Welcome to another new series of interviews and insights that we are running on theappwhisperer.com. This new section, entitled, Extension Of The I, goes deeper into the photographic aspects of mobile photography. It delves into the lives and thoughts and influences that our artists experience from their photography. No other mobile photography website reaches the depths and emotions of the mobile photographers as we do in this new series of interviews.
We think you’re going to enjoy this, a lot. Today, we are featuring Fernando Prats, we recently interviewed Fernando in our A Day In The Life Series of interviews, if you missed that you can read it here. Fernando researches photography, design, poetry, music, video and other disciplines, the word and its representations.
He is the Creative Director of Estudi Prats and YSE magazine and the author of countless short stories and poetry books. Fernando’s photographic work has been published in numerous magazines, exhibitions and websites.
Each image is titled with the apps used to create it in sequential order. You can find all the links the the apps mentioned at the end of this article.
Check out the full interview below.
(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘Extension Of The I’ section, just send an email to Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up).
First Things First…
©Fernando Prats – ‘Imaginary People – Kali’ – Apps used – SlowShutter, Iris Photo Suite, ScratchCam, Snapseed
JC – How did you get started in photography?
FP – Although as a kid I had access to my grandmother’s Kodak EK160 as well as other compact cameras, I was more actively involved in music and literature, on one hand, and in seeing as much cinema as possible, on the other. Years later I got interested in design and in seeing as much painting as possible. I just started dedicating seriously to photography when my daughter was born. I studied on my own and won some contests that allowed me to eagerly jump from Sony to Fuji to Casio to Canon to Nikon. At some intermediate point I started getting interested in architecture and video, I got hold of a lot of compact cameras from the late 80’s as well as a Lomography one. I still keep most of those cameras.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Imaginary People – Ray’ – Apps used – SlowShutter, Iris Photo Suite, Grungetastic, ScratchCam, Photoforge2, Blender, Snapseed
JC – Who and what are your influences?
FP – I feel influenced by what surrounds me and that includes hair-raising daily news, absurd comments and routine publications in social networks, music-films-books-exhibitions I get involved with at any time, and other preoccupations of a philosophical kind or nature, if you will.
Undoubtedly, some artists I am influenced by and interested in are Miles Davis, Gilles Deleuze, Juan Carlos Onetti, Antoni Tàpies, Helmut Newton, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Nouvel, Joan Fontcuberta, David Carson, David Lynch, Astor Piazzolla, Antonin Artaud or David Cronenberg. I’m interested in those that, knowing the means and its conditions of production, question and subvert it creating a discourse of their own, often transdisciplinary.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Imaginary Portraits – Bernat’ – Apps Used – SlowShutter, Iris Photo Suite, Grungetastic, PaintFx, ScratchCam, Noir
JC – What draws you to the subjects you seek?
FP – Curiosity. I honestly don’t believe as much in inspiration as in, as Roberto Arlt said, the prepotence of work.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Imaginary Portraits – Victor’ – Apps Used – SlowShutter, Iris Photo Suite, Grungetastic, PaintFx, ScratchCam, Noir
JC – What is it about these subjects that you want to capture/communicate and ultimately convey in your images?
FP – I try to convey certain ideas and concepts in an open way, so that they can be read in more than one sense. Mobile photography, as any emerging art form, reproduces the clichés of an era: casual snapshots of pet or photographer’s feet, lomo-style filters, the supposed quest for stories-in-place-of-images, new gurus for the new religion, manuals and recipes for doing well in the new medium… There is a certain air of reductionism and, in a way, ‘successism’ when what is under discussion are particular techniques to achieve particular results. What would I want to have thousands of followers in Instagram for? Is that important? Do I have anything to say to those people besides “thank you”? Because, what happens when comments come devoid of any thought and turned into a transaction (a wow-wow comment)? Maybe this is the raison d’être for groups of ephemeral favor exchange.
I feel closer to the production of poetic images in a wide sense.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Instaicons’ – Apps Used – 6×6, Noir
JC – How did you ‘settle’ on this subject?
FP – Instinctively.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Intervencion Suave’ – Apps Used – 6×6, Instant110, Snapseed
JC – Is there another are/subject that you would like to explore, if so, what and why?
FP – Yes, I like thinking about the relationship of belonging of an image towards others. To this effect I piece together different series of works, for them to play together (¡)
©Fernando Prats – ‘ITTV’ – Apps used – Booster!, Film Lab, iColorama, Lo-Mob, Snapseed
JC – Which photographers (not necessarily mobile photographers) do you most admire and why?
FP – The late Cecil Beaton, Ger Dekkers, Philippe Halsman, Edward Weston, Walde Huth, Erika Kiffl, Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Man Ray, Irving Penn, Alexander Rodtchenko, Karl Hugo Schmölz. I like their compositional rigor, their precision in framing, their imagination and a certain subtle irony.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Lioness scratches’ – Apps Used – MPro, ScratchCam
JC – Henri Cartier-Bresson is in many ways, the Godfather of street photography, even in the 1930’s he enjoyed using a small camera for discretion in order to capture people and tell a story – do you feel this way regarding mobile photography?
