It’ll be a chance to meet fellow photographers and help raise funds for Urban Artworks while listening to music and grabbing a bite.
DJ Phosho will be spinning music all night and here’s a free download to get you all warmed up!
Pssssst…. word is that Outside the Box will be serving pork belly with cauliflower and rice, carnitas with lettuce wraps, loco moco and veggie kelp noodle stir fry – a menu that surely won’t disappoint!
If you have already RSVP’ed please note that there will be an all ages “happy hour” from 5 – 7PM; the party continues for those 21+ until midnight.
Continuing from the first installment of the “Indie Tags” series #nyekundu, I now present a second tag created on Instagram with another wonderful group of friends. #0o0 shows our love, delirium and obsession with circles among many other things.
Circles, the reoccurring theme with #0o0, can be found in any form (except artificially generated with editing apps) in various places – on the floor, objects, street signs, holes, windows and endless exciting performances.
Once I mentioned that Instagram to me is like my taxonomy diary in which I collect, record, compile and separate the simple things that catch my attention. I get caught by some feature of formal beauty or simply to evoke a sense of satisfaction to live it.
If you love circles, you’ll love this tag along with the selections we have made.
I was really excited to find out that all these guys from all over the world, Hector (Mexico), Michael (UK), José (Mexico), Matt (Australia) and Ozan (Turkey), were collecting full frame circles too. Together we wanted to share our pics so we invented #0o0. I believe it was Hector who proposed to use a tag and Matt who came up with 0o0 name and, in no time, had a lot of pics in our tag and friends who joined us.
#0o0′s first picture was tagged on 11-10-2011 by Michael; there are currently 5626+photos in the gallery.
I started with IG early 2011 and was instantly hooked, images are much more valuable to me than words.
I work as a graphic (web) designer in the Netherlands and IG inspired me a lot.
Nowadays there are a lot circle tags, but in the beginning I thought I was the only one collecting circles. I started collecting them when I went to art school (90′s, analog) and rediscovered this addiction on IG.
The Mobile Photography Awards is pleased to announce an open call for entries for photographers and artists worldwide to submit Black & White photographs and images created on mobile devices (phone and tablet) for Shadow Stories: The Art of Mobile Black & White. The exhibit will have a digital premiere at the SOHO Arthouse in New York in May, 2014 and a print exhibit follows for a three week run at the Holcim Gallery near Toronto from June 9-28, 2014. If you already have an MPA account please sign-in or register and enter with a new account right here
The exhibit will feature between 25-30 images, as chosen by our jury, and will accompany the 3rd Annual MPA winners presentation at the Holcim Gallery.
We welcome all genres and styles of black and white mobile photography: from straight photography to the more painterly and illustrative. We want to feature the finest black and white (and duotone) images made on mobile devices.
Entry Deadline and Fees
The call for submissions is open for just under three weeks – from April 3rd through April 24th, 2014. Images accepted into the exhibit will be announced the week of May 10th, 2014. Submission fees are in US Currency and are $15 for 1 image, $30 for 3 images, $50 for 6 images and $100 for 15. You may purchase as many blocks of entries as you like. Further information on the entry process and terms of entry are available on our FAQ.
About Soho Arthouse
Named as one of the best contemporary art galleries in NYC, SOHO ARTHOUSE is a multi-purpose event space, art gallery and theater. Centrally located in an iconic NYC neighborhood, the gallery is the “heartchild” of John Ordover, son of the late lawyer Jerry Ordover, a leading figure in the Modern Art community. Jerry’s clients over the years included artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Nam Jun Paik and preeminent gallery owner Leo Castelli. “Growing up around the brilliant, spontaneous and off-beat crowd my father introduced me to,” Ordover said, “that creative energy drove my work as a writer and editor; opening a gallery is simply coming full circle.”
About the Holcim Gallery
A beautiful gallery space with clean lines and multiple viewing angles, the Holcim Gallery is inspired by the surrounding natural wonder of the Niagara Escarpment. Housed in the remarkable new Milton Centre for the Arts building near Toronto, the gallery draws crowds from the theatre, workshops and regional library as part of the arts complex. It has become a must visit space for arts patrons from the greater Toronto area. The MPA is thrilled to have been invited back following the success of our 2013 exhibits.
What can you do to bring new life into a once thriving metropolis, is what our community has been asking themselves lately. The city of Jacksonville, Florida has been struggling to ignite the interest of hundreds of thousands of suburban residents to frequent its once thriving streets in the recent past. During the second week of April, 2014 the streets of Jacksonville were on fire with One Spark. This movement hit the city with a godly thunder-clap, and might possibly change the way we look at finding and funding new ideas. One Spark is a crowd funding initiative for anyone with an idea to register and promote themselves into possible funding based on crowd votes and investor interest. This year there were 249,000 reported attendees, more than $360 thousand dollars in awarded crow funds in addition to over $3.25 million dollars in possible capital investments (source, www.beonespark.com). Not only did it give anyone in the world the opportunity to share promote their product or idea but it pumped life into the city streets and gave myself more hope and pride in the future of my hometown.
Earth Guy – ProShot Camera, edited in Fantasia Painter
Around the World…Cup – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia painter
Jacksonville is a very diverse city though its diversity is rarely as mingled as it was during this event. Candid shots and street shooting is a foreign style of photography to me but I figured this was the greatest opportunity I would have and I chose to keep my Nokia Lumia 1020 on hand as I explored the festivities. As I walked through the streets, I found great ease capturing the life around me. With the extended battery pack there is an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand and a shutter button that makes candid shots easy and discreet. I used this opportunity to try different settings within the 1020. The native camera worked effortlessly as I snapped away at my intended targets. As I explored it became late in the afternoon, the sun was falling heavy on the horizon, the buildings loomed over us and the shadows were king. With a few adjustments to the shutter speed in the ProShot app I was able to fire away at my subjects and came away happy with the results.
Corner Taco – Native camera, edited with Oggl
Streets are alive – Native Camera, edited with Oggl
Burlesque with a bit of SciFi – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter
What I noticed as I walked through the streets was not only life and excitement but a sincere sense of community. Each corner you pass there were food trucks, beer and hard cider vendors and interesting people both dressed in costumes, suits or matching uniforms all hoping you’ll find interest in their product and help them realize their dream, whatever that may be. This crowd funding was impartial to inventions, music, art and food, if you have something good you can share it here. This sense of opportunity kept the streets live with music, spoken word poetry, street performers and a man on a bicycle that I can only describe as belonging in a Tim Burton movie. I have to say I have an interest in people watching which I believe is what brings so much fascination to candid and street photography. That myriad of mysteries that make up a stranger on the bus, on a park bench deep in thought or passing by on the street just enjoying their evening, pure and unaffected by knowledge of the observing lens recording these seemingly unimportant moments.
The man with the plan, a casual observer – ProShot Camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter
Boneshakered BigWheel – ProShot camera app, edited in Fantasia Painter
Eye see Joy – Native camera, edited in Oggl
Project Atrium (Shaun Thurston exhibit, MOCA) – ProShot camera app, edited in Oggl
From all of this years success we have been seeing updates from OneSpark’s founding team meeting with media giants such as Time magazine and NBC, and they are currently preparing to hold a OneSpark event in Berlin, Germany. I have been looking for my golden ticket idea for years and continue to each and every day. Not only were the overall winners provided with financial backing to expand and make their ideas a reality but everyone that entered got the opportunity to share their ideas, put themselves out there and give hope a chance. There were only a few named winners of this event but I feel that the true winner is the community that came together for five days in April, pumped new life into the city and hopefully walked away with new found inspiration and pride in their community.
There is a first for everything. My first today is to like and choose a cat. An amazing collection with a main theme of mystery with a hint of gothic taste. I’ll keep it short today, because I want you to enjoy more the wonderful photos for this amazing showcase. Thank you to all the great artists here for their support! – D.C.
Molly The Cat by David Denagel
It is a portrayal of Molly, my cat, awakening from her sleep. I wanted an image of her essence as a cat, and for me, that is summed up in cat’s eyes. The photo was taken a close range and hand held. Only a room lamp provided the lighting and Molly was in her favorite chair. I used an iPhone5 and only Hipstamatic. The combo was Tinto 1884, Robusta film and Jolly Rainbo 2x flash. (The Hipstamatic “flash”, in this case, did not provide any external light but added an additional darkening filter to the image.) I felt this processing would give a dreamy and moody coloration to the image, deemphasizing hard lines, while drawing a dark vignette around much of her head. This treatment produced a quality of both mystery and some menace (characteristics of many felines, even the most sweet like Molly.) David DeNagel @dcd49 on Oggl
INSPIRATION: I have always been inspired by literature and imagery from the Victorian era… it was a time of great change. The world was on the cusp of mass modernisation and I consider that time to be a juxtaposition of darkness and light. Darkness and light fascinate me… I hoped to convey a little of that mystery in the image.
STORY: The subject of the image is my daughter and last year we decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. She dressed in an appropriate gown and we used several props in order to convey a sense of mystery… tell an open-ended story…
I wanted to give a “Gothic” feel to the image, yet also make it seem timeless. Therefore, the story could be from any era. I also wanted the viewer to question what was being illustrated. Has the girl taken medicine? Is it medicine or poison? The “close” aspect of the image… waist height… was deliberate as I hoped that the viewer may experience a certain proximity to the figure. As if she had administered the bottle to they themselves…
PROCESS: The original image was shot using an app called CCV… I prefer this app because it is a very simple camera replacement app yet very powerful, and it captures images in TIFF format meaning that I can go back to them without loss of quality.
I converted the image to black and white in Snapspeed, cropped, and applied the center focus and grunge filters, experimenting to get the desired effect. A good way to apply the grunge filter in Snapspeed is to choose a particular filter then dial the effect down to zero… this can give a dreamlike quality to an image.
Finally I imported the image into Oggl, where I have it the “Tinto” effect…
This shot was inspired by my daughter, Aymber. We were shooting images for fun, and she stepped away for a bit, returning with this elaborate make-up job and costume. She created the look on her own, but when I saw her, the first thing I thought of was singer Siouxsie Sioux! Aymber had never even heard of Siouxsie, so we looked her up together. I had Aymber pose with the rose petals of various colors and sheer tulle fabric simply because I had them available. We used a black backdrop and soft studio lights. I often work with my two daughters as artistic collaborators and photo models.
The image was shot on Hipstamatic-Oggl , G2 lens + Kodot XGrizzled film. No post-image processing was done.
My friend I just saw your comment and yes ill send you the pic and how ive made it … please forgive me for the late reply ..i hope that you still have time for the showcase to use my image called ” her ghost” what inspires the photo are all those chaotic thoughts all that need to see our selves escape from our own body … I opened the app filtrstormPRO to blend the two portraits and adjust the contrast and curves .. Make it black and white in the same app then I opened the image with artrage to paint and give this effect to the photo.
London is wet at the moment. Not as wet as the UK as a whole but still pretty soggy. Many parts of the country are doing a fairly accurate impression of the film ‘Waterworld’. The Thames Barrier is working overtime to protect the capital from a similar fate. I live in a basement and fully support their actions.
I love the Southbank, an area of London full of culture, brutalist architecture and people. On a day with a brief respite from the seemingly constant rain and wind, I took a walk along that area of the River Thames. Some of the characters seemed to be missing that day, perhaps perturbed by the threat of more bad weather.
As I passed the people, theatres and galleries, I found a spot alongside the river which seemed to sum up London’s mood at that particular moment. Battered by storms, sick of the cold and damp, and longing for Spring to turn up with some sunshine. How do you capture that in an image?
Well…you wander into a massive puddle, crouch down while your shoes get soaked and take the shot you envisaged. Apart from a child splashing through the shot with a parent’s apology everything was as smooth as a well conditioned cat.
