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 our forty first installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Today we are featuring Ale Di Gangi. Ale was born in Firenze (Italy) in January 1966 in a family where art has always been underrated though tangible thanks to relatives on both sides: musicians, painters and glass-makers of fame, architects, poets and so on.
After taking classical studies Ale took a University Degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature – specifically, he gained a degree in English Language & Literature and History of Cinema with a final discussion titled “For Sadist Only – The Hammer Horror Films and the British Gothic Tradition”.
Ale’s first multimedia exhibition/performance took place in Firenze in 1986 c/o the historic Pat-Pat Recorder Art center; the performance was videotaped by the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato. The video recording has since been stored in the museum archives.
In 2008 Ale directed the 3-minutes-long docufiction short movie titled “Investigation of citizens above all suspicions”. Since its release, the short was been screened at many international cinema Festivals earning audience appraisals and special mentions; it was also selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner in May 2009.
After blogging for quite a while in the “early days of blogging” and earning somewhat of a status on the then fresh national Italian “blogging scene”, Ale grew tired of the whole thing and above all became tired with expressing only through words; this coincided with his growing interest and passion for photography, so he decided to abandon blogging and open a Flickr account, where most of his photographic work can now be seen. Photography today is Ale’s favorite way to communicate with the world.
Ale’s images have been exhibited and published many times, in Italy and throughout the world (Berlin, New York, London, Berkley, Trieste, Firenze, Milano, Pistoia, Prato etc), while his own exhibition “The *possible* exhibition”, featuring real Polaroid shots and large-scale plexiglass reproductions, traveled various cities for 1 year between 2009 and 2010.
You can find all the links the the apps 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).
Check out the full interview below…
First Things First…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – ‘This here giraffe“ – Apps Used – Camera+, PictureShow
JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
ADG – I wake up a few minutes before the clock actually goes off at 7am and stumble to the bathroom; I check app updates on the App Store, then a shower helps me wake up, then I am off to the office where I work as a Content Specialist. Once there, my brain starts steaming and that is when my day actually starts: I often post the first photo of the day on Instagram before getting there or right after sitting on my chair.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Triple Couple” – Apps Used – PictureShow, TiltShiftGen, MillColour
JC – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
ADG – Every moment of the day is good for taking photographs, and I do like that too.
Photographer vs Mobile Photographer…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Swoosh Concrete” – Apps Used – CameraBag, TiltShiftGen
JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhoneographer develop? (pardon the pun).
ADG – I always had a very soft spot for lo-fi photography and have been a Lomographer for years. One day at the office a colleague showed me a photo (of me) taken with CameraBag; suddenly I realized there were apps for shooting decent stuff with the iPhone – a tool I had not even considered yet – and so I started looking around for infos and examples, apps, resolution details and so on. It clicked and fascinated me like crazy, just as it had happened before with Lomography, and there was no way back since then.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Patrizia” – Apps Used – FXPhotoStudio
JC – Do you like to download new iPhoneography apps regularly?
ADG – I dig it, I’m an addict. I try and keep myself as updated as possible to find out what’s new everyday. I love surprises, like what happened with Popsicolor. But I am also very selective, and before trying a new app I look up reviews and what other photographers are posting online to see if it’s worth it – and if it’s crap stuff or doesn’t offer a decent resolution, I ignore it.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Lo scopone scientifico” – Apps Used – PictureShow
JC – How often do you update your existing apps?
ADG – I run App Store updates every morning as soon as I get in the bathroom. First things first, hahaha! It’s the right routine to go through without needing to be too focused, I guess…
Location, Location, Location…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Foggy Suburban Theory” – Apps Used – CameraBag, XProcess
JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
ADG – I can’t say I have one. I shoot when I see it, and it can happen pretty much everywhere.
Tools Of The Trade…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “”Déshabillez-moi” – Apps Used – PictureShow
JC – Do you also use iPhone photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and if so do you use it to plan your shoots?
ADG – No I am too much an “impromptu” type to be able and deal with such tools; I guess some of them might help me with some discipline, though. I don’t plan, I can’t. If I do, everything “flattens”, it just makes me unable to see what’s there to shoot. It kills it for me.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi -“The Photoshooting Tourist Trilogy” (part 1) -Apps Used – PictureShow
JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
ADG – Flickr has been for years my favorite and only place in the whole Web; I have given up my bloggin habit because of it, and have learned everything there, millions of photos I have seen and countless group discussions helped me focusing massively on what I was/am doing; the Flickr community used to be the best ever, with such incredible talent producing incredible photos. Now all this is mostly gone and boring, both the community interaction and a huge part of the good photography, but I still keep Flickr as my main display window.
