Welcome to our very exciting interview column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled “A Day in the Life of…” is where we take a look at some hugely influential, interesting, newcomers as well as accomplished individuals in the mobile photography and art world… people that we think you will love to learn more about. This is our 136th interview of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.
Today we are featuring a highly accomplished mobile artist, photographer, author, educator, app developer and gallery owner, David Scott Leibowitz from New Jersey, USA. Leibowitz experience and expertise in the field of mobile photography and art knows no bounds.
Leibowitz explains the format for this interview, “Rather than pick a boring day, I’m going to pick a few days on vacation in Negril Jamaica, accompanied by the one and only iPhoneArtGirl (Meri Walker) to make this piece infinitely more interesting. Under these circumstances, I’m going to be using multiple apps to capture the experience”. You will love this!
If you would like to take part in our A Day in the Life interview series, please send an email to myself at Joanne@theappwhisperer.com and I will get back to you.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz
Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
Normally it’s coffee first, but Meri likes to sleep in, so I sneak out to shoot in some early light and to grab a few rays before the sun gets crazy hot.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz
Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
When I’m on vacation, I do want to get up and shoot but today, I also wanted to play with my favorite new toy, the OSMO Mobile iPhone stabiliser. After shooting some amazing video, I discovered a Long Exposure stills mode in the DJI camera app called “Lighttrial” that’s the bomb, so I shot a million of those. Here’s a few favs from the morning’s walk.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz
How did the transition from traditional artist to mobile artist develop?
Not sure if I’ve ever been a traditional anything. I just love visual exploration so my 35 mm stills were all blurry on purpose and my darkroom work was mainly compositing. I was an official Polaroid artist for over 12 years, Test magazine covers, PhotoExpo demo artist, Polaroid International Collection (Google SX70 art) and then discovered Photoshop 1.0 then Painter 1.0.
My transition to digital art was complete in 1991 and in 2008, on the day the app store opened, the day the Mobile Digital Art movement began, I was there. I built the app iPhone art gallery app, iCreated, with developer Andrew C. Stone in 2009, wrote the book “Mobile Digital Art” by Focal Press in 2013 and opened the art gallery, Mobile Digital Art & More in 2015.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz
Do you like to download new mobile photography and/or art apps regularly?
Is every day too regularly? I download apps to a fault.
Would you consider changing platforms and why?
If Apple starts producing weapons of mass destruction, I’ll consider it.
How often do you update your existing apps? What are your current favorites and what features do you look for in a new app?
Whenever my iPhone or iPad tell me I have 27 apps that need updating I try to do it…..
Specific to this Day in the Life article, here a few movies created on this trip using the iPhone 6 Plus, and the OSMO Mobile image stabiliser.
List of Video apps (all with links)
Time Piles – Unique live visual effects generator ( I was born to use Time Piles)
FilMic Pro– Great for general shooting, intuitive controls
DJI OSMO camera app– Designed to function with DJI OSMO Mobile hardware
Videon – friendly iPad video editor
iMotion– Timelapse/ Stop motion
Native Camera App- 4K Video, Slo-motion, Time lapse
Painted Cam – Moving painting, Glaze with motion and sound
imaengine – Painted video effects using imaengine algorithms
Diptic Video – Video collage
Roll World – Tiny Planet/ Rabbithole your video!
Frame Delay – Time shifting video recording (works on some older devices with older iOS)
Infinite Eye – Live Video Feedback generator
VideoFX Live – Just like it sounds
Action Movie – Fun on steroids
MadPad HD – Smule fun!
To see some of these apps in action, go to:
Photography (all with links)
Pro HDR – Requires a steady hand and multiple exposures, but worth it
Vivid HDR – Great run-and-gun captures for my style of iPhoneography
Long Expo Pro – awesome for motion capture blur/ sharpen controls
Hydra – shoot large file size images
Camera+ – Versatile shooter with built in macro
SeeThis – Hockney-esque collage right out of the box
360 – My new go to 360 app with the death of Photosynth
Magic Shutter – Capable camera with controllable blurry good times
Decim8 – somehow this glitch generator never gets old
DJI OSMO camera – unique long exposure modes, automated panoramic modes
Image editors (all with links)
iColorama – I have seen the light….there is nothing so fine as iColorama image editing
Procreate – I love this app for all things collage, invaluable tool
Snapseed – love the interface and the HDR algorithms
Leonardo – my old standby still does some great things
InsanoGraph – who doesn’t feel a little crazy lately?
