Thursday

My DiffCase and lenses has arrived




My DiffCase with a set of bayonet lenses has arrived and I cannot wait to put it through a number of different paces and report back with an extensive report.



DiffCase


Before applying the case to the iPhone, I not only had a look at their enclosed pamphlet but preferred to look on DiffCase.com website’s YouTube video just to better familiarise with the method of attaching and removing, as it did become necessary to remove the case temporarily.



Lenses


The lenses too will be going through a number of test, especially as I am curious about the possible vignetting or the curvature with the wide angle portion of the lenses, including how close I have to be for the macro lens to be in focus. So stay tuned  . . .




Tuesday

Weekly Showcase




This is our ninth week featuring the ‘Weekly Showcase’ and with the tag becoming more popular, I have had more to select from then ever before. For the first round of possible finalist, thirty were pulled and after two more passes these were narrowed down to eight. From the remaining eight photographs, one was selected as ‘Curator’s Choice.’


We urge everyone to familiarize yourself with the ‘Submission Guidelines’ to improve your changes, including looking at our slideshow at ‘Submission Guidelines’ besides checking previous ‘Curator’s Choice’ winners and finalists.


Though we are open to all subject matters and various forms of creative expression, we do wish to point out that our preference is for full frame square photographs.


The following is this weeks The iPhone Arts ‘Weekly Showcase’ and ‘Curators Choice’ selections posted by iPhoneographers using the hashtag #the_iphone_arts. Selection process is from Monday through Sunday and then posted each Tuesday.


Curator’s Choice


Time for some red! Monks robes at La Tourette Convent by Le Corbusier
Jenny Thomas - England (IG:#ikebana_jen)




This weeks ‘Weekly Showcase’


Untitled
Bea S. - Norway (IG:#gunnbeas)




Context sensitive
Ione - England (IG:#ionecell)




Untitled
Paulette - USA (IG:#artverso)




I have no special talents. I’m only passionately curious.
Daniel - Germany (IG:#d_wesche)




Shutter and Signpost
Antonia Wozencraft - England (IG:#awozy)




Untitled
David - England (IG:#roachspray)




Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung
Georgina - Unknown (IG:#georgina214)




          Would you like to have your photographic art appear here?

Key requirement is that the image must have been taken with an iPhone or other smartphone and it must then be tagged with #the_iphone_arts. 

We also urge that you familiarize yourself with previous ‘Weekly Showcase’ winning selections and read the ‘Submission Guidelines,’ where you will also be presented with a slideshow of examples.

Remember the purpose of the ‘Weekly Showcase’ is to present the new digital fine art that is possible with an iPhone or other smartphone. 


_____
* All images displayed here are copyrighted to the artist and may not be reproduced without the consent from the respective artist.




Thursday

What is on your bookshelf?



My book shelf


Thinking of what to post next, I thought another addition to the series ’Street Photography’ and share with you some of my older photograph books which have certainly had a major influence and therefore have been cherished for many years. However in the process of preparations, a lingering  question arose. 





Sitting in my chair, looking at The Hungry Eye book cover, I noticed how the window light dispersed across, where I had just placed my reading glasses. so I kept thinking, “You either photograph this or regret it later.” Reaching for my iPhone I spent the next ninety minutes obtaining the photograph I had envisioned earlier.



The following evening I had more than an extensive look at iTunes to see what was available for the iBook reader. Little did I know that I would spend the next 9-10 hours looking through their list of photography books and downloading 51. Now I better explain why I would stay up all night, resisting the urge to retire and go to sleep.  


Having a keen interest in self-publishing, toying with creating a Blurb book, but when Apple Computers released iBook in 2010, allowing one to develop, design and publish an e-Book for Internet distribution at iTunes. So my interest was not only in photography books, I was just as curious to see how others applied iBook to their project.




Of the 17 books appearing now on my iPad, a few stood out for their content and design, especially a photographic travel book, Roaming the Taklamakan Desert in China and But Not Forgotten, about a small town struggling to survive in today’s global economy.




When it comes to just photography, Archetypes stood out with its black and white stunning images, while What I Thought You Saw, left me wanting, when you consider your canvas is Brooklyn and Manhattan.


From the iBooks I have viewed in iTunes, I was unable to find to locate an edition featuring the work of an iPhoneographer, other than a How To e-Book. But then as of June 20, there are 1863 iBooks on photography available, with 256 free, I remain optimistic in finding a couple. In closing, I wish to comment that despite English is the dominating language, do not over look foreign iBook editions, you may just be pleasantly surprised.




