The fledging iPhoneography movement is a perfect example of what can happen when technology developers make it easy for artists and other creative pros to experiment with new hardware and software.
Imaging-industry analysts have long believed that smartphones would someday replace point-and-shoot cameras as the primary tool for taking snapshots. But these analysts probably never imagined just how wildly enthusiastic photographers of all skill levels have become about the artistic potential of the Apple iPhone camera and its ever-growing ecosystem of apps.
Some iPhoneography evangelists are long-time photography pros who have extensive experience with darkroom processing and fine-art photo printing.
The Advantage of iPhoneography
Photographers coined the term “iPhoneography” to describe the art of capturing and creatively processing images with the inexpensive apps available for the camera built into Apple iPhones
Professional iPhoneographer and teacher Teri Lou Dantzler still uses her DSLR camera to shoot portraits for clients. But carrying an all-in-one camera, darkroom, and social-communication device in her pocket has opened her eyes to limitless possibilities for creative expression and fun.
“Since I always have my iPhone with me, I have captured images that I would have passed by before,” says Teri Lou. “I have processed images while waiting for appointments, while snuggled into a chair at the coffee café, on top of a 10,000-ft. peak, and at bedtime.” She publishes her work on photo blogs and for the Facebook iPhoneography group she started last fall.
Another benefit of iPhoneography is the simplicity of converting a basic camera and processor into a device that can shoot HDR or panoramic images or mimic the look of vintage cameras. Anyone can produce Photoshop-like effects without enduring a painful learning curve or continuously investing in new gadgets or full-featured editing software. For less than $5, you can buy a new app that performs only the tasks you need to create the type of art you envision.
Where to Start?
Because so many iPhoneography apps exist, it can be hard for novices to know where to start. And in fact, many apps do similar things, some better than others.
To help guide and inspire novices, there has been an explosion of iPhoneography books, courses, and tutorials. To decide which resource is right for you, check out the instructor’s background, images, blogs, and the content of the course or book. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available.
Teri Lou Dantzler offers four-week online courses, supplemented by one-on-one critiques over the phone. When you register, she asks what type of imagery you would like to produce, then modifies the course accordingly. Her iPhone-Ography 101 course helps beginners focus on learning those apps best suited for their artistic goals. Her iCreativity course covers a variety of blending, brushing, and masking techniques.
For more information about all of her upcoming courses and workshops, visit Terri Lou’s blog: http://iphoneographywithterilou.blogspot.com/
Chances are your local photography-learning center will be offering iPhoneography courses sometime this year. But if you want to learn how to convert your iPhone images into gallery-worthy art prints, check out the workshops offered by Harry Sandler and Dan Burkholder.
Harry Sandler is a former music-industry tour manager and rock-concert photographer whose images have appeared in Rolling Stone and Circus magazines. He has been taking iPhone pictures of his travels for over two years. Some 17 x 22-inch prints of his iPhone images have been displayed at the Renaissance Fine Art and Design Gallery in Carmel, Indiana and he has another gallery exhibit scheduled this fall.
Sandler will lead an iPhone-Ography Workshop May 14 and 15 at the Peters Valley Craft Center in Layton, New Jersey and a day-long iPhonography class June 4 at Foto-Care in New York. From November 4-7, he will team up with Teri Lou Dantzler to teach an iPhoneography workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island near Seattle
During his May workshop, Sandler will explain how to: capture an image with the proper resolution, work the various apps, figure out a personal workflow, create panoramas right in the phone, and process and print your iPhone images with good color, resolution, depth, and texture.
Sandler regards the iPhone as an extremely versatile tool in his artistic arsenal, offering a marriage of painting and photography. Initially, the iPhone camera reminded him of the Polaroid camera his father gave him as a child. Now he uses the iPhone in a variety of ways, including as a viewfinder for his 60 MP digital camera. Sandler is currently experimenting with compositing iPhone imagery and may try painting some of his iPhone photo prints.
Dan Burkholder was one of the first photographic artists to embrace digital technology in the early 1990s. He will be presenting iPhone Artistry workshops at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (April 29-May 1 and October 12-15), Freestyle Photographic Supplies in Los Angeles (May 14), the Connecticut Media/Photo Workshops (June 25-26), the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY (Aug. 13-14), Maine Media Workshops (August 21-27), and in his own studios in Palenville, NY (Sept. 3-4 and Oct. 8-10).
During his workshops, he will teach camera capture techniques that are exclusive to iPhoneography and provide advice on which apps are best for contrast, color, and sharpening. He will demonstrate how certain apps can be combined to transform your images into fine art. Dan will also explain how to make stunning prints of iPhone images on art paper or canvas and show how the iPhone and iPad can work together to form a photographic dynamic duo.
Dan is widely known for both his vision as his artist and his mastery of the wet and digital darkrooms. His platinum prints are included in many museum and private collections. Dan’s groundbreaking book “Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing” helped black-and-white photographers take advantage of emerging electronic technologies. His forthcoming book on “iPhone Artistry” is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
To sample the type of advice Dan has to offer, download one of Dan Burkholder’s Tiny Tutorials to your iPhone. The tutorials explain how to organize your apps, streamline your image adjustment workflow, stitch and retouch iPhone images, and use basic masking and curves in Filterstorm.
Interactive Book with iPad Companion Edition
“iPhone Obsessed: Photo Editing Experiments with Apps” was written by photographer/designer Dan Marcolina. Dan’s design firms are at the forefront of integrating design for print, video, and interactive media and designing publications and catalogs for touch-enabled tablets.
In his interactive print book, Dan shows how different iPhone camera apps can be combined to create artistic effects such as blurs and vignettes, high-dynamic range, and black-and-white imagery. After you download the free Microsoft Tag Reader onto your iPhone, you can scan one of the 75 tags printed throughout the book to watch Dan present pop-up video tutorials.
Dan was one of the first to use Adobe’s new Digital Publishing Suite to create an iPad Companion edition of his book.
Print and E-Books
The book “Create Great iPhone Photos: Apps, Tips, Tricks, and Effects” was written by Allan Hoffman, who has spent 15 years as the technology columnist for New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper. He explains how to produce stunning panoramas, vintage-style photobooth strips, and super-saturated Polaroid® photos with a hip, 1970s look. The book also explains how to unlock the power of your iPhone’s camera with burst mode, high dynamic range (HDR) effects, exposure and focus controls, and more.
In “The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity,” award-winning documentary photographer Stephanie C. Roberts urges you to use your iPhone to loosen up your traditional approach to photography and become more spontaneous in shooting how you feel.
She emphasizes that, “photography is less about the camera, and more about the vision of the person behind the lens.” While the book explains how use various apps to stretch your creative boundaries and make art with your iPhone camera, many of the techniques in the book could be applied to shooting with any other type of camera. Stephanie will be presenting one-day Art of iPhoneography workshops at the Showcase School of Photography in Atlanta in May and June.