iPhoneographer of the Week – Ivan Sciupac | @ivansciupac

This week I won’t do much talking, Ivan Sciupac’s work speaks for itself. I will say if you enjoy iPhone street photography than Ivan’s got you covered in the DC metro area.


(Looking Into the Past 28 Years Later)

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

IS:  I’m an Argentiniean Jew — born in Buenos Aires, raised in Los Angeles, and now living in Washington, DC with my fiancee.  I love running, baseball (go Dodgers), and eating large slaps of medium-rare beef.  I hate coconut and when people say they “give 110%”.

EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?

Is:  I’ve always loved taking photos, ever since my grandparents gave me a film camera for my 7th birthday and I started photographing my toys (which my mom thought was a waste of film).  So when I bought an iPhone 3G back in 2008 and realized how amazing and easy it was to shoot high-quality photos with it, it re-ignited that spark.  Now with an iPhone 4, I am rarely without my favorite camera, taking it on my runs, bike rides, practically everywhere.


(Going her Way)

EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?

IS:  I hope I can answer this without sounding too pretentious.  I think a lot of photography is being in the moment, following your instincts, and above all else, being brave.  Having an iPhone with you all the time taps into these qualities.

I love being able to take candid street photos while I’m out on my runs, or maybe setting up shots that take some time and thought to plan out.  I also love the challenge of post-production work, selecting and editing my favorite photos, deciding which apps to use (or not use), and essentially creating something artistic out of something I may have only just seen a few minutes before.

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

IS:  Yes, it’s one I took called Down the Chute.  It was Veterans’ Day 2009 and I was walking around Dupont Circle when I came upon the famously broken Dupont Metro escalators.  I walked to the other side of them and instinctively took this photo.  I had only started to experiment with different photo apps to edit my photos, so I ran it through Best Camera and when I saw the result, I had that “Aha!” moment and realized just how fun and artistic iPhoneography could be.


(Down the Chute)

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

IS:  I don’t use Twitter and I use Instagram more for its editing ability than its social media aspect, but my excitement about iPhoneography has led me to start a Tumblr blog called Here’s Looking at Euclid. Tumblr allows me not just to share my work with others easily, but it has also been a portal for me to discover other photographers and iPhoneographers.

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

IS: DC is know, naturally, for its stately monuments and memorials.  And while it can be exciting to find new ways to capture something photographed millions of times, DC is also a street photographer’s dream.  Much like New York City, everyone in DC walks, bikes, takes cabs, or rides public transportation.  The city features lots of interesting architecture, lively and diverse neighborhoods, and a population full of character.  This surprisingly sprawling street scene leads to a lot of opportunities for candid shots.


(Stairway to Lincoln)

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

IS: I was influenced early on by Sion Fullana and Dominique Jost.  Over time, as my personal photography preferences evolved, I found inspiration from Jim Darling for his portrait work and John Wood for his runography shots.

For the past couple of months, as a direct result of always running with my iPhone and seeing the DC streets, I have really been into the street photography work of Anthony Danielle, Eric Kim, and Thomas Leuthard.

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

IS: The feeling of being “creepy” when taking street photography.  It’s great for stealth, yes, especially when I’m pretending my iPhone is confusing me and I’m probably using the map feature.  But when it’s obvious I’m taking a photo, I get lots of looks that express “What the hell?”  I don’t think I would get those looks if I was using my DSLR or rangefinder.


(Picture-in-Picture)

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

IS: I have had several photos published by DCist and other online magazines.  But the biggest thrill was when I had “Down the Chute” selected by “Pixels At An Exhibition — The Art of the iPhone” to appear at the Giorgi Gallery last year.  This exhibition was the first gallery show to feature iPhoneography exclusively, and perhaps the first to curate iPhone photos from around the world..  To see my photo printed, framed, and hung in a gallery was just awesome.

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

IS: You took that with an iPhone?  I get that reaction the most, something I’m sure many iPhoneographers have heard at some point!


(Draw Me a Picture)

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

IS: I started my experience with iPhoneography as an app whore, trying to accumulate as many different apps as possible in the hopes that the app would “make” the photo.  I have since realized that a great photo is still created, first and foremost, by me, and that an app should really only be used to improve an already high-quality photo.

That said, I currently have 25 photo apps on my iPhone, with many more I have deleted over the years.  I use Camera+ as my camera replacement app and Hipstamatic, Instagram, Pro HDR, ShakeItPhoto, and Qbro as my primary editing apps.

EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish? (a workflow, step by step of the photo with renditions along the way of the photos you used for the final, example below)

IS: [Sure]

STEP 1       This is the original photo I took during a run through Georgetown last week.  I snapped it using Camera+ and then continued on my run.  When I got home, the editing choices for all my photos started.

STEP 2       Next, I opened the photo in Camera+ and applied the Clarity scene setting to give the photo some pizzazz and life.  I usually will at least look at what each photo looks like in the suite of FX Effects in Camera+.  In this case, though, I didn’t apply any filters to make any adjustments and saved it straight to my Camera Roll.

STEP 3       When making editing choices, part of an iPhoneographer’s strength is knowing which apps work best for the photo you took.  Sometimes I’ll go through a series of apps trying to figure out which one to use, but over time I have learned what works best depending on the photo.

In the case of this Camera+-edited photo, I opened Qbro (a highly underrated square format app) and uploaded the saved photo.  My intent with this shot was to keep it as natural as possible and not mask it with unnecessary editing techniques.  I quickly scrolled through the various filters and choose Lomout, using the slider to adjust the effect.

STEP 4       Having become a fan of Instagram in the past couple of months, I uploaded the photo into IG and scanned the filter choices.  I decided to keep it Normal despite so many great choices because I liked how it looked.  Still, IG has a great Tilt-Shift feature that allows you to adjust the blur as a circle.  I adjusted the blur size, geo-tagged it, and saved it to my roll.  That’s it!

EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?

IS:  Thanks, Edgar, for interviewing me for your blog, I honestly feel honored to share the same space as some other amazing iPhoneographers!


(The Memorial)

Thank you Ivan 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 Ivan check out these links:

Tumblr:  http://hereslookingateuclid.tumblr.com/
Flicker:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivansciupac/
Other:  http://about.me/ivan.sciupac

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

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