A Day In The Life Of Rudy Vogel – The ‘Renaissance Man’ Of iPhone Photography

Welcome to our very exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and this is where we’ll be taking a look at some hugely influential, interesting and accomplished individuals in the mobile photography world. People that we think you will love to learn more about.

This is the thirty-eighth installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Today we are featuring Rudy Vogel, Rudy thinks of himself as a ‘Renaissance Man’, schooled in several disciplines and a practitioner of commerce, computer science and, most recently Digital Art, which he has perfected over the last ten years.

Rudy has traveled the world on business and has thereby inculcated the exotic tastes, colors, and aromas of foreign lands from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Caribbean into his work. Having grown and traveled with his father who was in the fashion business, Rudy learned some of his craft through osmosis and instinctually portrays some hints of textile, fabrics, lines and curves into his art.

Rudy has been a photographer since his youth and his eye has thereby been trained to inherently identify interesting patterns, shadows & highlights and composition in virtually every image he sees. He brings these experiences to his art through the use of his computer and the software he has developed to create his unique form of art; and, more recently, the work he creates exclusively with his iPhone4. Simply put, Rudy’s art is atypical. No fractals, composites or ‘green screens’ are used; just layered, earthy textures, vibrant colors that coax the spectrum into refraction, architectural lines that lead the eye into space and, lights within shadows. This is how he builds his work, one pixelized brick at a time.

Rudy has had several private and public showings and his pieces have already worked their way into private collections. His work has been shown at various exhibitions and galleries around the world, including: The Annual Munson Massachusetts Spring Art Show; GaleriaZero, Barcelona, Spain & in Chelsea, London; The Forbes Galleries & The SOHO Gallery for Digital Art, New York, NY; The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and, The Giorgi Gallery, in California; and, The Lunch Box Gallery, Miami Beach. Much of his recent work can be viewed at ‘the premiere iPhonegraphic Art Collective in the world’, Pixels At An Exhibition, with the url: www.pixelsatanexhibition.com

Check out the full interview below…

You can find all the links at the end of this article.

(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A day in the life of …’ section, just send an email to Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up.)

First Things First…

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Copyright image – Rudy Vogel – ‘A Cranial Migration Into Shortwave Spectral Consciousness’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Diptic, Flowpaper, Dynamic Light, SimplyHDR, Filterstorm & Iris

 

JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?

RV – Excellent question, however, except for me to answer it properly, I guess we need to define, in my case, just when one day ends and thereby, another begins. iPhoneography is a beloved avocation of mine, but my vocation, which pays the bills thus far, causes me to keep unusual hours. I have an international consultancy practice which many times, finds me working at all odd hours of the day. But to get to the heart of your question, let me focus more on the end point – my day usually sets with me having created a new piece of me through my trusted little black ‘appzap’ device.

Magic Hour…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘A Pageantry Of Probable Impossibilities’ – Apps used: Mirage, Percolator, Blender, PicGrunger, Juxtaposer, Scratchcam, & Iris

JC – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?

RV – Again, my situation is probably much different than the other artists you have interviewed. I certainly take a bevy of photos with my iPhone. So, I take the mandatory “inventory-build walks”; when I travel nationally and abroad I take the standard reportage shots; and, I have wandered into my garden and have taken many a “flower-exposed-while-ashamed/ unashamed-and-crying” shot. Yes, I am the first to admit that I have succumbed to the standard fair of “snap & app” – please understand that I am not denigrating this practice one iota. I have been shutter-snapping consistently since I was a youth, but have only begun “snapping, apping & zapping” since Christmas of 2010. The images I shoot may sometimes be definitive or, what I call that “iconic” image. But, for the type of art I create I view an image as my palette from which I mix & transfer colors, textures, components, and so forth. These variables then become the ingredients I utilize within a work product I create, often times, piece by piece.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Balloonocyclist’s Day In The Park’ – Apps used: Decim8, Juxtaposer, Blender, PicGrunger & Iris

 

JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop?

RV – Joanne, I confess that like many a photographer whether professional or not, I have built my kit over these many decades and have invested the obligatory many, many multiples of ‘Ben Franklins’ on cameras, DSLRs, lenses and the rest of the booty. But, as of Christmas 2010, I now almost exclusively shoot with my iPhone. Perhaps one day I will reintroduce myself to the many boxes of kit stored & lonely in my office, but right now, they shall remain as my beloved stepchildren while I concentrate my efforts on my prized wunderkind, the iPhone.

