iPhoneography Monday: Black and White (in a Fog)

phoneography challenge wordpress croppedA couple of weeks ago I played hooky from all my early morning responsibilities by taking my iPhone out for a leisurely (and beautiful) walk in the fog. I posted a couple of the photos from that day in What I Did Instead….. What I’d forgotten is how many photos I’d taken with Camera + that I’d not moved to my camera roll. I discovered them last Wednesday when I’d stopped to take a photo of a rainbow on my way home from work and opened the app.

I probably would’ve left the photos a bit longer had I not learned about iPhoneography Monday at the end of last week and thought they’d be perfect for the black and white challenge this week. I took a few, processed them in Dramatic Black & White, and added frames (frame: Shadow II) in Photo Toaster.

These were shot in color and processed into black and white. When I first picked up a camera, a photographer friend, whose monochrome photography I adore, told me that all he ever did was shoot in color. He learned how to see a color scene in terms of the possibilities of black and white. (As a young photographer, he actually started by shooting in black and white–film–but came to enjoy the challenge of shooting in color for black and white.) For the most part, that’s what I do with all my cameras.  But I’m beginning to dabble in shooting with various monochrome camera apps , especially MPro. I plan to post some of those explorations as well. Do you have a favorite app you use for black and white mobile photography?

Foggy Day C+ set September 2013 photo 1Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo5Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 3Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 2Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 4

Even if you can barely see it…

Yesterday I was driving home from teaching a Pilates class and this is what appeared in the sky as I neared home. Faint, but full of hope.

Rainbow iphoneography for blog post 9:13

What I Did Instead….

One morning last week I got up and didn’t write. I didn’t read. I didn’t exercise. I took my antsy self outside into the fog with my iPhone(‘s camera) and leisurely walked the road.

Foggy Road 2 (September 2013)

Foggy Road 3 (September 2013)

catch

catch

It’s not impossible to catch what you want the most….

Another photo from the night at the bonfire I mentioned in Wim Wenders, iPhoneography, and the “Now.”

Wim Wenders, iPhoneography, and the “Now”

Wim Wenders may be known primarily as an amazing filmmaker, but he’s also a great photographer. Recently I listened to an interview in which he discusses the art. For Wenders, photography is a very present medium, that is, it’s about capturing the moment—the “now.” He laments its practice today, with the use of digital cameras and Photoshop, because many—if not most—photographers are already thinking about postproduction (what will be changed later in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) as they take their shots. Photographers do not have to be present today in the same way as they did in the past, when these options did not exist. Because of this, time itself is erased; it disappears. The privilege and specificity of photography lie in its obligation to be here now.

I don’t agree with all Wenders has to say about contemporary photography, but the interview did get me thinking about a recent experience I had with my iPhone. A friend of mine held a party and built a huge bonfire in her backyard. As darkness fell, I ran inside to get my phone. Not to be in the moment. Not to capture the moment. But to create texture photographs for future iPhone creations. As I shot the flames, I thought about how they would pair with other photographs.

A couple of children played with branches and piled them on the fire. I took photos of them as well. I thought about creating a specific type of image, shooting with the use of certain apps and Flickr iPhoneography groups in mind. I wasn’t present, at least not in the way Wenders seems to suggest.

Let there be light

By “now” Wenders may not mean capturing a strict—almost documentary—image. I do, however, think that he means to be here for what is happening, even if doing “artistic” photography. Photographers should be alive to the possibilities that exist at this particular time. They should engage robustly with what the outside world reveals.

At the bonfire, I was absent in many ways—lost in my own world of future creations. I would say that I’m present less than half the time when using my phone. It may be that iPhoneography and mobile photography in general have evolved to be something more, or other, than photography, given its creative use of filters and apps as an accepted form of practice. (Some argue it’s never been photography at all.) If so, would that change its obligation to be in the moment in the same way, making it exempt from Wender’s criticism?

Despite having one foot in iPhone postproduction when I take pictures, I also feel immersed in the flow of time in a way I don’t in other activities, including other art forms. I feel as if I’m in a “now.” I even feel a type of unity—with something. The question is: what “now” is this and what is that something?

Maybe we have an obligation to more than one manifestation of “now.”

In the beginning

The two photos in this post are from that bonfire evening. I plan to post more in the future. (Still need to do that postproduction!) 

She rises

She rises.
Sometimes you push through despite the odds.

(Taken and processed on an iPhone.)

What I Remember

What I Remember

What I Remember

I used to want an iPhone simply so I could take photographs. The fledgling mobile photography community (primarily iPhoneographers) fascinated me with their freedom and creativity in regard to photography. I actually didn’t get an iPhone for several years–and it’s turned out to be just as I thought it would.  To put it in the words of a post at Life in Lofi: Iphoneography: “I have a camera. Sometimes I use it to make phone calls.”

I took this shot on Sunday, and later found out that this building used to house my great great Grandfather’s store (it’s now an antique shop). Blood remembers, even when it’s forgotten.