The reflection was what drew me to the shot and the moodiness of the clouds, which seemed to threaten further rain. No one would sit on that bench that day. It would be isolated by the water around it and an air of loneliness would linger.
It took the shot with the native iPhone camera and ran it through Snapseed to tighten up some of the details. Then I used Mextures for some grit and scratches. Finally I used Noir for a vignette effect and to emphasise the stormy menace lurking in the clouds.
In November 2013, Luis Merlos decided to take a short trip to Seattle, Washington; a trip that would inspire him to revisit memories of his past even though he had never been there before.
“Seattle has always been a place of interest for me because growing up in Los Angeles, I took a liking to their Grunge music and I have to admit, I enjoyed watching the Seattle Supersonics,” Merlos, who goes by @deadpool167 on Instagram, says. “Also the Space Needle is cool.”
Merlos packed some bags and hit the skies with Cynthia Casillas, who goes by @cynn33 on Instagram. He says he enjoyed “having someone help you explore and kick around ideas.” Plus, he adds, “She also didn’t mind me bugging her to be the subject in a few of my shots.”
Once in Seattle, Merlos found what he’d long been hoping for, the Space Needle. Perhaps the city’s most photographed landmark, the Space Needle stands at 605 feet high. Built in the 1960s, the Space Needle has become a symbol of Seattle, one that Merlos found a compelling challenge to photograph.
“I think taking a picture of the Space Needle and editing that image was the most gratifying,” he says. “I know it can be a cliché shot to take, but I wanted to challenge myself and provide a fresh and unique take on it and I was happy with the result.”
The result finds the Space Needle behind a portion of architect Frank O. Gehry’s EMP Museum. To add flare to the image, which already features two architectural marvels, Merlos captured three birds in flight through the grey Seattle sky. This tone, the mood of the image, is characteristic of many of Merlos’ Seattle-based photographs, a quality he appreciates.
“I think Seattle provided a perfect playground for subdued images,” he says. “Even though I enjoy shooting vibrant long exposure images and sunsets, I prefer darker images because I feel they add a sense of mystique and story.”
This atmosphere is precisely what Merlos was looking for. “I envisioned the grey skies providing a perfect contrast in my shots,” he says. “I shot pretty much at any time which is something I don’t do in Los Angeles.”
Being away from Los Angeles also provided several unknowns, so Merlos looked to locals for guidance.
“I asked [Seattle-based photographer] @jeko_1 via Instagram while I was in Seattle about a couple locations and he offered to show me around,” Merlos says. “That made my stay complete. Wouldn’t have found some of the gems of Seattle without him.”
Meeting @jeko_1 allowed Merlos to see another angle of travel photography, one that local guides can help provide.
“If you can meet up with someone in their city I believe you should,” Merlos says. “You can Google and research on your own, but every city has great locations that visitors can easily miss.”
Some of those gems included a drive through the city that featured a view of Kurt Cobain’s old home, another nod to Merlos’ appreciation for the city’s Grunge scene of the 1990s. From the Space Needle to the details that many Seattle visitors often miss, Merlos’ short trip to the North West has left a lasting impact. The trip, he says, made him eager to see new places.
On the Streets with Maktub Street-Dog by Dilshad C.
His name is Sacha Dohmen aka maktub street-dog, and he is 36 years old. Sacha lives with his beautiful wife in Belgium in a very rural area in the middle of nowhere between Liège (Belgium), Maastricht (Holland) and Aachen (Germany). “I´m a self taught amateur photographer” as he likes to point out. His work has been featured on P1xels, Mobiography, the Appwhisperer, Mortal Muses and IPhoneography.com, IPhoneography Central, in the first issue of IPhotographer magazine and in the second issue of MobFiction Magazine. He also has got an honourable mention at the Mobile Photo Awards and made the shortlist with 2 of his images on the last IPA quarterly. His work has been exhibited in Prague at the Gallery Kvalitár and in Holešov at the New Drive Club. He is co-organizer of the second Belgian International IPhoneography Art Movement exhibition in Brussels this year. I came across his work sometime ago now, and fall in love with Sacha’s photography straight away! We have spoken many a time and I consider him a friend and a person that I respect, so, to be able to interview him it’s only a great honour, for he is a true source of inspiration for me!
You talkin´to me.
DC. When I look at your work I truly feel as if I knew what you are feeling, I can see you roaming the streets and trying to catch what other people don’t see! We both have been inspired by the same people or style, so talking to you now gives me only great pleasure! And I thank you for accepting my offer! Before we get into the nitty gritty of this conversation, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Why maktub street-dog?
M S-D. It´s a pleasure for me. Why maktub street-dog? When I start doing street photography, I did not want to publish under my real name. Street photography is not really legal in Europe. So I needed a pseudonym. Maktub is an Arabic word and literally means: “it is written”. Street-dog from the German “Straßenköter” which mean stray dogs.
Arise And Shine In Necro-City
DC. Your heart, quite similar to mines, is dedicated to street photography, or specifically to catch peculiar and particular faces and expression or people that, most of the time, are left alone by the general crowd. What is street photography for you?
M S-D. For me, street photography is not a genre of photography. It´s a lifestyle, street photography is the time you can give yourself to watch, observe and understand the people around you. It has changed my life so sudden and with unexpected result, my life took a new direction. I’m more attentive about the people and situation around me and I found an activity that allows me to express myself. I capture a fraction of life and later, build my own storyboard for this person. All I need is a street and my camera to make something extraordinary out of the banal, to create a social drama, to awake emotions.
My motivation to document life and take street shots is to capture and awake emotions. Photography is all about emotions. Street photography is also a social study and a mission; you show the world what life is like.
Dead End Friends
M S-D. Yeah, that is the extraordinary about street photography. You can talk about everything, love, pain, solitude, anger… My camera is a mirror that I tend to the society. It´s not enough to go out and press the shutter, you must have a genuine interest for people and their life.
The Tombstone Blues
DC. With me, probably because I am pleasurably inspired by Koci, it’s all about people with hats too, but I love them to wear a heavy beard, or to have their faces lived, wrinkled, old… used and abused, I want to see someone that everyone else tries to walk away from, or no one pays attention to, that’s what takes my attention, what is your trigger?
M S-D. I feel like you. Nowadays the world is getting smaller and smaller and people are tending to look more alike. I´m always on the search for people with a certain individuality, in the way they dress, the way they walk, the way they look…
Down So Low
DC. Each time I see one of your photos I am overwhelmed by the capture, their expressions are jaw droopingly good! How do you manage to catch that moment? Who are these people?
M S-D. Cartier-Bresson called it the decisive moment. Well, in my case I would call it luck. I’m lucky to be at the right moment at the right place and pull the trigger at the right time. In candid street portraiture you have only one chance and this opportunity will only take a fraction of a second. The only thing you can do if you’re fast enough is to shoot twice; the killer in the film shoots always twice. Street Photography is like a game, you get lucky or you get nothing.
Insomnia And the Hole in the Universe
DC. The characters of your photos are those that I have been looking for all the time, I am truly boggled, how do you find them? Do you talk to them? Is there any one story that will always resonate in your mind?
M S-D. I don´t think when I shoot, I’m a walker, or like the French poet Baudelaire said a flâneur, and my camera is part of the walking. My eyes are always 10-20 feet ahead and search for something to catch. If I´m alone and found an interesting person, I can follow this person for a quarter hour, waiting for the right situation, before I show up out of the crowd like a shark to take my shot. I never talk to them, I´m too shy. As soon as I show up, I dive under again.
Evil Man, Don’t Play Your Games With Me
DC. There are, of course, many ways to do street photography, for me two resonate most. The first just walk around and shoot each time I see a character that tickles my senses! But with this I have one problem: the composition or the background might not be there as I wanted, hence I go into the heavy apping and blurring and scratching, which I also like as a style but it all started because I wanted to cover what I did not wanted to see and concentrate on my main character. The second is to find a location and patiently wait there as a fisherman waits for his catch: I have the story and I just need the protagonist, which hopefully will fall in my net… Where do you see yourself? How do you plan your day? I would love to know how you shoot?
M S-D. For me, the real originator of Street Photography is Garry Winogrand with his book “The Animals” and the streets as zoo. I never plan when I go out in the urban jungle and like Winogrand, I can walk down any street without taking photos. In 99% of cases I shoot from the hip, without thought on the background. I´m only interested on facial expressions, emotions… The background would only distract, regardless of the quality of my composition. Only in a few of my shots like “Before I Die…” the background is more important or just as important as the protagonist.
Before I Die…
DC. Your editing style is wonderful, how much experimentation does that involve? Do you know exactly what do you want to achieve or sometime you are sitting there, scratching your head and thinking “I Love this one but also this and this, which one should I go for?”
M S-D. Thank you. I think the most important thing is to find one’s own style. Once we found the style, the rest comes from alone. I use primarily black & white, it´s the purest form of photography. As I said earlier, photography is all about emotions and I think black & white focuses the emotions better. Then I heavy blur the background. Black and white and the blur reduce my picture to its essential elements. My third step is to add scratches and texture, for this point, I´m very influenced by the music I listen while I work on the photo: dirtier the music, dirtier the edit. Bruce Gilden said “If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it´s a street photograph”. This is my workflow to make people smell the street.
DC. You have a few on-going series, can you talk to me about these? The one with the 99 shades of crazy characters is my favourite! How did you come up with the idea?
M S-D. As I start with street photography 4 years ago, make series was a way for me to learn to see. I went out of the street with the purpose of only photographing bearded man, the next day only smokers, and so forth… After 4 years on the street I´m not sure if this is something that lets learn, but this little series help me a lot.
The idea after the “99 Shades Of Crazy” project is simple, find 99 extraordinary character that many would call crazy and thus show that there is no “normal” in our wonderful crazy world. In one or other sense, we are all crazy. That we are all different makes the world just interesting.
99 Shades Of Crazy (04)
DC. Does having an on-going project help you? What would you say to some that maybe is struggling with its motivation?
M S-D. Yes for those who have a problem of motivation, a project is the perfect remedy. Starts a 365 project (1 image/day/year). Or the IPod shuffle project may be a good idea, I don´t know if it already exists, every morning you press the shuffle button and during the day you try to make a picture that has to do with the title.
Personally, I think this kind of project does not help me. The first reason is that if I’m too focus on something, I miss other occasion. The second reason is that if I force myself to post a photo every day, I will publish photos that I regret later.
99 Shades Of Crazy 01
DC. Do you get stuck? Do you sometime doubt what you are doing? If yes, how you come out, what is that one thing that inspires you?
M S-D. Street Photography is an art that nobody wants to hang in his living room. Of course I doubt from time to time. But like Robert De Niro says in Heat “I do what I do best” and I don´t know how to do anything else.
DC. Out of all the photos you have taken, which one are the three that you really are in love with? And why, what is the story behind?
M S-D. My favourite picture is definitively “It´s Coming Down”, a simple street portrait. I always want to take pictures that stimulate the imagination of the viewer and I´m not really a fan of a picture saying, “this is what it is”. I think this works very well in this picture. The story of this picture is really simple. Non-scheduled I take the bus to Aachen, the next town near my village. When I get off of the bus, I start directly to shoot. After two minutes, I realize that I forgot my bag in the bus. Damn, my IPad, my papers, my money, and my keys… A non-stop one-kilometre sprint to the central station, but the bus was gone. After a lot of discussion and phone calls, a driver told me my bag was found and that I should wait until the bus come back. Always worry if everything was still in it, I was there when this woman came studying the timetable. I knew immediately this is my picture of the day.
It´s Coming Down
“Just You And Me” This is a shot from a trip to Maastricht Holland. One of the rules in street photography is be invisible and adapt yourself to the environment. When I left my house in Belgium three hours earlier, the weather was just awful so I dressed me accordingly. My thickest Barbour Jacket, leather boots, a hat… That and over 1 meter 90 tall is all you need to be discovered if the local weather conditions are not the same. Impossible to photograph unrecognized. So I have to rethink my options. For this shot I saw this guy take a cigarette and instead to stand still and to photograph him, I distracted him “can I have one too?” and while I went up to him I shoot from the hip.
