iPhoneography With Jack Hollingsworth
Our iPhoneography With…series continues and this week we are very happy to introduce Jack Hollingsworth, all the way from Austin, Texas. You may already be familiar with his work as his long-spanning photography career has taken him across the globe shooting everything including people, products, and places! We were blown away when we first saw what Jack could do with an iPhone and we’re pretty sure you will be too. Oh and a little birdie told us that you might be seeing Jack around here more frequently…watch this space for more details…
How would you describe yourself to other iPhoneographers around the world?
I am classically educated and trained in photography. And have spent the better part of the last thirty years happily and passionately shooting Travel, Lifestyle, Portraiture and Stock for a wide variety of Fortune 2000 clients. Primarily in the fields of Travel, Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism…and most of it on a world stage – New York, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Tokyo…and the list goes on. My vision, mission and passion, whether shooting with my fancy-pants DSLR rigs or my iPhone 4 pocket wonder…is the same. To constantly capture colorful and soulful imagery that encapsulates the energy, spirit, and personality of the location or subject I’m photographing. And transport the viewer to feel as deeply about a subject as when I photographed it. The last three decades have provided me a successful, enviable and fulfilling career. Interestingly, I’m as infatuated with photography today as I was when I started down this path years ago. Some things never change. The iPhone has helped indeed keep my excitement and enthusiasm for photography very much alive and burning.
I don’t call myself an ‘iPhoneographer’ per se as I continue to use DSLR cameras for both commercial and personal work. I call myself a ‘photographer’ who uses the iPhone as just another tool in the camera bag. That said, I can tell you, with unwavering confidence and surety, that iPhoneography has ignited in me an all consuming passion, preoccupation and obsession that I doubt will diminish anytime in the near future! I have every intention to take a leadership role in the iPhoneography space. And I always welcome any sort of dialogue with those that are equally concentrated – iPhoneographers, app developers, technology partners, etc – email me, lets talk photography!
When did you catch the iPhoneography bug and what makes the craft special to you?
My favorite term to use for the iPhoneography movement is ‘zeitgeist’ – a defining spirit or mood of the times. The iPhone in general (and iPhoneography in particular) is redefining the landscape and state of mind about photography. All over the world. Among pros and amateurs alike. And it’s not just changing the conversation about photography. More importantly, it’s changing where that conversation takes place. A paradigm shift and sea change of huge proportions and implications.
I’m generally not obsessed with gear. Never have been. Until the iPhone 4. Call me crazy, but I bet, when all is said and done, that the iPhone, as a camera capture device will go down in photographic history as the most influencing and game-changing device ever manufactured. I believe that.
My discovery of iPhoneography is relatively recent. I was on a recent commercial shoot in the Caribbean and realized, almost serendipitously, that my iPhone, under certain lighting conditions, could take photos that rivaled the tools in my traditional camera bag. That momentary epiphany has since turned into full-blown concentration, engrossment and absorption (I see many of you smiling!) I would refer to it as a ‘rebirth’ or an ‘awakening’. Possibly even a ‘resurrection’ of sorts. A ‘rejuvenation’ of the grandest kind.I love iPhone photography, as art & science, more than anything I have embraced in my career. The experience of a capture device, in the palm of my hand, that allows me to shoot everything, from the vernacular to the spectacular…nothing short of revolutionary.
This craft is very special. It’s special technology. A special community. And indeed, a very special art form!
What do you envision for the future of iPhoneography? For casual photographers, and for professional photographers?
With the imminent release of the iPhone 5 and the new IOS 5 operating system, we are on the cusp of an explosion in iPhoneography, like you have never seen or imagined. I see nothing but unapologetic excitement and anticipation for those embracing this magical art form. The ranks of prosumers are about to blow up. Casual iPhoneographers will only get better over time and experience. Professional photographers, generally not considered early adopters, will slowly but steadily embrace this technology.
The iTunes app store, with about 500,000 apps available, is now boasting over 7,500 photo apps alone. And will continue to experience meteoric rise and popularity among the masses. There are 7 billion people on this planet; 5 billion of them have cell phones. Do the math! That’s a heck of a lot of apps! We’ll surely continue to see a mushrooming of products, services and subscriptions to specifically cater to iPhoneographers – this will go far beyond gear and apps and into ebooks, webinars, podcasts, community sites, international collectives, training programs, workshops, photo tours.
iPhoneography is no fleetingfad. It’s not a gimmick. Or some short-lived contrivance. It’s a legitimate movement, with an electrifying, worldwide fan base that we have only begun to see the fruits and meteoric growth of. Personally, I can’t wait to continue to play a small part in this metamorphosing photographic shakedown and shake up. I’m psyched! How can anyone not be? I now, finally, after 30 years of shooting, have the power in my hand to visually share my life’s journey. I can shoot, process and share with a global audience – hungry to receive. This is probably the greatest time in history to be alive and shooting…as a photographer. Seize the day!
