This weeks interview features a very candid iPhoneographer from Spain. He’s no stranger to speaking his mind, as you may recall the strong back and forth with Knox Bronson, the curator of Pixles: Art of the iPhone several months ago. All things aside his work speaks for its self. Jordi’s iPhoneography project is an introspective venture which depicts self portraits by capturing people, variations of light, and shadows.
Without further ado, the iPhoneography story of Jordi V. Pou…
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
JVP: I was born and still live in Lleida, Catalonia (Spain). I work as a professional photographer. But when I’m not working I keep doing anything related with photography, from collecting old cameras and images, to my more personal and artistic work.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
JVP: For more than ten years now I have been doing personal projects related with art photography, usually one a year. These projects usually end with and exhibition or book. I had an iPhone and saw some people using it as a camera with great results, so I decided to try it. After some tests I decided that iPhoneography was going to be one of the tools I will use for my present project, which runs in the form of a photoblog at www.kokovoko.info
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
JVP: As I said it’s just a tool, but a new and impressive one. I really love the idea of joining “photo-process-share” on the same device. It’s also great for anytime photography and even better for not disturbing the subjects. I use it as a daily creative challenge. I also love the way you “kill” the images. You take it, process it, and share, and that’s it, for me it’s dead. You need a new baby then.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go WOW, I really got something here!?
JVP: It’s hard to say. I see my project as an evolution. So that initial WOW is just a maybe now. At the beginning of the project I got some of them that lately defined the project style, maybe I will spotlight the one with the man with a hat on stairs as one image I will still publish today.
(Man in hat and stairs)
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time on working and reworking your photos?
JVP: Daily. At least during the moment I process and post an image to my blog. I also try to do pictures at any moment I can, some days for just a moment and others for more long time.
EC: How has social media such as Twitter helped or hinder the way you choose to share your work with others?
JVP: I have lots of fun with tweeter and have made many friends there. I use to post a message when I publish a new photo to my blog. I think it makes it easier for friends and followers to know when a new image is published.
(Don’t look at me)
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
JVP: I do. I started studying photography more than 20 years ago and never left it. I did and do as many workshops as I can. Initially mainly specialized in black and white and high quality processing (zone system and printing) and later more worried about the creative process. Also been teaching regularly the lasts years.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
JVP: Myself. As Minor White said once “All photographs are selfprotraits”. That’s what is about my kokovoko project, it is a self portrait, a diary. But instead of taking pictures of myself I try to find my feelings everywhere. And the easy way to do it is to find in your nearby, the places you know. Most of my images are from my hometown, Lleida. I love the streets, the night, the darkness and shadows. But I don’t consider myself a street photographer because I’m not trying to tell you nothing about subjects in my images.
EC: What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
JVP: It’s my hometown. My memories are there, I’m there. We have been growing together. When I started taking pictures I used to travel to big cities to do it. But later realized that nothing more personal than your daily spaces, and that’s what I want in my pictures. I’m not a landscape or architectural photographer, so I find all I need just a street away from home.
EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?
JVP: Hard to answer. I consider Robert Frank the father of photography, and I love what he was able to do, how he broke all the standards opening and incredible future to all following photographers. Also love the poetical work of Bernard Plossu. Actually the ones I follow more are Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson. But not only photographers in the list. I have to admit my work is mainly influenced by the incredible music and lyrics of Tom Waits.
EC: When you’re in a creative block what do you do to break out if it? Do you look at the work of other iPhoneoographers to be re-inspired?
JVP: I try to look at others work always, blocked or not. But not only iPhoneographers, all kind of photography and other arts keep my attention always.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
JVP: I love the point and shoot idea. Reducing technical worries to a few and leaving all to your eye creativity. Learning to see moments and lights. So what is challenged is only myself, leading to a learning process based on self requirement.
(The one who follows you)
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the iPhoneography community?
JVP: I worked some time for a newspaper and a news agency so plenty of my work has been published around. Also my personal work has been published in catalogs, magazines, and books. My iPhoneography work was not intended for the iPhoneography community but for all the people, mainly art interested. Although, I must say I’m so happy on how this is going.
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
JVP: Well, the usual one “Can’t believe this was done with a mobile telephone camera.” But also many times seen a reaction just despising my work because it was done with a mobile phone not because the images itself. I just get angry when I meet idiots that can’t accept other than official art tools.
(Its a matter of time)
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag (apps)? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using and which ones don’t you like?
JVP: Just learned to avoid worries about apps. They make me loose so much time. I decided to use only a few and stop testing all of them. Almost all my images are processed using some of these three apps: Filterstorm, TiltShiftGen, and Genious Scan.
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography a year from now? A few years from now?
JVP: The feeling of an iPhoneography community will die soon. Although I hope to get in contact with many friends I have now. But as soon as mobile photography keeps growing, and it will, there will not be a concrete group of users but a lot of people of different interests using it. Now we are together because of the iPhone and photography we do with it. In the future groups will join because interests in subjects, or art, or professional, or whatever…not different of what happens now with general photography. Soon mobile photography will be fully recognized and be accepted to join into the main definition of photography.
(Boy under a light)
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
JVP: We iPhoneographers are no different than other photographers because our tool. We need to do our images as good as the best photographers out there, whatever camera they use. No excuses on quality or tool.
For more on Jordi check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Jordi V. Pou for copyright privileges.