New Apps…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel ‘Bento Box’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Diptic, PicGrunger, Scratchcam & Iris

 

JC – Do you like to download new mobile photography apps regularly?

RV – Some of my colleagues in this wondrous visual self-effacement hobby that is iPhoneography, have referred to themselves as AppWhores, iJunkies and several other iconoclastic metaphors. I, as they, prostitute regularly with the best of them. Last I looked, I have over 900 apps on my iPhone4 so I guess that qualifies me as an iNut with a severe case of SAGS (Soft-Acorn Gathering Syndrome’). I am always on the prowl for the latest “best-kept-secret” on the iTunes Store to add to my worn iBag of magical trickery and chicanery.

Updates…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Bloodsucking Commences At Tower #7′ – Apps used – Decim8, TinyPlanets, Blender, PicGrunger, Pixlromatic & Iris

 

JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

RV – Easy answer: always and often!

Location, Location, Location…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Can’t Seem To Handle It Anymore’ – Apps used: Camera+, Photogene, Dynamic Light, Blender & Iris

 

JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?

RV – My favorite place in the world for a shoot is wherever I am at that exact moment in time. Since I will forever notice a color, a texture and paint-spill, a rip & a tear, or a face, a swoon or a sunset that I will then proceed to unabashedly tear to shreds and rebuild into my very own signature “Appenstein”.

Tools Of The Trade…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel ‘Chamber Of Speckled Spots & Jiggled Juju B’s’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, iColorama, Juxtaposer, Blender & Iris

 

JC – Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?

RV – Nope. Never have and probably never will. With software technology today, one can create their own sunsets, lighting & shadow effects and so on. The perfect shot no longer need exist in your own personal reality, it can come to life through enumerable $.99/Free bits & bytes. Gulliver – i.e., Photoshop – is most assuredly being stung by the Lilliputians apparrows.

For my work, I do not necessarily plan my shoot anymore. I now plan my workflow. In other words, I mentally think through what I want to accomplish for a given piece and then think about the apps and components I need to create it.

Favorite Apps…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Chit & Chat Are In A Spat’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Blender, Picgrunger, Fontify, Scratchcam & Iris

 

JC – What are your favorite mobile photography apps currently?

RV – Oh my, the most difficult question since there are so many. I have a tendency to swim according to my own current so mine may be relatively unknown, but here goes: iColorama S, Popsicolor, Color Lake, Photo Mates, AutoOilPainting, Kids Paint, Color Pencil, LAB Photo, DMesh, Awesome Camera – those are the ones I am currently ripping apart to investigate where the “Easter Eggs” lie, if any, in each one of those apps. This list changes frequently and by no means reflects my choicest “go-to” apps, which are my stanchions for my specific creations. The ones mentioned are ‘apps-of-the-moment’ and, most assuredly one or two may vanquish a similar number in my magic-bag, but we’ll see.

Sharing…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Dame Hildebrand Pettibrew Smythe, Smut Slut’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, PicGrunger, Scratchcam, Blender & Iris

 

JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?

RV – I don’t do Instagram; I have uploaded to Flickr, but personally I believe it has become a “dumping ground” – I am not trying to be negative – although artists do need their outlets for exposure. My choice outlet is twofold: 1. Pixelsatanexhibition.com, the pre-eminent high-art iPhoneography site in the world where I am a Featured Artist – thank you Knox Bronson – and, 2. The most important FaceBook iPhoneography groups I am a member of. I believe this “upload and get noticed” craze will eventually become over saturated – it’s what I call the American iDolatry Syndrome. For me, I am now attempting to focus on the “new model” virtual galleries and begin self-promotion, when I get around to it. Frankly, if you create high-quality, original work – that “oh-my-how-the-hell-did-you-do-that” piece – your work will get itself noticed and the rest will eventually fall into place.

Frequency…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Dink, The Martian Hipster & His Drones’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Superimpose, Blender & Iris

 

JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

RV – Every free moment of every day. Yes Joanne, you heard it here first, I am a self-professed Image Whore – AppWhore’s first cousin – in search of the best corner in the cyberscape.

Favorite Subjects…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Eloise Hunter And Her Stalking Tigerman’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Blender, PicGrunger, Vintage, Scratchcam & Iris

 

JC – What are your favorite subjects?

