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 Geri Centonze. We previously interviewed Geri in our A Day In The Life Series of Interviews, if you missed that, you can read it here.
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
© Geri Centonze – ‘At the Beach’ – ProCamera, Snapseed, Sketch Club
JC – How did you get started in photography?
GC – I purchased my first camera when I was in high school back in the 1970’s. I loved the candid images that a fellow student was taking for our school newspaper and purchased a Konica 35mm camera from J.C. Penney’s. It took me a year to pay it off in monthly payments! I followed my parents and dog wherever they went snapping one photo after another. I remember entering a sunset photo in a contest with the Los Angeles Times. I married, had two sons and although I owned that camera until 1990, it was used mainly for family photos.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Beach Hike’ – ProCamera, Painteresque, PS Express, A+ Signature
JC – Who and what are your influences?
GC – People are fascinating to me, so any chance I get I try and capture them going about their everyday lives. I find this much more interesting than a posed photograph. For four years I was a sci-fi sketch card artist, so when I can, I like to incorporate a painterly feel to my edited images.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Big Brother’ – ProCamera, Camera Flash, iColorama, Snapseed, Sketch Club
JC – What draws you to the subjects you seek?
GC – Half the fun of street photography is getting the image while staying undetected maybe it’s the challenge! I also capture images with the intent of seeing what I can do with them artistically later.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Costco Crew’ – ProCamera, Camera Flash, Dramatic Black & White, Sketch Club, PS Express, Snapseed
JC – What is it about these subjects that you want to capture/communicate and ultimately convey in your images?
GC – The beauty in everyday life and in every person. Sometimes as I’m editing an image, it tells me a story and then I continue the edit along those lines.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Girl Talk’ – ProCamera, Snapseed, PS Express
JC – How did you ‘settle’ on this subject?
GC – As an artist, I’ve always been drawn to faces, so perhaps that has extended into my love of photographing people. But I don’t want to limit myself to just one subject or style. It’s all about experimenting and creating.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Joy’ – ProCamera, Simply Black & White, Snapseed, Sketch Club
JC – Is there another are/subject that you would like to explore, if so, what and why?
GC – An area I’d like to explore would be to offer painterly portraits for sale to customers either using images I shoot or images they would provide for me.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Last Night of Summer’ – ProCamera, IrisPhotoSuite, AutoPainter2, Sketch Club
JC – Which photographers (not necessarily mobile photographers) do you most admire and why?
GC – Unfortunately, I’ve never had any schooling in photography, so I’m pretty ignorant in that area. I am drawn to gritty, black and white images. I will credit Karen L. Messick for getting me interested in the whole mobile art movement. I happened on her blog a few months ago. Her painterly images caught my eye and I’ve been hooked ever since. Although I purchased my iPhone in 2011 I didn’t start my iPhoneography journey until July of this year!
© Geri Centonze – ‘Phone Break’ – ProCamera, PhotoStudio FX, Magic Hour
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?
GC – Yes, discretion is key. Once someone is aware of the camera, their expression changes and they begin to pose. The fun is in the hunt for the right subject and then the capture of that perfect image. I’ve yet to capture a “perfect” one yet, but that’s what makes it a challenge!
© Geri Centonze – ‘Portrait of a Man in Sunglasses’ – ProCamera, Artist’s Touch, Sketch Club, Snapseed
JC – Tell us about your photographic technique – do you rely on intuition or do you believe in a more formal/trained approach?
GC – Intuition plays a big part in my life in general, so that naturally extends to my photography. My thought is that if I find it interesting perhaps others will as well.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Portrait of a Man Reading’ – ProCamera, Artist’s Touch, Iris Photo Suite, Snapseed
JC – How has your photography evolved?
GC – When I was younger I wasn’t bold enough to try my hand at street photography, so I limited myself to photographing landscapes, family and friends. With the invention of the iPhone, a long dormant passion has been rekindled. Its portability and size has allowed me to become more adventurous.
All For One
© Geri Centonze – ‘Santa Monica Beach’ – ProCamera, Vintique, Glaze, Image Blender, PS Express, PerfectPhoto
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?