I have started doing a will exercise not to post there everyday and it feels like I’m on a detox plan! And then there’s Instagram, as I said, for my compulsory daily needs; I have started using 500px.com to see if it’s good for me for a more thought-out (and less compulsory) place to stay. As for “strictly mobile”, I also love being on EYEEM and iPhoneArt.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Monsieur Rémi prend son petit déjeuner” – Apps Used – Instagram (Earlybird effect)
JC – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhone photography apps?
ADG – Hipstamatic has come back in my preferences lately, all thanks to the Instagram integration, together they keep my daily compulsive shooting satisfied. I love the randomness Hipstamatic has to offer. Other than that, PictureShow is an old fave, then Snapseed, Iris, Grungetastic (I use that primarily for my naïve pop-art-sy experiments), PhotoForge2.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “And the Sky Still Stands” – Apps Used – Hipstamatic (Tejas Lens + DreamCanvas Film)
JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?
ADG – I do. Thanks to my iPhone, I don’t need to carry with me at least two analogue cameras as I used to for a few years.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “The title says it all” – Hipstamatic (Helga Viking Lens + DreamCanvas Film)
JC – What are your favorite subjects?
ADG – That’s like themes and recurring dreams to me. The first time they ask you “what are your recurring dreams?” you answer “none!”, then you stop and think it over and you realize you do have them indeed, and quite a lot. I like people since I am so curious about other’s lives and habits, and I like street and candid; I also like to do portraits even though I treat it in what I feel is almost non-portraiture; I am fascinated by skies, and this might be due to the fact that living in Tuscany gives you such incredible amounts of wonderful sights if you only look above your head; decontextualising is also a rather fascinating ting I tend to do at times…
I had this phase when I was totally fascinated by female shoes (and feet) and I was literally running after female friends and colleagues or even complete strangers in the street to shoot them as long as they were wearing anything peculiar (you can see the results in my Flickr set called FootFtsh: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ale2000/sets/133760/)
I totally hate doing wedding photography, it’s unnerving and uninteresting.
Top Five Tips…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “A flock of hangers flying by” – Apps Used – FXPhotoStudio
JC – What are your top five tips for iPhone photography?
ADG – I think they are pretty much the same for any kind of photography:
1. Never forget that it’s not the camera but the photographer who’s taking the photo.
- Bring a camera any camera – with you at all times;
3. Always be ready to shoot – this will develop your eye;
4. Never stop experimenting and trying new subjects;
5. Try and find your own photography.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Glitch Thinking – Une fleur dans mon jardin” – Apps Used – Snapseed, Decim8, PictureShow
JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
ADG – For my mobile stuff, I’ve tried desktop options but it’s not for me. The way I feel it, editing is an integral part of shooting, and it happens in the same environment. I can either work on the iPhone or the iPad, but desktop is out of the question, even though that is too bad because I am very well aware of such good applications out there (FXPhotoStudio, for one!) that I am somehow missing.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “The Good, the Tall & the Architect” – BleachBypass, PictureShow
JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?
ADG – Yes, even though not as much as I would like to. But now and then I do some very short things that I post on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/ale2000)
The Future Of Mobile Photography…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Suburban industrial evening lights” – Apps Used – PictureShow
JC – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?
ADG – It might become the very future of photography or at least, an important part of its future. I’d expect more players to (at least try and) enter the field. In any case, wherever it may go, it’s already so influential it can’t be dismissed or ignored anymore.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Anon girl talking on the phone” – Apps Used – Grungetastic
JC – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhone photography?
ADG – It’s possibly street and experimentation thanks to mobility. But not just that, definitely.
Where In The World…?
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Wat is het geluid?”” – Apps Used – Snapseed
JC – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
ADG – Maybe the richest countries are more alive and thriving, due to mere economical issues, but it’s everywhere. Right now though, I have the impression the US is possibly the number one country, but it’s only a matter of numbers, not of quality. I see quality flowing aplenty from everywhere.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Colourscope!” – Apps Used – Hipstamatic
JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?
ADG – Uhm. I must admit that, as much as I am looking forward to it, I don’t know what to say… A better camera.
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “OIL ITALIA” – Apps Used – CameraAwesome, ScratchCam, Snapseed
JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
ADG – Joanne writes lots of good articles and reviews, curates a greatly informative website – and she was happy to interview me so I think very good things of her!
Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article…
Copyright Image – Ale Di Gangi – “Tres – Trés” – Apps Used – Hipstamatic