iPhoneogenic’s interview with Jason L. Parks…
(Barren Tree In A Twilight Sky)
Q: Where are you from? Tell me about yourself? Any hobbies?
A: I’m from Birmingham, AL currently living in a suburb about 25 minutes from downtown area. I’m a play poker professionally online which is weird to some because everyone says I have so much potential as if I’m squandering some hidden talents that I’m unaware of. I guess my hobbies are iPhoneography, basketball, and coming up with a strategy on how to get out the rat race.
Q: How did you get into iPhoneography?
A: I can remember the exact moment I got into iPhoneography. I was on a couple’s trip with my wife and left our camera at home and I thought it would be fun to look in the app store to see if they had a replacement app with zoom on it. I ended up buying Snapture and Best Camera & discovering that this whole new world of iPhoneography. Like all other hobbies I pick up, I started reading forums and looking at people’s blogs and said this looks fun. That was last September. I’m about to have an “iPhoneography birthday”.
Q: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go WOW, I really got something here!?
A:The first picture that I genuinely loved of my own was “The Woman in the Bowler”. I went to hear one of my best friend’s brother preach a sermon and this woman was waiting on her ride to pick her up at the door. She was an older woman but she had style. This is the first time I could remember other people really taking notice of my work too. I had a lot of favs and RT’s on this one. It even made it to Eyeem in Berlin.
(The Woman in the Bowler)
Q: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
A: iPhoneography means having the ability to capture a moment that I will never experience again in life and instantly share it with others. One thing I regret now in life is that I never really took any pictures with my dad. He grew ill a few August’s ago and that following May he was dead from cancer. He went from walking around to bedridden in two months. I promised that I wouldn’t let the same thing happen to me and my son so I’m so happy I get to take photos all the time of my son and share them with my friends, family, and the world.
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: I don’t have any formal training in photography although I will admit I’ve bought/read/checked out books from the library on composition and photography. Composition is really the one thing we can always control on an iPhone so I try my best to compose a shot in a way that is interesting and new.
Q:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
A: I don’t think there is anything special about my hometown. It seems normal in so many ways but then again, that’s something that I love about it. Sometimes you’re so caught up in the glitz and glamour that you forget how much beauty there is in everyday life.
Q: Who or what are your artistic influences?
A: I’m really on a lot of street photographers right now. I like Henry Cartier-Bresson, Martha Cooper, Helen Levitt. I also like Ansel Adams and Gordon Parks. iPhoneography wise, I have too many to name but my top today are Dominque Jost & Misho Baranovic for street photography, Daniel Berman for landscape, and Matt Burrows and Jeremy Edwards for their great composition skills.
(Your Baby Can read)
Q: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
A: The biggest challenge for me is knowing that zooming sucks because it will ruin your resolution and just having the confidence to go ahead and move closer to the subject and take the picture. At least that’s how I feel when I’m shooting street. The only other camera I ever really worked was instant Polaroid so this is actually an upgrade to me.
Q: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the iPhoneography community?
A: I had a photo in the iPhone auto exhibit in Milan, one in the Eye’em exhibit, one for cellphones.org and one for Photoble in an article. I’ve also made a few “pics of the week”. I always thought I would be recognized by the community. To me it was more of a “when”. I now when I get into something new, it consumes me and I want to be great at it. I’m very competitive so I’m always asking questions trying to improve and I’m always trying to be recognized as a top iPhoneographer. I always want to be in the conversation like Cartier-Bresson.
(Duck Tails & Hotels)
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
A: Disbelief usually that it came from my iPhone. I guess people don’t realize how far technology has come.
Q: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? Which one do you currently use the most often?
A: I probably have close to 100 apps but I have narrowed those down to three folders on my iPhone 4. My all time favs though are Perfectly Clear (this one touches all photos), CameraBag, Swankolab, Hipstamatic, ShakeitPhoto, FilmLab, & CrossProcess. They all have folders on my flickr page. I’m starting to like PictureShow too.
Q: One of my favorite photos of your is entilled “Flat.”Do you mind telling us how this was created from start to finish?
A: Flat was a shot that took me three different visits to get. I was working on my composition and trying new ways of shooting things. At the time I had a 3GS and I was shooting with Camera Genius. (I now use and love Camera+).
Next, like I mentioned earlier, I ran it through Perfectly Clear to improve exposure. I always dial back the sharpness to about 1/3 of the bar because the app will produce this chalky outline if you don’t.
Lastly, I ran it through Camerabag twice. The first time I ran it through “cross process” & then I ran it back through in 1974 for a more classic & vintage look. The car was actually a lot more blue than green but I liked it this way better.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: Well, I want to thank you Edgar for thinking I’m worthy of being interviewed. It’s one thing to think you’re making good photos but it’s better when the recognition comes from your peers. To my iPhoneographers, shoot a lot, process a little (I had to learn to not overapp), then share the moments of time that you captured.
For more on Jason check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of Jason L. Parks, please contact Jason for copyright privileges.
© 2010 iPhoneogenic