Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo Journalism Art iPhone Style

Painter and iPhoneographer Nicke Gorney shares two selections from her series of iPhone photo art aptly titled "Life Underground". Check out her website here (I love her paintings, too!)

No. 27 iphone 4 apps -  Lomora Pro, PS Express, Snapseed

No.29  iphone 4 -  apps - proCamera, snapseed

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Words and Pictures: An iPhoneography Symbiosis

Words can't make a mediocre image good, but they can elevate a good photo to great and a great photo to even better. So said my favorite instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute, Jack Fulton. I believe it is absolutely true. With that in mind, I am including John Derby's full story with his wonderful iPhone image: The Most Complimentary Cigar.  Enjoy.
Many people say they like listening to jazz. Most of the time who they are really referring to is Kenny G... but there are famous jazz instrumentalists and then there are the GREATS... the Masters of their instruments! If a person really knows anything about the true Masters of Jazz Guitar then they will have heard of names like Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Gene Bertoncini, and (much like Ansel Adams in the world of photography) most people who really know would put the great Joe Pass at, or near, the top of the list. These names I have just dropped, by almost any reckoning, include four of the top ten, and possibly the top five, jazz guitarists in the past sixty years!

A word about "greats"... Jazz greats or any other. I halve been fortunate (and lucky) enough to have performed with them and/or studied with them. I've worked with other greats, too... Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, Damita Jo, Alan Thicke, Brooke Shields, Ed McMahon, to name just a few. And I was pleasantly surprised to find this out....

Listen: The greater the greats are, the more willing they are to teach you what they've learned while rising to greatness.

As past Director of Operations for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra I learned that it is the relatively unknown operatic sopranos, the head costumers for the Metropolitan Opera, the conductors of minor symphony orchestras... It's the people who haven't (and probably will never) make it to the top of their professions you have to worry about. They're hungry, thirsty and clawing their way to the ocean surface. It is they who will maximize their chances of surviving in the arts by being overly proprietary with what they know: they don't want your competition.

One of the most wonderful, beautiful things about iPhoneography is that it is so new a photographic art form that nobody has made it to the top yet! And, as much as I wish to see iPhoneography go mainstream, I have to hold out hope that the photographic world continues view us iPhoneographers as distant, and slightly laughable, cousins to "real" photography.

I know... You're thinking all this is fine but what in the heck does all this have to do with the price of Mahi-Mahi in Hawaii? What does it have to do with this photo, "The Most Complimentary Cigar"?

One week, Joe Pass was in town at the King of France Tavern at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis, Maryland. Sadly, it is now a Starbucks. But in the 1980s it was a jazz club whose owner continued to lose money while he continued to hire the greats of jazz. On Herb Ellis' recommendation I asked Joe Pass for a lesson. At the time I was a career Navy Musician stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy Band in that quaint harbor town. Joe floored me when he asked why I wanted a lesson from him! I was flummoxed. I was speechless! He had been at the top of the readers and professional polls more times than I had fingers and toes. All I could think to say was, "Because you're Joe Pass!!"

We agreed on a time. I was early! He said up front that the price of a lesson with him was a box of cigars, but not just any old cigars... Really good ones! Back then the box cost me around $50, but that was 25 years ago. If anyone is interested, they were Cifuentes Y Cia Partagas and today the same box would cost at least $150.

But here is where the complimentary cigar comes in: after the lesson we went to the local tobacconist where I gladly paid for the cigars. I gave him the the box and thanked him.... But then.... He gave me one of the cigars and thanked ME for a good lesson. Then he gave me the greatest compliment I've ever received: "You don't need to take lessons from me... You're good! Next time I come to town let's just jam".

I still have that cigar and it is in my photograph. This is only my second attempt at a still life, but what it lacks in technique, it makes up for in other ways. Truly, my photo earns its title as The Most Complimentary Cigar.

Technical details:
Equipment: iPhone 4s, iPad 2
Apps Used: Snapseed, Pixlromatic, Camera +, 645Pro, Photoforge2

Sunday, May 13, 2012

iPhone Photo Art Recipe or How To Grunge a Butterfly

Often I artify my photos so much with so many apps that I forget which ones I used on a given image. I get lost in the process, which is truly wonderful when making art and not so great when I want to duplicate a process. However, I was asked for this butterfly grunge soup recipe, so here goes to the best of my knowledge and recall: the steps to A Wing And A Prayer.

First, I photographed this butterfly wing against a ti plant leaf. This butterfly is no longer living - I tried to save it when I found it on the road in a strong wind. Alas, too far gone. I keep it on my desk along with leaves, feathers, shells and the like. I use them as photo collage elements because they are still so beautiful.
Next, I oil painted the image in Impressionist Art, knowing it would be way over the top but perfect when combined with the original.  The painting part takes a little time as you have to paint each stroke with either finger or stylus. It saved small (just how this app works)  so I knew I'd need to upsize it when I combined it with the original.
I upsized it in IRIS, then combined it in DXP - just trying all the blend modes to see what grabbed me. I think Multiply was the one I finally used.
I erased the edging along the wing in TouchRetouch. Then took it in to Camera+ for Clarity to pop the colors and then used a Camera+ filter that made the background Aqua.
Next, I used Camera Awesome! filter for this amazingly cool vintage, torn edge look. I don't remember which one because there are so freaking many but you'll find it.
Finally, I processed it in Modern Grunge, using one of the cutout effects. As always, I sharpened it in Snapseed and added copyright with Impression. Voila. Iphoneography right out of the oven. Total time elapsed: about 40 minutes. That's the recipe to the best of my recollection. (My mom is an intuitive cook and sometimes leaves out steps when she tries to give me here best recipes - I now finally understand how that happens.) Still I think I covered them all - try for yourself - better yet, improve upon it with your own ingredients. Happy apping.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Paint Your Photos With Impressionist Art App

I love love love painting my iPhone photos. Although I like apps like Painteresque and Autopainter a great deal, I am happiest when I can actually paint the strokes myself on a photo. (Or mush them in Pixel Blend to mimic SX70.) So imagine my delight when I found Impressionist Art. It doesn't save at full rez - but that doesn't bother me. I just uprez it in Iris when combining with the original. Then I use either Blender or DXP to further combine painted image and original. So far, I've only worked with flowers - I'm hoping that it will work as well with landscapes and other images.