It’s been almost a month since posting our latest in the series of Q&A’s here on iPhoneogenic.
Getting right back into the swing of things, we’ll just jump right into with iPhoneographer Dew English.
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
DE: I’m a musician. I write and produce in many different genres of music and also compose for film and TV on occasion. I grew up in Connecticut and spent many years in Boston. I’ve spent some time in Los Angeles and currently reside in New York City…Brooklyn to be exact.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
DE: I definitely attribute getting into iPhoneography to the Hipstamatic App…and I’m sure that is the case with many people. I downloaded it on a whim and it was the first time I realized that I had more than just a phone with a camera in it. I was seeing things I had never seen before in a digital photo and I’ve been hooked ever since.
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
DE: To me, iPhoneography means being able to capture the most candid of moments and emotions. I have friends who are professional photographers and capture AMAZING images with their DSLR cameras but most times I feel that when they leave the house with their camera they are on the hunt for specific things. With an iPhone, since it is always with me, I feel that I can capture life in the raw as it really happens without a lot of premeditation. Also, since it’s very inconspicuous, I can get some very candid street shots without making people feel uncomfortable.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go WOW, I really got something here!?(please include the photo if you answer this)
DE: Hmmm, let me flip through the archives ….*elevator muzak*….ah yes, this one that I titled “Reflection” was taken the day I downloaded Hipstamatic on my old 3G. I was messing around with it in my parents’ front yard with my girlfriend while we were visiting. The flower petal blurred in the foreground of the birdbath with the trees reflecting in the water just struck a chord with me immediately.
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time on working and reworking your photos?
DE: Honestly it really varies. Seeing as I freelance for a living at the moment, some weeks are busier than others and I don’t have much time. Other weeks I can’t seem to put my phone down, and am almost obsessed with iPhoneography. That could be due to a light work schedule or just the fact that I happened to take a ton of inspiring pictures at the time. As far as working or reworking goes, I try not to spend a TON of time on photos as I feel too much time spent can blur one’s original artistic intent. However, every now and again I have a vision of what I want something to look like and I’ll take my time experimenting with my vast array of apps for something new. I’ve also started constructing “art” pieces on my phone lately, as opposed to just straight photos, so that eats up some more time for sure.
EC: How has social media such as Twitter helped or hinder the way you choose to share your work with others?
DE: I don’t think I’ve utilized Twitter or other social networking outlets to their fullest potential with regards to getting my work out there. Honestly, I should spend a little more time doing that! Where I find the social media outlets to have been truly helpful is with helping me discover new iPhoneographers and keep track of what they are up to. I’m so inspired by the community and their art/work. I really hope to integrate myself a little more in the near future.
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
DE: None. Zero. Zip. I have no formal training at all but I do feel that I have a natural eye for things and I’ve always been touched by beauty that happens around us everyday. Not everyone sees those things and I consider myself very fortunate in that regard. Also, I have to give props to my girlfriend, who has been a HUGE factor in building my confidence as a photographer and an artist. She is an artist and designer her self and I can’t say enough about how important she’s been in developing my skills and nurturing my creativity.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
DE: I like all types of subjects and find that my tastes are cyclical. For example, I love nature, still life and street (people) photography. I find that my focus naturally ebbs and flows between these genres regularly but I don’t pigeon hole myself. If something catches my eye I grab it.
EC:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
DE: It’s been said over and over but there is so much diversity of life in New York City it hard not to find something that inspires or moves you. I can’t think of a richer place to build up an iPhoneography hobby than in New York. It’s gotten to the point where I’ll walk down the streets thinking to myself, “that would be a great pic…oh that one too…but if I stop to take every shot I’ll never get to where I’m going!”
EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?
DE: This is such a loaded question…there’s too many =) I spend a lot of time in museums and am most inspired by impressionist art, specifically Van Gogh. I am a HUGE film buff and draw a lot of inspiration from there as well. With regard to the iPhoneography community there are literally too many to mention, although unruly_e, Reservoir_Dan, Sion Fulana, Curly Phil, Nacho, XavierReye and cpatrickphoto definitely make my list.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
DE: The challenge for me at this point is also the reason I love it…It’s very no frills. No extra lenses, no advance settings, just point and shoot. Also, Shooting with an iPhone is a physical challenge at times since there are some shots that require you to get “in the trenches” so to speak. I’ve had to kneel, climb, squat, reach, lean…and run away =).
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the iPhoneography community?
DE: I have been published a few times. I have been featured in LifeInLofi’s “Faved on Flickr” series for my photo “Thinking,” I was the “Artist of the Day” on iPhoneArt.com for my piece entitled “The Guitarist” and recently was the “Daily Pic” on Pixels At An Exhibition for my piece called “Savior.”
I never once expected to be noticed by the community and all I can say is that I’m completely flattered that people find beauty and inspiration in what I do. Every time I receive a comment or a favorite on one of my pieces it just puts the biggest smile on my face and I can’t thank all of you enough!
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
DE: The most surprising reaction has been from myself when when my girlfriend said that I should get some of my pieces printed and framed…I guess I just never thought my work was of that caliber. The most common reaction I get is something like…”What?! DUDE! You took that on your phone?!”
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?
DE: My app collection is huge with 40+ apps in all (one of the dangers of iTunes gift cards). Some get used more than others but I definitely have my go to apps that I couldn’t be without. Those are: Camera+, Hipstamatic, VintB&W, TiltShift Generator, Cross Process, Iris, Photo fx, & Vintage Scene. These get used A LOT!
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography a year from now? A few years from now?
DE: Quite simply, I see this movement gaining more prominence in the coming year(s) as a more widely accepted and viable art form in the art world. It took traditional photography sometime to become a mainstream art medium. iPhone/mobile photography will get there.
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhoneographic work from start to finish? (a work flow step by step of the photo with renditions along the way of the photos you used for the final, example below)
DE: OH yeah…let’s do this!
Image 1 (IMG_2659): This is a snap I took of a flower in Mexico. I loved the original image with the dew drops. Quite beautiful as is.
Image 2 (IMG_2662): However, I wanted to make this a little faded and “other world-ly” so I ran it through swanko lab using a formula I made from scratch. I love how it adds some age and glow.
Image 3 (IMG_2663): At this point I was feeling quite inspired and wanted to make the actual flower really pop out from its surroundings. I ran it through BlurFX using a moderate Gaussian blur and a soft brush so I could get more glow on the edges of the flower.
Image 4 (IMG_2666): Finally, since I had JUST downloaded the app, I messed around with it for a while in Grungetastic (so fun) to age it and give it some dirt. I loved the fact that now, even in this highly processed and aged state, the flower is still beautiful, just in a different way.
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
DE: I couldn’t sign off without a shameless plug =) If you guys are into music and want to see what I’m about check out my website. Send me an email, find me on flickr/twitter…I’d love to chat!
For more on Drew check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Drew English for copyright privileges.