Melissa Sliva’s iPhoneography is something I look forward to seeing everyday. Her daily photos are mesmerizing and inspiring to say the least. There is an organic quality to Melissa’s work that draws the viewer in activating an emotional response.
Here she is…
Q: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
A: I grew up in beautiful Northern California. It’s such a great place to be I never left. I have an incredible daughter who is a constant source of inspiration. My hobbies pretty much include anything that involves creativity. I also love reading and traveling. I have a BA in Art, which I must say isn’t all that useful to an artist. I’ve also just acquired two teaching credentials, which, considering the state of California’s education system, aren’t so useful either. This does, however, leave me with a lot of free time for artistic endeavors, so hey, its all good.
Q: How did you get into iPhoneography?
A: I got into iPhoneography totally by chance. On twitter I follow the artist @FromMyStudio. I was awed by the amazing images he would create using his iPhone. One day he posted a link to a photo with the tag #iPhoneography. It was beautiful. I had to find out what it was about, what were these apps people were using? I was so clueless. I didn’t even have an iPhone. When I got one for Christmas I figured with the start of the year approaching it was the perfect time to begin a 365 project using my iPhone. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Q: Can you recall the first iphoto you took that made you go WOW I really got something here!?
A: I was at the park and took a few quick pictures of some camellias. When I pulled one into CameraBag I was very surprised by the result.
Q: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
A: This is a difficult question to answer because for me it means many things. Simplicity. Spontaneity. But probably the biggest thing is that it isn’t something I feel I have to take all that seriously. In other areas of art I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, which can have a somewhat paralyzing effect at times. I’ve found that iPhoneography offers some freedom from that because it’s not about creating the perfect image. With iPhoneography you are forced to work within the limits of the camera, and somehow this allows me to think more creatively and rely more heavily on artistic vision rather than on technical ability. So really it becomes about seeing something that might otherwise be overlooked and focusing attention on it in a way for others to enjoy. There is beauty in small things, the everyday and the ordinary. Through the lens on my phone I am often surprised by what I find.
Q: Who or what are your artistic influences?
A: Beauty. Nature. Moments that make me smile. It’s all pretty simple.
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: No. Growing up photography was always my sister’s thing. I was involved in other forms of art and didn’t want to infringe. It wasn’t until I got my first digital camera in my late 20’s that I began to dabble.
Q: What have been some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
A: Definitely the biggest challenge for me is the lack of zoom. You have to get up close and personal to get a good shot and that’s just not always possible. However, I have seen these silly little lenses you can get for your phone that offer zoom and I think it just totally defeats the purpose of shooting with the iPhone. Simple is best. If I’m gonna lug along extra crap for my iPhone I’d just as soon bring another camera.
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
A: The reactions I get typically go one of two ways, disbelief or awe. Its either “There’s no way you took that on a your phone!” or, “You took that on your phone? That’s amazing!”
Q: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? Which one do you currently use the most often?
A: I have about a million but my all time favorite app is Best Camera. It offers enough user control to get the image I want without being overly complicated. I use it on just about every photo. Second up is PSMobile. It’s a great utility app. I use it for straightening and cropping and minor adjustments to exposure and contrast etc. Next would be CameraBag, which sometimes offers amazing results with no work involved. I’ve also just discovered Pro HDR and it is quickly becoming a favorite.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: First of all a big thank you for including me! I’ve really enjoyed learning about some amazing people through your posts. I’ll end by sharing one of my favorite quotes on photography.
“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” – Dorothea Lange
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All images shown here are copyrighted property of Melissa Silva, please contact Melissa for copyright privileges.
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