It’s incredible to witness the growing brilliance of one, Ali Jardine. She’s one half of a sister (her equally incredible sibling revealed in the interview) duo phenom that hit Instagram back in 2010 as a way to keep in touch miles away which would eventually grow into a massive following on the photo sharing network. Her work is truly aw-inspiring making it difficult to wrap your mind around the sheer creativity that radiates from each piece Jardine makes public. Her pieces includes dreamscapes, silhouettes, macro photography and pure surrealism. Jardine’s work has been described as moving, deep, captivating and amazingly creative, I for one am at a lost for words to describe this supermom’s incredible talents.
Jardin has accomplished many accolades in her sort time as a mobile artist/photographer. Most recently named runner up in the Mobile Photography Awards and piling up several honorable mentions in different categories for the MPAs.
iPh0 is honored to have Ali share a few thoughts and work here in an exclusive interview and bonus workflow.
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
AJ: I am from Northern Mississippi, but moved to California to work in Yosemite National Park a few months after I graduated from college. I have been living on the West coast ever since. Currently I live in Sonoma County with my husband who makes delicious pinot noir and chardonnay wines and my two kids, Gabe, who is a tennis player and Pippin, who is a gymnast.
EC: How did you get into mobile photography/iPhoneography?
AJ: I downloaded Instagram on November 8, 2010 a couple of days after I got my first iPhone. I have always taken photos, and Instagram was a fun platform for all of those unshared images. My sister, Melissa Vincent joined and we had fun communicating through the app and trying to figure it all out. At first, I was mainly taking photos with my point and shoot instead of my iPhone, but soon found out that it was much easier just to shoot with my iPhone and do away with all of the work of transferring images from one place to another. Now I never take out my dusty little camera. The ease and convenience were positive attributes of iPhoneography, but what hooked me was the fact that it was unchartered territory. People were (and are) sort of up in arms about the mobile photography trend, saying that you couldn’t create anything worth anything with an iPhone. But I think the community has proved all of the nay-sayers wrong.
EC: What does mobile photography/iPhoneography mean to you?
AJ: iPhoneography is an adventure for me. A path I haven’t yet taken, the excitement of what may lay around the bend. It is limitless, with the tools to create anything I dream up. It is a starting point for who knows what.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that you, yourself, were blown away by and made you purse iPhoneography/mobile photography more passionately?
AJ: Ha ha! I think I sort of have that feeling with everything I finish, even though I may look back at the image a few months later and cringe. I think we artists have to maintain a pretty good ego and confidence toward our work or we’d never finish anything! I do remember my first image that went to the popular page (now Explore) of Instagram. That was a pretty awesome thing. Looking back on the image, I like the raw image, but am not in love with the crunchy HDR style that I edited the photo in.
EC: I love the surreal beauty in your work. Has this always been apart of your process in your journey through mobile artistry?
AJ: Thanks, Edi. I have always been drawn to the surreal, it’s the way I see the world. I remember buying my first oil paints at around 13-14 years old and trying to copy M.C. Escher drawings. I try to tell a story in my images, but intentionally leave out some important parts so the viewer can interpret what is happening for themselves. Like those fun children’s books where at the end of a chapter choices are presented to the reader with each choice leading to a different ending.
EC: I’m often surprised to see so many quality images you pump out in a week. Can you talk a little bit about your source material. Is it all original work or are some element in your images from composite apps like Filter Mania?
AJ: I’m pretty sure I have used every app in the app store at some point. Experimentation is key to figuring out what kind of artist you are. There are a few apps I use, mainly Wow FX and Lens Light. When the iPhone can capture the moon and stars, I will be able to gently part with these apps as well.
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time working and reworking your photos?
AJ: I work on my iPhoneography pretty much constantly, it is what I am most serious about after my family. I consider it my work, and I am kind of a workaholic.
EC: How has the power of social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on helped in the way you choose to share your work with others?
AJ: It has given me a platform to share my work, especially with Instagram. Artist have always had to be good networkers, be social and put themselves out there. These outlets have made it that much easier for all of us.