Just You And Me
“Got To Find A Better Way” The first thing I noticed when I saw her, was with what dignity she wears her age. There was nothing to do with the sad, the miserable and pathetic of most of my street shots. Full of vitality, she looks just great, and for sure, a lot of young lady´s would love to be like her when their get old.
Got To Find A Better Way
DC. Flickr is your home, and you have been incredibly popular in there, what’s the secret behind this? On the other hand, it seems that Instagram is somewhere that you don’t really post, why?
M S-D. Ok, let´s start with Instagram. The main reason why I´m not active on Instagram are all the, follow me, follow me and “a like for a like” type of people. Naturally, every time I have a picture in the “Flickr Explore” twenty people added me to their favourites. The difference is that these people don´t harassed me. Why I am so successful at Flickr?
I think the secret is to just follow the work of someone we admire. I have roughly 200 contacts that I follow on Flickr. Some four years. Among others Richard Koci Hernandez or John Fullard whose work I admired for years, they still have never comment or fav on one of my photos. It’s all the same to me. I prefer people who do not like what I did and ignore me that people who “likes” anything without looking.
DC. Where can we find you? And if someone would like to learn how to edit with your style, what should they do? Do you have some tutorials around that we can check out?
I just start my own website and blog about street photography
The aim is to give tip and tricks about street photography and feature photographers I admire. If you are interested?
DC. Thank you, is this an offer? (Happily Smiles).
M S-D. MOB Fiction Magazine just published in their second issue one of my tutorials. The complete issue is about street photography and worth every cent. Otherwise you can find me on Flickr and Facebook
DC. Would you like to add anything that I have missed?
M S-D. I thank you from the bottom of my hearth for this opportunity, I noted that the questions were chosen carefully and with passion like all what you do.
DC. Again, thank you ever so much for your time and please don’t stop, for each time I see your photos I just want to go out and shoot!! You are one incredible person and I hope that I will have the honour to personally meet you and go out for walk!
We Are Juxt Rewind: This article was originally published September 7, 2012
Instagramers Seattle Spotlight – Nicole Lock @passionatewoman by Rachel S.
I’ve enjoyed Nicole’s photography for a while now, and I think what draws me to her work is the mood and emotion she captures in places that are so familiar to me. Likewise, her images of places I’ve yet to explore leave me wanting more and feeling almost as though I’ve been there…
R: Rachel N: Nicole
R: Tell us about yourself: Are you from the Seattle Area? I noticed in your feed that you recently graduated from UW. What did you study?
N: I was born in Spokane and lived there until I was 16 when my mom moved us to Redmond. When we moved I skipped high school and went straight to Bellevue College. At first, I didn’t have many friends besides my younger sisters, my car and a camera. That’s where my love of photography really began. I guess you could say my first Seattle best friend was my camera. At the same time another passion began to grow as I began taking Sociology classes focusing on feminism and activism. Eventually education led me to UW where I majored in Social Sciences with a focus on Gender, Race, and Ethnicity studies.
Currently, I’m taking a year off to just be, take the GRE, and apply to graduate school. During my break I want to continue focusing on my interests and begin merging photography and feminism in to something new and unique. I’m thinking of some self-portraiture ideas that would make a statement about my beliefs and fears regarding the state of the world and views on gender and sexuality, but it’s quite a challenge because I usually never plan photos out. Traditionally, I just follow my eye.
R: This is one of my favorite shots from Seattle’s new Great Wheel… why did you choose this perspective over the more common up-shots of our newest local attraction?
N: As I said, I’m really not one to plan out a photograph; I just let them happen. My boyfriend and I were riding the wheel at sunset for the first time. When I looked out across the network of metal structure, I was fascinated by the contrast between angled firmness and the soft rolling landscape behind. It felt like the frame was leading my eye to the beauty behind it, as if it were a railroad. To me, this perspective alludes to my belief that man can make nothing as beautiful as Mother Nature but rather only help lead you back to her glorious landscapes.
R: This particular image will be on display at the IGers Seattle / We Are Juxt mobile photography exhibit at Neptune Coffee this month. We selected more than 100 photographs from local mobile photographers based on the theme “summer vibes.” To me, this photo embodies Seattle ‘Summer’ up until about the first week of August. How do you stay inspired through all of our gloomy weather months?
N: Haha! Funny thing is, I actually went on this ferry ride looking for inspiration. It seems that Seattle gloom causes us to do well in finding the brightness around us. This photo was taken on a dark Seattle day but I chose a brighter more cheery edit to bring out what light there was. Sometimes when you can’t beat the weather, the dreariness becomes its own source of art. There is still a lot of freedom when it comes to rain and darkness, you just have to learn to work with it in unique ways. Though, the upside to always dealing with grey weather is that when the sun does finally come out, I am filled with inspiration and excitement. You know how crazy this city gets when the first sunny spring day occurs – everyone gets outside and soaks it in! You learn to appreciate the sun so much more.
R: What’s the one photo editing app you would be lost without, and why do you love it?
N: Hmm… It depends on the month really. I tend to get obsessed with one app at a time, though I usually process an image with more than one app. The first app I fell in love with, which I still use quite frequently, was Camera+. Its ability to capture photos quickly while processing them in the background makes it very useful. For a while I was obsessed with Phototoaster as I enjoyed its bright highly contrasted filters and how easy it was to make and save your own filter designs. Snapseed is a constant love of mine though I definitely didn’t get obsessed with it. I prefer it mostly for its selective adjustments where you can choose one part of the photograph to edit. Most recently, I’ve been in love with Picfx and Photoforge2. Photoforge2’s Pop! Cam is a lot of fun and allows for great creative freedom while Pixfx is great for its lovely preset filters providing the opportunity to quickly edit and transform an image.
Photo Credit: Alex Bergh
R: What came first: the iPhone or the Rebel? What is it about photography that keeps you shooting?
N: I’ve been shooting with a Rebel since I was 18, so four years. I only got the iPhone a few years ago. Now I mostly shoot with my Rebel and then process through my iPhone. I also just recently got an iPad and processing on that thing is AWESOME. I feel like I don’t really have a choice in whether I shoot or not, I just have to! Sometimes it feels like a craving to take pictures is so strong it radiates from my chest – it’s kind of ridiculous. The iPhone saves me in that regard because I always have it with me. New apps, lenses, toys, and traveling whenever I have the chance help keep me inspired. I feel it’s impossible to go to a new place without taking at least 200 photos.
R: What are your personal pros and cons to shooting with iPhone vs your Rebel?
N: I love my Rebel and my iPhone but they both do very different things for me. The Rebel allows for more freedom, better ranges of my depth of field, long exposures, and lower aperture. It comes with a lot more creative freedom in those regards. The extra megapixels are quite nice as well. But it’s a lot more of a liability to carry around, it doesn’t just slip into your pocket, and those photos are stuck on there until I can get them home and on my computer. My iPhone on the other hand is just a photography machine. It takes lovely photographs, allows for me to process them with millions of different apps, and then upload and share them with the world. It’s just amazing when you really think about it. I really love them both individually but my favorite trick is using my iPhone and iPad for processing images from the Rebel.
R: What are some of your favorite Pacific Northwest places to shoot?
N: We are so blessed to live here aren’t we? There are so many places to see and capture. One of my regular spots, which is obvious by my Instagram feed, is Golden Gardens. That place always amazes me and I don’t think I will ever have enough photographs of the sunsets. Beyond Seattle, the Oregon coast is one of my most favorite places, but I don’t get there often enough. I just love the combination of lush forests, ragged rocks, sandy beaches, and tide pools. There is so much to photograph down there! I love the rivers in the Cascades and even the one’s on the Eastern side of the state. Green Lake is also a pretty frequent stop for me, it’s so close and one of the most spectacular city parks we have. Discovery Park is named very well, as there is a lot to discover and capture. Every time I go my photos look completely different than the last trip. Mt. Rainier is a fantastic place for photographers, but again I don’t get out there nearly enough. I also do a lot of camping outside of Ellensburg and it’s fun to shoot there because the trees, flowers, and landscapes are so different from this side of the state. I still have SO much to explore…
R: I asked Nicole to shoot a special Northwest series for us, to tell us a little bit about what inspires her and why she chose these images:
N: When I got this challenge I was very nervous about it, planning out photos is not my strong suit. Luckily I had a road trip planned to go see my dad, best friend, and my baby brother in Eastern Washington. When we started out I felt like the photographs I was taking were so mediocre… I got really worried about it. But once we got out to my dad’s home and started adventuring, things just came together. I have been so nostalgic for Eastern Washington summers. My childhood was filled with lakes, camping, swimming, boating and all kinds of outdoor adventures. The hot weather and the lack of people is just something that isn’t easy to find this side of the mountains. So I wanted to go with a soft edit that made the photos appear sort of dreamy, like something of the past. I used Photoforge2’s Pop! Cam and the Soft Optics lens with the washed out effect from the processing option. From there I used Fotor to add some more color.
N: This trip was absolutely amazing. The photo of the power lines was taken on our way there, in the desert. I love the drive on i90 towards Spokane; it’s something I’ve done countless times in my life, as I’ve always had family on this side of the state. The photo of the trees and the clouds was taken at my dad’s property, which is as beautiful and relaxing as I attempted to capture. The last picture, of the river, was taken during a hike to some natural water slides out at Priest Lake. I haven’t had that much fun adventuring in a very long time. This series really reminded me of the nostalgia for childhood summers I feel every year. At least I could capture it.
Nicole is a northwestern native, and continues to believe it is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, regardless of where she travels. She spends most of her time working towards a future in education putting her time and energy in to studying. But, during those few moments of calm, she reconnects with the world through her lens.
IG username: @passionatewoman Hometown: Spokane, WA Current location: Seattle, WA Camera(s): iPhone 4 and Cannon EOS Rebel
Love, Faith, & Magic. The mobile art of Erin Leight by Todd L
“What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.” – Ray Charles.
This quote, like many others, accompanies the work of Pennsylvania mobile artist Erin Leight. Her eye for composition, combined with her ability to reach us on an emotional level, imbues her work with soul, and is presented with sincerity. Whether the subject matter is landscape, architecture, or still life, she has passion & patience, and accents the greater aspects of humankind.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Erin and ask her few questions about herself and her mobile photography. Here is her story.
Todd: Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself, including how you got your start with mobile photography?
Erin: Since an early age, I’ve always felt it wasn’t truly a good day unless I created something new. My fascination with type began when my parents gave me a calligraphy set at the age of 8. I wrote and illustrated stories from an early age and realized how words could enhance an image, and vice versa. I collected strange and interesting trinkets and arranged them in still lifes just because it was satisfying. When I look back on my childhood, I realize it was the precursor for what I now do with my mobile photography.
I was formally trained in journalism and advertising copywriting. I saw it as a way for my creativity to be profitable. I wrote scripts for print, radio and tv ads and did voiceover work for a few years before realizing my heart was more in the creative design aspect of advertising. I bought a Mac, taught myself the basics of design and jumped headlong into freelance graphic design. Over the past four years I’ve built a successful custom wedding stationery design business.
As far as my introduction to mobile photography, a little over two years ago a friend said, “I found a great app you should try. Do you take a lot of pictures with your phone?” My answer was a firm, “No.” I downloaded the app anyway and was immediately pulled in by the concept of random and spontaneous creativity that could be instantly shared. Aside from one class in college, I had never dabbled in photography so I was a virtual newcomer to the genre when I began focussing on mobile photography.