GC – I do shoot for myself, but I also shoot to share with others. The friends I’ve met on Instagram, for example have been very supportive as well as being excellent teachers. Photographers seem to be a very sensitive group of souls and I’m humbled and honored to be among them!
© Geri Centonze – ‘She Pretended to be interested in the Tales of Their Day’ – ProCamera, Photo Power, Pixlr-o-matic
JC – Do you take risks with photographs, push boundaries? If yes, please give examples, if no, why not, would you like to?
GC – Pushing boundaries in general is not my style, but I would like to expand my work with more fantasy pieces created by combining images.
© Geri Centonze – ‘In times of trouble she turned her eyes toward heaven’ – ProCamera, BlurFX, Pixlromatic, Snapseed, Decim8, Sketch Club
JC – What is your favorite picture, of your own and why?
GC – I really like a recent image of a woman I spotted at Ikea. As I began the edit, she looked more and more saintly to me and the caption for the completed piece reads, “In times of trouble she turned her eyes toward heaven.”
© Geri Centonze – ‘Silhouette of a Woman’ – ProCamera, Pencil FX, Magic Hour
JC – Do you get emotionally involved with your photography?
GC – Very! My adrenaline begins to surge when I see a person or scene that I find compelling. My thought is, “will I be able to capture what I’m feeling through this photograph.”
© Geri Centonze – ‘Star Struck’ – ProCamera, Dramatic Black & White, Sketch Club, Process, PS Express, Snapseed
JC – Does your life become entwined with your subjects?
GC – I feel fortunate to have captured a random moment in their lives. Sometimes I wish I knew who they were so I could share it with them.
Post Production (processing)
© Geri Centonze – ‘Strolling Santa Monica’ – SlowShutter, Procamera, SketchClub, PS Express, Snapseed, A+ Signature
JC – Do you have a special post-processing style?
GC – I treat each image differently. Once I view it, an image begins to tell me something and the editing process goes forward from that point. The same thing used to happen to me when I was drawing sketch cards. People often commented that I captured not only the image but the soul of a person. That always touched me very deeply!
Tips For Processing
© Geri Centonze – ‘The Confidante’ – ProCamera, Snapseed
JC – Do you have any tips for processing?
GC – Become familiar with the apps you have and learn about their capabilities. Experiment and find combinations that you like. Ask other photographers about their process I find most are willing to share. Also record the apps you use so you can have a “recipe” for recreating a certain style.
© Geri Centonze – ‘The Reader’ – ProCamera, NoirPhoto, Dramatic Black & White, Simply HDR, Filterstorm, Blur FX
JC – Do you have a digital workflow system to sort your images, if so what is it?
GC – I photograph everything with my iPhone 4S. I then transfer them using Photo Transfer App or DropBox to my iPad. I work on one image at a time until it’s completed and then it gets uploaded to Instagram or my blog and saved to my PC. All unedited photos stay on my iPad for future work.
© Geri Centonze – ‘Waiting Room’ – ProCamera, Snapseed
JC – How do you think photography has changed over the years?
GC – With film cameras, I was always hesitant to shoot a lot of images because film and processing were expensive. Now with the digital age, you can shoot as many as you like and just sort through them later. Since owning an iPhone and purchasing the various apps, I’ve abandoned my DSLR and Photoshop edits. There are probably photographers who would never consider replacing their traditional camera for an iPhone, but it’s a natural evolution that I gladly welcome.
35 mm Film Days
© Geri Centonze – ‘Washing Machine Reflection’ – ProCamera, Simply Black & White, Sketch Club, Snapseed, Vintique
JC – As a mobile photographer you’re at the cutting edge of technology, do you ever hanker for the 35mm film days?
GC – No, I don’t for all of the reasons I mentioned above. I am eager to see what the future brings and what’s in store for the mobile art movement.
Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article
© Geri Centonze – ‘Woman with Decorated Wheelchair’ – ProCamera, Artist’s Touch, Sketch Club, PS Express, Iris Photo Suite, Pic Grunger
Dramatic Black & White
Iris Photo Site
Photo Studio FX