iPhoneographer of the Week – Aaron Davis | @iPhoneh2o

Aaron Davis an iPhoneographer from “Down Under” has only been shooting with his iPhone consistently for well over half a year but his vision and techniques already rival some the best in the medium. Arron takes advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds him by catpuring it on his iPhone. There are no lengths Arron will not go, even taking his iPhone into the sky and underwater. As you might already know, Arron is no stranger here on iPhoneogenic, making numerous appearances in our monthly collections.

(Cast Net 2)

I’ll let Aaron have the floor now…

EC: Where are you from? Tell me about yourself?

AD: I’m from Cairns, which is in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia. In my day job, I am the CEO of an Indigenous organization that provides financial counseling, consumer advocacy and education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities in the region. I have a small family that includes my Canadian wife Carmen and my six year old son Elijah  who was diagnosed with Autism three years ago. Inspired by the book Horseboy, my son and I like go on adventures most weekends, which is where my iPhoneography pursuits mainly occur.

(Sea Change (Re-Worked)

EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?

AD: The idea of capturing images with a mobile phone came from my father (Laurie Davis), who had a mobile photography exhibition in Melbourne that was sponsored by Sony Ericsson in 2005. One of the upshots of the sponsorship was that dad handed down his Sony Ericsson K750i to me, which had a 2 megapixel camera. The idea of always having a camera on me was really appealing and I got some great shots of my son in his early years. The phone ended up in a toilet bowl a year or so later, which finished that stage of exploration into mobile photography.

My father remained a gadget guy and always talked about the virtues of the iPhone. It wasn’t until my son got an iTouch from his grandfather and I learned about apps that my interest was reignited, which eventuated in the purchase of an iPhone 4.

(Sunrise – Hinchinbrook Island)

EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?

AD: iPhoneography has become an obsession and an inspiration to explore my surroundings for interesting subject matter. I live in a part of the world that has a lot of natural beauty including the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. iPhoneography and my son have basically got me off the couch to take advantage of that beauty. I think it’s quite common that people don’t really take notice of what’s around them, iPhoneography and its community have changed all that.  iPhoneography has also provided me an opportunity to get back in touch with my creative background, which is rarely utilized in my day job.

(Sugar Cane Sunset)

EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go WOW, I really got something here!?

AD: The first image that I really got excited about was a composite of my son and a hibiscus flower called Heading Home. I really liked the way the flower created a mask over his silhouetted face and opened my eyes to a realm of new multiple exposure possibilities.

“Heading Home”

EC: How has social media such as Twitter and Instagram helped the way you choose to share your work with others?

AR: Twitter and Instagram can be a good gauge of what others think or feel about your images. I am however more interested now in the idea of web spaces that promote community and a real dialogue between iPhonographers. In the past I’ve been to caught up in the ego of presenting images through various social media and it has effected the quality of my creations, to put it simply, chasing the praise over the vision. I can’t believe I just admitted to that, lol. I have noticed that a lot of my favorite iPhoneographers aren’t prolific posters, but consistently post high quality work.

(Let your fingers do the walking)

EC:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?

AD: My hometown has inspired me to take my iPhone underwater and into the skies to get different perspectives on the natural beauty of the region. I love diving so it was a natural progression to incorporate these two passions, my exploration into Kite Aerial iPhoneography came from wanting an activity that my son and I could do together. Unfortunately my son has shown little interest and is happiest hanging out at the skatepark (another great location).

(The Human Dragonfly)

EC: Who or what are some of your artistic influences?

AD: I am heavily influenced by the iPhoneography community, websites including; iPhoneogenic, Life in Lofi, iPhoneography, Pixels, Mobitog, iPhoneography Central and Eye’Em have all provided a space to learn and be inspired. I read and view the content that comes from these sites vigorously at the beginning and end of each day.  I remember one of my photography lecturers at university saying that we should always read, read, read to keep in touch with what’s going on and get ideas.

(Dinner Time)

EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?

AD: I’m more of a glass half full kind of guy and prefer to see the possibilities. I still can’t get over the fact that you can shoot, edit and share your images with the world from such a small contraption. The movement in both underwater and kite aerial iPhoneography can degrade images sometimes, which I have found disappointing, just means I’ll have to improve my techniques.

(Cast Net)

EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where?

AD: I’ve been published in most of the websites mentioned above, which I get a real thrill out of each and every time. It still amazes me that my images have been posted amongst some inspirational creations by iPhonographers that I truly admire. What I love about this emerging medium is that there is always someone new and fresh coming through the ranks. I have been practicing iPhoneography for less than a year and yet it feels like a lifetime with the focus that I have put into it.


EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?

AD: I guess the most common and predictable reaction to my iPhoneography is that I must really want to wreck my iPhone taking it underwater and sending it up into the sky.

(Reef Abstracts)

EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What app(s) do you currently use the most often?

AD: My most used apps are Camera+, Crop Suey, Iris, Perfectly Clear, Photo FX, Photoforge2 and DXP


EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?

AD: Sure.

STEP 1       This is the original, unedited JPEG straight off the camera. I used QuickPix to take the photos, as it allowed me to choose from an action sequence of images.
The vision I chose or this image is that I wanted to highlight the skater and build on the textures of the concrete bowl.

STEP 2       Next, I open the photo in iDarkroom as there is a cross process filter that I like called Cross Process of all things. This created tonal shifts differentiating the bowl from the concrete fore ground.

STEP 3       I then opened the image up in ScratchCam to find a filter that enhanced the texture of the concrete.

STEP 4       At this point, I bring the the Scratch Cam textured image into Iris and set as a base layer then import in the Cross Processed image and set as a mask. Then I delete the masked area around the skater revealing the textured background and highlighting the skater.

STEP 5       Next, to complete the image I reopen the photo in iDarkroom and use a filter called Faded to desaturate the image and reduce the red tones in the foreground.

Whilst I ‘ve made this out to be a quick five step process, a lot of exploration happened along the way with various apps that apply textures, cross processing and bleaching to reach my final vision.

EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?

AD: I would like to thank you Edgar for providing a space like iPhoneogenic and giving me the opportunity to have a rant, it has been quite cathartic. Without the hard work of sites like iPhoneogenic, iPhoneographers like myself wouldn’t have central locations to learn and explore. This has been one of the favorite parts of iPhoneography. Keep up the great work.

Thank you Aaron for participating in this feature here on iPhoneogenic, iPhoneogenic Facebook Page, and on Twitter @iPhone0genic.  I’m pleased and very honored to have you on my blog.

For more on Aaron check out these links:

Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lodown2011/
Posterous: http://iphoneh2o.posterous.com
Twitter: @iPhoneh2o

All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist, please contact Aaron Davis for copyright privileges.

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