Selected by Diana Nicholette Jeon
Welcome to this week’s Apps Uncovered, where we feature a range of iPhoneography talent and reveal the creativity and techniques behind each of the iPhone images featured.
Because today is April Fool’s Day, I thought about the tradition of the day – pranking. Once, in what seems like another lifetime ago, I used to work in high tech. I worked at a company known for the infamous pranks its employees played upon the executives. For example, one year the CEO walked into his office only to find it transformed into a par-four golf hole; two years earlier, the head of product development found his office taken over by a VW that had been registered in his name. Did you know that on this day in 1957, the BBC aired a 3-minute report purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree?” Afterward, they were inundated with calls asking where people could get their own spaghetti tree. And in Boston, for more than 20 years a grade school teacher came in early on April 1 to write the day’s assignment upside down on the blackboard. When her curious students arrived, she told them she did it by standing on the ceiling.
Perhaps I feel beaten down by the national mood, and the general lack of silliness that seems to be surrounding us as citizens in Trumplandia. When everything real is called fake news, maybe people don’t have the heart to actually make up news? Maybe it is us wanting change? Wanting something…I don’t know, MORE? Perhaps just different. Or maybe it is just me. It’s probably just me. At any rate, I wanted something different. A little sort of prank for April Fool’s Day 2018. So in this, my second week, curating here, I just wasn’t satisfied to look at images, pick the ones I liked, and feature them. I wanted a theme, to curate them along an idea…to face the same challenge of making something of random entries that a juror faces when they are chosen to select work for an exhibition. So I picked a theme…a little trick, in a way.
In the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in the photographic conversation…the idea that two photos or an ongoing series of them done by two different photographers are a way of having disparate images converse…sort of a photographic tennis volley if you will. Among other things in this realm, there has been an online exhibition of this idea on Lenscratch, and an exhibition called Talking Pictures at the Met, which paired 12 photographers and their cell phone photos. So my little prank is that I have paired the images – nee, not just paired – but when I chose, I chose them as pairs specifically. And that is how the images of Phyllis Schwartz, Poetic Medium, M. Cecilia São Thiago, Clint Cline, Jane Schultz, Guido Colla, Rino Rossi, Deborah McMillion, Pat Brown and Bobbi McMurry came to form this week’s selections. I lead with the image of fruit with a fuzzy crown from Phyllis, because the image made me laugh, the colors were happy and fun, and it was so minimal as to have the look that it was almost made as a prank. I have placed a photo of my version of the conversation of two images just before each set of two images and their creator’s narratives, for each of the 6 sets of images. And there is my trick; I hope you enjoy this little departure from the norm for April Fool’s Day.
Note: If you’d like your images to be considered for use in our weekly Apps Uncovered feature, upload them to our Flickr group and then be sure to list the apps you used to create your image. Consider adding the “backstory” describing your creative process, and be sure your photo is configured to allow Sharing/Embedding within Flickr. (Unfortunately, it seems the experiment that I tried for this week with also adding Instagram did not work out very well…so I am back to looking for images strictly from Flickr. Perhaps I will try again in the future, when I figure out how to solve the rash of new problems it brought.)
Thank you to today’s featured artists for allowing us to show your work and enlighten our readers with how and why you created the images you did.
Note: To see the full image uncropped for some of the two image shots, you need to click on it to bring it up outside of the blog post.
I. Phyllis Schwartz meets Poetic Medium
Phyllis Schwartz – Summer Orange Spray
Apps used: iPhone 6s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2, ISO 32 4.15mm 0 ev ƒ/2.2 1/30; Square format; uploaded to Instagram, cropped, applied Clarendon filter
Backstory: For several years, I was a contributing photographer for Gastropost, a food page in both Vancouver newspapers. This practice morphed into an appreciation of the quotidian, and my eye was drawn to the aesthetics of the details in my everyday life. My glass worktable is often a convenient light table, especially on a sunny day when light pours in and brings details to life. Such was the moment when this perfect half orange rested in the sunlight not as an afternoon snack but rather a perfect photo op.
Poetic Medium – Produc(ed)-12472
Apps used: Image capture on iPod 5th gen with KitCam(GhostBird) app. Transferred to iPod 6th gen and opened in Snapseed to apply curves and a border.
II. M. Cecilia São Thiago meets Clint Cline
Klimtt (M. Cecilia São Thiago) – Self-Portrait
Apps Used: Image taken with native camera of iPhone7+ and edited with Snapseed for image sharpening, iColorama, for colors and textures and in ArtStudio Pro and SuperimposeX, for blending with many layers I collect, and Distressed FX, for finalizing.
Backstory: The production of self-portraits accompanies a considerable part of the history of art. It is not often that artists project their own images on paper or on screen, in works that bear the mark of self-reflection, and therefore play the autobiographical genre. In these portraits – where artists see each other and see each other through the viewer – the focus is usually on the face, almost always in the foreground. The portraitist’s portrayal rarely appears in a time of relaxation or happiness. In general, the artist’s view of himself is somber, anguished and even cruel, when physical defects or mutilations are evident. If this type of work is a further exploration of the soul of the artist or if this simply serves as a model, the artist is undoubtedly the cheapest and available model to use. Whatever the reason, almost all artists, from painters to sculptors, have tried this exploration of their own.
Clint Cline – Journey
Apps Used: This was created using Procreate and Sketchbook on an iPad Pro.