What is the inspiration behind your textures and objects series?
While I own over 100 photo apps (don’t tell my wife), I constantly use less than a dozen in my ‘go-to’ took kit. My philosophy here is that it’s better to master a small number of useful apps. And know those apps intimately well. Rather than have just a surface knowledge of lots and lots of apps.
Without a doubt, the most used app in my tool kit (and my personal favorite) is Camera+. I use it to shoot with. And use it to process with. I’ve become quite a pro at understanding and using the ‘clarity’ preset in Camera+.
Like I mentioned earlier in this interview, I come from the traditional photography space. So, as you might expect, I’m more enamored with and enchanted by creating ‘classic’ photos. This isn’t at all a disparaging comment on those that love apps. I love apps too and use them often, but it all starts with creating a beautiful photo. Think photography first. Apping second.
IPhoneography, as I see it, is equally embracing all tenets of experience – shooting, processing, sharing. And while I love the ‘apping’ part of the equation, I find myself way more tantalized and enraptured by the ‘capture’ part – the shooting itself. Maybe that’s an influence from my traditional background.I’m not sure. But what I am quite sure of is that my iPhone 4, even with it’s limitations, and under bright lighting conditions, is an equal competitor to my expensive DSLR rigs. And, I might add, a lot more fun to shoot with.
In my DSLR work, I have always been pretty light-handed in post processing. In my iPhoneography work, I take a few more ‘processing’ liberties to get what I want. It’s all good! Some iPhoneographers are fantastic at the capture part. Some are brilliant at apping and processing. Some, on the other hand, are better at community evangelism and sharing. It takes a village!
Interestingly, my inspiration for iPhoneography comes from the same sacred place as my inspiration for my commercial DSLR work – my heart. It’s not about looking. It’s about seeing. It’s not about gear, but about visual style. Putting your own visual thumbprint on life. It’s not so much about what you know but how you feel. And how to translate t hose feelings into powerful works of art that inspire, rouse, move, stir, ignite!
What tips and tricks do you use to get your very nice HDR-like photos without the typical HDR challenges?
There are several popular HDR apps on the market, namely ProHDR and TrueHDR. I own and like both, but I rarely use them.
Most of the HDR-looking photos you are seeing here are some combination of using the ‘clarity’ preset in Camera+ as well as the ‘HDR’ preset (with slider control percentages dialed way down – also in Camera+).
Always remember, the magic starts with a good photo. Proper apping makes good photos better ones. And sometimes even great ones. But it rarely works in reverse. Don’t use apps to cover up bad or substandard photography.
I don’t think of myself as an ‘HDR” photographer at all. I’m a photographer that uses HDR in my tool kit to create remarkable photos. It’s that simple.
Another app (along with Camera+) that I frequently use is Dynamic Light. This app also has some great slider controls to allow you to finesse an image so it looks perfect to your style, and it gives a nice HDR look and feel.
Sometimes I preplan and pre-visualize what app I’m going to use – before I take the shot. And then other times, I just wing it and end up pleasantly surprised (or disappointed) when I get to the app stage. The iPhone 4 isn’t a particularly good device for capturing low-light images (even with a tripod). So I find that the best subjects are those that are well lit and in bright light – landmarks, scenics, portraits, travel, street, flowers, food, family.
As long as I can remember, I have always been preoccupied with mentally taking pictures throughout the day – events, emotion, detail, color, shadow, juxtaposition, beauty, design. Now, with the iPhone in my palm, I have the opportunity to record these visual reflections. And not just record them for my own pleasure, but share them (easily) with a global audience.
Talk about mesmerizing!
Tell us about your iPhoneography projects.
Thanks for asking. It seems like I have more than I can keep up with! Here’s a rundown of what I currently have going on.
Pocket Shooters (podcast)
I am in the final planning stage of a new podcast series with Frederick Van Johnson (guru behind TWIP, called PocketShooters. 30-minute episodes. Bi-weekly. Content dedicated to iPhoneography. October launch.
Commercial iPhoneography Site
I’m working with the brilliant Erik Lot at FluidGalleries to create a commercial iPhone Photography site to sell my iPhoneography services to the public.
(show screen shot)
Tumblr Blog (iPhoneography)
Hopefully, before the end of the year, I’ll have my new Tumblr site up and running. The site will chronicle my journey with iPhoneography.
IPhoneography Photo Tours
I’m working with several other iPhoneographers and technologists to develop a really cool series of international photo tours. Aimed exclusively at iPhoneographers.
100 tips, tricks and techniques to taking your iPhone photography to the next level. Publication date – January 2012.
You can check out more of Jack’s photos on Instagram @jackhollingsworth