I backed away from advertising copywriting because I felt there was a certain level of manipulation involved that I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with. I’m still drawn to the idea that reaching a target market is like solving a puzzle. But I feel like mobile photography allows an opportunity to connect with an audience through emotion and common interests… and allows one to make that connection with a modicum of soul and authenticity. I painstakingly labor over each shot with the hope that what I’ve created will touch people and be meaningful to them.
A Quiet Little Moment Hovering Between Winter and Fall
Todd: How would you say your style has evolved since the very first image you shared?
Erin: I rarely look back at my early Instagram posts, but your question prompted me to revisit and analyze a bit. I seemed to be concerned with composition from the beginning but I was all over the place stylistically. I edited only with IG filters for my first few months… so my style was very raw, primitive and exploratory at best. I snapped what I saw and tried to make it work.
I think my style has evolved to be a bit more refined and focused, with the intent behind each post being that I present something unique to the viewer. If I snap a shot, look at it and think “anyone could snap and post this shot,” then I don’t want to post it. There needs to be an element of something that’s uniquely “my world” in each shot, or it feels somehow unauthentic and unsatisfying to me.
There is not a Sprig of Grass that Shoots Uninteresting to me- Thomas Jefferson
Todd: How do you select objects to feature in your photos?
Erin: I always want the objects to have a little bit of soul, history and meaning to them… an air of timelessness. When I’m doing a word collage, I choose objects that fit the timeless mold, conceptually work and just feel right in the flow of the space.
Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” – William Faulkner
Todd: Your images are often accompanied by quotations. How do those quotes play into the process of creating an image? Does the quote influence the image, or is it the other way around?
Erin: I always create the image first and seek out words that enhance the meaning of the photo and represent my mood at the time I worked on the shot. If I feel like an image is traditional or bordering on mundane, I tend to put pressure on myself to find words that will lend weight or a deeper meaning to the shot. (I think one of the best examples of making my caption work to fit the image is “Love” in which the V is a wishbone.)
Love is measured yet organic, wishful yet wise. Love is about the grand scheme but, even more so, about the details.”
Todd: Although you’ve been focusing on still life more recently, your gallery consists of a great deal of nature and architectural shots. Did they become the catalyst/inspiration for later still life?
Erin: I appreciate the random beauty of nature and the orderliness of architecture. But each one is what it is. I began to feel less and less satisfaction out of shooting something that just is what it is and could be captured by anyone that chooses to shoot it. I get much more creative satisfaction out of manipulating natural and manmade objects to create a sort of orderly randomness.
“There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.” – Colette
Todd: You have a great command of the formal elements of art: line, shape, space, etc. In addition to being a designer, do you have a background in photography?
Erin: I took a basic art class in 8th grade, one introductory photography class in college, I’m a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator, so any command of the formal elements of art I’ve gained over the years has come from trial and error and sheer instinct. I think I approach photography with a designer’s sensibility. At the same time, I find that mobile photography is helping me refine my eye for detail in all areas of design. What I create through mobile photography combines all the things I love in design and is the most fun I’ve had over the course of my career.
“With faith and love anything is possible.”
The image above was created by Erin for a very special reason, and is a true example of the power of friendship and community. To find out more please view this link on Instagram and consider making a contribution.
“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Todd: What are your plans for the future with mobile photography? Erin: I’m developing a line of stationery using my still life and collage work. My plan is to take it one step further and, once photographed, create framed three dimensional assemblages of the collages.
I’ve started doing commissioned collage work for individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses. To be able to combine several of my passions and interests and venture down a new career path is an exciting prospect to me.
I’m looking forward to an upcoming collage project for an extremely worthy cause, Watts of Love (@watts_of_love) a global solar lighting nonprofit providing sustainable lighting products to poverty stricken regions in order to vastly improve quality of life. wattsoflove.org
I’m also excited about a mobile photography collage project I just completed for a major printing company that will be revealed at the end of April.
First and foremost I want mobile photography to be a creative escape for me, but I do think mobile photography can bridge a gap between marketing/advertising and artistic expression.
“There’s a bit of magic in everything.” – Lou Reed
The ChargeCard from Nomad Goods is a USB charging cable for your smart phone, that is the size of a credit card. It can be plugged into any USB outlet, to charge and transfer data to and from your device, the same as would the cable that came with it, only it fits in your wallet and you never have to be without it.
The way it works is, it has a flexible cable that pops out of place in the center of the card, which fits into any USB port, and the other end plugs into your devices normal charging port. The cord can be twisted and bent around to allow the best ease of securing it in place. The total thickness is about the same as two credit cards stacked on top of each other.
It comes in three different cable versions:
Micro USB – for Windows and Android devices. It also works for iPhone cases like Mophie that require you to use the micro USB.
Lightning – for iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C.
iPhone 30 pin – for older iOS models.
It can also be used with the power adapter to plug into the wall, it basically works the same as your cord, and fits snug enough to hang your phone from, though I don’t recommend that in most situations.
It’s a pretty simple, straight forward idea, not a whole lot more to say about it. It works like it says and takes up very little room in your wallet. There is also a version that fits on your keyring, which more resembles a key, called the ChargeKey. All in all I think it’s a really cool thing to have just in case. Even if you leave the house with a full battery, and plan to be some place where there will be power cords, I’d rather have the ChargeCard and not need it, than need it and not have it. Go here to order yours today!
A group of eight talented photographers and bloggers from all over Europe were invited to Marche, Italy for a four-day photography trip of the local area. The aim to was help raise the profile of tourism in the region. Our days were packed solid from morning to night visiting local towns, learning about the culture and history and meeting local people from the region.
Marche is one of the lesser-known of Italy’s 20 regions. It’s located on the eastern seaboard on the Adriatic coast, with Tuscany and Umbria to the west and San Marino to the north. It is very much an agricultural area and as we drove through the countryside and over the rolling hills, the beauty in the simple landscape really stood out for me. It was breathtaking and seemingly untouched by modern buildings and construction.
We arrived at Bologna airport and took a transfer to our hotel which took about two hours. We stayed at the quaint four-star Hotel Le Grotte in the heart of Frasassi. A small hotel of just 23 rooms, which boasts stunning views of the Frasassi Gorge and surrounding landscape. The hotel was clean, the staff were friendly and helpful and more importantly, the hotel had free WiFi, a must for all, especially Instagrammers! What made it really special was the addition of the hotel’s spa. A Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna were most welcome after a long day of walking and exploring.
Whilst there, we visited many of the local towns in the region but a few really stood out for me. The first was a town call Arcevia, built circa 11th century, it’s situated 500 metres above sea level and has 10 castles surrounding it. The local people are said to live such long lives due to the pure air quality high up in the town. Whilst there, the mayor of the town met us and invited us into his chambers, proud to share the local history with us.
The second was a small town call Serra San Quirico. As we walked into the town’s square, I got the sense that time had stopped for this place. The locals sat on their door steps just enjoying the day and catching up with one another and there was a feeling that there really was no rush here. A local council member met us for a tour of the town and whilst walking down seemingly normal side streets, I was surprised that some of the buildings housed elaborately decorated churches that really took my breath away. Such hidden treasures hiding in plain sight.
Everyone we met on the streets we walked had a smile and a few words for us. Always happy to pass the time of day and extremely open and friendly. I think this is something that is certainly missing from my busy life. Time is precious and the Italian people embrace it wholeheartedly.
It was easy to lose yourself in the small streets and alleyways and yet not feel lost or unsafe. In fact, wandering around the back streets is the best way to find some of the hidden treasures Marche has to offer.
I couldn’t talk about my trip without mentioning the food and wine. In the U.K., for dinner I normally eat a main course and the occasional dessert on a weekend but in Italy, they know how to eat. Each meal was easily 5-6 courses if not more. I honestly lost count most of the time, falling into a food-induced haze. Fresh pasta, meats and bread were in abundance to satisfy any appetite.
The region produces some delicious wine and we had an opportunity to visit several vineyards to sample them. My favourite was the Moncaro winery and I loved the view of the vines growing in the valleys below us whilst having a chance to sample the wine before buying it. I certainly left with few extra bottles in my bag to take home and will no doubt order more for delivery too.
As a visitor to Italy, I can see how places like Rome, Venice and Tuscany could be favoured over less known places like Marche, but now I know what’s here I will definitely be back to explore this beautiful region again.
There is a timeless feel to Marche and if I had to pick one place to just stop and watch the world go by, this would be it.
I was a crawling babe on IG when I got in touch with Crispin Giles’ (aka @100million) feed. I got amazed by the free spirit I’ve found there; scratches, juxtapositions, strong body language, street photography, all mixed to create an extreme narrative full of originality and energy. Immediately he became an inspiration, and because of that I was planning this interview since I join JUXT on December 2011. But we all know, life happens and there is a time for everything; during this time, Crispin became the creator and one of the minds behind Tiny Collective; a group of talented people around the world who do a really great work when it comes to push mobile/social photography to its limits. On this interview we talk about Tiny, its initiatives and the partnership with Impossible Project, Backspaces and of course, his creative process. Please have a sit and meet this awesome artist. Enjoy it.
“It feels like we’re in a kind of a mobile renaissance now and I think we’re going to continue to see the things grow and mature with mobile photography becoming an accepted stream in photography, and I mean accepted into the mainstream.”
F: Fabs C: Crispin
F: To begin with: tell us about the early days of Tiny. Who came out with the idea and how did you work the concept?
C: In the summer of 2011 I was looking to start a group and I asked my friend Roni if she’d want to start something. We ended up doing a group collab with our mutual friend Instatone, we called it #tinycollab and it kind of went viral. I mean kind of. Not in a way that had millions of people involved, but in a way that showed us there were people out there into working on stuff collaboratively, in a group setting, so things kind of gained some momentum after that. I remember calling the group Tiny Mobile Collective for awhile, and I set up a really lame tumblr with that name. It wasn’t long before we shortened it to Tiny Collective and asked more of our friends to join and built a way more focused portfolio at tinycollective.com
But when I was first going around asking people if they wanted to start a group, there was kind of this question like – “what’s this all about?” “What does it mean and why would I want to do this?” And I mean, yeah – fair questions for sure. So it just took getting the right people together, finding the right fit with personalities and styles and interest levels etc. It’s not an easy exercise bringing a bunch of people together (many of whom have never actually met in person) and trying to pull off even the most humble of projects together. But when it works it’s awesome.
F: Talking about Tiny’s mission, what does it mean, in practical terms, to ” propel and explore the new social area of digital arts”?
C: In creative terms this means pushing ourselves and each other to do new work, to try new things, not rely on easy patterns and familiar ways doing things. To be engaged and present and plugged into what we’re doing – as a group, as individuals.
During a group meeting, it was Koci who came up with the concept of “social photography”. Replacing “mobile” with “social” as a way to really focus and underline the human connectivity behind the mobile community. That there is this very tangible, and genuine social component at play here. Not only with what we’re engaging in together on sites like IG etc. but how this community has helped bring like-minded people together to work on projects outside of these sites (of course I’m talking specifically about Tiny here), and I think it just helped remind us how the larger community has really become an important aspect of it all.
“Mobile photography is probably the most democratic an art form I can think of, besides finger-painting or something.”
F: Where do you see Mobile Photography and Mobile Arts going? You have been there since the very beginning. What role do you expect Tiny to play and how can groups like Tiny support photographers and artists?
C: It feels like we’re in a kind of a mobile renaissance now and I think we’re going to continue to see the things grow and mature with mobile photography becoming an accepted stream in photography, and I mean accepted into the mainstream. I feel like there’s going be more events specific to mobile photography and with innovations by cool companies like Impossible leading the way and pushing the boundaries between old and new ways of doing things, we’ll continue to see more engagement and crossover from mobile to different forms of photography.