RV – Unfortunately, everything. It used to be landscapes and portraiture but, now and forever I still love macro.

Top Five Tips…

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Copyright image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Is It Heaven Or Is It Hell?’ – Apps used: Evolution, Decim8, TinyPlanets, Juxtaposer, PicGrunger & Iris

 

JC – What are you top five tips for mobile photography?

RV –

1. Know your subject matter completely

2. Know your apps completely

3. Create a workflow in your mind’s-eye and write it down if need be; plan the piece and not necessarily the shoot anymore

4. Let your piece evolve – don’t believe you will always get it right the first time – listen to your inner voice; it will tell you when the cake has been baked and ready for digestion or, indigestion depending on the viewer’s viewpoint

5. Be your own worst critic and ensure the development of your own, unique signature/style

This last point is probably the most important in my opinion. Especially since so many people are interested in somehow turning their avocation into a vocation. Isn’t that everyone’s dream? To realize that goal you have to – did I say have to? – be unique and pursue the highest quality work you can. That way, as I said before, your work will get the notice it deserves and you, the artist, can tag along for the ride.

Editing…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Lollipops & Appledrops’ – Apps Used – Decim8, TinyPlanets, Camera+, Pictureshow, Diptic, Juxtaposer and Iris

 

JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?

RV – Ninety nine percent, I would estimate, of my work is created/edited on my iPhone – that’s what makes it so very, very intriguing. Occasionally I will use my iPad or MacBook to view a piece for detail while it is a “work-in-process.” But then it gets transferred back to my iPhone for final edit and completion.

Videography…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Portrait Of The Ghoulish Gang Grimsly’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Diptic, Blender, Touch/Retouch, iRetouch, SimplyHDR, Blender & Iris

 

JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

RV – I will one day. Still too busy with this still image stuff.

The Future Of Mobile Photography…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Psycho Bob & His Cavalcade Of Wonderboys’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Juxtaposer, Blender, SimplyHDR, Lensflare and Iris

 

JC – Where do you see the future of mobile photography heading?

RV – I see vast opportunities. We have not yet begun to scratch the surface. Right now the iPhone is the tail wagging the dog but, that will change. As the device becomes ever more powerful, apps will be created that we as their users have not even envisioned. New features, new functionality, new vistas are being alchemized even while this interview is taking place and, we will see those nuggets bear fruit in the next 2-3 years. I am completely excited over it since it will open new doors for existing and future artists to express themselves in ways that have never been done before.

My concern is that the market needs to catch up. We still need to see some break-through artists get proper representation through Double-A and eventually, hopefully, Triple-A galleries the world over. There already exists a bevy of incredible work being created by some simply amazing and gifted artists that can equally compete with the work being created by more traditional and established branded contemporary artists. When some of these galleries decide to anoint a few of us, that is when the whole thing gets extremely interesting. That hasn’t happened yet but, it will. It has happened virtually with pre-eminent sites like P1xels, but even those types of sites require the appropriate validation from the market place and its collectors. Once an iArtist’s work receives the appropriate provenance, then all bets are off. Push the Reset button; man the torpedoes!

Popularity…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Quaeritur Publica’ – Apps used: Camera+, Dramatic B&W, iCameraHDR, DynamicLight, SnapFilter, Noir, Blender & Iris

 

JC – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhoneography?

RV – Well that is a dangerous question for me because I know the answer will be controversial and will probably elicit a few “boos and hisses.” But, no matter, I call it like I see it. I believe the most popular area is “Street Photography” or, as it was once commonly known as “reportage.” Now why do I say this, well because, there are a lot of ‘artists’ and ‘photographers’ out there who pick up an iPhone, walk the streets, snap and then app and call themselves “gifted.” It is a natural gravitation. Human beings like to see pictures of other human beings in first, unnatural situations and secondly, in natural situations of keen interest. We simply relate to it – we of the Homo Erectus origin are a curious lot preferring an equal measure of reality and fiction mashed together. And, what better place to find that inquisitiveness fulfilled than on the Big City Streets. Many of these aforementioned artists are recognized names within the iPhoneography and Wannabe community but no need to name names. Some are good; some are great; some are well……ah we’ll leave that for another time.

