“I ain’t got no spare/I ain’t got no jack/I don’t give a shit/I’m not going back”
― Tom Waits
It’s taken a bit of trauma in my life to somehow find the dark cave where my creativity has been camped out in hibernation for the past three years but I have been seeing signs lately that the bear is coming out of his stupor and is ready to go back to work.
I never for a moment thought it was completely gone but it was obvious that I had to erase years of hearing the voices of office bound editors telling me what he picture must look like before I even picked up the camera. Who knows maybe that voice is my own, doubting my vision, whispering in my ear that no one will want to see these pictures I’m taking and what I first thought looked cool maybe is nothing more than a random collections of objects that no one will want to look at?
Those voices will likely never go away for ever but I have reached a place where I no longer care if anyone’s looking over my shoulder giving me the thumbs up as I do my work. I know what I want to say and I’m quite happy making photographs for myself. Others are welcome to come along and enjoy them but it’s obvious to me that I work better when I think less. Act first. I can always think later.
My work with the camera phone has been a big part of my recent excitement for photography. It’s a tool that allows me to have the least amount of camera equipment necessary to get the picture I want. I’m not a camera geek so the less between my eyes and the subject, the better. I have used nothing but my IPhone for the past three months.
I am no expert. I’m just shooting tons of pictures and making lot’s of mistakes. I’m sure I’m doing plenty of things wrong but so far the camera/app combos described below have been working pretty well for me. I’m sure I’ll discover more features every week.
I am using a number of apps with my pictures. I use the Camera + app for the actual camera. The default camera works well too but Camera + seems to have a really nice exposure lock that can make all the difference in getting some of those high contrast images. Other people may find good results with other camera apps but this works well for me. Camera + also offers a number of light settings like backlight, darken, cloudy etc. You can crop and and special effects as well.
After shooting in Camera + I will usually crop the image into a square in the same app or occasionally brighten or darken the image and save it to the camera roll.
Next I open the image in another app called Snapseed which also features a camera but I go straight to the controls that include the ability to do selective dodging and burning (they call it selective darken and brighten) by moving your finger along the area of the screen you want to change. It also features a sharpen tool, choice of frames and several other features like Grunge and Vintage which I have not used. It also allows you to straighten a crooked image just like in Photoshop.
Once I’ve finished with Snapseed I again save the changes to the camera roll and then open the picture in Instagram and apply whatever look seems to fit the picture and seconds later it’s online. Magic.
I am still photographing the project on my parents and have included a picture of my mom in an elevator to a Dr’s appointment as well as a photo of my dad being released after a month in a hospital and nursing home and am beginning to return to my favorite subject, the streets of wherever I am.