A visit into the wonderland of Oola Cristina

I was looking forward to featuring the art of Oola Cristina.
(Her floral macros dance me fascinated with light movement and color.)



Thank you so very much, Stef and iPhonography Central, for this opportunity to share some of what I’ve been up to over the last few years, a bit about my process and how my last series of flower photos came about.

I found a creative niche in 2012 when a friend gave me her old iPhone and I discovered the Hipstamatic app then Olloclip’s macro lenses. I’ve stayed with Apple devices and Olloclip over the years, but my app obsession… er… toolbox has grown quite a bit since! In this creative niche, I have also found a lovely social one through the many supportive mobile photography and art venues online where work can be shared. This diverse international community of fellow mobile photographers and artists with whom I get to be in contact regularly both inspire and encourage. Being part of this community offers daily opportunities to discover each other and share what we see, feel and love to do. In it, we also have a place to learn about new apps, new techniques and different ways of looking at and expressing our inner and outer worlds.

The majority of my photos are taken on the property on which I live and the majority of those images are within twenty-five feet of my front door, mostly macro shots of flora and fauna and the odd object but also of the sky, pond and trees. I’ve taken thousands of photos of what’s here and could happily take more. Photography is a meditative process for me, so I prefer to be where I can safely lose track of time and enjoy the quiet of nature. The shift into looking into a magnified world for long periods makes my usual day to day disappear and the busy mind to calm. It’s restful and a nice way to press the reset button.

“blueberry dreams”
"blueberry dreams ~1"
app used: Hipstamatic

“when tending my garden, i sometimes find insects that have died in the flowers”
"when tending my garden, i sometimes find insects that have died in the flowers"
app used: Hipstamatic

Along with having a preference for seeing things up close, images that are partially out of focus, are grainy and/or blurry appeal. They evoke memories and dreams… things below or floating above what’s visible, or someplace in between one space and another.

“i remember”
"i remember"
apps used: Formulas, Tintype

“in other dimensions, there are flowers”
"in other dimensions, there are flowers"
app used: Hipstamatic

As much as I enjoy straightforward images of the natural world, every so often the muse shows up with something else to mix it up and entertain. Last year, when I got an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, my creative life expanded significantly into working in layers using multiple apps to create composites and collages. This gave many of my older images another life and gave me the ability to express other points of view.

“what might a kiss bring?”
"what might a kiss bring?"
apps used: Hipstamatic, Leonardo, Pixelmator, Distressed FX, Repix

I also love images where you’re not sure whether it’s happening in outer space or underwater, or what might be an alternate reality in another dimension…

“on a full moon”
"on a full moon"
apps used: Hipstamatic, Leonardo, Pixelmator, Stackables, Skylab, Repix

… like looking through a keyhole or a crack in a garden wall into a place that isn’t the world in which we live.

“when time flies”
"when time flies"
apps used: Hipstamatic, Distressed FX, Leonardo, Pixelmator, Stackables, Repix

With summer’s blooming flowers, the garden calls. I took a bunch of flower photos recently and even though the images were nice enough, I felt unsatisfied. This last series started with one of those images… one I almost threw away. Initially, I thought it was out of focus in a way I wouldn’t use. There was something about it though that pulled me in, so I kept playing with it and it led me into “scenes from another garden”. That “other garden” inhabits, I think, a space that’s inter-dimensional or maybe extra-terrestrial. It’s been very hot, dry and overly bright here where everything looks washed out and brittle. This darker, cooler and quieter landscape has offered a refuge from the assault of those conditions while also providing an abundance of saturated color and soft light. There are seven images in the series at the moment but will likely be more in the future.

“scenes from another garden ~ 1”
"scenes from another garden ~ 1"

“scenes from another garden ~ 2”
"scenes from another garden ~ 2"

“scenes from another garden ~ 3”
"scenes from another garden ~ 3"

“scenes from another garden ~ 4”
"scenes from another garden ~ 4"

“scenes from another garden ~ 5”
"scenes from another garden ~ 5"

“scenes from another garden ~ 6”
"scenes from another garden ~ 6"

“scenes from another garden ~ 7”
"scenes from another garden ~ 7"

apps used: Snapseed, PortraitCam, LensFlair, Lenslight, AlienSky, Afterlight, Mextures, Pixelmator, Procreate

The creative process is always interesting and surprising. It’s sometimes direct but more often takes many twists and turns… it’s like following streams of energy. Sometimes there are ebbs where ya got nothin’, then something changes and there’s a new stream to follow. It often feels like the images have their own life and I get to be part of how they unfold. It’s being in that process of unfolding that keeps me engaged, brings pleasure and feelings of connection to the world around me. It’s also fun!




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