Welcome to our very exciting column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled “A Day in the Life of…” is where we take 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 our seventy eighth installment of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here. Today we are featuring Robert-Paul Jansen. Robert-Paul is a photographer based in Gemonde, a small village in the south of the Netherlands. He uses an Fujifilm X-Pro1 and iPhone 4 to capture the beauty around him. He is a firm believer that beauty can be found anywhere, you just have to be open for it to see it. ‘Tiny details can become single frame fairytales’, Robert-Paul Jansen.
His work has been featured on various websites and in magazines and has been exhibited all over the world including gallery exhibitions in London, San Francisco, Orlando, Rotterdam and Reno (Italy) for which he is very grateful and honored.
You can find all the links to the apps used or mentioned 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…
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Autumn Flight” – Apps: Camera+ and Cross Process
Joanne – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
Robert-Paul – When it’s a photo-taking-day (weekend), I get up before sunrise and go straight to the window to see what the weather will be like. I already checked the weather the night before, but you never know.. Great light is the most important thing in a photographers life. When it’s a good day I get up, take the dogs out for a walk and see what kind of light it really gives and check the sky for clouds. At that moment I decide where to go. It’s either a walk in the woods or a ride on the bike along the river De Dommel. My hope is always high for mist. I love wandering in the silence of mist.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “There Where Fairies Live” SF Edition – Apps: Hipstamatic, and Snapseed
Joanne – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
Robert-Paul – Absolutely. I love going out before there are other people and there is a larger chance to see wildlife like deer. The light is also very important, and it is at it’s best right after sunrise. The silence is such a beautiful thing, it inspires me even more to try and capture the beauty of the scene.
Photographer vs Mobile Photographer
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Caught in the Web” – Apps: Secretapp
Joanne – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhone photographer develop? (pardon the pun)
Robert-Paul – I started taking photos with the iPhone while walking the dog. That simple. I guess I saw something worthy of taking a photo of it. In that time I also won a copy of the great CrossProcess app through twitter and got second in a Hipstamatic contest. All in one month and I got hit by the iPhoneography-bug! After that I started making landscape photos with my dslr as well. I loved processing photos on the iPhone, so I uploaded those dslr photos to my iPhone and processed all on it.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Come Forward and Shine” – Apps: Secretapp
Joanne – Do you like to download new iPhoneography apps regularly?
Robert-Paul – I used to check the AppStore daily, or even multiple times a day, in pursuit for the perfect app. Nowadays I don’t do that anymore for two reasons. Photography has been one of the most popular sections in the appstore, so the AppStore is flooded with a lot of apps. Too many really. I also found the perfect app in an app I have been beta-testing since last summer. I have mentioned it before as #secretapp. It’s the perfect app for me in both capturing as processing. It really made me see it’s better to have just a few apps which you use heavily than having tens of apps on the iPhone. Last year vscocam came out as well, which I love using. I now have a great base of solid apps, so I lost the need to check the AppStore.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Come Forward and Shine” – Apps: Vsco Cam
Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?
Robert-Paul – I always update the apps on the iPhone immediately. Especially the photography apps have been improving significant lately, so I’m always eager to see what has been improved. I also have some apps in my iTunes which I check weekly for updates. You never see a high number on my AppStore icon badge.
Location, Location, Location…
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Cut By Light” – Apps: Vsco Cam
Joanne – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
Robert-Paul – To be honest I haven’t been that far shooting. Almost all my photos have been taken within a 10km radius of my home. I do like to shoot different environments, such as the beach last summer or whenever I go to France for the holidays. And I do have a lot of locations on my wish list such as the Highlands of Scotland, Iceland and Scandinavia. I love rough landscapes. But if it will ever come to this?
Tools Of The Trade…
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Everything Is So Fragile” – Apps: Camera+, VSCO Cam, and Filterstorm
Joanne – Do you also use iPhoneography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?
Robert-Paul – I had to Google that I actually use the Google Maps app a lot, to see where I am and what comes next, I take a lot of notes in Simplenote app or Google Drive. And I also check the weather with WeatherPro. But as I don’t go far from my home, I am familiar with the light. Returning to a interesting place is easy, so I’ll just write the location and the time or season I should return.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Full Snow” – Apps: Camera+ and Secretapp
Joanne – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhoneography apps?
Robert-Paul – My favorite app for both shooting and processing last months has been the #secretapp. This app is still in private beta but should be coming out within the next month or so.
My other favs are:
Shooting: Camera+, Hipstamatic
Processing: Cross Process and VSCOcam to start with (filter) and finishing with either Snapseed or Filterstorm
I do have some other apps on my phone, but I use them less. These are apps like ShakeItPhoto, Afterglow, Bracketmode, ProHDR, AvgCamPro and Autostitch.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Pearls Web” (Golden Edition) – Apps: Camera+ and Secretapp
Joanne – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
Robert-Paul – I upload my mobile photography to Instagram (@robertpauljansen). I downloaded Instagram on day one it came out, but I’ve had a hard time getting used to it, even deleted my account once. I re-joined a few months ago and have been happy with it ever since. I have ‘met’ some extremely talented people through it.
