Brian Walker is our next featured artist in this series of interviews. He hails from VA where he enjoys capturing his surrounding using the ‘ol Hipstamatic for the most part.
I’ll let Brain tell you more about himself, his work, and other thoughts…
EC: Where are you from? Tell me about yourself?
BW: Richmond, Virginia USA. I grew up in a rural area where I spent a lot of time in the woods. I live just outside the city now, but I often miss being in the woods a lot. It was so quiet and you could always find something new out there, or you could use your imagination to make something new. Now I work at a computer most of time, doing some pre-press and design at a printing company. I find my creative outlet in in photography, drawing, blogging and podcasting.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
BW: I got an iPhone in early 2010 and loved it immediately. The limitations of the phone’s camera appealed to me as a challenge, and the photography apps sealed the deal. I’ve had my iPhone for barely more than a year and I’ve taken over 13,000 photos. It’s my newfound way of documenting my life.
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
BW: It means making more than one would expect from a limited medium. It forces you to look at the world in a new way. Everything has become more illuminated since I started carrying this little thing in my pocket, and I love that. It also means I can document every moment I experience, sometimes just for myself personally, and sometimes to share with others.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go “WOW, I really got something here!?”
BW: One day after a rain shower, I spent an hour exploring the raindrops on the grass and the freshly made mud puddles, snapping about a hundred photos about five inches from the ground. Afterwards I played with some of images with the iPhone app camerabag. This was the first moment I considered that I might have something worth photo-blogging about.
EC: How has social media such as Twitter helped or hinder the way you choose to share your work with others?
BW: Absolutely a help in every way. I’ve got accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous and a bunch of other places. Each website gives me a new opportunity to have fun and share things I love. I’m pretty introverted in real-life, and social media has opened a window for me to share while maintaining a comfortable level of anonymity.
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
BW: I’ve read a handful of books about the technical side of film photography, or at least looked at the pictures. That’s about it.
EC:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
BW: Richmond, Virginia is a wonderful place to take photos because it’s an amazing juxtaposition of the old South coming to terms with the new. It’s not so much a struggle of the new and the old, but rather a gradual transition that I find very striking. On some of the paved streets here, occasionally bits of the asphalt come loose, and underneath them you can see the city’s original cobblestone. This fascinates me.
EC: Who or what are your artistic influences?
BW: Frans Masareel, Utagawa Hiroshige, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Edward Hopper, Wong Kar-wai, Jean-Luc Godard, Tsai Ming-liang, and Yasujirō Ozu to name a few people. My favorite artistic movements are German Expressionism, Dada, Punk Rock, New Wave filmakers, and Japanese woodblock art.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
BW: The shutter speed is slow, so sometimes you miss a cool moment. It doesn’t take very good photos at night. These are things you can use to good effect sometimes though.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the iPhoneography community?
BW: Some drawings, but never a photograph. I’ve never expected any sort of major recognition, mainly because I haven’t really sought it out. I’m incredibly flattered and honored to have people compliment my photos. Thanks so much!
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
BW: A nice surprise is that I’ve had a a few people tell me that they’ve had emotional reactions to my photos. Sure, I assumed a few people would like my pictures okay, but honestly I never expected anyone to send me a message that a photo I took made their day happier, or swept up old memories. That was nice surprise.
The most predictable reaction I’ve had is to have someone say “You took that with a phone?”
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What app(s) do you currently use the most often?
BW: Hipstamatic obviously. They deserve some of the credit for whatever camera skills I appear to have lucked into. Interestingly enough, the majority of the pics that I shoot with the app are relatively special-effect free. I tend to use the most basic lens and film more so than the ‘novelty” items. I also use Pictureshow and Camerabag fairly often.
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
BW: A lot of my photos are pretty much just what you see, shot with Hipstamatic with a basic lens and simple film. But occasionally I take a photo and decide to play with the possibilities, which is what I’ll show you here….
Let’s take this Hipstamatic image here…. (Shot with the Helga lens on Blanko film.)
Step 1: I’ve imported the image into Pictureshow, one of my very favorite iphone apps. You can’t live without it! Sorting through the ton of available filters, “OldGray” caught my eye…
Step 2: I thought I’d add some effects here. This is the “Sand” filter. Each one of these filters has multiple variations, so tap filter button more than once until you get one you really like.
Step 3: Although I like the clean and simple border that Hipstamatic gave me, but I think this photo will work even better without it. I’ll just simply crop it away. Using the “Transform” option, the image temporarily reverts to it’s original look.
And here’s the final image I ended with. As you can see, I normally do not use a lot of involved editing with my photos. But with these simple steps, I’ve created a very different feeling with the final product. Using more than one app will widen your options dramatically.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: ALWAYS have a camera with you! Have fun and take pictures for yourself first. Make a blog and share your images with the world.
Thanks very very much for this opportunity.
For more on Brain check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Brian Walker for copyright privileges.