FP – Yes, absolutely. The possibility to pass unnoticed in itself can generate a different discourse, from street photography to indoor spaces and the spontaneity of the gesture. It is a great added value.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Look upple’ – Apps used – Procamera, Snapseed
JC – Tell us about your photographic technique – do you rely on intuition or do you believe in a more formal/trained approach?
FP – I like to compose my images in the moment and not needing to cut them out or reframe them with hindsight. Yes, I can easily become an obnoxious companion for a walk.
All For One…
©Fernando Prats – ‘Looking for meat on Saturday night’ – Apps used – Camera+, Phototoaster, PhotoFX by Tiffen
JC – Many of the great photographers, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier Bresson described only shooting images for “themselves”do you see this attitude with mobile photographers?
FP – No, I think mobile photography and its peak are closely linked to sharing via social platforms. Its immediateness masks it powerful, even as a work instrument and documentation tool. Suffice it to see the recent acknowledgement received by Damon Winter and Ben Lowy for their series taken with Hipstamatic in Afghanistan and Lybia, or Dan Chung’s Olympics images for The Guardian.
©Fernando Prats – ‘One possible opinion about an online course’ – Apps used – Cameramatic, Snapseed
JC – How has your photography evolved?
FP – I have never felt particularly attracted by photojournalism nor hyperrealism in any of their aspects, what the discovery of iPhone meant for me was, and is, an unconceivable opening-up to a whole range of creative possibilities.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Permanent decline or welfare state’ – Apps used – Camera+, Instant110, Snapseed
JC – Do you take risks with photographs, push boundaries? If yes, please give examples, if no, why not, would you like to?
FP – I think so. Venturing with new apps into capturing a moment which is irrepressible by definition, may become an expedition as rewarding as fruitless. I mean capturing what one decides to capture, and not whatever-comes-out (unless we take the challenge via NoFinder!). In the moment of edition it is also possible, fun and sometimes desirable, to achieve a random result, most of all when we choose to move away from those tools we know the best to dive into the seas of the unpredictable. Didn’t a part of the charm of analogical photography rely on that required wait before seeing the results of the completed roll, with its own share of randomness?
©Fernando Prats – ‘Radiography of a metropolis… day night’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Photoforge2, Pop!Cam, Snapseed, Squaready
JC – What is your favorite picture, of your own and why?
FP – One of my deconstructed self-portraits? I don’t know if I have any favorite… I guess those that hold best through time, but when time is measured in such tiny fractions it is difficult to gain some perspective from within the maelstrom.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Self-Portrait at 10’ – Apps used – Chromocam, Photoforge2, Pop! Cam
JC – Do you get emotionally involved with your photography?
FP – Probably anxious and obsessive. My mood during edition is what determines the final aspect of the pieces. Some of them sleep and wait in the camera roll for months.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Sinatra’s around’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, CAMERAtan, DXP
JC – Does your life become entwined with your subjects?
FP – Only tangentially and in come shared scenarios and situations, such as the “Summertime” series.
©Fernando Prats – ‘Summerfugue’ – Apps used – 645Pro, Pixlromatic+, Snapseed
JC – Do you have a digital workflow system to sort your images, if so what is it?
FP – Before edition, I check the images I like on my iPad via Streaming Photos and on PhotoSize, I copy the content of the roll into Camera Uploads in Dropbox, and they are instantly downloaded to the Streaming Photos folder in a Windows 7 notebook. I download the selected ones on a iMac folder and, whenever I need it, I transfer them from one device to another via PhotoSync.
Post Production (Processing)…
©Fernando Prats – ‘Talking through the day talking’ – Apps Used – Camera+, Missoni Art, Phototoaster
JC – Do you have a special processing style?
FP – I like mixing and alternating- what I know how it will turn out with what I have no idea how it will result. On some occasions, it starts from a ludicrous frenzy to arrive at a concept.
Tips For Processing…
©Fernando Prats – ‘Tapiado’ – Apps used – ProCamera, CropSuey, Photoforge2, Pop!Cam
JC – Do you have any tips for processing?
FP – Working at maximum resolution (and pushing developers towards that direction. In fact, I have put aside three folders with resolution-lowering apps, some of them quite dear, like Noir or Iris) and checking the results in larger screens, such as on an iPad or desktop computer.
©Fernando Prats – ‘The ambiguous question of straightness’ – Apps used – Mattebox, Pixlromatic+, Snapseed
JC – How do you think photography has changed over the years?
FP – The transition from painting to black and white photography, from this to color, from analogical film to digital DSLR and the introduction and spreading of mobile photography have been the great stages and moments for questioning the established knowledge. We are in the middle of one of those situations and it is exciting to experiment that.
35 mm Film Days…
©Fernando Prats – ‘The cup’- Apps used – 645Pro, PerfectlyClear, Phototoaster, iColorama S, Snapseed
JC – As a mobile photographer you’re at the cutting edge of technology, do you ever hanker for the 35mm film days?
FP – Definitely not. What I do like to use are last generation DSRL with the lens I deem suitable at any given moment. They are different pleasures and results that coexist and have no reason at all to exclude or phagocyte one another.
Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article…
©Fernando Prats – ‘Where … and/or When? – Apps Used – Camera+, Superimpose, Blender, Snapseed
Iris Photo Suite