The best of my mobile photography and my Fuji X-Pro1 photos go to my flickr account. I have been really happy with the latest flickr iOS app. Not only because it’s a solid app, but it restored trust in Flickr for me. From flickr they go to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
I am setting up a new blog at the moment where I will be posting my photosets and blog posts.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Swamped” – Apps: Lomora
Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?
Robert-Paul – No, especially in fall/winter I mostly shoot Sunday mornings only. I have a busy job and young children, so I have little time. In summer sometimes I go out after work and get some sunset photos. But, I am a morning shooter really.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “The Beginning of Something Beautiful” – Apps: Camera+, Cross Process and Snapseed
Joanne – What are your favorite subjects?
Robert-Paul – I love trees. Trees can be either young and fresh, spooky or tall and impressive. To me they are the statues of nature. I love nature and I like to show the beauty surrounding me. Nothing beats a walk through the woods on a misty morning.
Top Five Tips…
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Twin Trees” – Apps: Camera+ and Secretapp
Joanne – What are you top five tips for iPhoneography?
Robert-Paul – I rather just let people find their own way, learn though trial and error, but here are a few.
1. Take lots of photos and delete lots of photos. (I am a sparsely shooter myself, but I know I get more good photos when I take more photos.I just can’t go through all these photos afterwards.)
2. Before you leave the house, open and close all the shooting apps you want to use, so they are easily accessed by double clicking the home button. Or put them all in one folder on your dock. So you can concentrate on the surroundings.
3. Play with light. Don’t open a camera and push. Look at what happens when you play with focus and exposure, think about the composition. Play with these and get to know the camera and light. Take your time.
4. Don’t over-process unless you mean to do so. Don’t think iPhone photos need it to stand out. Great photos are not made while processing. They are made while practicing tip 3 ;).
5. Don’t try to copy your iphoneography / photography hero. Create your own style and stick with it.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Unendless” – Apps: Camera+ and Simply B&W
Joanne – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
Robert-Paul – I always used to process all photos on my iPhone. At the moment I process iPhone photos on my iPhone and my Fuji photos in Lightroom 4, and that works for me. Both have their own benefits. I am no purist or something like that, it just works for the moment.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Vanishing Trees”- Apps: Camera+, Afterglow and Lomora
Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?
Robert-Paul – No, no other than the regular video from my kids when they are acting crazy. I never process those.
The Future of Mobile Photography…
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Walk Into the Light” – Apps: Lomora
Joanne – Where do you see the future of iPhoneography?
Robert-Paul – A few years ago, people didn’t believe I used my iPhone to take photos. No one really used the camera on their phone. Nowadays it’s a totally different world. I see so many people using the iPhone as a camera on holidays, in the zoo, etcetera. They even use iPads. The first cameras with apps have arrived. I see people jumping to Samsung or Nexus. A lot happing last months. I really think the world of mobile photography will keep changing and growing. Apps will be very important but the manufacturers of phone cameras will keep changing.
Having a camera with you all the time has changed the way we see the world. Photography has become very important in our (online) lives. I really hope people will start seeing the beauty of their surroundings and will care more about it.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Weeping Summer” – Apps: Camera+ and VSCO Cam
Joanne – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhoneography?
Robert-Paul – I really don’ t think there is A most important area in iPhoneography / Mobile Photography. It just depends where you look for photos. I think there is more nature on Instagram, and more street photography on Eyeem and more iPhonic art on iPhoneart for instance. And the world of iPhoneography / Mobile Photography has grown so large that a lot of subforms has been formed.
Where In The World?
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Water Grass” – Apps: Hipstamatic
Joanne – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
Robert-Paul – Nope. At least not in the developed world.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “Mystic” – Apps: Lomora and Snapseed
Joanne – What are your first impressions of the iPhone 5?
Robert-Paul – I haven’t used or even seen the iPhone 5 yet, I still use the iPhone 4 and I am still happy with it.
© Robert-Paul Jansen – “If Only All Days Could Be Like This” – Apps: Camera+ and Autostitch
Joanne – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
Robert-Paul – What I love about theappwhisperer is that she is on top of mobile photography. Joanne is professional and right in the middle of news, new apps and tips. The choices on the weekly Flickr group showcase are great but, like some others, I prefer watching the choices as photographs and being at the steering wheel;. You, Joanne, are doing a great job!
Joanne – Thank you Robert-Paul for this great interview and your valuable feedback. Just in case you weren’t aware, all the images in our Flickr group showcases can be viewed as stills on the photographers Flickr page by clicking on their name in our intro paragraph of the showcase – just in case you prefer to view it that way.