Jennifer Bracewell is an iPhonographer who has mastered the art of the “apped” photo. Jennifer loves to transform her photos into works of art through the process of masking and layering many different elements using a combination of apps, creating what I like to call “iPhone Art.” Her process is excellently captured in her self portraits ranging from minimal apping to the very abstract. What’s great about Jennifer’s work is her ability make an image so different from the last. Each time I see a new piece I’m left in wonder and amazement. Apart from producing such brilliant images, Jennifer is an awesome person and I’m grateful to be her friend!!!
(Confusion sets in)
EC: Where are you from? Tell me about yourself?
JB: I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love it here, it’s a great place to live with wonderful weather, natural beauty and cultural diversity. I’m a mother, a music lover, an animal lover. I’m very into seeing live music, it inspires me. I love traveling and have been around a bit but there are many places which I’d like to visit. I have a two-year-old daughter, so everything is on hold while I take care of her at the moment. I have teenage boys as well so I’m very busy being a mother. I also love doing portraits and live music events with my SLR. My dad is an excellent photographer, it’s how he made his living.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
JB: I got an iPhone some time in 2009. I started taking pictures with it right away. I really didn’t think too much of them at first but it was lots of fun and they were definitely better than the ones I took with my other little camera phone. I started a Project 365 and posted it on Facebook and started getting some feedback from my friends, then discovered apps. I fell in love with Hipstamatic and went hipsta-bonkers. I love the way Hipstamatic makes skin tones look and makes almost anything look cool. Then I moved on to some other apps like toy camera, lo-fi, and it went on from there. I rarely use Hipstamatic any more, but I still do think it is a fantastic app.
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
JB: iPhoneography is a term which people have had issue with lately because they feel it limiting. I take pictures with my iPhone and I am just in love with the creative process of apping and seeing what I can produce. As a busy mom I’m not able to do much for me. This has become my main creative outlet. I do like to app my images quite a bit, generally speaking, so to me it’s like a combination of photography and painting, two things that I love. I am so excited to be involved with the various iPhoneography communities and to get to know all of the wonderful artists. I look forward to taking a few pictures every day and then, when it’s quiet at night, I app.. that’s my “me” time. I stay up far too late, but it’s so fun to create. I really love looking at other people’s work. It’s so diverse, so beautiful. I appreciate all for their own unique qualities and I make my own. There’s something here for everyone.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that made you go wow, I really got something here!?
JB: Yes I can. It was a picture of seagulls I took one day. I was feeding ducks and was swarmed by bunches of seagulls. I got several great shots that day but one in particular made me say “Hey, I think I’ve got something here!”
EC: How has social media such as Twitter and Instagram helped the way you choose to share your work with others?
JB: I do have a Twitter account and I recently began using it, accidentally at first when I linked it to my new Instagram account. I felt so bad for tweeting 5,000 times in one night :) I think they’re both great ways to share my work but mainly to see others’ work. There are so many amazing talents on Instagram. I find it inspirational. I mainly post on Flickr. I have developed some nice relationships with other iPhoneographers and photographers there. I also love Pixels, which isn’t a social networking site per se but it is a nice, small community and we do all interact with one another. I’ve gotten into iphoneart a bit as well.
EC:What about your hometown is so special that it makes you what to capture it through your iPhone?
JB: The San Francisco area is beautiful, so many iconic buildings, bridges and monuments to photograph. It’s wonderful. I love the ocean also, and the wildlife is gorgeous, so many different kinds of birds and animals. I love the people, the hippies, the wild artists, Berkeley with all its character. There’s never a shortage of photographic material. That being said, I now live inland in a more rural area so I’ve been more isolated. I have access to lots of beautiful landscape, farm animals, lovely old barns.. I just sold my horse but he was a favorite to photograph. I do many self portraits because it’s often impossible to get out (kids!) and I’m always available.. and I work cheap :)
(Death By Matrimony)
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
JB: The iPhone doesn’t work well in poor light, some of the apps crash, some are hard to use and frankly it’s just not the best camera.
Sometimes the phone won’t unlock or the photo “click” button won’t work. The other day I had a hummingbird literally touching my phone, hovering for at least a minute, and my phone wouldn’t work. That would have been an amazing shot. Frustrating!
That said, some fantastic images can be produced under the right conditions. It’s portable and I love my iPhone, maybe a bit too much.
EC: Who or what are some of your artistic influences?
JB: Painters such as Modigliani, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Redon, Masson, Ernst, Dali, lots more. Many, many photographers. Iphonographers: Carlein is an amazing inspiration and the first one that made me go holy WOW! That woman is something else! Dan Berman, Jaime Ferreyros, Jose Chavarry, Liz Grilli..I want to list off about 50 other artists here but I don’t have room. I don’t want to leave anyone out, I’m humbled and inspired by so many iPhoneographers.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where?
JB: Yes, I was featured artist on Pixels at an Exhibition for July 2011 and have also had several daily pics there. I have been Faved on Flickr, Life in Lofi several times, gotten fotogrIphone’s pic of the day several times. I had a write-up in Mashable for one of my bird photos in June of this year. I was iphoneart’s artist of the day on July 1, 2011. I had some of my work displayed at the show at the Apple Event in San Francisco on Monday July 29, 2011. There was an iPad installation featuring some of my stuff at the Adobe pop-up gallery for a few weeks. One of my photos was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald in August. I have a gallery show in Berkeley coming up in September, one in Brussels, Belgium in October, and some other exciting things in the works.
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs?
JB: The most surprising is that they like it as much as they say the do! It was just my little hobby. I am so happy that people appreciate it. I’ve had people tell me that I’ve inspired them and that’s pretty surprising too. That just floors me.
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag (apps)? What app(s) do you currently use the most often?
JB: I have more than I’d like to admit :) currently I use Perfectly Clear, Iris, Filterstorm, BlurFX, PhotoFX, PhotoStudio, picgrunger, scratch cam, plastic bullet. Lots more :)
(Death By Matrimony)
Q: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
Step 1: The original picture (Photo 1 ) is taken with the standard iPhone camera. It’s a rooster in a cage. I put it into PS Express first, just to straighten and crop.
Step 2: Then I open up the photo in Iris Photosuite. I used the Polarizer filter first. I then used the Comic Strip filter, very little. Use the slider bar to adjust the level. Then go to adjustments, layers, set layer as base. Then UNDO the Comic Strip Effect. I then added the Dyna Range filter (photo 4). Then go to adjustments, layers, blend layer with base. Choose whichever suits your photo. In this case I chose Screen.
Step 3: Then take the photo into Blur FX. I used Median blur at full strength and left most of the photo blurry, cleaning up just the face and part of the neck of the rooster. I used the slider bars to play with the saturation of both the blurred and clean areas. I also used the black colored filter and the vignette. I wasn’t happy with the way it looked so re-cropped a bit in PS Express. I then ran it through Scratch Cam, which is very random, until I came up with something that I liked. Voila!
Step 4: Final
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
JB: I would like to say thank you so much, Edgar, for this opportunity. It’s quite a thrill! I’m very surprised at how my hobby has taken off and I feel very lucky and grateful to be recognized. I am also very happy to have met some wonderful people from all over the world via this medium and that’s really been the best part of it for me. Thank you!
(Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky)
For more on Jennifer check out these links:
Website: http://jenniferbracewell.com (under construction)
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist and are published on iPhoneogenic outlets with consent of the artist, please contact Jennifer Bracewell for copyright privileges.