Welcome to our exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com, this section is entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and we’ll be taking a look some hugely influential and interesting people in the mobile app world. Ones that we think you will love to learn more about.
This is our seventh installment to our new series, you can read the others here, if you have missed them so far. Kicking us off today is Janine Graff, a stay-at-home mom living in Redmond, WA. Janine is a unique iPhone photographer and not just because she prefers to edit her images in the bath but because her images appear to capture the unseen, she has an incredible eye and an incredible cross-processing ability.
In her spare time, Janine enjoys bellydancing, photography (of course), hiking with her bullmastiff, cappuccinos (dry), cheeseburgers, reading everything by Roald Dahl (his short stories for adults are chilling and haunting), and she’s been known to lie to her dentist.
Janine’s love of photography developed while using a DSLR and macro lens, but it was after turning to her iPhone that her true passion fully developed. Janine’s images have been exhibited in art galleries across the US and in London, and will be part of an upcoming juried exhibit at the IX Gallery in Toronto, Canada.
Check out the full interview below…
We have included exif data, in as much as the app or apps that were used to create the final image. As many of the images were cross processed we have listed the apps in the sequential order they were used in the editing process, we have also provided links for each app to the iTunes App Store, just incase you’re inspired enough to try them out for yourself.
(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A day in the life of …’ section, just send us an email and we’ll get it set up).
First Things First…
JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
JG – My day starts early at 4:45 or 5:45 am (depending on whether I go to the gym or not). I come from a long line of early risers so getting up early is no problem for me; it’s actually my favorite time of the day. I love a quiet, dark house. I’ll make a cappuccino (three in all), sit at my laptop to catch up on email, the various social network sites I belong to, and check in on some of my favorite blogs. After my “me” hour it’s down to taking care of business. I have two boys in school (one in 5th grade, one a senior in high school) and a demanding dog so mornings consist of making breakfast, packing lunch, making sure showers are taken and feeding the dog.
JC – When is your favorite part of the day for taking photographs, do you hanker for the magic hour or shoot whenever the opportunity arises?
JG – You know, I don’t really “head out” to take photographs and that’s actually something I’ve thought about incorporating into my day, or week. I rarely go looking for photographic opportunities; they usually come as a form of impulse, “Oh my gosh look at that! [fumbles frantically for iPhone]” I recently purchased a desktop studio; this small tent set up with small desktop spotlights. I’m looking forward to planning some photo shoots using it. I don’t have anything in mind yet, but that’ll be part of the fun.
Photographer vs iPhone Photographer…
JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhone photographer develop? (pardon the pun)
JG – I love puns, so it’s all good! The transition came about with the passing of seasonal flowers in the fall of 2010. I primarily shot with a Canon DSLR and a macro lens; my specialty was flowers. I couldn’t stop photographing them. In November of 2010 the last of the flowers faded and I found myself almost panic stricken! I started to literally become antsy over not having garden flowers to photograph. While in the grocery store one afternoon I noticed a glorious tulip display. I let out a sigh, retrieved my iPhone from my purse and snapped a Hipstamatic. I thought, “Hey, that was fun, and store management didn’t even notice!” I used to get scolded by store management when I would take photos with my DSLR from inside the store. Ever since that afternoon I’ve been shooting pretty much exclusively with my iPhone, it’s just so addicting!
JC – Do you like to download new iPhone photography apps regularly?
JG – Oh yes very much! I’m always on the lookout for a new editing app to try out. What’s funny is I usually go back to using the handful I’ve had since the beginning.
JC – How often do you update your existing apps?
JG – I confess that I am HORRIBLE with routine maintenance, in all aspects of my life (my car needs an oil change, I need a physical, my furnace needs service, just to name a few). Recently my husband looked at my phone and said, “You have 27 updates!” Hmmm . . . maybe that’s the reason why some of my apps keep crashing on me? I should probably update them. 😉
Location, Location, Location…
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Diners’ – Hipstamatic (Tejas lens / Float film)
JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
JG – I can tell you that I would LOVE a do-over of my trip to Venice! I was there in the summer of 2010 and solely shot Venice (and Florence and Rome) with my DSLR. I reflect back, knowing what I know now about the iPhone, and would give anything for a second chance. Someday. As far as locally I absolutely love taking photos of carnival rides! Actually any activity outdoors makes for a great opportunity.
Tools Of The Trade…
JC – Do you also use iPhone photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?
JG – I confess that I had never heard of this until now. Of course I had to go check it out, see what I’m missing! Not sure if I would use something like that; I’m more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal. 😉
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Geometry for the Mathematically Impaired’ – Iris Photo Suite
JC – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhone photography apps?