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
AJ: No, I would still like to go and take some darkroom classes.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
AJ: I am happiest outside in a foggy forest where the only sounds I hear are the birds singing. There’s just something magical about being alone in nature that helps me to see how wonderful the world that we live in is. I also love shooting city images, my kids, Gabe and Pippin, and the beach is always an interesting subject.
EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?
AJ: Nature, children’s books, and painters are major influencers. Hiking and being in nature is very inspirational. There’s no distraction, so my imagination takes hold. When I’m outside is when I think about what I want to do and reflect on what I’ve done. It’s part of who I am, it’s necessary for me to create.
I’ve been reading all of the classics to my kids. We’ve read Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Swiss Family Robinson, and many others. Right now we are reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth. These stories are beyond the everyday world. They are all worlds of their own, and their creativity propels me.
As far as painters goes, the list is long. I am pretty obsessed with Dutch artists right now, Rembrandt’s darkness and Vermeer’s light. A few old favorites are Matisse, Kahlo, Beckmann, Dix, Franz Marc, Goya, Chagall, Dali, Picasso….I could go on forever.
EC: When you’re in a creative block what do you do to break out if it?
AJ: I don’t get many, but I don’t try to figure out how to get out of it when I get one. I just don’t worry about it, because creativity always comes back.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
AJ: Low light has been the biggest challenge. Shooting in a forest is pretty dark, but luckily there are some wonderful apps out there to help out in those situations.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the mobile community?
AJ: I’ve been lucky to be published in a few publications, the French magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, and Leveled Magazine as well as National Geographic online and KIOSK. No, I never expected it, but I feel like the community is very nurturing and caring and we all support each other which is what makes it so special.
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhonographic images?
AJ: The most surprising are when people call me out on my images not being “real”. For instance, I’ve been doing a series lately with a whale out of water, flying and propelled with only a few red balloons. I think it’s pretty funny when people tell me that it is cruel to have a whale out of water and that there is NO WAY that many balloons would hold up the girth of a whale. I love comments like that. The most surprising has been finding out how many people enjoy what I do, and for that I am really grateful.
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using?
AJ: I have 134 photo editing and sharing apps. I honestly didn’t know how big that number was until you asked. I also have an olloclip that I use all the time and a few other lenses and filters that I use very sparingly. My favorite apps for editing that I could not live without are Juxtaposer, Blender, Tiny Planets, and I’m loving Repix right now as well.
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography in the future?
AJ: There are no limits. The lines are blurring as to what art is, what photography is, and our community is paving the way to show the world that we are here to be taken seriously. I know that soon we will see iPhoneography and iPhone art hanging on museum walls and selling like any other medium does.
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
Step 2 I used PicShop to rotate and straighten the horizon a bit.
Step 3 I went to filters and used High Color just a bit to brighten everything up.
Step 4 Next I used Alt Photo, saved the image in the Daguerreotype Filter, turning the border off.
Step 5 I also saved the Tintype filter version keeping the border.
Step 6 I opened the photo in Blender and blended the two photos from Alt Photo, saving the photo and resetting Blender.
Step 7 I brought the new blended photo back and added the color version from earlier. Using mask, I painted color back into the image and saved to camera roll.
Step 8 The final app I used was Repix. I used the Charcoal brush to soften things up a bit.
Step 9 I used Freshen to brighten up the greens and to highlight the sunbeam.
Step 10 My final step was to add Stars to the image.
My final image!
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
AJ: I am so happy to be part of this wonderful, creative, and caring world of iPhoneography/mobile photography. We are trendsetters, and we are making our own rules. I’m excited to see what will come next! Thank you so much, Edi for this wonderful opportunity!
Thank you Ali, for participating in this feature here on iPhoneogenic, our Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to get to know more about you and honored to have you share your work here on the blog.
For more on Ali check out these links:
Word Press: http://alijardine.wordpress.com
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 Ali for copyright privileges.
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