Tuesday

Weekly Showcase

 


This week, The iPhone Arts ‘Weekly Showcase’ and ‘Curators Choice’ selections for the past week favorite images that was posted by iPhoneographers using the hashtag #the_iphone_arts. From the weeks selection, the best image is chosen as the ‘Curators Choice’. Selection process is from Monday through Sunday and then posted each Tuesday.


Curator’s Choice



Solitude
Ornella Ascolese - Italy  (IG:#ornellaascolese)




This weeks ‘Weekly Showcase’


Untitled
Luis Dindo Martinez - Phillipines (IG:#luligilum)




Greg Gorman
Anna - Russia (IG:#annakur)




You’d kill yourself for recognition, kill yourself to never ever stop
Lee Thatcher - England (IG:#leethatch)




Fell Like Indian
Aldamarie - France (IG:#alidamarie_2)




Dieting the Fine Line - The Female Battle Against Fat
Michelle Robinson - Australia (IG:#michmutters)




Man in the mirror
Andres de Leon - Spain (IG:#aenede)




Untitled
Nico - France (IG:#nzphoto)




Suffer in the sun
David Ruser - USA (IG:#painterdave)




If you don’t like the dark side of the moon, stay in the sun
Ione - England (IG:#ionecell)




Some things in life may change. But some things they stay the same.
Lee Thatcher - England (IG:#leethatch)




          Would you like to have your photographic art appear here?

Key requirement is that the image must have been taken with an iPhone or other smartphone and it must then be tagged with #the_iphone_arts. 

We also urge that you familiarize yourself with previous ‘Weekly Showcase’ winning selections and read the ‘Submission Guidelines,’ where you will also be presented with a slideshow of examples.

Remember the purpose of the ‘Weekly Showcase’ is to present the new digital fine art that is possible with an iPhone or other smartphone. 


_____
* All images displayed here are copyrighted to the artist and may not be reproduced without the consent from the respective artist.




Saturday

Contact Sheet #002

My book ‘The Hungry Eye’ by Walker Evans lay on the bed while I sat back in an Adirondack chair, when I noticed a beautiful highlight scattered across the book's glossy cover and interacted with the glasses. I looked at it more closely, checking various angles, thinking this is interesting. I was being drawn in by the light and the sets simplicity and beauty.



How it all started


As this was an certainly impromptu still-life, I took a few test shots using the iPhone with a Hipstamatic camera application set to John S lens with Claunch 72 Monochrome film cartridge. I should note that only very recently have I started using Hipstamatic software applications and though I have yet to explore all my 18 lenses and 14 films, I have fallen hard for the combination of a John S lens with Claunch 72 Monochrome or DreamCanvas film cartridge.



Contact Sheet #002 - click to view full size version


At first the goal was to capture the set in color because of the book’s red spine, but things were not coming together in the first set of 10 test images. Settling on black and white since I believed the nature of Cluanch 72 Monochrome film could eliminate unnecessary distracting detail and focus primarily on the exchange between the highlights and the pair of glasses.


Now that I have decided what the next steps are going to be, the challenge is now to find the right chemistry in accomplishing what the eye earlier saw and the mind perceived.


Three images later and still dissatisfied, it was time to change my approach and figure out what was not working. It did not take too long, for it had been starring me in the eye all this time, it was the bedspread cover taking all the attention.


Since I had a stack of photography books next to me, I began to cover up the offending area, but more refinement was still required and just to be sure I was on the right track, another color exposure was taken.


One of the problems with the Hipstamatic view finder screen is its shape, it is not a true square, resulting in my having to approximate the cut-off points and this is a handicap when precision is required.



Slideshow - Entire series in chronological order

Now that I controlled the background but also the light, it was time to refine the interaction of a pair of reading glasses with the light, including the book’s cover.




The best four - click to view full size version


Once I felt I had what I envisioned earlier, it was time to edit and select the final image and it all came down to the last four exposures. All four of them were valid but what part of the photograph worked and what did not.


Finally it all came down to two exposures, the last two that were taken. One showed too much of Walker’s face, the other just the right amount to maintain the mystery. Besides the last image part of the glasses showed up better.



PhotoShop screen shot showing ‘Curves’ setting


Even thought the photograph appeared perfect at first glance, I still felt a little post production edit would improve the image over all appearance. So it was introduced to PhotoShop CS5 for minor enhancements.


First I checked ‘Levels’ and saw that no adjustments were necessary. Then, while working in layers mode I brought up ‘Curves’ where slight adjustments were made. Though still feeling the image needed that something, I began dodging the lower left area in order to pick up a little more detail in the book's cover. I also lightly dodged the three books in the background so that they would not feel so massively dark.