JG – I am a diehard fan of ScratchCam, first and foremost. Other apps I use most regularly and/or favorites are Squaready (great for taking out an unwanted border on a Hipstamatic shot), Camera+, Iris Photo Suite, King Camera, Hipstamatic, Snapseed, BlurFX and Juxtaposer.
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Harold & Alexander’ – Hipstamatic (Tejas lens / Float film)
JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
JG – Flickr and IPA are the two websites I upload my images to. I’m working on getting a personal website up, so that will be another place I’ll upload. I do have an Instagram account, but I have my profile set to private and only one girlfriend has access to it (and her private account only visible to me). I / we use it as a visual diary of sorts and very, very rarely are the images worthy of upload for the public to see. I mean, who wants to see a photo of piles of dirty laundry I took as a joke? Not sure there’s enough app’ing one can do to make that artful? 😉
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Let Your Hair and Shoelaces Fly’ – ScratchCam
JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone every day?
JG – In the beginning I absolutely did. I don’t know if I’m becoming burned out a bit, or maybe I’m in a slump, but I certainly do not shoot every day like I used to. I think part of my problem is I’m actually burned out on my surroundings. I’ve lived in the Seattle area for 24 years now and I’m feeling the need for a change of scenery. Someplace really different would be nice!
JC – What are your favorite subjects?
JG – Definitely carnival rides are way up on my favorite subject list. I really love to shoot anything: flowers, coffee, people, anything with texture, shadows and light, etc. My compositions have a tendency to turn out whimsical in a way, so I definitely gravitate towards certain subject matter that provides a good basis for a surreal feel or sense of whimsy.
Top Five Tips
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Somewhere Around Nothing’ – Hipstamatic (John S lens / Ina’s 1969 film)
JC – What are you top five tips for iPhone photography?
JG – Good question! Now keep in mind, these are just my personal opinions. What works for me, or doesn’t work for me, may be the complete opposite for someone else; that’s my disclaimer. 😉
– If the light isn’t right, abort and move on. Oh the amount of time I’ve wasted trying to get a good shot in horrible lighting conditions.
– Make sure you have a strong composition to begin with. One could run a weak image through 10 different apps and in the end will not have created anything appealing if it doesn’t have a strong compositional structure to begin with (hence the reason why you will not see images of my piles of dirty laundry uploaded to Flickr).
– Shoot what you enjoy and stay true to yourself; have fun with it! Don’t create what you think the masses want to see; create for yourself.
– Sometimes less is more. I’ve looked at my own images months later and thought, “Now why did I overdo the processing on this?”
– Be selective of what you put out there for the public to see. Just because we live in a world where within moments you can shoot an image, app it and then have it uploaded to multiple platforms, still be selective. More is just more; quality I believe is what we should strive for. Take your time and enjoy the process. If an image isn’t working for you then set it aside and come back to it later, or try a different image altogether . . . or do some laundry.
JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
JG – I take and edit all my mobile images on my iPhone. My favorite place to edit is while in the bathtub. It’s nice and peaceful in a tub full of bubbles; really gets the creative juices flowing!
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘She Played Pretty Music’ – Hipstamatic (Tejas lens / Float film)
JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?
JG – I haven’t done much in way of videography on the iPhone. I did shoot one video of me singing (horribly) in the bathtub (that’s on my Flickr stream btw if anyone is glutton for punishment). 😉 I shot that video with the 8mm app and I would definitely like to do some more in the future.
The Future Of iPhone Photography…
JC – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?
JG – As more and more people discover the joys of shooting and editing their images on the iPhone (or any mobile device) I believe there will be more of an acceptance for this art form; it will become more legitimate. I believe (and hope) there will be more opportunities for gallery exhibits and for print, especially since the technology just keeps getting better and better.
JC – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhone photography?
JG – Right now it looks like the most popular area of iPhone photography is collages. It blows my mind the images that are created by taking several bits of different images and turning them into one wonderful piece of art. I find collages really challenging so I really appreciate a well-executed collage.
Where In The World…?
Copyright Image, Janine Graff – ‘Let’s Go Free’ – PicGrunger
JC – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
JG – Hmmmm . . . no I don’t believe so. Although I must say it does appear that a lot of amazing / interesting stuff comes from Japan. Ooh, I cannot ignore Italy either. I have many Flickr contacts in Italy and their work is really breathtaking.
JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?
JG – I hope for a longer battery life in the 5! I burn through my battery something fierce and recently ended up buying an external battery pack / case, which is somewhat heavy and adds bulk. Of course it goes without saying that an even better camera would be cool, but I have no complaints with the current 4s camera; anything better would just be icing on the cake!
JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
JG – I am so thankful for another platform for which to learn from. When you think about it, considering how popular iPhone photography has become, it’s surprising there aren’t more websites dedicated to the iPhone photographer and their art. I think it’s really wonderful that you are providing us this support and opportunity to grow and learn from one another. So with that being said, thank you so much Joanne!