Daniel Holland is a seasoned traveler and everywhere he goes his trusty iPhone is right there with him. Danny has turned out some really beautiful candid and set-up shots throughout the years. What I truly admire about his work is that it’s beautifully appped, the image stays as it was intended, not becoming a product of “app overdose.” When I look at Danny’s work it speaks to me in such a way that it’s difficult to escape the moment.
(Early Evening Run)
DannyDutch in his own words…
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
DH: I was born in Wales 31 years ago but I have lived in Bournemouth & Blackpool. I’ve been living in London for the past 10 years. I’m a new dad so hobbies are a luxury I don’t have time for at the moment, but photography is a staple of my free time wherever possible.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
DH: I got into iPhoneography when I got my 1st generation iPhone (which now seems like an antique!) At first it was just a handy camera on my phone to take pictures of friends but I began to experiment more & more. When the 3GS came out I really began to realise what results could be achieved.
(Wind The Bobbin Up)
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
DH: iPhoneography is an addiction I don’t seem to be able to quit (not that I would ever want to!) It’s rare that a new medium come out that allows people to create art in a different way but I think the beauty of the iPhone/iPhoneography is that it allows people that wouldn’t usually pick up a camera to have a go at photography. A lot of my friends have now started to create images purely because they own an iPhone.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go WOW, I really got something here!?
DH: The first shot that I actually realised what I could achieve on the iPhone was taken in Tooting, South London. I found a Muslim barber shop with the owner sitting outside with a parrot, I asked him if he minded me taking his photograph – he said he was happy for me to do so. I think from then on I’ve been quite addicted to trying to achieve the best shot I can. It’s always a case that I can do better though.
(Long John Silvers haircut)
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time on working and reworking your photos?
DH: It really depends on the image I’m working on, some of them are very quick to get right but others can be quite tricky – generally because I think something may be missing in the image that I’m not happy with.:
EC: How has social media such as Twitter helped or hinder the way you choose to share your work with others?
DH: I have found Twitter and Facebook such a valuable tool for sharing my work, before using these sites I thought I was the only person that used the iPhone as artistic instrument and could find no one to discuss the medium with. Now I’ve found so many like minded people on these sights that I find them such a great place to exchange ideas.
(Exile On Main St)
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
DH: I did study photography for a number of years in Blackpool and Bournemouth, so the idea of using more traditional methods doesn’t faze me, however with advent of the digital age I haven’t picked up a film camera since leaving college – a real shame as I used to love working in the dark room.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
DH: I generally like to shoot street scenes but I am trying to move away from that (without much success!) I don’t want to keep on creating the same types of images as I think I will get stale if I do. Every time I try and move away from shooting street scenes my productivity goes down, it seems that this is all I know what to shoot.
(Fade To Black)
EC:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
DH: Luckily I live in London, which can be a photographers dream – I would love to live in Manhattan for a few months to shoot there- but for now London suits me, it’s a great place to shoot, although a little sprawling sometimes. There are always little places to discover, what attracts me to Manhattan is the size, the whole city is easy to walk around.
EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?
DH: I’m a big fan of the work Bruce Davidson did in New York, he really captured the essence of the time over there. Along with Robert Frank I think that Davidson created some of the greatest documentary photography captured in the US. In the UK I really like the work than Martin Parr creates, such amazing subjects, I also studied Don McCullin’s work in college and that never fails to stop me in my tracks.
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?
DH: If I’m struggling to create any work that I’m pleased with I’ll go back to the books. I’ll pick up a Bruce Davidson book or a Leonard Freed book and get inspiration that way. I do look on Flickr to see what everyone else is up to but I find it beneficial to go back to basics and look through what I consider to be classic photographers, this seems to give me new ideas and a new perspective. I also find that consciously telling myself to open my eye’s helps a great deal, it’s too easy to rush through your day without truly opening your eyes.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
DH: The main issue I find is having control over the clarity and sharpness of the image, also the tones. The iPhone doesn’t give you a lot of freedom to create technically perfect images but I also think its part of the charm – trying to get the best image out of what is essentially a limited tool.
(No It’s Not)
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the iPhoneography community?
DH: I’ve been privileged to have my work exhibited in Berlin at the EYE’EM exhibition and also in the book that was released of the same exhibition. I’ve also been lucky enough to have my work featured on various iPhone websites and journalism blogs.
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
DH: The two main things people ask are ‘how do I get so close to the subject without being seen?’ and ‘are these actually taken on an iPhone?’
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using and which ones don’t you like?
DH: Photoforge and Photoshop mobile are the two I use the most – occasionally I will use Cinema FX but I find the first two have everything I need included.
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography a year from now? A few years from now?
DH: I think that iPhoneography is still in it’s infancy, a very exciting time for everyone involved. I’ve heard that there are now lectures taking place on photography courses discussing mobile photography – this is great news and I think a sign of things to come. A lot of traditional photographers don’t see mobile photography as a viable art but I think that will change over time. Already exhibitions dedicated solely to iPhoneography are being held, books are being published – the medium can only go from strength to strength.
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
DH: I generally use an app called ‘the big button’ to take every shot, this app lets you press anywhere on the screen to take a shot which is very handy because I tend to shoot from the hip. I try not to look at what I’m shooting which means that I have to take maybe 12 shots of the same subject in order to get the shot I’m after. This shot (Hello, From Barbados) I took in Antigua, I liked the color on the walls and the shapes of the phone booth. I waited around until I someone decided to use the phone, luckily he fitted in with the shot. Once I captured it I put it through the Photoforge app, using it to sharpen the image and to add a Lomo filter. Sharpening is always a must when using the iPhone, it seems to bring out grain in the image, I used the Lomo filter to bring out colors that were already there. When it’s finished I always use Photogene to add a border, this is a way for me to say that the image is finished and I can move onto the next one. Once I finish the image I post it to Flickr so I can see it full size on the Mac, if it’s no good I will delete it quickly and start again.
(Hi From Barbados)
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All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Daniel Holland for copyright privileges.