In general terms I think Tiny Collective will continue to generate ideas, and explore new ways in which we can animate ourselves in the community. Ways we can continue to develop our thing as a group, as well as remain active in our personal artistic pursuits too. That’s the cool thing about Tiny; we’re together but also apart so there’s this push and pull that keeps the work fresh. I think groups, if handled with care and run well, can be awesome. Kind of like a home base where members can draw energy and bounce ideas around and kind of just feel part of something bigger than themselves. We’re all human and for the most part require interaction and communication with other humans. For the most part.
F: I see more and more, a great distance between what is a community play (Instagram, EyeEm) and what is a real artistic movement/behavior. But we must agree that these communities helped a lot to develop the creativity inside this new “darkroom”. Do you see them more apart in the future or is there any chance yet?
C: Well, I think there’s bound to be creative shifts and movements within any community at any given time. I mean we’ve seen that with various groups and projects maybe starting to take things more seriously, maybe deciding to become more organized, others maybe parring back a bit and becoming more lean and flexible. I’ve definitely seen more people take a greater interest in mobile photography, and that comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I find it really exciting watching this happen, and I’m totally seeing a kind of collective confidence emerge as well. People seem to be taking things into their own hands and empowering themselves, choosing to showcase in different ways, on different sites and I think this illustrates how far things have come in such a short time.
But I think there’s always going to be a place for the uninitiated, the casual, or the curious. You know, room to investigate things, to become involved by starting at zero, by learning what they can do and what they can say with mobile. And of course there as many avenues as there are those involved in this pursuit, this all really speaks to the democracy of the medium.
F: How do you guys decide the creative direction of the group?
C: Because there’s a lot going on and so much to deal with, responding to everything as a group can be impractical. We’ve figured out ways of working within the group context, and found what works, what doesn’t. With the core members, everything is put to vote. Things like membership and invitations are all done by nomination and then invites are sent to perspective members based on this elective process. We’ve recently started identifying a lot of specific roles and responsibilities within the group and had to organize things a bit more officially lately as well, just to stay on top of everything. Bringing together a group of people to work on creative things requires a lot of structure to get projects done. But it’s surprisingly easy to come to consensus on stuff when you’re working with the calibre of great people we currently have in Tiny.
F: Can you tell us what is next for Tiny Collective? Besides the site, where else are you going to spread the word?
C: Well, at the end of June we’re involved in this very cool partnership with Impossible Project where we’re gonna open 9 shows in 9 consecutive days in in 9 different cities in 5 different countries. Will be something like 900 unique images in all. It’s crazy. Every show will be printed live, on opening night, exclusively using Impossible Instant Lab. It’s a really forward thinking device that processes Impossible prints directly from the iPhone. Very cool, It basically bridges the worlds of instant and mobile photography. We’re all really excited about it. You can check it out here.
F: IMO you are one of the thinkers from this so called “mobile photography community”. I see it very clearly when it comes to Tiny. When it comes to 100million, I see an intuitive, flammable and sometimes meditative artist behind the image making you do. Can you say something about this? Is there a Crispin, that is a thinker, and then 100million who is the image maker?
C: I think there’s a ton of people doing really incredible things in the mobile community now. Every day I’m blown away by the talent and creativity I see out there. I can learn so much, you know, just be exposed to so many cool ideas just watching stuff scroll past me on my phone. It’s kind of incredible. But I think I’m like everyone, you know, my work shows different sides of myself at different times. For sure there’s a pensive side, and a moodiness to me as a person but there’s also carefree and playful sides to me as well. I mean, I believe we’re all multi-faceted and we are revealing variations of ourselves at any given time. I think subconsciously it all comes through in what we shoot.
F: On your profile you say : “I am not concerned with purity, technique or the reverence of past movements and their tired conventions.” On the other hand I really believe that this quote by Ansel Adams applies to you: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Am I right? If so, how these two worlds play inside you?
C: I did say that didn’t I? Sounds a bit precious. I think what I was sort of trying to assert my own place, and also kind of make no apologies for having an uneducated hand at photography. Maybe some self-inflicted pressure about legitimacy or something. “I’m here and I’m doing my thing and I don’t need to know what I’m doing…” Sounds ridiculous actually. But of course, none of it matters. Mobile photography is probably the most democratic an art form I can think of, besides finger-painting or something. I like some of the pictures I make, and if others do too, then that’s cool. I don’t have anything to prove. If I did I’d probably use something other than a phone to take pictures.
But yeah, I totally agree. We bring all that we’ve absorbed into everything we do, and influences can be something outside the sphere for sure. We experience things we don’t even know we’re letting in and in turn we push it back out again. I mean, this is totally how we learn. Everything is fluid.
F: I believe that style is more about what someone chooses to capture as a human being than the way someone edits an image. I do believe that if I take off all the noise from some of your images, the 100million’s seed will still be there. The eye of the hurricane. Can you describe your creative process? Why and how you make the choices behind your images? Did you ever had some kind of turning point where you found a verve which you don’t have realized yet?
C: That’s interesting. I think style is just another version or facsimile of something. Something you design, something you seek out maybe. I mean I believe this is totally connected to our subconscious, to the choices we make as people in the world and the parts we want to expose about ourselves to other people in the world. First impressions, ego, self image, all of that. But in the end, I think it’s all the same thing. If I can have an honest reaction to a picture, then I don’t see the difference between a raw shot and an app-stacked piece. For me it’s all about feeling something. I just don’t believe there’s a pure and not pure, a true and false at play here. I don’t like to make that distinction.
So yeah.. I have no idea why I take one picture and not the next, and on a good day there’s no conscious choice being made. I am not in control. It’s all impulse, and everything seems like it’s on auto when I’m really really focused on what I’m doing. And I LOVE that. I think there’s a strange irony in such a focus equalling impulse. It’s a state of mind, and this is where plateaus are broken, where personal limitations are explored and I think ultimately where we grow as artists by pushing these lines out to the maximum.
F: You said Backspaces is a game changer and I do agree with you; can you give us more thoughts about it?
C: I just think there’s always so many different ways of saying something, of expressing yourself creatively. On IG it’s very much a static, kind of ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ kinda environment – and that’s awesome. And with Backspaces it opens up this whole other space, I mean not only with the ability to add multiple images to a post, but the ability to add text I think really just widens the field of possibilities. It pushes the narrative. That said, I rarely add text to my BS posts… So there you go. But yeah, it’s a very happening app and the guys behind it are equally as happening. Super good people.
F: When it comes to music; what’s your soundtrack now? Do you listen to something while shooting? I barely do that to keep me alert
C: I actually don’t listen to music when I’m out shooting. Most of my day is centred around music, in my job, so it’s kinda like a reprieve to go out and walk without listening to music. I will definitely wear headphones when I’m on the street taking pictures, but rarely is there any music playing. Right this second, as I write this, I’m riding a streetcar west on Dundas St. listening to Mikal Cronin’s new record MCII. Highly recommended listen. So good…
F: Give me your TOP 5 anything. =)
C: Great question!
1. My beautiful wife Priya
2. My confusing, and often frustrating creative experiences
3. My life in the Bush of Ghosts
4. My runner’s high
5. The freedom to communicate my confusing and often frustrating creative experiences
The Other Half of #SundayBluesEdit: An Interview w/ Monica Izquieta by Rebecca C
I must first admit that I am biased towards @Izzylune. I know her in the “real world” beyond the invisible Instagram walls, but it was her photos that first drew me in and made me want to know her, the woman, the person. This is a powerful pull not to be underestimated. With the glut of visual imagery we see all day, every day, to make someone want to know you with your images is pretty powerful stuff.
Most of you know Monica as Izzy or just the incredible @izzylune. Her charm, wit and enthusiasm comes through in her every post and comment. If you haven had a chance to interact with her, you’re missing a level of intelligence and insight rarely found in the world of IG. Initially, I “met” Izzy through the images she started tagged in my #sundaybluesedit tag. Her raw emotion was impossible to ignore. Something in her beautiful huge blue eyes made me fall in love with her in a way that connected souls do. That sounds cheesy but, in her, I recognized myself. A younger me.
Izzy is alive with a spirit that draws people to her, so when I felt like the @sundaybluesedit needed a co-pilot I knew exactly who to ask. After just a few days I felt as if I had known her all my life. She has an undeniable passion for art, photography and all the emotions that come with the blues. She’s also and amazing photographer in her own right who weaves fairy tale magic out of the most ordinary of daily scenes. I’ve always wanted to know how she makes her magic…so I decided to ask.
Who are you and what you do in your real life?
In my real life I’m a mother to the two lovely children often showcased in my gallery, an avid gardener, a glorified proof reader for local accountants and at one time, a fine arts major who loved getting her hands dirty.
Tell me about your love affair with mobile photography
My love affair with mobile photography happened really quite by accident. I had been shooting with big girl cameras for roughly 7 years, before that I tinkered with old school manual cameras, and by tinker I mean broke. During that time, I shot mainly my children and landscapes, scratch that, I still only shoot that!
I’m admittedly a first generation iPhone user but I didn’t discover that my phone could create such amazing photography until probably my 3rd iPhone. My ex-husband is extremely tech savvy. He was the one told me about instagram. We were on a car ride to Mystic, Connecticut, from that moment on I was hooked. I started exploring IG into the wee hours of the night. For years I felt bogged down by motherhood, unable to paint and really just uninspired. I believe at one point, I was so desperate for creativity I took up wreath making. Instagram and iphoneography, opened up a new world for me. I’m glad I don’t make wreaths anymore.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things, nature being a huge one, humans, obviously, another. I’m one of those people who stares too much and for too long. In the event I witness a crime, I’m gonna give the cops everything shy of the person’s blood type. I’m truly fascinated by people; their mannerisms, speed patterns, gaits and style. I could people watch all day and have been known to do so. On more than one occasion I have sat inside of Grand Central station so long, even the bums were changing shifts. Other inspiration comes from well-known artists, mainly painters, and then those I follow religiously on IG (who, in my mind, revolutionizing the way people view Photography as a whole). I think the reason mobile art appeals to me so much, is the challenge of creating superior images without the polish of professional cameras which seemingly, do a lot of the work for you- digitally speaking anyway.
Your images are overflowing with emotion. Palpable. Where does the need for sharing this honesty in such a pure way come from?
Oh, my talking about my images is a bit surreal for me. I’m always my own worst critic. In terms of the pictures though and whatever emotion is conveyed, I have to really say I’m a very animated, expressive, sometimes intense person in real life. I tell stories and people just come closer. I have my hands waving wildly and I’ve been known to do impersonations. I am very colorful. So when I’m happy its clear as day and when I’m sad there’s no hiding it. My mother says everything I’m ever feeling is easily read on my face and especially my eyes. I’m not one for deception I think. I’m honest to a fault really. I put it all out there. The emotion I desire with my pictures is rawness. I have a few people I follow on IG that do raw and deeply personal emotion so provocatively and gracefully. I thirst for that. I think in terms of portraits it’s so much greater to see and feel simultaneously. When I was in high school I participated in a coveted poetry competition and poetry became my entire life for years on end. It was during this time that I explored emotion even deeper. I had always been obsessed with art, so much so that it disturbed my academics, but in the end the poetry was what actually prepped me for photography.
I’ve observed an almost surreal like magical fairy tale like quality in your images. Can you talk about where that comes from and why that imagery appeals to you?
This perception makes me smile impishly. The fairytale quality you speak of is not intentional. Actually, Im elated to hear my images all have something in common I feel like I’m often falling all over the map.
However, when I take a picture, thankfully, I know immediately what corner possesses something unique.
I know I’m a beauty seeker. Maybe that’s where the dreamlike quality comes from? I don’t have an appetite for grim, grungy, gory or dark. Actually, I’m easily disturbed. I guess this is why I don’t watch the news or tv at all. I do know I get excited by the most minute details in everything from an inflection in a persons voice, to the way they place their hands, to shadows, lines etc. I obsess about these things in my daily life. It’s like music for me when I discover a song that I like…I play it a thousand times in a row. When I love…I love deeply whatever that thing is and I want everyone to see it.
