iPhone Experiments – Bones


Recently, during an African safari, I spent several days photographing animals. We saw all of the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo) and many other animals in one day. It was the first time I made a concerted effort to make wildlife photographs, which was excellent practice. I gained an increased appreciation for how moments of peak action (or lack thereof) can make or break some photographs. I made many competent photographs that entertained my family at home, which I have no intention of using professionally.
In between these sessions, I spent a few hours photographing the skulls of animals displayed in the camp. Initially, I photographed very freely, exploring many ways of photographing them. As I reviewed the images, I learned from both the successes and the failures, gradually refining my the point of view of the collection. I appreciate the images that go beyond direct representation and become suggestive of something more through abstraction and metaphor. Ultimately, these images, which I consider sketches, will lead to final results, which will result in professional products.
Unexpectedly, I found that these sessions helped me develop my thinking on how to incorporate the process of sketching, both with words, drawings and photographs, into the development and presentation of future professional work. In the right contexts, I might even publish, display or sell select sketches.
This session also helped me explore longstanding personal themes within my life and work. These images expand my understanding of the power of photography to transform our perceptions of a subject through close observation. They highlight for me the limitations of vision (and photography) to see beneath or beyond surfaces. They confirm how I frequently try to suggest the often unseen foundations of the things I photograph. They remind me of how much I love to draw bones, especially the human skeleton. They reinforce my longstanding desire to create sculptures, many influenced by these forms. They resurface my artistic influences; in particular Georgia O’Keefe and Henry Moore. I’m sure there are other valuable resources I can mine from this experience, if I give both the process and these results further thought.
Explorations often have many unintended consequences; often these become the discoveries we’re looking for when we engage in experiments. You’ll learn more from simply observing your creative process, without judgment, than from anything else. Awareness is everything. What makes a process of experimentation even more successful, richer and more relevant is subsequently reviewing our results and continually refining our lines of inquiry.
How could experimentation help you reveal, connect with and develop your influences?
What experiments would be most helpful to you?
These images were made in Mala Mala, South Africa during my recent South Africa Photo Safari (sponsored by NIK).
Apps used were PicGrunger and Snapseed.
See more images and find more posts on The Huffington Post.

Ways To Give More Useful Feedback Online


Wow! Cool! Amazing! Fantastic! Beautiful! Great image! I love it! You can feel the love online — on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Picasa, Instagram, 500pix, BestCamera, and countless other image-sharing services, social networks, blogs, and websites. It feels good to give and receive praise. It can be motivating!
Ask For It
Do you want more love? Ask for it! There’s an implicit request for feedback when you post an image online, where people can comment on what you post. But, when you post images without a request for feedback, the number of responses you get goes down. Without an invitation, people may be hesitant to give you feedback. Or, they may not know how far to go and end up not going far as you’d like them to. So, if you’re looking for feedback when you post your work — ask for it. You’ll find people are quite happy to share their opinions with you.
Be More Specific
Love may not be the only thing you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more than love, there are many ways to find it. The way you ask for feedback can make a big difference in the kind of responses you get and how useful they are. If you don’t make a specific request, the responses you get will be general and unfocussed. Conversely, you can qualify the type of feedback you’re giving someone. State your approach before giving your feedback.

Ways To Give Feedback
There are as many ways to direct the kind of feedback you get as there are ways to give feedback. Here’s a list of eleven different kinds of feedback and ways to ask for it. You can ask the questions of either single images or groups of images. (You can even use this list to easily copy and paste questions when you post images online. Or make your own!) …
Read my full post on The Huffington Post.
Read more related posts on cell phone photography on The Huffington Post.

Hipstamiticophilia – Ragnar Th Sigurdsson


While guiding me on my Iceland photography workshop, Ragnar Th Sigurdsson rediscovered iPhone photography. He got obsessed with the App Hipstamatic, which produces photographs with terrific lo-mo effects. He started seeing differently. In addition to making many images with higher end photography equipment, he produced over 1000 new iPhone images in a few days.
We discussed the differences. Here are some of our thoughts.
The iPhone is smaller than most cameras. This makes it easier to position it in places you couldn’t place a DSLR. (Plus, the iPhone’s depth of field is very large and it can be focussed at very close range.)The iPhone’s small scale also changes interpersonal dynamics between the photographer and human subjects; people feel more at ease with what’s perceived as a more casual act, you can make contact with both eyes, and allowing the subject to see the picture while it’s being made (instead of after) provides a dynamic feedback loop of action and reaction or pose and repose.
The iPhone’s screen offers a large sharp preview and allows simultaneous comparison between an unaided view and the view as rendered by the device, in low light. In bright light, it’s often difficult to see image details on screen, producing a change in perception; broad structural relationships are seen without embellishment. (Low fidelity or distressed images emphasize this quality. When done well, they become perfectly imperfect. And the novel look generated elicits viewer responses which are markedly different than high fidelity renderings.)
Results are almost instantaneous. Images are processed in seconds or minutes, often on the spot, allowing a direct comparison and contrast between the scene and the image produced.
The practice of cell phone photography is significantly different enough that it encourages a great deal of experimentation. I recommend it to anyone who’s passionate about photography.
Cell phone photographs and the process of making them can be delightfully spontaneous.
Here’s a selection of Ragnar th Sigurdsson’s iPhone photographs made with the App Hipstamatic.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Cartooning Our Way Through Iceland


