iPhoneographer of the Week – Rob | @unruly_e

All I need to say about Unruly-e/Rob’s work is that I’m super impressed. So this week I’m not wasting any time on an introduction. We’ll just jump right into it.


(Reservoir Basin)

EC: Tell me about yourself.

Rob: I believe that, as iPhoneographers, we have – in the tradition of Arts before us – an obligation to both build a strong community (or “guild”, I suppose) and to teach others.  These things are not mutually exclusive, but rather go hand-in-hand in the creation of a strong interest in the art, which in turn builds a strong foundation for the artists, which then creates better environment for creation, which builds better art; rinse, and repeat.

I believe being a good iPhoneography citizen means participating in multiple interactive formats (be it flickr, ipa, eye’em, etc), including commenting on the work of others at a rate several times that of your posting. Not only is it a great way to meet other like minded photo-heads, and a super way to share some love, it’s also a great way to learn.  [steps off soap box]

EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?

Rob: Like most iPhoneographers of my generation, I started out in the photography world of film and darkrooms, setting both aside when other obligations encroached.

After successfully dodging in and out of a health issue for some time, I was finally run down and tackled by it about a year ago.  This changed the way I existed at a fundamental level.  It meant having to approach the simplest things in an entirely new way.  It meant leaving behind the ability to function on all 12 cylinders all the time.  It meant waving goodbye to a tech consulting business I had spent the last 10 years building up.  All this change sent me champing at the bit for the familiar, and this meeting of photography and technology we call iPhoneography was a blessing.


(Bridge Over the Stream of Consciousness)

EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?

There are many camps out there on this one.  I see iphoneography as something that was created completely on the iphone – image capture, all the way to the end of the apping trail.  To quote a friend, it’s a badge of honor to create a piece of iphoneography.  To clarify, this means no imported images (DSLR or otherwise), no work on the ipad, and certainly nothing in photoshop.  We can split hairs till the cows come home, but – in my mind – it must start with photography. This stance excludes things that began life as drawings or paintings or whatever.  Images of other images – ones that are catalog-style recordings of other works that add nothing are not iPhoneography.  [gets back off soapbox]

EC: Influences?

Rob: When I first started looking at the work of other iPhoneographers, I was most taken by the work of Max Berkowitz, Rob Herold, Dan Berman, and Edina Herold, in no particular order.  They all have different styles, but I see them doing two things that are important for good art: (1) experimentation and (2) moderation.  Experimenting demonstrates a willingness (and passion!) for exploration – that willingness to find all of the buttons in an app and to try to break them pushing the app to its limits.  Moderation is something we see too little of some days.  It’s very easy to throw an image into an app and apply the algo on full; it takes a mature artist to work the subtleties.

In addition to the four “godparents” of iPhoneography I’ve listed above, I want to give credit to the Harper Lee to my Truman Capote – tabiwallah (Alan Kastner).  In him, I have the great good fortune to have a symbiotic muse relationship with another iPhoneographer – we chew through each other’s work, we kick each other in the backside, and we hand out occasional warm fuzzes for a job well-done.  Wallah has pulled me out of a creative ditch on more than one occasion and I owe him everything for it.


(The Max Berkowitz Trilogy, Part 1)

EC: What are the challenges of the iPhone as a camera?

Rob: None.  It is what it is.  You work with it.  That’s all.

EC: Currently in your “camera bag?”

I currently have 67 photo apps on my phone, all of which have used at some time in the production of an image.  I am currently getting the most use out of lomora2, filterstorm, camera+, autostitch, juxtaposer, and photocopier.


(Spring Thaw feat. Alan Kastner)

EC: Has you work been shown or published?

Rob: I’m currently participating in the juried P1XELS show at OCCCA in Orange County, California and the Arty Gallery in Los Angeles, California. I am sharing a show with tabiwallah at the Lost Nation Gallery in City Hall Arts Center in Montpelier, Vermont.  We also just went into the Lobby Gallery at the Barre Opera House, Barre, Vermont.

I’ve been able to work iPhoneograhic pieces into the show posters for two professional theater productions.  I have been featured at iPhoneArt and had several works chosen for accolades at Eye’em, LifeInLofi, PixelsAtAnExhibition, and fotoigriPhone.

EC: Do you mind describing a workflow of a recent image you’ve produce?

Rob: In this tutorial, we’ll look at techniques for mixing-and-matching apps to both (1) make use of the hot new gimmick app and (2) create an image that is uniquely yours.

First, start with a base image of choice:

Run it though the gimmick app once or twice (or more).  Here we’ve run it through the two options on TP.  My recommendation is to make sure you’ve pushed every button you can find in the app to see what it does as well as run images through multiple times to see what you get.  Try to break the app!

The next step is to stand back and look for a way to meld those images.  The subject here lends itself well to juxtaposering in the TP perspectives to make a long, albeit wavy, building.

From there you can make it your own by tossing in another app or two.  Here I’ve selected to give the “radio tower” that formed on the building a retro bit of signal in tiffen.

And of course, we want to blend it all together in the most subtle of ways so a quick spin on minimal settings in photocopier yields our final product.

Thanks Rob coming on the blog and sharing a few words.

For more on Unruly-e check out these links:

main blog: http://unruly-e.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unruly-e/
Twitter: unruly_e
Tumblr: http://unruly-e.tumblr.com/

All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Rob/Unruly-e for copyright privileges.

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