Iphonegraphy and the Stylized Image

Photo:Christian Peacock - Image Stylization: Joan Bada

I first became aware of iPhongraphy when Knox Bronson asked me to be a judge for this year’s Oakbook Iphonegraphy exhibition. This was my introduction into the world of dedicated artist and their highly stylized images shot with the iPhone.

Knox is the curator at http://pixelsatanexhibition.com/ I recommend you visit this site to see some very stunning images done with the iPhone.

These submitted images were refreshing and exciting to see. The styles were wide open. The fact that they were produced with an almost ubiquitous piece of equipment is what makes it exciting. There is a feeling that anyone can do this. It’s always in your pocket or handbag, ready at any given moment.

The actual act of snapping the shutter is just momentary, in most cases the real art comes in the great efforts during the post-production aspect of the process. Some call it APPing. An abbreviated term for application, those famous add on’s that has made the iPhone so popular. In the world of Iphonegraphy there are numerous APPs developed to aid the artist in their stylizations of their captured image. Some as simple as lighten a photo or color adjust to very sophisticated as constructing a montage then stressing the image to like something from another genre. It is evident there is great skill and patience in producing the final outcome of the more stunning images. There are some APPs on the market that are gaining notoriety for their ease of use interface. They are like the flavor of the month and soon become oversaturated in usage.

Then there are artist who spends hours working away with their fingertips on a piece of the most modern of technology. Resulting in a personal statement done with the provided resources. I have dabbled in the APPing phase but always seem to lack the time and patience to produce anything truly remarkable. There comes to a point where I wanted try an experiment. What if I photographed a series of photos with my iPhone and have some of the Iphonegraphy artist stylize the images. The photos I would submit would be somewhat different from what most of the work I’ve seen being produced with the iPhone. I was to shoot a session photographing a model. Something pre-visualized and worked through, a set of images that can work as a thematic body of work. The twist being having other people collaborate in the post-production end. Knowing the limitations of camera and lens in the iPhone poses unique challenges in capturing compelling images. Being a photographer my whole life I had to learn to let go of totally controlling every aspect of the technical end. Kind of go with the flow, well almost. With the limited contrast capability of the camera and the tendency for lens flair, I scouted locations that would work best for the iPhone camera. I could also use constant lighting and fill cards if needed. Plus a tripod, always a tripod! That one piece of equipment will make the most dramatic improvement to a photograph.

The actual session is treated the same way as any other photo session I have done through the years. There will be a good edit after the shoot. Then the images are shipped off for the artist to do their magic. After reviewing the results, I have learn quite a bit on what to do the next time I shoot with the iPhone and submit for final stylizations. I can predetermine a certain look and shoot for an effect. I’m excited to delve deeper into this process and my head is swirling with new ideas. I must hurry before the next new generations of APPs hit market.

To view more samples of the Sarah project visit. this page.

Christian Peacock August 26, 2010