The Foto Ruta team have been champions of iPhone photography for quite some time, so much so that in October 2012 we launched our very own iPhoneography tour a Buenos Aires based celebration of iPhone photography. However, Foto Ruta, like many other doubters in the photography industry, weren’t always devout iPhone fans, it took a number of technological advances and industry commentators to bring us round and help us fall in love with the iPhone camera. One of those being our iPhone photography idol, Misho Baranovic check out his work here.
Misho has an impressive photography career already behind him but has, more recently been one of the most influential voices in the world of iPhone photography. Having written a book on the subject and presented a number of exhibitions. Foto Ruta are massive fans of his work and we were delighted when he agreed to an interview with us. Here it is….
Misho, give us the background… you’re pretty well known in the world of iPhoneography but its a pretty new how long have you been shooting with your iphone?
I’ve been shooting with my iPhone for almost three and a half years.
What is the greatest advantage of using a mobile camera/iphone device over traditional street photography?
To me it’s the ability to shoot, share and edit your photographers all on the same device. I love being able to capture an image and, right there and then, use the environment to influence my editing choices.
I also really like the ability to touch expose on the iPhone. I find that using an advanced camera replacement app like ProCamera gives me amazing flexibility when setting the exposure levels. There is something beautiful about being able to drag the exposure point around the scene, seeing exactly how this changes the form and mood of the photograph. It’s what keeps me coming back to the iPhone over the dials and buttons of a bigger DSLR or rangefinder camera.
The small form factor and ‘discreetness’ of the phone also helps with candid streetphotography. Not as many people notice me when I’m shooting with the phone.
What factors (other than improvement in the camera technology) have made iphoneography a more creditable and celebrated form of photography amongst professionals?
I think that the integrated sharing has resulted in iPhoneography and mobile photography exploding around the world. Now we have a new generation of photographers that can shoot and share their vision in a couple of seconds. It’s leading to a whole photographic language where people are communicating through almost real-time imagery. As a result, we’re seeing a rapid evolution of photographic styles and approaches.
What is your response to commentators and some members of the international photography community that say the omnipresence of mobile photography and specifically Instagram, is ‘debasing’ real photography?
I say that they are scared of the changes that are happening to photography. Connected photography is changing the value of a photograph. Increasingly photos will be judged at their relevance, timeliness and their relationship to an event. I also think that this connectivity enables unique shared experiences around photography – which I find far more interesting than being told what is or isn’t a good or ‘real’ photograph.
What challenges does iphoneography present that aren’t an issue with traditional photography, and how do you get around them?
The most obvious challenges are depth of field and night shooting. The small sensors on the iPhone don’t allow you to get much depth of field or shallow focus separation. This can be replicated with some apps but I choose to live with this limitation within my street and documentary photography.
As for night photography, some provide anti-shake technology which helps you take sharper photos in low light. However, there is still a way to go till mobile phones match DLSRs low-light performance.
Do you ever shoot with your SLR still?… if so, how does it contrast with your iphoneography?
I do shoot with my DSLR, I find that it is indeed a very different process. I try to use the DSLR in the same way but find that I am more conservative with my shooting. It may have something to do with having to shoot through the viewfinder – which creates a bit of a barrier between me and the scene.
What three tips would you give a budding iphoneographer?
- Get a good camera replacement app which lets you split your focus and exposure. My pick is ProCamera but apps like PureShot and Camera Genius are also very good. This extra control will enable you to experiment with the light levels within your scene.
- Find a good community online, whether Instagram, EyeEm or Flickr. Search for tags and groups that share your interests. I’ve found this peer support the most important part of my continued evolution as a photographer.
- Don’t hesitate, if something catches your eye, whether it’s a shape, a light patch or color, then click the shutter. I find this the best way to become more mindful of my surroundings. Say yes to your photographic instincts!
What would be your dream iphoneography location?
I’ll shoot anywhere! But your iPhoneography tours through Buenos Aires look absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to visit one day!
In your opinion are there any subjects that are made for the iphone (i.e. still life / street photography) and any that should be avoided?
Yes, iPhone photography definitely suits street photography, reportage and even landscape photography as these genres lend themselves to wider angles. I struggle with portrait photography because of the distortion to facial features up close.
If you could only have one photography app on your iphone what would it be?
It has to be ProCamera. It’s the fastest and easiest way to shoot professional iPhone photos.
What other apps (non-photography related!) on your iphone do you use the most?
That’s really hard, nearly every app is photo related! It would have to be Twitter and Flipboard (ahem, so I can keep up to date with photo news and blogs!).
Thanks Misho… look us up on your next trip to South America.
Joss and Becks