Snapseed screen shot showing ‘Center Focus’ setting
After completing the minor post edits in PhotoShop, I wished to see if anything interesting might be produced by Snapseed. First trying ‘Drama,’ then numerous random settings with ‘Grunge,’ even ‘Vintage’ before settling on ‘Center Focus - setting: dark.’



The Hungry Eye - Exposure #33


It took thirty-three exposures before feeling satisfied that I had captured what I was looking for and I probably would have even taken many more had I an adaptor for the iPhone to mount the unit to a tripod, this way I could experiment with different Hipstamatic lens and film combinations. For now such an adopter remains momentarily on my To do list.


Now you might say taking almost three dozen exposures is a sign of not knowing what one wants, however in the real world of commercial advertising or editorial photography, such numbers are low to normal for that one photograph. It certainly could have even been higher had I been playing with different pairs of glasses or experimenting with various Hipstamatic combinations.


Whether photographing a still-life or a stationary objective, it is important to push one self to approach the subject at various angles and contemplate numerous possibilities before one decides it is in the can. Pushing the boundaries not only expands ones own original concept of an idea, it also fine tunes ones senses, synchronizing the mind, the eyes, and the hands with the iPhone. 


Tuesday

Weekly Showcase




This week, The iPhone Arts ‘Weekly Showcase’ and ‘Curators Choice’ selections for the past week favorite images that was posted by iPhoneographers using the hashtag #the_iphone_arts. From the weeks selection, the best image is chosen as the ‘Curators Choice’. Selection process is from Monday through Sunday and then posted each Tuesday.


Curator’s Choice


John 8:32
David Ingraham - USA (IG:#dayzdandconfuzd)




This weeks ‘Weekly Showcase’


Flowers or shoes? Love or city?
Elo├»se Capet - France (IG:#tsubame33_ )




Buttercup Sky
Lawrence Yusupoff - England (IG:#lozeretski)




la double vie de veronique #5
Ornella Ascolese - Italy (IG:#ornellaascolese)




The teeth of this world tear me in half . . .
Lee Thatcher - England (IG:#leethatch)




If you are going to ask me to wash your bedclothes . . .
Tracy Leight - USA (IG:#peacetoyou)




Slow searching
Christin Ekholm - Sweden (IG:#christinekholm)




Untitled
David - England (IG:#roachspray)




Stairway to Heaven
Bea S. - Norway (IG:#gunnbeas)




Passengers
Christiane B. - Germany (IG:#augenweide)




Untitled
David Morris Cunningham - USA (IG:#dm_cunningham)




          Would you like to have your photographic art appear here?

Key requirement is that the image must have been taken with an iPhone or other smartphone and it must then be tagged with #the_iphone_arts. 

We also urge that you familiarize yourself with previous ‘Weekly Showcase’ winning selections and read the ‘Submission Guidelines,’ where you will also be presented with a slideshow of examples.

Remember the purpose of the ‘Weekly Showcase’ is to present the new digital fine art that is possible with an iPhone or other smartphone. 


_____
* All images displayed here are copyrighted to the artist and may not be reproduced without the consent from the respective artist.




Saturday

What iPhone photography means to Erik Halberstadt


Last Tuesday I was introduced to IG’er Erik Halberstadt when he began following my Instagram gallery and as with any new follower, I have an extensive look at their individuals work, along with any other websites to which they provide a link to.


This is when I discovered that Erik is not only a Bay Area local, but also has a blog on photography. The site’s name ‘OTSOGraphy’ or otsog1 stands for “On the Shoulders of Giants” and it is here where I discovered his wonderful essay “The New Photography or how the iPhone changed my life.” After I finish reading Erik’s post, I not only identified with it, due to the similarities of our paths in life, I knew I wanted to share this with my website readers. 


With today’s Guest Editorial post, I mark the beginning of regularly featuring guest writers, providing diverse and different view points from my own.





The New Photography 
or how the iPhone changed my life


by Erik Halberstadt

I grew up in a commercial studio; our dad was The Man To See if you wanted food shot for advertising. He'd park me inside the 20x24 Deardorff to keep my grubby paws off the props . . .   well, not really, but it's still a grin-making fable from my early days in photography.


In the last 50 years, I've seen a lot of great new technologies, like Polaroid Land film (we used to get cases of it to play with), pro-grade consumer video, and laser printing: those first prints of Ansel Adam's Yosemite images were stunning, even to the Master himself.