Photography is the only thing that allows me to feel comfortable exposing the tender aspect of myself. It’s with the pictures I want to be boundless.
Landscape: like all my photos this was shot with hipstamatic…with a relatively uncommon combination of Mabel and Alfred infrared. I wanted that deep red currant color
Against matted blue skies.
Lily in the orange chair. I shot this with tinto and float I admittedly have an affinity for floats delicious tones although it’s speckled vignette makes me crazy so I’m always retouching it out or hiding it the best I know how. I’m not one for over-editing. Her pensive glare and Alice in wonderland charm drew me into his moment.
The hands: this moment happened so extremely quickly I shoot with watts a lot so it defaulted to that…i love how crisp and dramatic it is. Tender moments between my children are slim sadly they bicker a lot but in this second of passing raspberries the world melted away when I saw her arm naturally fold behind her and those tiny hands extend.
Black and white selfie. Oh the light in my family room is amazing…I have at least 50 plants in there, it is my refuge from the world. I sit in this big 1960s golden-yellow chair constantly and watch the clouds roll by. This afternoon I adjusted the sheers on the doors and saw something I wanted to capture so I set up my gorilla pod set it to tinto and black keys super grain and measured myself into the frame just so then asked my daughter to press the button three times. So actually….this is a collab. I wanted to overcome my discomfort of profile portraits I never liked my very Italian looking profile but alas it’s very much me and if you can’t love your face by 30 then you never will.
I want to thank Monica for her time, her boundless sense of humor and endless support. You can join Izzy and me at @sundaybluesedit all the time but especially on Sundays and you can view Monica’s incredible work on IG at @Izzylune and on Tumblr: Izzylune
The Secret Revealed – Behind the scene of “Henry, Portrait of a Cereal Killer” by the Amazing Cedric Blanchon By Dilshad
A few weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Cedric Blanchon! Not only I consider that interview one of my best, but also, I was honoured to better get to know Cedric, who, I can easily can say, is a true gentlemen with an unparalleled creativeness! During this interview I asked Cedric if he could have revealed to me some of his secrets and show me a how he manages to create his surreal pieces of work. Here, without much ado, A great tutorial by Cedric:
Henry, portrait of a cereal killer.
To make this picture, I take a picture with Camera+ using the timer. The staging is very important I put the head in cereals with milk for maximum results (photo 1)
Take your bowl of cereal, which I took it with pro camera (photo2)
I then open superimpose then load the background (photo 1) and the foreground (photo2) the result is in (photo 3)
After, set transparency for better juxtaposition (photo 4 and 5)
And Photo 5
Pressed mask and choose the brush, decrease the size (choose the 20) and press the button soft (photo6)
Start clear and refined details, the goal is to have a perfect simulation (photo 7,
And Photo 8
After saving it I open snapseed app and use the grunge effect, decrease thoroughly contrast and choose your style (photo 9)
Save your pic (photo 10)
Open vfxstudio (11)
Load your photo (12)
Choose fx and crack L effect (13 and 14)
And Photo 14
Superimpose your crack around your skull (15)
After you save it, open blender and load the photo 10 and then photo 15 ( photo 16)
Erase completely with the draw (17)
Then again repeat and choose another crack, but this time let reappear crack effect around the bowl of cereal (18 and 19)
And Photo 19
Your photo is ready (20)
After you can adjust the brightness and contrast and a little sharp. Hope you enjoyed it! Bye.
Thank you very much Cedric for this fab Tutorial!!!
Welcome to the fourth edition of the We Are Juxt 1000 Words Facebook Showcase! Over the past few months, we have seen the group grow and watched their inspiring work being posted daily. We are happy to be able to showcase some of the outstanding work that is being shared.
We Are Juxt believes that mobile photographers/ artists tell stories through the photographs/ images and art that represents their families, their environment, themselves. This is important because of the level of communication that is portrayed in imaging today.
We want to support the mobile arts community by having a place for artists to share, discuss, and critique (if requested by individual). These dialogues help the individuals and the community to grow.
We look forward to you and your art. We thank you for your contribution to the mobile photography/ arts community. To submit your work click here.
My selections for this month not only display a variety of textures, but a sense of atmosphere and depth. The artists brought forth this sense of atmosphere and depth through the use of composition, and a thoughtful editing process. Portraits, blended images that forge a new reality, and vacant landscapes all leave us wanting to know more. I had the pleasure of getting to know more about the stories and thought processes behind the images, and am excited to have the photographers share their stories with you. – Todd
In this particular piece I used Superimpose to place the image on a violet background. For a second step to blend in the colors and variety, I used SnapSeed. Then, using iColorama, I was able to accent the image with Flow and Raise, and for texture and final blending of colors, I used Stackables and Mextures. As a result, I was able to acquire my vision of youth, via expression of magical coloration and aura, around the innocence of a child
“I love improvisation when I take a pic, and I usually do not make many images with landscapes. This day I was alone in this park. It was the good moment. I tried to use the landscape and create the mood of a lost world.
I use Mpro for some b&w pics as I can play with contrast. To add this blur effect I used XnView, Retro 20 in Retro. I used afterlight to add more contrast in the sky and to have this gray atmosphere with “coal” filter. Finally, I used Mextures to add some scratch. I don’t really remember the filter, but you can find it in the folder grit and grain.
“Living in southern Oregon is a paradoxical experience for me. On one hand, this part of the northwest is sparsely settled and naturally beautiful. Ashland is famous for its wonderful restaurants and shops and, of course, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Some highly educated people have moved up here from the Bay Area and there are interesting bookstores, lectures, and some good music to serve them and the thousands of tourists that flock here in the summer to see the plays. On the other hand, some pretty abject poverty surrounds the expensive tourist attractions. Few jobs that aren’t minimum wage. Lots of homeless people on the corners. Children living in the woods – without parents. And that’s just the way it is.
Because I was a photojournalist early in life, it’s impossible for me not to see all kinds of things. Even in tourist towns. For the close to seven years I’ve lived in this area, this dilapidated old sign has been part of the landscape as you approach Ashland from the northernmost exit off I5. Not exactly the kind of image Ashland wants for itself. Ironically, no one has bothered either to take the sign down or invest in the vacant land.
For years, I thought I would stop and shoot the scene. March 9th I did it. Late in the afternoon. Bleak light and mud everywhere. I shot with Clear Cam originally because it was pretty windy and I wanted to be sure to get a steady handheld frame. I took all the color out when I got home and used Oggl to square up the composition and add the muddy edge. Not satisfied with the feel of the neutral monochrome I got from Oggl, I used Monokrom to punch up the contrast and add a smidge of green drama to the black-and-white.”
“The inspiration for this shot, like most of my work is pretty simple. A strong black and white self portrait to capture and express all that feels just within ‘arms reach’ for me. Even though it’s not all clear (me, slightly out of focus), I keep a steady gaze, arms reaching and ever ready.
This self portrait is a pretty typical edit for me and feel it captures both me and my style of work. I have a ‘less is more’ approach with the apps I use, to achieve the classic black and white look that I love. I shoot in Pure Shot, which allows me to keep a high file size because it is in tiff format. (some apps really kill the file size!) I then used Filterstorm to convert to black and white. Filterstorm has a great ‘curves’ feature with a dynamic range of contrast and in this portrait, I really brightened the brights and darkened the darks. I also used the Blur tool to enhance the depth of field.
My inspiration for this image to begin with was visiting this pond. It is beyond some trees in our back yard and we can only see the pond when the trees are bare of leaves. It is in a hollow on our neighbor’s property and from our back deck it kind of glows in the shadow of the trees and surrounding hillside.
When I was at the pond it was small and surrounded by a lot of undergrowth as you can probably see in the image. I just knew that this scene could be the makings for an interestingly mysterious image. But, I wouldn’t know for sure or what the image would be like until I started working on the photograph.
I don’t usually have a preconceived idea of what I want an image to look like when I am done. I work intuitively, experimenting until I get something with which I am pleased. I like to create images that are mysterious, ambiguous and pull the viewer in to wonder and find their own meanings and interpretations beyond the literal. I also like to create painterly images in a painterly, impressionistic style.
I shot the image with Hipstamatic, Yoona lens & Blanko film, and edited it first in Snapseed. Then I opened it in DistressedFX and finished it there. I don’t usually document each step of the process when working on an image, so I can’t always give a step-by-step explanation of what I have done. I used to do that when I first started with iPhone photography, but found it slowed me down and interrupted my “in the moment” inspirations. All images and editing are done on my iPhone 4s.”
“This ship was abandoned about ten years ago along the shores of Lake Ontario. Apparently it is a replica of the “Grand Hermie” used by the famous French explorer Jacques Cartier during his explorations of Canada between 1535 and 1542. Living in Toronto I have made numerous trips to Niagara Falls where you can clearly see this ship from the highway, but I never had the opportunity to stop and explore it until I finally decided to make a special trip. During the winter, because of the frozen shallow water it is standing in, you can get right on the ship and I therefore had the opportunity to explore it from every angle. It was a very rewarding hour I spent, including having to run back to the car to recharge my phone! (And I have to thank my wife as she patiently waited for me). Given that it is only a replica of a historic ship, it does’t have a lot of stories to tell, but you still can’t help but wonder what life must have been like for the original explorers on a ship such as this. How did they survive the harsh conditions of sailing such a small ship across the Atlantic to a land they had never been to, known then only as “The New Word”, not knowing what they would encounter? You can’t help but think about what stories the original sailors would have told. It’s all somewhat eerie.
This image was processed in Leonardo and Handy Photo, and because of the minimalistic nature of this image, processing was fairly straight forward. I use Leonardo almost exclusively for the bulk of my processing because I like to work with multiple layers and masking of details. After converting to black & white within Leonardo, I first went about adjusting contrast and brightness in specific areas of the image and in particular I wanted to bring out the contrast and depth of the rocks in the background and darken the ship. Fog was then added using Handy Photo. I had to play with this quite a bit to get it just the way I wanted it. The reason for adding the fog was not only an esthetic one but for me it was a way of emphasizing the “mystery” of not only the ship, but the mystery the original sailors must have felt when heading off for the New World.
Tattered and torn in the state of confusion, she hides behind these walls, it’s just an illusion.
She puts on a brave face and takes cover behind her smile, she’ll tell you she’s okay, but is dying all the while.
It’s not the first time he’s made her feel this way, her happiness depends on his mood, for it changes every day.
He’ll tell her he’s sorry and didn’t mean to cause her any pain, and she’ll tolerate his lies so others won’t think she’s insane.
But the walls are crumbling down, the sheet rock is wearing thin, and soon she will see that this is the beginning of the end.
She can’t take it any more, for it’s all just too strong, she’s beginning to feel like she doesn’t belong.
Behind these walls all torn and tattered, a woman is being abused, a woman is being battered.
“When I created this image, there wasn’t any idea in mind. The inspiration for the image came after it was made. It spoke to me of abuse, abuse that is either physical, emotional or mental. The kind of abuse that no one should ever feel. Women, men, children – we all feel, we all matter.
The photo was taken using ProCamera7. Snapseed to make the image black and white.I then used Faded to get the squares in the corners. Added texture from Camera Awesome, and used Imageblender to blend the texture to the squares themselves. Repix for the black drip. Finally finished with Stackables for added grit and final touches.”
“This image was created out of the synthesis of two different creative impulses on my part. On one hand, as anyone that has followed my work for a while will attest, I have a bit of a “thing” for photographing people (mostly myself) in various masks. There’s something about how the wearing of a physical mask calls attention to the fact that we are all wearing “masks” of some sort throughout most of our lives. On the other hand, I also set out to make a statement about working life and how, for so many people, the corporate environment is a toxic one, and the mask (notice it’s missing a filter) represents our honorable, yet ineffective attempts to shield ourselves from the “toxins” that we are exposed to daily.
