Above photo: ‘To Catch a Butterfly’© Rita Colantonio’ | www.theappwhisperer.com ~
Yes, it’s a real thing. The Apple-enhanced call it iPhoneography. The Android-possessed call it smartphone or mobile street photography.
For a growing number of artists, designers, craftspeople, creators, and image fiddlers, the smartphone has become a tool of visual illumination and expression.
TEST THE WATERS
If you haven’t taken a dive into this art form and would like to see some examples of the work that is being done, take a look at theappwhisperer.com. The site features more than 1,600 mobile photography/art images and posts a new one each day. Images range from a sunset shot at the lake to neon-enhanced still life, multiple-exposure pictures, and classic portraiture.
The mobile street photography community is rich in resources and growing. Sites abound to nurture beginners and enthusiasts alike.
- www.iphonephotographyschool.com — There are paid courses offered but look for free video tutorials and a great blog.
- www.expertphotography.com/the-complete-guide-to-smartphone-photography-96-tips/ — A specialty page in a rich photography site that has almost 100 tips, tricks, and links.
- www.scoop.it/topic/iphoneography-today/ — Jack Hollingsworth admits he is iPhoneography obsessed and is probably the most prolific blogger on the topic. He is always on top of the latest gadgets and gear.
Read through the blogs and sites above to find reviews and recommendations that suit you best, but some of the most basic equipment can be found as separate items or in kits.
A selfie stick is nice but one that converts to a tripod stand for your phone is great. NEXBOOM, andobil, LATZZ, and Bluehorn packages include a remote and run from $20 to $30.
CamKix offers a kit containing one of those bendable octopus-looking tripods, a remote, and five quick-connect lenses in the $25 range. Phorsen has a kit with nine lenses and filters, including an 18x telephoto lens with its own eyepiece for around $35. You can also buy lenses and filters individually or in sets of 10 or more. There are portrait light kits, too.
SPIFF IT UP
Instagram is free, and you can rework your images quite a bit before posting. There is a good selection of color and black and white filters, exposure, color, and sharpening adjustment tools. You can crop, rotate, and straighten pictures, and add vignette and tilt-shift effects. Other photo-editing apps include Snapseed, VSCO, Carbon, Adobe Lightroom, Afterlight, and Lens Distortions. All are free, but it will cost you to move up to more advanced features.
PUT IT OUT THERE
Flickr and Instagram are great ways to display your work, but you can also monetize your smartphone photos. AGORA ,Foap, Snapwire, and Clashot will split the profits from your sales, as will EyeEm. But an EyeEm account also opens the door to a support community that includes free tutorials, an in-app magazine, and a free suite of styles, filters, and editing tools.
Or you can enter any number of smartphone competitions. The Mobile Photo Awards hosts an annual competition, themed exhibits, and international open calls throughout the year. The iPhone Photography Awards is an annual competition with winners receiving special prizes, gold or platinum bars, and certificates of recognition.
Maybe you are curious about mobile street photography, want to try it out for fun, or profit from your creations.
It just depends on your individual focus.
Rita Colantonio is a former public-school art teacher in northern Massachusetts, where she developed an art curriculum for her school district. After retirement, Rita continued her painting on Cape Cod. In 2015 she transitioned from Photoshop on her computer to apps on her iPhone 6. The iPhone apps allow her to sketch and paint on a blank canvas of her iPadPro, Apple Pencil, and iPhone Xsmax. Rita has been a consistent award winner nationally and internationally. For more information on Rita and to see more of her work visit her website, on instagram (@jules4921), Facebook, and https://theappwhisperer.com/?s=rita+colantonio+interview.