Hal was old school and a child of the Great Depression; he attended the New Bauhaus and studied with Moholy and Kepes, so my education in photography was grounded in essentials and making do with what's on hand instead of leaning on what I could do "If only I had X.” He taught that it isn't the camera that makes the image, it's the photographer's vision.


I grew up in that wonderful community of San Francisco photography of the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies. Ansel Adams and Imogene Cunningham (and oh, so many others!) were just part of that big, extended family—they were just plain folks who'd stop by the studio or the house, for a drink (or ten) and maybe a grilled salmon, or we'd go visit for the same, and if I was really lucky and Ansel got just enough liquor in him, I'd get to hear him play the piano . . .   Virtually anyone who was anyone in photography or craft was part of the circle with very few exceptions. Being in the food photography niche meant there was always something to eat and drink at 243 Vallejo.


It wasn't until I got serious about photography in the late 1960s that those associations got to be intimidating. I was trying to shoot the Rock scene with my Nikon F, how to process and print and use the light. Hal's business was down to three months of real work a year—I got frustrated by my lack of technical adequacy and scared by the realities of making a living as an artist of any stripe.


But I always kept my hand in; making images or equipment as needs required. I adopted computers and digital imaging early on; I still have my Epson scanner that cost $1100 (after a steep dealer discount)! because it came with Photoshop. IIRC, that was in the early 90s. . .


All that by way of background; suffice it to say (at this point? I must be kidding, or delirious!) that I've always been passionate about photography. But never obsessed with it until I got an iPhone 4.


My Samsung Code was just good enough as a camera to be interesting. Not quite addictive in its image quality, but when it bricked and I had the opportunity to upgrade to an iPhone, I dithered like mad. Even then, if it hadn't been for a woman who lived outside my then-carrier's coverage, I'd likely have gone for a lesser model and brand. I got an iPhone 3 at first, and while it was okay, reading about the 4 convinced me that the higher resolution camera was worth the extra $200.


Within a week or two of shooting with it, I was hooked. It's a huge leap from the wine-box-with-magnifying lens-and-Polaroid back simplicity that my Dad taught and championed as an aid to seeing, but it has some of the same endearing qualities, with the added benefits of a real preview and none of the mess.


It wasn't long after that that I asked my brother about selling images for stock (he runs a small agency with a niche market model.) I was intending to put my abstracts out there for sale or rent, but he offered me a spot in his stable instead! So I sold off our dad's Canon F1 system and most of my collectible cameras to fund purchase of a Canon DSLR and some decent glass, and set up my own small digital studio.


But most of the time, when I'm not studying digital technique or making images for sale, I reach for my iPhone, and not just because I like the way it renders color, or the immediateness of imaging with a camera that's smaller than a film holder for a 4x5—it's the fact that I can take an image from conception to print-ready without having to fire up the "real" computer. And I can order prints from any of a dozen vendors in any of a hundred formats and finishes.


Complex post-processing, a'la Photoshop? Sure! HDR? No problem! Chroma Key? Easy-peasy! Brenizer Method? Well, not exactly no problem, but I'm getting there—this morning's "Still Life - Onion" is 18 megapixels from a 5 Mpix camera, all without getting out of bed. Off camera lighting? While I haven't yet found a good way to trigger a strobe (or the shutter slaved to one,) I have built a bunch of repurposed 12 volt fixtures, softboxes, strip lights, pin spots and on and on . . .   all in the name of making better images on the journey to Who Knows Where. I have learned tons about exposure, lighting, and processing that I might never have considered if I was shooting with my DSLR alone—the iPhone is quirky, to be sure, and those quirks force me to see better, shoot better, and process better when my seeing and shooting fall short.



Onion. 22 images blended in the Breinzer Method, all on the iPhone 4


And it isn't just the nuts and bolts of photography—it's the social aspects as well. I'm usually not very social, but with Instagram, Path, Tadaa, Facebook, Flickr, and Tangents all within reach, virtually everywhere I am, I have a virtual "Studio Between Shoots." I can do a six martini lunch with a few dozen or a few million photographers without leaving the house or getting the hangover.


The iPhone wasn't just a sea change camera for me; it defines and creates a whole new world whose boundaries have yet to be discovered—kind of like the Bauhaus of the 20s and 30s and the New Bauhaus of the 30s and 40s. And yes, while it has "cheapened" photography just as every evolution of photography has done since the first snapshots came out of those early Kodak Moments, it is raising a new generation of serious photographers who will take photography to its new limits.




Erik Halberstadt’s blog On the Shoulders of Giants
His Instagram ID #otsog




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