Matter – an extra layer of crazy, crazy great!
PhotoViva – reminds me of Fractal Painter fun
Strip Design – you never know when you want to turn your life into a cartoon strip
‘RockPool Collage’ ©David Scott Leibowtiz – shot with ‘SeeThis’ edited with Snapseed and iColorama
Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot and why?
I loved shooting in Jamaica and shooting in Venice or Paris is magical, but iLove shooting in NYC because you can physically feel the energy of the city flowing through your body.
‘iPhoneArtGirl playing in the RockPool’ ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with native camera, edited with Snapseed and iColorama)
Where do you like to upload your photographs to Flickr, Instagram etc?
I have an archive on Flickr that does back to the old days, 2008…Ha Ha, but seriously, a lot of my Mobile Art friends migrated to Facebook and Instagram and lately I’ve been building my presence on Knox Bronsons’s new P1xels site which is quite elegant and should become a great place to hang my hat.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with DJI OSMO camera app/Panorama mode edited in Snapseed
Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with VividHDR, edited with Snapseed)
Do you like to use external hardware products with your mobile device for image and video capturing, such as lenses, tripods, external storage and battery packs?
I’ve been using the Exo lens system for over a year now and love it, but need to upgrade to their new Zeiss lenses. I use their wide angle lens constantly.
The OSMO Mobile stabiliser I recently purchased is a total game changer, facilitating unbelievably smooth camera movement to iPhone videos. A revolutionary device.
I also carry a zero lemon 20,000 mAh solar battery that keeps me juiced and a SanDisk 128 GB USB->iPhone flash drive to dump large files when that dreaded error message about low disk space appears.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with native camera, edited with Snapseed)
Do you edit images on your mobile devices or do you prefer to use a desktop or laptop computer?
I’ve been a Photoshop user since 1.0 and still use it for pre-press and printing, but significant image editing all happens on the iPhone or iPad.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with native camera, no edit)
Where do you envisage your mobile photography passion will take you? Have you been involved with exhibitions etc
OMG Joanne, you don’t have enough space here for me to answer this one. Let’s just say that this passion will take me to places that haven’t been invented yet and this uncertainty fuels the passion. I say that everything I’ve ever done artistically in my life has lead me to this magical moment and then, the moment changes. How beautiful!
I have been involved with exhibiting my Mobile art on-line and in the real world since 2009 and from 2015-2017 owned and operated the worlds first physical gallery dedicated to Mobile Digital Art, located in Boonton New Jersey. I closed the doors this past January and am now proceeding with our on-line endeavours and a traveling mobile gallery on wheels, maybe the subject of another piece.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with VividHDR, edited with Snapseed and iColorama)
Where do you see the future of mobile photography?
I see it dominating areas of photography and videography the way word processing eliminated print shops. In the past few years it has already replaced so many photographic institutions we’ve barely noticed.
I just conducted a Mobile Digital art event in Times Square and it was hard to spot anyone using a camera to take a photograph. Only phones. We are witnessing the evolution of photography, sped up by Mobile.
Video is another area mobile will dominate, replacing large, clunky, expensive recording devices. News gathering will become more democratic and personal, told by any bystander who can hold their phone steady.
I could write another book about this……
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with vividHDR, edited with Snapseed)
What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?
I don’t think there is one. I just see diversity in thought, spirit and execution.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with Camera+, edited in iColorama)
Do you think it is country Specific, are some nations more clued up?
I don’t see any boundaries and that’s why I know in my heart that the purity of this art movement is real. It’s about communication and beauty in the most universal way.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with vividHDR, edited with Snapseed and Tiny Planet)
If you could select a specification for a smartphone, what features would you select, photographically speaking?
Unlimited battery, unlimited storage, waterproof to 50 ft, Zeiss glass for the camera, optical zoom and macro capabilities for a start.
Photo ©David Scott Leibowitz (shot with vividHDR, edited with Snapseed and iColorama)
What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
Same team! No really, it’s important that this art movement have multiple curators and multiple sources for information, education and inspiration. She’s all that.
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