Backstory: My mother recently passed away and I have been learning the vagaries of grief with a new sense of “absent” mindedness. This is one of two current pieces in a new series begun as a personal conversation on my journey to reckon that sorrow. C.S. Lewis wrote in “A Grief Observed,” that “her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”
If the opposite of “absence” is “presence,” then the idea of “passage” becomes very real, as it presumes movement from one place to another. Mom’s present reality is in a new place apart from here, and at the moment of her death she awoke to eternity more aware and whole than ever in her physical life. It occurs to me that it is we who are the absent ones, each in our own ways still hurting or pained or broken or incomplete, just as she lived her last days here with us. I believe our present troubles are merely pictures of how our souls ache for completion, to know what she knows now, to touch eternity for ourselves in our own time.
Grief is not brief, nor was it intended to be so. Grief is not a thing, but a journey; not a coat of mourning to be worn at a wake, but an entire wardrobe in which we are clothed; certainly black and sackcloth, but also rich and vibrant and colorful. And the good news is that death teaches us more about life, and therein lay the joy of the journey.
III. Deborah McMillion meets Jane Schultz
Deborah McMillion – Justice!
Apps Used: Photo/Painted collage: iPad Pro 10.5 and Pencil, Sketchbook for painting, e.g. the dresses I designed, hairdos changed. Formulas-tone and coloration, ToonCamera, outlining, Sketchbook blending layers so that it goes dimensional. Extensively, Adobe mix, PhotoWizard.
Backstory: Our country is in deep trouble. So much to lose faith, give up hope, and despair over. My art work output has almost halved. Some days I feel like why? Why? It just seems trivial compared to climate change or health care. The more stressed I am the more imperative it is to resist. But there is always Fear sitting next to Resistance. Don’t go under or you will never climb out. Suddenly a crack in the facade and Chester is born. Or Maisie the chicken, carnivorous flower, 8PMan, or the bird girls with French names or vigilante moth ladies. It helps that people laugh. And sometimes it’s not a laugh but an enigmatic moment of peace.
Open your fingers and peer forth. Who stands with dignity for the Earth and our Children. Our home and our future. What could be better than “She left beauty” and not “she turned a blind eye”.
Jane Schultz – The Seamstress
Apps Used: This image was shot with iPhone 7, and edited with Juxtiposer, Artrage, Fragment, Procreate, and iColorama.
Backstory: “The Seamstress” developed by playing with collage techniques. It was inspired by a Japanese folktale about a lonely sail maker, who nurses an injured crane and falls in love with her. She weaves to support them, drawing feathers from her body for thread.
IV. M. Cecilia São Thiago meets Bobbi McMurry
Klimmt (Cecilia são Thiago) – Self-Portrait
Apps Used: Image taken with native camera of iPhoneX and edited with: Snapseed for image sharpening, iColorama, for colors and textures; in ArtStudio Pro and SuperimposeX, for blending with many Layers I collect; Photofox for other filters, Trigraphy for art filters; and Distressed FX, for finalizing.VERY IMPORTANT for me is to use Apps that give image back with 5231 x 5231 px
Backstory: The exacerbation of ego trip in social networks culminates in a flood of selfies and countercurrent of anti-selfies.
This project proposes a reflection on this state of affairs, operating in the context of digital media (from the capture and elaboration of the images until its processing and first instance of exhibition) and in the scope of the photographic tradition.
The series “And if I wasn’t me?” Aims to hold an exhibition, which puts my recent artistic production in perspective, merging previous works with the current series, so as to give all works retrospectively the emphasis critical of the culture of narcissism.
My intention in creating this series that already has more than 1400 images is to create a strangeness with a merge between my face and the face of other people, which makes me think because I am the way I am, and what would happen if I were not me if I had another face. As if another identity could change my way of seeing me, of seeing the world and of interacting with it.
My inspiration for the creation of this series is Francis Bacon (1928/1992). His paintings are often violent works, with the theme often distorted or in the process of movement
Bobby McMurry – Fertile Ground
Apps used: Art Studio, Image Blender, Stackables, Pixelmator, Snapseed
Backstory: I came upon a hidden quail’s nest filled with eggs hidden in a planter. As I often do I shot many photos with no immediate intentions but knew that I’d someday use them. The other prominent image included in this piece was a dried flower that I’d frozen in water. As I it thawed and the flower was emerging, I captured the image used here.
This work is about resilience, the ability to overcome hard times and still thrive. I’ve implied this internal strength with a plant growing strong though planted in stones. The sky is turbulent yet the flower is undaunted despite the many obstacles in its surroundings. In life we all face challenges, it’s important to seek the hidden beauty, or a life lesson, find the positive aspect that is before us. There is a quote I’m fond of: “When life is sweet say thank you and celebrate, when life is bitter say thank you and grow.”
V. Rino Rossi meets Guido Colla
Rino Rossi – The Space Between
Apps Used: This is the image of a woman with a hat taken from the TV directly with the TinType app. Subsequently processed with Decim 8 and finally taken with Hipstamatic (Antoni/Cheshire/Jolly Rainbo 2x).
Backstory: The idea was to capture, given the partial framing, the dimension that exists within each of us, but which struggles to express itself for various reasons.
Apps Used: I used iPhone 6s, Slow Shutter, Snapseed and Formulas.
Backstory: This shot is part of a series of photos taken with the Slow Shutter app. I really like the pictorial effect I can get with the help of blurring and Slow Shutter helps me a lot. With Formulas I add a texture and then with Snapseed I adjust contrast, saturation and structure.
VI. Pat Brown meets Jane Schultz
Pat Brown – Pomegranate and Wire
Apps used: shot on iPhone7plus native camera and edited mostly in Snapseed on iPadAir 2.
Jane Schultz – Migraine 1