This winter I decided I did not want to go out into the cold, so I thought about how I could continue to grow and learn as a photographer while remaining indoors.
My first thought was to learn more about still life and table-top photography and I went out and bought a starter studio kit with continuous lighting lamps. Along with that, I decided I needed to develop that photographers eye that I seemed to be lacking. I found a place with daily themes and decided I would use my cell phone to do the project. It was the only way that I figured I would pull a camera out everyday, especially when work gets demanding and I’m pulling long hours. Initially I sent these photos just to Sue. They were mostly unedited, quick themed photos just to start looking and ‘seeing’ at this point. However, I started searching the net to find out more about taking photos with an iPhone.
What I saw, blew me away. I found these absolutely beautiful photos that were taken and edited on iPhones and found an entire photography community out there that was dedicated specifically to this medium. The quality and beauty of these photos, it was so hard to believe they were taken on an iPhone. I wanted to know more, how to produce photos like these and so I looked for bloggers. I found a few, Rad Drew, Tony Sweet and The App Whisperer. They provided tutorials and demonstrations about editing photos, but most importantly, they told me which apps they used. First it was Camera+, Distressed, Snapseed and Image Blender. I started creating some cool photos. Then I created my first cool photo on the iphone, a wagon wheel. I did a composite and edited two of the same photo in two different ways then blended them together, adjusting one slightly to give the overall wheel more spokes and blurred one wheel to create the soft Orton effect. I was amazed and I posted it on Facebook. My friends couldn’t believe I took this with an Iphone.
And that was it. I was hooked on learning more about about iphoneography, as it’s called. I found online courses. Bob Weil who offers the Iphone Photo Artist course and Emil Pakarklis of the Iphone Photography School which offers a few different iPhone courses. Along with taking courses, I decided to join a 365 project in January allowing myself to continue to expand that photographer’s eye while learning more about taking and editing photos on the iPhone. I opened an Instagram account to post this project daily and really committed to the process.
Apps, apps, and more apps. I’ve become an apps addict, always looking for the next one. Every time I see a photo I like, I look at the apps they used and go and get them. First it was Photogene, PixLR, TouchRetouch and Vintage Scene. Then it was Filters, Glaze, PhotoMirror and Afterphoto. But one must not forget Stackables, Pic Grunger, Leonardo, Icolorama and Lens Light. And the list goes on and on and on …. Truth is, I enjoy the process of creating. Just taking one photo, thinking about whether to do it in colour or black and white, then do I want a vintage feel, abstract, real HDR or texture look to it? I never know how it will exactly turn out.
I think why I enjoy using the iPhone so much is because in less than half an hour, I can take a photo during the mid-afternoon sunlight and run it through five apps to change in into a night photo full of fog and mystery and have it look like a painting. It’s not that I can’t do that in using the editing programs for my DSLR photos, like Nik and Topaz, but I have to plan for that. First, I need to be home, have time, and be in front of the computer. Plus, I’m not as adept with these programs, especially Photoshop, so I often have to look up a two minute video to remember how to change the colour of something … again. For me, its the portability of the iPhone and the ease of having it there, when for instance, I’m at the hospital sitting around for work. It’s easy to grab a half hour here or there when going about your day, and much harder to find the time when at home.
So, yes, I have found a new love. I now understand why there is an entire genre dedicated to this art and why, for some, they never pick up the bigger cameras, opting to keep it simple and easy. And having seen some of the wonderful photos people are putting out there, it’s not hard to understand. I do know that during this winter when I hate the cold and snow, I have continued to shot and to learn more about lighting, still life, night shots and such. For now, while the snow is still on the ground, I will continue to use my IPhone. My DSLR is for the nice weather. I call this periodization, which I learned from my athletic days!
If you want to give it a try, the group I joined is Capture Your 365 and you only have to subscribe to the newsletter to receive the monthly themes. Whether you have an IPhone 4 (really, you need to upgrade lol) 5 or 6, anyone can do this project. Here’s a recent list of the 10 Best 2015 Apps. But really, I suggest you start with just five editing apps.Try Camera+ for another camera and the filters, Snapseed (which is free) for editing and PixLR for tons of filters, Distressed FX for textures, Vintage Scene for aged effects and Image Blender in case you want to try your hand at blending two photos together. At most, these choices may cost ~$10.00. Well worth it and really cheap for photography. I think if you’ll try it, before long, you’ll be acquiring other apps to play with as well. Cause, it’s addictive!
You can follow my daily photos on Instagram. Let me know if you start your own 365 project. I’d love to follow you!