A Day In The Life Of ...,  News

A Day In The Life Of Johnny Ecko aka Squarepixel – An iPhone Photographer Tremendously Talented With An Expert Eye For Art

Welcome to our very exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and this is where we’ll be taking 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 the thirty-third installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Today, we are featuring Johnny Eck aka Squarepixel. Johnny was born in 1969 and has three children; twins 9 years old (a boy and a girl), and a boy 7 years old. He has recently divorced, but has lived a little over a year together with another iPhonographer: Lene Basma aka son3nne (they grew up together, and were high school sweethearts at 14/13). We interviewed Lene in our A Day In The Life Of article recently, and you can read that here. They live in Norway, out in the country, 50 km outside of Oslo…

Professionally, Johnny is an educated Multi Media Designer. Additionally he has worked with stage lighting for the National Theatre in Norway and several independent theatre and dance companies. His education in photography has been discontinuous; having discovered photography at an early age, including doing his own work in the darkroom from the age of 15, then working as an assistant in fashion photography in his 20s, and lately working at making photography part of my livelihood.

Johnny started seriously with iPhoneography in the winter of 2011, as a consequence of getting to know Lene (who had been active for some time before that). In the beginning there were some resistance on his part, mainly he felt because of the resolution and the inability to control the depth of field. Lately, he has rediscovered his passion for working with collages (which he previously did in PhotoShop) and the iPhone has become a more and more important tool and medium for his artistic expression.

Check out the full interview below…

We have included the app or apps that were used to create the final image, and 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 as well as accessories used.

You can find all the links 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 [email protected], and we’ll get it set up.)

First Things First…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘AGENDI EST DI CONBIBIT’ – Apps used – Diptic, Photoforge2 and Iris

JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?

JE – I suffer from insomnia, so usually my partner wakes me up at 11:00 with a cup of coffee.

Magic Hour…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘DELIRUS’ – Apps used – Image Blender

JC – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?

JE – Sometimes, but mostly I like to take pictures in the afternoon. I love the light right before and under the sunset.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘DIFFERENTIA ESSE’ – Apps used – Noir, Image Blender, Photocopier

JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop?

JE – I have been a passionate photographer (SLR, DSLR) since I was 15. In 2010, right before I meet my life companion, Lene Basma, I bought an iPhone 4 and started to shoot minimal photos (one of my big fascinations) with it. After I met Lene (aka son3nne), she introduced me to iPhoneography and also the apps…

New Apps…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘FUGERE PAPILIO’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Photocopier

JC – Do you like to download new mobile photography apps regularly?

JE – Not really, perhaps because I have been photographing for almost 25 years AND I have an education as a multimedia designer; I know what I want to do, what I want to express, so I am rather picky about the apps I choose to use (in many ways Lene functions as my beta tester 🙂 – but the way I work, I do not really need that many apps, Blender, PhotoForge2, Diptic, Noir, PhotoCopier and ModernGrunge, they do the trick for me.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘IN LOQUENTES LOCUS’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Photocopier, ScratchCam

JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

JE – As soon as they are available.

Location, Location, Location…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘LAPIDEM IN FOCUS’ – Apps used – Photo forge 2, Diptic, Noir, Blender, Photocopier

JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?

JE – In the city, scrap yard or in the nature.

Tools Of The Trade…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘OSCULA’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Noir and Photocopier

JC – Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?

JE – No.

Favorite Apps…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘PAPILIONES ALAS’ – Apps used – Face Melter, Noir, Photoforge 2, Image Blender, Modern Grunge

JC – What are your favorite mobile photography apps currently?

JE – Referring to my answer above, at the moment my favorite apps are Noir, Blender, PhotoCopier, Diptic, PhotoForge2 and Modern Grunge.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘PLANETAE PISCES’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Photocopier

JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?

JE – I upload my work to Facebook, Flickr and IPA. I am also proud to have been chosen to get my work published at iPhoneogenic, LifeinLoFi and www.pixelatanexhibition.com.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘POPULUS, CIRCULI ET PLAGIS’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Rollage

JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

JE – Mostly yes.

Favorite Subjects…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘PORTRAIT OF AN IPHONEOGRAPHER’ – Apps used – Image Blender

JC – What are your favorite subjects?

JE – Photo scraps (pieces that I use for my collages), minimal, nature and people.

Top Five Tips…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘SENTIO’ – Apps used – Noir, Image Blender, Modern Grunge

JC – What are you top five tips for mobile photography?

JE – Observe, shoot, read tutorials, look at the work of others and find your way.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘SERVARE IPS’ – Apps used – Noir, Image Blender, Photocopier, Modern Grunge

JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?

JE – I always edit on my iPhone4.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘SOMNIARE PER MEDIA’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Noir and Photocopier

JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

JE – Yes, but only watching others work. I am an educated multimedia designer, so I do prefer to work in FinalCutPro.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘SOPHOS’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Iris, Modern Grunge

JC – What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?

JE – Street and nature.

Where In The World…?


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘STELLA NATUS’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Modern Grunge

JC – Do you think it is country specific, are some nations more “clued up”?

JE – No, I think this is an international movement, and will continue to be.

iPhone 5…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘THEATER OF LIFE’ – Apps used – Noir, Image Blender, Modern Grunge

JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?

JE – An even better camera and better battery capacity.



Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘TIME PASSES’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Noir, Photocopier

JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com

JE – From our correspondence, I get the impression that Joanne, and with her, the www.appwhisperer.com is a platform committed to the scene.

Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article…


Copyright image – Johnny Ecko – ‘TIMELESS’ – Apps used – Image Blender, Iris

Face Melter
Image Blender
Modern Grunge

Upcoming Exhibition…



Both Johnny and Lene are hosting an exhibition on August 3, 2012 at the above address in Norway. This is their first exhibition and is sure to be fabulous.

Contact Details For Johnny


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]