iPhoneographer of the Day – Max Berkowitz | MaxsiPhotos

Max Berkowitz better known as MaxsiPhotos on Tumblr is a hard working entrepreneur from the Golden Sate and the Sacramento “King” of iPhoneography. Max’s mixture of B&W and color iPhoto are explosive and impressive to say the least.  As they should be because as he tell us the list of iPhoneographers he admires is a roster of some the greatest names in the iPhoneographer realm.

Now the Q&A with Max…

(Rope A Dope)

Q: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?

A: I was born & raised in Sacramento, California or Sactown as locals refer to it, which is about 90 miles N.E. of San Francisco. I’ve also lived in San Diego & Santa Barbara over the years and am currently back living in Sacramento. Married almost 13 years to my wife Stacy we have two beautiful children Abby & Zach. I spend my weekdays “FEEDING THE FAMISHED” at Max’s Deli & Catering Company, the deli I started with my father 18 years ago.

Q: What does iPhoneography mean to you?

A: For me iPhoneography started out primarily as an attempt through the use of apps, to improve upon the native photos taken with my iPhone 3G which tend to be rather flat & lifeless. My first photo app was Camerabag, which continues to be one of my favorite photo apps both for it’s simplicity of design & filters and it’s instant gratification factor. For a time my favorite thing to do was take a lot of photos using the Hipstamatic app and then process them through Camerabag which bumps up the saturation in Hipsta shots. As for iPhoneography in general I’ve learned that occasionally what I personally think may be a great shot goes mostly unnoticed by followers, and shots that I’d as soon deleted get the thumbs up!

Q: Can you recall the first iphoto you took that made you go WOW!?

A: Yes! I took a photo of my son Zach and some teammates sitting on the bench during a soccer match, and later a photo of him during a swim team relay in which I employed some fake DOF using the TiltShiftGen app. It was these photos, some of the first photos taken with my then new iPhone and processed through Camerabag and TiltShiftGen that made me realize the possibility of the iPhone as a creative tool for near instantaneous shoot/edit/post ability.

Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?

A: By ‘formal training’ if you mean have I ever done any type of photography other than that with my iPhone, then yes. When I was in H.S. I took a photography class where I learned how to pick and shoot subjects, developing and darkroom techniques. I actually had my own darkroom at home where I focused primarily on shooting & developing B&W photography. My first camera, for better or worse, was an Asahi Pentax K1000 SLR. A few years after H.S. I bought a Sony video camera and became involved in video production, however I never really persued either professionally.

Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

A: One look at my blog and you’ll realize, maybe to my detriment, that I don’t have a particular style or subject that I like to shoot. I like many styles of iPhoneography whether it be street shooting, artistic or DOF, I haven’t yet focused on a particular style. I’m still learning and developing my voice in iPhoneography as a medium.

Q: Who or what are your influences?

A: I’m sure I could go on and on about who my influences are but…
Here’s a list of iPhoneographers whose vision I admire:

Greg Schmigel
Sion Fullana
Misho Baranovic
Daniel Berman
Bari Sowa
Dominique Jost
Breese Pickel
Jason L. Parks
Gary Miller
Keith Weaver
Matt Burrows
France Marie
Brittani Gonzalez
Dixon Hamby
Jon Betts
Neville Black
Yas Encarnacion
Sweet Cheeks Willie – SCW

As well as those responsible for promoting iPhoneography and bringing all of these wonderful artists together:

Glyn Evans – iPhoneography.com
Marty Yawnick – LifeInLofi.com
Knox Bronson – PixelsAtAnExhibition.com
Tumblr, Posterous, Flickr & Twitter

Q: What has been the single biggest challenge of using the iPhone as a camera, explain?

A: Acceptance as a true art form and a subgenre of photography proper. I think most people see me snapping away and dismiss it as simple cell-phone picture taking, of which most will never actually see the end results. That’s why I’m happy to see gallery shows like the one put on by Knox Bronson of ‘Pixels at An Exhibition’ at the Oakbrook Gallery in the Bay Area or Hipstamatic’s recent Solstice showing in NYC and EYE’EM’s recent show in Berlin, to recognize iPhoneography as it’s own artform.

Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iphotographs?

A: “You took that with your iPhone?”


Q: What’s in your iPhone camera bag (apps)? Which one do you currently use the most often?

A: First photo app I downloaded was Camerabag, and I still use it often. Others include Hipstamatic, TiltShiftGen, Pictureshow, LiveFX, Perfectly Clear, PS Mobile, Lo-Mob, Quad Camera, ShakeItPhoto, SwankoLab & Camera+ are all apps I use or have used at one time or another. I suspect with the new iPhone4 we shall see improvements in those currently in use and new ones arrive that will take advantage of the improved 5MP camera and sensor of the 4. I really look forward to shooting & editing HD video on the 4 as well.

Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?

A: I’d simply like to thank you Edgar for inviting me to participate in your series of interviews with iPhoneographers from around the world, most of whom I will never have the pleasure of meeting in person but whose work inspires me everyday. Cheers.

For more on Max check out these links:

Tumblr: http://maxsiphotos.tumblr.com

Flicker: http://flickr.com/photos/maxsiphotos

Twitter: http://twitter.com/maxsiphotos

I want to thank Max for participating in this feature here on iPhoneogenic.tumblr.com and the iPhoneogenic Facebook Page. Thank you for opening up to us and sharing your iPhoneography experience. I am honored to have you on my blog.

Thank You!

All images shown here are copyrighted property of Max Berkowitz, please contact Max for copyright privileges.

© iPhoneogenic 2010

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