Like most of my mobile work these days, this image was shot with an iPhone 5s using PureShot in TIFF mode and edited exclusively with Filterstorm Neue (preserving the image file as a TIFF throughout the entire process). As far as the editing process, it is actually quite simple. I cropped the image square, converted to B&W, blacked out the eyes using the Curves feature of FS Neue along with the masking brush tool, then tweaked the overall contrast and brightness, added some heavy vignetting, and that’s about it.
I was taking my self-portrait with the native camera on the iPhone4S, with stand by. I also took a pic from my city Cannes (french riviera) with the hipstamatic combo Jane and BlacKeys supergrain. Then I tuned the image in Diana to make a blend. I chose the filter ‘rave on’ and that’s it. I love to try different apps. It depends on the mood of the day. Thanks again to wearejuxt for helping me to find inspiration.
“Untold Blasphemy is the result of a challenge that I’ve put myself to do – edit with more of a romantic touch than my usually dark edits. The apps that I used are blender to blend the main subject that is the portrait with other images like flowers, walls, woods etc. and the result is that. I used iRetouch to crop the image, and I used filterstorm to adjust the contrast.”
The first thing I thought of when my holiday to China was confirmed was, “I need to get a new camera”. I’ve got a collection of old film cameras, and a couple of aging digital cameras lying around gathering dust, and I didn’t think any of these were going to be good enough. I’m sure most of them would have been fine – but I obviously suffer from that disease of thinking the latest and greatest technology will make my shots all that much better.
So I started reading all the reviews, checking the specs on the latest digital SLRs, looking at photos of apples taken at different ISO levels, counting pixels, and weighing up all the pros and cons. This just left me in a state of confusion and my eyes slowly began to glaze over. I really don’t care that the Nikon D800 image retains much more high-frequency detail throughout the ISO range than the D7000. And I have no idea what is the consequence of the D800 having a pixel pitch of 4.88µm, while the D7000 has a pixel pitch of 4.78µm. What does that even mean?
This research went on for a couple of weeks, sending me around in circles with my thoughts on which camera to buy. Do I get something like the Nikon D7000 or do I go for more of a rangefinder inspired camera such as the Fufjifilm X-Pro1? As the trip loomed closer and closer and my confusion and frustration grew, I made the decision to forget about a new camera, spend the money on dumplings and knock off Nikes, and just take my iPhone5. It was the best decision I could have made.
This approach was so much simpler. I was travelling with my family so it wasn’t like I was going to take photos. I was going for a holiday and I was going to take photos when the opportunity arose. So rather than lugging around a heavy camera all day, and possibly multiple lenses I was free to walk about with just an iPhone in my pocket – something I would have been doing anyway. This approach also allowed me to look a little more inconspicuous as I wandered through some of the neighborhoods taking shots.
There was only one decision left to make. What Hipstamatic combo to shoot with. This wasn’t too difficult to make. For black and white: JohnS + Rock BW-11. For color: Jane + Ina’s 1982
JohnS + Rock BW-11
JohnS + Rock BW-11
Jane + Ina’s 1982
Jane + Ina’s 1982
In the end I was reasonably happy with what I got. They were just opportunistic snapshots – but to me they tell the story of the cities I visited and my journey through them. And that’s all I wanted really, it’s not like National Geographic was going to be knocking at my door if I had of taken my shots with a DSLR. I saved money, and my back.
We Are Jut Rewind: This article was originally posted June 13, 2013
Passion for Portraiture? Tips To Get You Started by Geri C.
What a pleasure to join the ranks of the JUXT(ers). As a former sketch card and portrait artist, I am drawn to portrait photography and wanted some tips from a few of my favorite mobile photographers for producing beautiful portraits using a smartphone. I’ve gathered their advice along with some stunning samples of their work. Photographers featured are both hobbyists and professionals from around the globe.
Sydney, Australia–Graphic designer/Art Director/iPhoneographer/Avid collector. I’ve spent a lifetime tinkering with photography. Though I am a qualified graphic designer, photography has always been my passion. Recently I chose to take that passion to another level and I am currently studying photography, so that I have both the technical know how and formal qualifications. It took me a while to get used to the notion that an iPhone could be such a potent and creative tool. iPhoneography now consumes my life and a day doesn’t pass without me using my iPhone & iPad to create. iPhoneography will always be a life-force.
Anthony’s Tips (There are absolutely no hard and fast rules when it comes to portrait photography. There are two approaches I use and are demonstrated by the two examples I have submitted. The first is random or candid photos of people I encounter while I am out and about. These photos are a record of a brief encounter with someone I find interesting in the street. I often enhance or embellish the photos later using one of many apps. The second is taking a portrait that is preconceived and planned. Ideas or concepts have been considered so you have a clear understanding as to what it is you want to achieve. Location, time of day, subject attire, lighting effect and props, if used, are all considered before the shoot is commenced).
Develop your interpersonal skills. Connect or engage with your subject. Talking to your subject enables you to build a rapport quicker. Find out what they are passionate about, what makes them tick? When they talk about their passions they relax and you then capture the best results. It’s all about capturing expressions and portraying real character!
Be confident when taking portraits of people in the streets. As a rule I always ask strangers if I can photograph them first so as to avoid the potential of a negative or unpleasant reaction! Interesting people make for more interesting portraits. Look for people that have more character. I strongly suggest if at all possible to show the end result to the person you have photographed. Either email a copy of the photo or as I do offer people a small print of the portrait as a way of saying thank you.
Look for a fresh perspective or point of view. Try different angles and experiment. Try shooting your subject from different distances from a close up of the face, to a full body pose. A good portrait isn’t just a head and shoulder shot.
Use available or natural light in preference to the flash on your device. The flash on an iPhone is harsh when used as the only light source and is pretty much uncontrollable. For a more dramatic and controlled effect, use natural light from a window or move your subject closer to an incandescent light source in an interior scenario. Natural lighting will be ‘kinder’ to your subject.
Try shooting in interesting or unusual locations. Look for interesting backdrops or props that will enhance the subject and tell the viewer more about the subject. However don’t let the background or props in a portrait dominate the subject as they may detract from the outcome.
Recovering Musician. Writer. Breeder (six kids) iPhoneographer. Native Californian who fled Los Angeles in 1994 for the big city lights of Nashville. 2 record deals, 4 albums, 6 sold, message received! Photography became the transition drug that helped me get over myself and get on with my life. I have an affinity for the past with an appetite for the future (oh paleeease!) Big fan of 30′s, 40′s and 50′s black and white imagery. Particularly Life Magazine’s from those periods, Dorothea Lange. George Hurrell. Vivian Maier. A lfred Hitchcock freak. Once followed a woman who looked like Grace Kelly for 5 city blocks before realizing that I’d stumbled into a “Gay Pride” parade.
Location! Location! Location! Look for an interesting spot to use for your pallet. Old house, huge tree whatever. Then build your image around that.
Narrow your visual subject. Be aware of any distracting things creeping into your shot. I hate telephone lines!! Even a bright piece of material popping out of your models clothing or a misplaced hair. You want the eye drawn towards the correct spot on your shot. Avoid a cluttered frame.
Time of day. I prefer to shoot in the late afternoon/early evening when the sun is setting. It makes my subjects and even backgrounds have an almost surreal image. Early morning is good as well. If it’s noon, then just put your phone in your pocket and finish your sandwich.
Try to make your subjects comfortable to be around you. Ask them questions about themselves, make them laugh. (with you, not at you!) I want to bring out their beauty and/or their unique quality. I’m what the Native Americans and Amish fear most, I want my iPhone to capture their soul.
Be careful how much you edit. I just learned a very valuable lesson. Your original picture that started out at 2MB can quickly shrink to under 100KB if you run it through too many apps. If you’re going to transfer to your iPad, then use an app like Dropbox. It will maintain the integrity of the file. NEVER email the shot to transfer. However, this is only important if you ever plan to enlarge the shot beyond the size of your phones screen.
Born March 14 1968. iPhoneographer since August 2012 – Rookie. I do portraits. Did fashion, dance and artistic photos in another life, twenty years ago. Learned in a darkroom when taking picture was a long process. Now I enjoy editing at any moment of the day. Like now…
Work in perfect light (natural). The iPhone performs best on cloudy days. If you want details in your portraits like I do, this helps because the iPhone doesn’t like bright light – it doesn’t read it well. For studio work, make yourself a soft box. Google it to find instructions or a soft light from a portable lamp can do it.
The editing is key. Visualize the final result. Don’t over do it. Know your apps, study them, push it to the limit.
Make your subject comfortable. Listen to them and if you’re like me you will do what you want anyway, ha! Be calm and confident which will help your subject to be comfortable.
The eyes have it! Eyes and light are the most important things for me in a portrait. The eyes of your subject will tell you their secrets and that is what you want to catch…their secrets.
Titoiz by Patrick St-Hilaire (Studio Portrait with Soft Box)
Being Rasta by Patrick St-Hilaire (Natural Light)
I’m originally from Illinois, but now reside in Louisiana with my wife and son. By day I’m a logistics coordinator for the US Army, and a mobile arts enthusiast the rest of the time. I’ve always been in touch with the arts in one form or another, mostly culinary and music, but it wasn’t until I purchased an iPhone that I really developed a passion for mobile artistry.
Subject matter: Find a subject that speaks and really resonates. In your final composition you’ll find it will resonate with the viewers as well.
Focus: Using a vignette or blurring feature for your background makes the subject portrait really “pop”.
Color vs. Black and White: (This is strictly my personal opinion) When a portrait is B&W, it strips away the distraction of color and really sets focus on the subject.
Avoid direct sunlight: Like a vampire, this can be harmful to your portrait. Overcast seems to work well for me.
Experiment: Shoot from different angles. Try wide lens shots. Take random street shots.
Currently I am an oncology nurse and graduate student, however my initial training was in mixed media and painting. There are two very different parts to my brain and I think it is through mobile photography that I have finally been able to reconcile them. To do either I must be totally present, and committed to my observations. In the last year, using my iPhone to make pictures has become one of the most cherished parts of my day. I consider myself to be much more of a portrait dabbler, but here are a few things I’ve found that help.
Take a bazillion photos. This cannot be underestimated enough. Even if I can get someone to cooperate long enough for me to get a million takes, sometimes I still end up dumping them all. But that’s totally OK. I’m just that many steps closer to the next decent shot.
Practice on yourself. Sometimes you’re the only one you got (for me, that’s most of the time). When there’s nothing at stake, and no one to accuse you of making them look fat, you are free to shoot away to your heart’s content.
Look at other portrait photographers work. Find ones you like on your social media platforms, and from history, and from your community. Study their work. Figure out how they are framing their subjects, or using light, or conveying emotion. Learn all their rules, then break them and make them your own.
Experiment with different apps. I’m pretty sure the Hipstamatic camera app has set my soul on fire. I am an enormous fan of the Tinto 1884 lens and its crazy blur combined with anything. I end up starting out with a much more interesting image before editing than I would if I had shot with the native camera. Speaking of editing, Snapseed remains a favorite for a Photoshop flunkie like myself.
Make your models comfortable. I kinda suck at this. Clearly when I feel weird about taking their picture, they feel weird about me taking their picture. To compensate I talk until I bore them to death, and the nervous smiles and giggles stop. Although, those can be pretty nice too…
Mobile Photographer – ”I’m enjoying what I love to do the most… I love to be free to wander and take photos of whatever interests me. I love to have time to create…to escape into another world.” I have chosen my 5 tips because they are essential to me as an artist. They are chosen relating to ‘self’ portraits, not generalized portrait work.
Planning Have an idea of what you want to do, think about what you want to convey in your portrait and how you are going to achieve it. Choose a day or time without any distractions, have the time to be free to try new ideas.
