Monday, February 23, 2009

A Different Way of Seeing

It's been an odd year. Hunkered down is probably the best way to put it. Between February and October of last year I was on the road for about 150 nights. This year, so far, one. One night on the road. There's not particularly any reason for it, it's just the way the chips are falling this year so far. Hand in hand with the lack of travel is a decline in the opportunities to shoot.

Last week I went to Vegas. Three words: hate the place. Always have. I can do about a maximum of three days in the place then I'm ready to poke my eyes out and scrape my tongue with a hedgehog. Anyway, this ain't no city review. All y'all that love the place, have at it, it's all yours.

So, over the past few weeks a friend of mine, Chase, has been posting iPhone pictures to his Twitter feed. I've been fascinated with what he's been doing with his images. Totally at the opposite end of the technological spectrum from his normal gear but with every bit the same passion, eye and flair as everything the man does. So I was sitting on the plane waiting to depart for Las Vegas and I took a picture of the rain and the wet plane out of the window. Using the Camerabag app I was able to turn it into a little mini Polaroid then, using the iPhone Facebook app I could caption it and upload it to my Facebook account. And I was hooked. After that I couldn't stop taking pics and posting them.

iPhone 1.jpg


There is something gloriously simple with this. With the iPhone and Camerabag there is no 'quality' of image with which to concern yourself. There isn't any decision to be taken about glass or the characteristics of a certain lens. It is what it is.

iPhone 2.jpg

The Green Glow of the MGM Grand

The image that you take is distilled down to it's purest elements: color, light and shade. The other factor that comes into play is that the format is square. Square is a format I've always loved. The first medium format camera I shot with was a Bronica square format camera. After that I got a smoking deal on a Hasselblad 500 and shot hundreds and hundreds of rolls of FP4 and Velvia on that thing... I still have it. It still sits near my desk.

iPhone 3.jpg

Blue skies, fluffy clouds and palm trees

iPhone 4.jpg

Light fitting, The Signature Hotel

iPhone 5.jpg

My little piggy

I think the creative mind needs to break off and head off in a different direction once in a while, see things in a different way. Sometimes it's good to strip things down, take away the details of the technology and break everything down to the bare essentials. Sometimes it feels good to be so free, to take one, maybe two shots, get it in the bag and post. Done. (I won't be selling the other gear just yet).

Images all shot on the iPhone v1, processed in camera with Camerabag, watermark added with Aperture.


Cathy said...

I love these. I agree with you about square images. And I love Polaroids.

Steve Simon said...

Good to see you back. A friend of mine Donald Weber did a couple of series with the iPhone that with yours, reminds me that the best camera in the world, is the one you use.

ideaslinger said...

Donald's a great guy... didn't he do some iPhone pictures of the inauguration? Looking forward to seeing what he might do with it in Russia.

The saying is true almost anything that needs technology, the best tool is the one you use.