations I got from cropping or its filters. For that reason I switched back to the native camera app very quickly. It’s not perfect but I have control of my scenes, I don’t need to think all the time about the square, “the rule of thirds” or what I want to shoot. I always crop and edit later.
It may sounds like an ad but when I got my iPhone 4S, it totally changed my world and how I see things. I always have a camera in my pockets to document our adventures! It’s also my mobile office and the device I stay in touch with friends and family. But the most exciting part is the apps allowing me to be creative whenever I want to be creative. I happen to edit a picture on my lunch break, or on the bus ride home. My students and my family, especially my girlfriend Tina, support me and help me discover new things. I try to keep my edits minimal even though I love to ‘appsperiment’ a lot and I know I sometimes make people around me crazy when I have to finish an edit first, or try to figure out how others did it. My camera roll is a creative mess. I just finished an ArtStudio drawing with 69 different layers and even more different versions, I know, that sounds crazy, but that’s me.
My weapon of choice is Snapseed. They just entered the Android market and I already can follow the excellent edits on IG. It was very needed for mobile photography when it finally arrived. I use Filterstorm and PicFx for the textures and the masking, but theres is not a single day I’m not playing around with ArtStudio, this app is like having PhotoShop in your pockets.
B: Do you use any other camera/s? If so, what do you use? Also if so, what do you use your iPhone for vs your big camera?
T: I do have a SLR but I want to edit my pictures immediately, otherwise I am not pleased. The possibility to instantly share made it very easy for me to switch to mobile photography. My SLR is covered in dust and I been thinking several times to sell it and get something more compact. When traveling I always have a mini diana (analog camera) in my bag and I shoot like there is no tomorrow. It’s so fun to go through all the pics later and have a moment laughing trying to figure out what the picture actually was.
B: Why do you love mobile photography?
T: I love it because I have my camera always with me. I can even make calls with this camera! It’s literally became a part of me. Mainly because it allows you to edit your photos right away and as mentioned before; the apps make it really fun for me. Along with the social integration of course. It’s attractive and addictive.
I’m connected to many creative and awesome people that inspire and influence my work and how i see the world; Christina Joch, Ben Bradley, Thomas Kakareko, Edu Cambra, Seth Hardie, Tjoe Daniel, Atle Rønningen (Juxt), Ebes Rasyid (Juxt), Phil Parsons, Fabian Albert, James Wilson, Blake Behrens, and Aaron Cahill.
B: What would you like to tell someone who just realized what they can do with their mobile device?
T: First of all you have to find the fun in creating and working on your pictures. Surely IG can be a source of inspiration, or flickr, but this doesn’t count when you don’t have fun doing it. There are so many different apps with so many different possibilities to to be creative with your pictures, or just draw art on your device.
Get to know the basics like cropping, curves and layers, adjust brightness and tones, or use filters to your photos. All this is a good start.
Next level is to experience with blends – this means combining multiple images to achieve new and more creative results. The best way to get started with this is to investigate Merek Davis’ #mextures and/or Neal Dieker‘’s #ndpatterns. Lately I have worked with the Android Editors Team and we started a project to create new overlays/textures. We call them overlays/textures ‘Lumiforms’. The unique with the Lumiforms are that they are 100 % mobile, photographed and post processed. They will soon be available for everyone to use.
Editing Details: I always tried to show the minimalism and beauty in the nature that surrounds me, and so i started this little series a few week ago. The series will show our adventures in the snow and this picture shows my aunt and uncle walking with their sledge in the alps. In Artstudio i picked the color of the snow (eyedrop tool) and used the brush tool to ‘delete/repaint’ all the nature around them and saved. With photoforge2 app I added some color adjustments, done.
Editing Details: This is a picture using one of the #lumiforms we are about to release. The background is a picture I have taken in fall during a walk and listening to this song. When i had a look in my camera roll and remembered this photo I started to edit it. First i opened snapseed and made adjustments at the curves and tones, then I cropped it and saved. A good cropped picture helps me focusing on the details. Then I blended one of the new overlays using the ‘multiply’ at 40%. With Over app i added the lyric, done.