Lighting is so important, particularly with mobile photography, try and choose a day where there is great natural light, or maybe create your own using various methods, lots of interesting effects can be created by using directional light.
Perspective can make or break a portrait, be creative, invest in a tripod for your mobile device. You can be far more adventurous if you’re not having to hold your phone and unusual angles always create interest.
Break the rules! Try not to be guided by the many rules of photography when creating self portraits, be original and free, express yourself, the more creatively the better!
Titles I’m not a fan of titles generally but I use them for self portraits, it helps to create the mood and gives the viewer an idea of the expression you had in mind. Many people feel that titles influence the viewer or that it may affect how the photo feels but it doesn’t have to be a descriptive one, it could just be a thought or lyric that fits the image.
I am a wife, a mother to four wonderful children. I studied photography and fine art at various colleges in London, which enabled me to harness the creative soul within me. I am currently based in London, however photography has made it possible for me to ‘visually’ travel on a global scale. My own photography business was launched in 2010, alongside my blog as a creative writer. Through mobile photography, my creativity has evolved, my interpretation of life has been revolutionized. I am a visual storyteller with a passion for telling stories.
When thinking about shooting a portrait whether it is a self portrait or of a model, lighting is the first thing I think about – it has to be perfect. I prefer natural lighting, so finding a soft natural light source is key – maybe next to a window or patio, perfect if it’s outside. Be careful not to overexpose when shooting outdoors. I find a natural light source inside, creates lovely soft shadows.
The perfect backdrop. Now obviously we can’t all have a studio set up when we shoot. However, just be mindful of the background and foreground, you don’t want them distracting the viewer from the subject, I tend to use a plain wall or drape a cloth behind my subject, if all else fails there are wonderful apps out there that can improve on any imperfections within the background or foreground.
Composition, think about how you want the portrait to be received. The way you position your subject is very important. You can create a dramatic or elegant feel to the portrait just by the positioning. If you’re like me and shoot very active children or maybe you didn’t realize you’ve caught something distracting in the background, then post editing is always a savior, plus with apps like AntiCrop and Snapseed, composition issues are a thing of the past.
What I love about shooting with the iPhone is the countless apps. You can turn an image that hasn’t been shot within perfect circumstance, into the perfect image. I have done this with many of my portraits. Find your staple application the one you can use to edit an image with ease and efficiency, to make your portrait stand out. I use Snapseed 99% of the time for most of my post editing work on all my portraits.
Continuous shooting, I use this mode on my Nikon. So why not on the iPhone, just keep snapping, especially when working with children or self portraits. Most of my self portraits I’ve usually shoot about 20-30 frames, then I pick a few to work from. This way you can slightly, move change expressions etc. to ensure you got the perfect shot. Enjoy it, it’s fun!
“It wasn’t until I got my first iPhone, that I started to take pictures and discovered the possibilities of this new amazing art form. The future of mobile photography is a bright one!”~Nei Cruz, iPhoneographer
Nei’s passion for photography dates back to the time he was a boy. Having worked as an art director, Nei has had the privilege of working with many world renowned photographers and important fashion publications such as Vogue, Elle, Bazar, Allure, W and many others. Nei Cruz resides in Manhattan, New York City and continues to work in the fashion industry.
Make sure your subject is comfortable and relaxed. Trust is key.
The surroundings are as important as the subject. Make sure it enhances the subject and expresses what you are trying to convey in the photo.
Stabilize your camera as well as you can. A tripod helps, even though I never used one yet.
Like any other photo, light is important to express the mood and feel of the photo.
Don’ hesitate to try different things. Experiment!
A big thank you to all who contributed their tips. Do you have any of your own advice for capturing a perfect portrait? Please leave your tips in the comments below. I look forward to learning from you!
Located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, Florida at 420 North Julia Street lies The Ambassador Hotel. Formerly known as the 310 West Church Street Apartments, the hotel was built in 1924 in the Georgian Revival architectural style at the height of the Florida land boom. The building was designed in an “H” shape to provide windows for all 50 apartments that held approximately 110 residents. The building was a premium location during its better days. On May 2, 1950, Senator George Smathers celebrated his nomination to the United States Senate in a suite that would would live on to be known and marketed as the Senator George Smathers Suite. After twenty years of operation the building was turned into a hotel and has went through various names and owners until 1955 when it was renamed as the Ambassador Hotel.
In 1983 The Ambassador Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings but by that time the hotel was already in decline. From that time on, the hotel has a history of vagrants, drug busts, raids, fires, vandalism and destruction. In 1998 the hotel was officially condemned and has remained ever since. The Ambassador is a constant reminder of Jacksonville’s historic past as the city struggles to attract popular interest and funding to renovate its historical downtown, losing to cheaper options such as land development and urban sprawl.
When Mike and I decided to visit the Ambassador as a project for the Nokia Lumia 1020′s I couldn’t wait to try it out. We met at the hotel and entered at the ground level. Dark and dirty the air was thick with dust, dirt and ash as a recent fire had blazed throughout the bottom floors less than a year before our visit. I immediately started playing with the Lumia and was instantly amazed by the features of the Nokia Camera. The low-light capabilities instantly impressed me, but what excited me the most was the incredible exposure and ISO controls which were very useful in this dimly lit environment.
As we explored from the ground floor up, it was apparent that life still existed in the condemned hotel. Walking from room to room we saw the broken remnants of lost lives. One room was littered with baby diapers, baby shoes and a crib reaching out of the room and into the hallway. There were rooms locked from the inside and sounds we heard from others as we decided to pass by and leave the inhabitants their privacy. You can imagine all the joy and pain that has filled these walls. The paint was literally falling off the walls, no longer able to carry the burden of the countless stories it has witnessed from triumph to tragedy but not all rooms told a sad story. There were some rooms that showed signs of making the best of a tough life, one had beer cans littered throughout, a deck of cards scattered and sleeping pallets made of found blankets and makeshift pillows. I hope that this building will find it’s way back into the community, fill its walls with hope and moments of celebration but only time will tell and over the last few decades for The Ambassador, time has not been kind.
When I first pulled up to meet Brandon outside, looking up at the building it didn’t seem like much. Definitely not the type of place I’d drive or walk by and think about exploring. It was your typical 35 year old stripper named ‘Lady Ambassador’, meaning it was in pretty good shape on the outside, and severely damaged on the inside. But I knew Miss Ambassador had mad stories to tell, so lets get started.
One room had soda bottles placed in the kitchen cabinet, like as would any normal home, only the room looked like it was nuked long ago, or in some sort of post apocalyptic scene from a movie where the family chose to ignore that the big one was dropped way back and still lives there.
It felt weird walking into these peoples homes. All the doors were opened but a few, locked from the inside, and I can only assume there was someone on the other side hoping we wouldn’t force our way in. Plenty more to see, we can let them be, they’ve had it rough enough, I reckon, without a couple of nosy explorers complicating things. Big day tonight, let em rest.
Reaching the roof with the 70 degree air and bright sunshine was refreshing. The place was, as you would expect, pretty nasty inside. We definitely picked a beautiful day to lock ourselves in a homeless den, but I love the explore so much that days like this can always be sacrificed, especially for a trip as rare as this.
When we decided to leave, looking back down those stairs was intimidating. Was it really that dark when we came in, or had the sunlight spoiled me? Until next time, Ambassador.
As a tourist when you visualize London, you think of mainstream iconic landmarks like The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (St Stephen’s Tower), Buckingham Palace to name a few. There is though a place that is steep in history, culture and the embodiment of London life. A place I visit frequently, anyone who lives in London knows about the Southbank. The vast array of cafes, the National Theatre, not to mention the London Eye. If you walk along the river front you’re greeted by vendors, street acts of every kind all trying to attract the surge of tourists that frequent the area. As a Londoner I’m always amazed at what I see, I love this part of London because of its love for community living.
The riverside walk will also bring you to a special place, quite different from the other attractions. In the 1970’s the Southbank undercroft was a place of shelter for the homeless, However this partly subterranean space soon became a center for graffiti artists, skateboarders and freestyle cyclists.
Everyone and anyone who wanted to skateboard, meet other artists maybe hold events would visit the undercroft. It is a place of inspiration, bursting with the creativity of the many voices that stamp their mark on this cultural landmark. Unfortunately it is now being threatened of closure, in April 2013 the Southbank Center proposed the development of the area for commercial units. A group was formed to oppose this development, they are called Long Live Southbank. Amazingly they have the backing of the local council, the Mayor of London and many celebrities. Thousands of people have signed the petition to oppose the redevelopment of the undercroft. Here are just a few of the quotes supporting this petition.
“The skate park is the epicenter of UK skateboarding and is part of the cultural fabric of London. This much-loved community space has been used by thousands of young people over the years. It attracts tourists from across the world and undoubtedly adds to the vibrancy of the area – it helps to make London the great city it is.” – Boris Johnson “I urge you to please preserve the integrity of Southbank, a sanctuary for skateboarders, and an important piece of London history.” – Tony Hawk “Southbank is the oldest surviving skateboard spot in the world and hailed as the birthplace of British skateboarding. This space has empowered generations of physical, visual and collaborative expression and informed and directed the lives of people from all walks of life. This world famous landmark and cultural icon must be preserved for future generations to flourish.” – Henry Edwards-Wood.
If you would like to pledge your support by signing the online petition here is the link for their Change.org campaign. Also have a look at their website ‘Long Live Southbank’ if you want to find out more plus keep up to date with their progress.
What I love most about this crazy, creative community we are a part of is when connections are formed and out of those connects creativity is brought to a new level that would not have been reached otherwise. Being an artist in a community that is constantly sharing, changing and growing is astounding and stretches me constantly. Everyday we are bombarded with images, thoughts and ideas that test our limits as artists and move us further into our journey. I love hearing stories of projects and collaborations that never would have happened without technology. Dilshad and Matt created a connection and through that connection challenged one another to flex their creative muscles while shooting for 18 hours straight. Dilshad was armed with his iPhone and Matt with his DSLR as they took to the streets from 3 pm to 9 am the next day. They were not shooting to out do one another but shooting to compare the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. Although both photographers will tell you their best laid plans went awry, you will see from the beautiful shots they captured that the project was a success.- Anna
My name is Dilshad Corleone (italianbrother, pretty much everywhere on the social medias). I consider myself to be a smart-phone photographer, or better, an iPhoneographer. I shoot only with my iPhone, and I have had exhibition all over the world, from the UK to the US, including a lot of countries in the middle and around these two… I have also been published in various magazines, such as Shooter Mag., The Drum, and Carephone Wharehouses’ The Guide to name but a few; and of course on some fantastic E-Magz too, such as Mobiography, Snap from The Haus of Hipstamatic, and Mob Fiction! The Highlight of last year, for me, definitely was the video of me walking the streets of Barcelona while I photographed the day-to-day life of its dwellers. Photography and mobile photography has absolutely changed my life (and I am not trying to be cheesy here). This year has started pretty nicely too: hanging out with Matt it’s a lot of fun, he is an incredible photographer and a great friend too. The video we did was really revitalising! I loved every minute of it and it was a great exercise and experiment. My name is Matt Davey; 23, self-employed and loving it, I am a music photographer. My work is based around shooting local bands of Essex, England. I’ve got bit of a name for myself locally over my past (and first) year of business (Jackal Media), especially after shooting for Electronic Daisy Carnival back in 2013. I started photography when I was 14, I worked in a small Kodak Express shop developing films and doing small touchup jobs with Photoshop, which I then got my first point and shoot; a year later I got my first SLR – a Canon 450D, and then things got real for the young Matt Davey. Things got professional for me when I helped re-open my local youth club last year, which is a music venue every Friday supporting the discovery of local talent. Since then, I have been a professional music photographer. Then I decided to hang out with Dilshad Corleone a lot more…