We have a lot of fun in my workshops. Often, we use our iPhones to stimulate creativity. We try all sorts of creative experiments. This trip, one of the experiments I tried was creating cartoons of participants as superheroes or supervillains. It all started when our guide Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson put a luggage label on his chest with a fragile icon. I made a not sign on it with a Sharpee pen and he became Captain Unbreakable. Then I made an ironic cartoon of him with my iPhone. (Apps used are Toon Paint, Pic Grunger, and Label Box.) Everyone was laughing. Everyone wanted to play. We laughed our way through Iceland.
Because we were playing this game, we thought frequently about what text could/would accompany our images – titles, captions, essays and more. Frequently, a little levity can lead to useful creative insights.
Here are some of the images from these ongoing hijinks.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Exhibit – Harry Sandler and Barbara Ventura


ALLUSIONS OF REALITY
“Allusions of Reality’ is clearly a seminal moment in my personal process. I have always been attracted to craft and a multitude of technical abilities, and, at the same time have always felt that I had the sensibility of an innocent. These were difficult to balance with my painting and photography and I struggled, like most do.  ‘Allusions’ for me is the meeting of form and substance, and, for the first time, I am able to express myself both as a photographer and a painter, with no line of demarcation in between.
UNFOLDMENT
To those who have come to realize that life’s journey is really about the discovery of who we are, as well as the exquisite expression of our true nature, I have the pleasure of sharing, through these images an inexpressible sense of unfolding oneness and wholeness represented through nature’s wisdom and beauty in the orchid.??As the observer engages (connects with) the photograph, through a seeing eye and a sensitive heart, a sense of inward reflection allows an opening to the depths of self as is well exemplified in the gentle exposure of a tender flower in a free exhibition of itself.??Unfolding from within and displayed in their magnificent array, the images warmly entreat a careful consideration of the flowering of human consciousness and invite an understanding of the magnificent dance of life between Creator and Creation.
Learn more about the Exhibit here.
Learn more about Barbara Ventura here.
Learn more about Harry Sandler here.

iPhone At Play – Charles Adams


My assistant, Charles Adams, spent this years Maine Fall Foliage Workshop photographing with the iPhone. Below he talks about his experience.
“Making images with an iPhone can be a terrific creative exercise. If you regularly shoot with a DSLR, the iPhone can simplify things and offer a new experience. I found this to be the case during this years fall foliage workshop. I left my Canon in the car along with all of the photographic requirements and responsibilities that I usually attach to it. It was a freeing experience. Suddenly the pressure to make the best photographs of my life was no longer there. I was free to play.
Being able to process your images seconds after shooting them is also key to the iPhone experience. The many apps available make it possible to shoot, edit, share, and get feedback before even getting back in the car. In my case, apps had a direct effect on which pictures I chose to make. I knew I was going to apply water color and oil painting filters to my images, so I tried to shoot accordingly. I set out to find good compositions with strong “bones.” “Bones” meaning solid structure that could benefit from the addition of dramatic effects.
The resulting images were fun to create. Changing the tools you use to make your images can offer new insights into your own photography. I strongly recommend allowing yourself to play.”
Visit Charles’ website here.
Find out about my digital photography workshops here.

iPhone Photography Workshop

workshop_iphone_nyc2010
The iPhone is a fantastic tool for creative discovery!
I’m planing a weekend workshop in New York City, December 18-19, 2010.
iPhone Photography – Creative Discovery.
You can reserve a space now.
Simply email info@johnpaulcaponigro.com.
I’ll contact you shortly before official registration goes live.
Learn more in my column on iPhone photography on the Huffington Post.
Review today’s Apple iPhone 4 announcements at MacRumorsLive.com.
HD Video – 720p 30fps
5mp Camera With Flash
Front Facing Camera for Video Conferencing
New Retina Display Technology – 960×640
40% More Battery Life
Gyroscope