iPhoneographer of the Week – Andrew Chapman

Andy Chapman is an iPhoneographer I really admire for dabbling in many aspects of iPhoneography. Unlike many of today’s “top” iPhoneographers, Andy’s work has a wide range of subjects. He shoots street photography, landscapes, creates abstracts, and can also app heavily. Andy is what I like to call the multidimensional iPhoneographer, a mobile photographer that does not limit himself to one genre/subject and has an eye for all things beautiful.

(Enough Already)

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

AC: I live in Tunbridge Wells in the south east of England but commute to work in London.  Between work & family life there isn’t much room for hobbies.  Any spare time I can find is spent on photography or searching out & listening to slightly more obscure electronic music (I’m on iTunes Ping as Andy C if anyone is interested in the music)

EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?

AC: I first got an iPhone 3G in early 2009 and I was thoroughly unimpressed with the camera and didn’t use it for about 8 months. Then a friend showed me ShakeItPhoto the Polaroid app. I loved the colors & retro feel of the image it produced and from that point I was hooked! Shooting with an iPhone just really suits my lifestyle. I don’t really have the time to go out on photo shoots or sit in front of the computer photoshopping. With the phone I can grab shots at any time and I use my hour’s commute on the train processing the photos.

(Life Goes By #1)

EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?

AC: iPhones don’t take the best technical pictures and that forces you to be more creative with composition and processing.  iPhoneography to me is about a community of people who are open to this and the huge range of styles that result.  It’s such great group of people too. I’ve yet to come across an iPhoneographer who won’t share their experiences and techniques or who looks down their nose at a fellow photographer because their images aren’t tac sharp or perfectly exposed.  The same can’t be said for the photographic community as a whole!

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

AC: This is probably the first shot that I was really happy with…

(A Sign Of Things To Come #2)

EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time on working and reworking your photos?

AC: Sadly it’s pretty much every day! The phone is always in my pocket ready to be used and I do take photos every day, though many I subsequently delete.  I probably spend 40mins to an hour processing any one shot.  Most of that time is trying out different effects & edits until I get something I like the look of.  I’m a bit guilty of getting so into the processing that I lose sight of whether the image I’m creating is any good or not. So now I tend to process an image and then leave it for a day or so and come back to it with a fresh, more critical, eye before posting or re-editing.

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

AC: Flickr in particular has been instrumental in allowing me to share my work with others and I think it’s been crucial for the whole iPhoneography community.  When I first started out one particular iPhone group had around 4000 members, it’s now up to 24,000! It’s incredible to be able to share your work with that many people.

(If Yin & Yang had a fight)

EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?

AC: No none at all. I only really started photography in 2003 when my second daughter was born and digital cameras were just becoming popular. I quite like not having the formal training I find it more rewarding to figure it out myself. Trial and error is a great way to learn photography, not only do you learn the basics but it also helps you find your own style rather than being too heavily influenced by teachers or text books.

EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?

AC: I don’t have a particular preference but as a lot of my shots are taken during my daily work routine I tend to just shoot whatever I happen to come across and then I try and turn them into something a bit different and hopefully more interesting. For me the apping is just as important and enjoyable as getting the shot.

(A moment of self reflection)

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

AC: Though strictly not my hometown London is where I take many photographs. It’s an incredibly diverse city and a never ending source of interesting places and people. You can walk the same streets day in and day out and always something different will grab your attention.  You just have to walk around with your eyes and your mind open.

EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?

AC: Most of my inspiration comes from others in the iPhone community – there are so many people that I respect and whose work inspires or influences me. If I had to name a few I’d say I particularly look forward to work by Jon Betts , Jay Jay Klees, Jan Gelinder, Gusbano, Robert-Paul Jansen and though not taken on an iPhone I do love Matt Pringle’s photos (all of whom can be found on Flickr)

(Life moves pretty fast…)

EC: When you’re in a creative block what do you do to break out if it? Do you look at the work of other iPhoneoographers to be re-inspired?

AC: The first thing I do is stop trying, otherwise I just get more annoyed with myself. I find after a few days I get back into it.  I always keep browsing other people’s work.  I  try to get onto Flickr everyday just to keep up with everyone and Eyeem & the Pixels (http://pixelsatanexhibition.com/) websites are a great source of some really original material.

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

AC: Some would say the quality of the camera is limited  but I actually like that. I think that’s what forces you to be more creative with the processing. The one thing that does bug me is the lack of a hardware shutter button, by the time I’ve got the phone out, unlocked it, opened the camera app and contorted by finger to reach the shutter button the moment has passed, Apple should sort that out!

(It’s a new dawn, a new day…)

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

AC: The most surprising thing is that other people like what I do.  I really didn’t expect other people to be that interested.  I really appreciate every comment and favorite I get on Flickr – it’s one of things that keeps me taking pictures.

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?

AC: Okay, so, I’m somewhat of an app junkie so I’ll save you the complete run down of apps. However the usual suspects areTiltShift Generator, Photogene, PictureShow, PhotoCopier, PhotoStudio, Iris, BlurFx & Juxtaposer. A photo will never go through just one app, I’ll have used  at least three to get to the final image, but will probably have put the photo through many more trying to find a version I like.

I haven’t been a big fan of Hipstamatic in the past.  It’s always been a bit slow and the effects it added were a bit strong for my liking, any shot I got out of it always looked like a Hipstamatic shot rather than my own work.  Having said that the recent updates have improved both issues and I have been playing around with it a bit more.

(A Tunbridge Wells Morning)

EC: Where do you see  iPhoneography/mobile photography a year from now? A few years from now?

AC: I think it can only go from strength to strength.  I’m sure there’ll be more physical exhibitions and I suspect we’ll see a lot more video work produced on the phone over the next year. Also as more photo apps are made available for the Android platform I think we’ll see another explosion of creativity. It’s an exciting scene to be part of right now.

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

ORIGINAL: Took this shot (unusually for me using Hipstamatic).  The original is OK but it looks too Hipstamatic-ey and the composition needed work.

STEP 1: Cropped it in Photogene to improve the composition and remove the Hipstamatic border

STEP 2: The cropped version went into PictureShow and I produced two versions one using the Cross filter with added Bokeh lighting and another using the Retro filter and Sand noise.


STEP 3: Loaded both into Juxtaposer as I liked the Bokeh lighting but I wanted it to be more subtle. So I kept most of the Retro version and just brought through small amounts of the Bokeh

STEP 4: Into Iris to add Noise texture. As the shot was heavily cropped there was a fair amount of noise / pixelation anyway so I added to this to make it part of the image, rather than trying to disguise it

STEP 5: Finally I added a border using Infinicam.  I’m not a big one for borders, but it just seem to finish this shot off nicely

EC: What other information would like to share?

AC: Thank you very much for allowing me to participate on iPhoneogenic.

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

For more on Andy check out these links:

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flunkyuk/

All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist and are published on all iPhoneogenic outlets with the consent of the artist, please contact Andy Chapman for copyright privileges.

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