However, that’s not my main point. The essence of my facet statement is that in many ways, Street is an easy path to take – not droves of hours involved. Many times the end result is rather like a non sequitur in the form of: Find a ‘cute’ or ‘memorable’ subject, take the pic, convert it into Black & White, add some contrast, make sure it pulls the heart strings and voila, there you go “art de rigueur.”

You say “But, Rudy you’re biased!” Well, of course I am biased; and, I am being somewhat hypocritical, I know, since I have also taken Street. But, here’s the rub, that’s not my signature. When creating my signature work, each piece can often take 2-3-4 weeks to complete; an hour here, two hours there – repeatedly. But then again, I play in the Abstract or painterly world, which many an artist/iPhoneographer has said to me, is an area they find difficult and threatening to absorb. Well, maybe yes, maybe no, but in the end, I believe, the piece stands on its own merit. Shooting the right frame with the killer composition is often times, let’s be honest, based on ‘luck’ – the right moment, the right subject, the right whatever. How many times must you snap, then app to get the right ‘zap’ in the viewer’s ‘mindgut’? I, on the other hand, create my own luck. I create my own vista or, plane that I fly through. Not many can soar in this atmosphere I fly in so, you dabble where you know your reference points.

Where In The World?

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Spookytown’ – Apps used: PhotoTropedelic, Decim8, TinyPlanets, Juxtaposer, Blender, Scratchcam & Iris

 

JC – Do you think it is country specific, are some nations more “clued up”?

RV – As I said before, I am a member of some of the various iPhoneography groups on FaceBook so I get to meet fellow artists from around the world. Yes there are innumerably gifted artists from throughout the US. But, there are many incredible visionaries popping up in Russia, Italy, the UK, and Asia that I have noticed and am quite fond of. It is quite the Irish Stew out there, oh I know of a couple in Ireland as well.

iPhone 5…

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘Swimming In A Sea Of Galactic Wingnuts’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Magic Hour, iRetouch, Juxtaposer, Blender and Iris

This is an exclusive image that Rudy has submitted to us.  It has not been published elsewhere, we are so lucky to have it.

JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?

RV – That it randomly quotes Voltaire and Shakespeare in Russian and Chinese……kidding! My bad! The point is that no matter what I wish for, Apple will find a way to prolong the pain and suffering so that they can continue selling us their $600 technobags of white and black stuff. Let’s face it, the destiny of humanity is to become Apple junkies and love it; and, yes, by the way we all enjoy our affliction immensely!!!

Well here goes: more storage capacity through a SDHC card or, an Apple-sanctioned external thumb drive or just a plain ole USB connection would be nice. That’s because: I NEED MORE SPACE FOR MY APPS AND FIND MYSELF CONSTANTLY OFFLOADING MY PIXPALETTES ONTO MY MACBOOK/EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE AND I’M GETTING TIRED OF IT!!!!!! That was me yelling. Don’t think that’s going to happen because that will rob the iCloud of its ‘smuffy’ wisps and diminish its financial return. Oops, am I being cynical?!? No more than a 10MP camera with killer depth of field. A super fast kick-butt processor or, four, so that the app community can continue to build mind-numbing apps. And, finally a Holodeck button – always wanted my own Holodeck – so I can vanquish a few Orcs while I’m King of Tatooine in real, simulated life!!! Am I an Apple Geek or what? I can wish for it, no?

TheAppWhisperer.com…

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Copyright Image – ‘The Deconstruction Of Man’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, SimplyHDR, Dynamic Light, Lensflare, Blender & Iris

 

JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

RV – Well, I think your Meme is the cutest I’ve seen!

Truthfully, though, you are the new force in reporting on the Appaholic World in real-time and, pretty please, continue serving us your amazing Kool-Aid because we love it and, we love you!

;->.}

JC – Oh Rudy, thank you so much for the compliment. We love your iPhone photography very much indeed, it is stunning and we believe our readers will agree with us on this too.

Contact Details For Rudy

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Copyright Image – Rudy Vogel – ‘The Queen Of The Solarian Empire’ – Apps used: Decim8, TinyPlanets, Pictureshow, PicGrunger, Scratchcam, Blender & Iris

 

If you would like to contact Rudy. Please email him here – rudynvogel@gmail.com

You can also follow or contact Rudy on Twitter - @rnvogel

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About Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of TheAppWhisperer.com. A Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Photography. Joanne is also a Columnist for Vogue Magazine and is Contributing Editor to LensCulture.