A Day In The Life Of ...,  News

A Day In The Life of Tal Shafik – A Very Talented Mobile Photographer From Tel Aviv

Welcome to our very exciting column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and this 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 fifty fifth installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Tal is a 30 year old editor living in Tel Aviv, Israel. He has no experience in traditional photography but as you can see a lot of talent in mobile photography. He also enjoys writing, reading and watching great films.

Read more about Tal in our exclusive interview below…

Each image is titled with the apps used to create it in sequential order. 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 [email protected], and we’ll get it set up).


First Things First


© Tal Shafik ‘Aging Hipster’ – ProCamera, VSCO Cam


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

TS – I wake up at 8am and am outside by 8:05. I don’t actually fully wake up until I’m about half way to work. I rarely take many pictures during the morning.


Magic Hour


© Tal Shafik – ‘Beetle’ – ProCamera, SnapSeed


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

TS – My mornings are pretty hectic. I’m enclosed in an office until my lunch break. I’m not much of a morning person, really. I enjoy the harsh noon light in Tel Aviv, specifically for architecture shots.


Photographer vs Mobile Photographer


© Tal Shafik – ProCamera, VSCO Cam


JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhoneographer develop? (pardon the pun).

TS – I’ve never considered myself a photographer. I started taking pictures with my Nokia N95, which boasted a pretty powerful 5MP camera back in the day. The transition to the iPhone and the multitude of apps made taking and editing photos a very pleasurable experience. I’ve found post processing to be quite a relaxing hobby, and I can do it anywhere, and and at any time.


New Apps


© Tal Shafik – ‘Floating Dog’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


JC – Do you like to download new iPhoneography apps regularly?

TS -I do. I regularly browse the Appstore and various apps highlighting price drops and freebies. I always seem to be looking for a single ‘killer app’, but have yet to find one. While I do appreciate the photoshop-esque apps, I believe the iPhone’s design is more favorable toward single action apps.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Leather Jacket’ – Camera+, Snapseed


JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

TS – My basic kit pretty much covers my needs, though I’m always on the lookout for new and innovative apps.


Location, Location, Location


© Tal Shafik – ‘Man And Dog’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


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

TS – I had the best time shooting during a vacation in Berlin, but I love shooting in my native Tel Aviv. I can find anything from modern commercial areas to impoverished and run down apartment buildings. Lawyers in suits and semi naked refugees. High priced suburban homes and graffiti filled artists’ studios. Everything can be found within walking distance.


Tools Of The Trade


© Tal Shafik – ‘Old Barn’ – Camera+, VSCO Cam


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?

TS – I do not.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Orange Scooter’ – ProCamera, PhotoToaster


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

TS – I upload to flickr and instagram, and backup to Dropbox. I use flickr as my main gallery, mostly because of the community and high resolution images available for redownload. Instagram is used for more day to day shots, mostly of my dog or cat. I don’t consider it a real photo sharing service simply because of the unusable 612*612 resolution. One glance at the Popular page suggests the same.


Favorite Apps


© Tal Shafik – ‘The Photographer’ – Camera+, PictureShow


JC – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhoneography apps?

TS –





Image Blender

Big Lens





© Tal Shafik – ‘The Reader’ – Camera+


JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

TS – I really try to. I may not edit or share them that very day, but I will eventually get to them at a later time. The only really way to gain confidence and a photographic eye is by taking a lot of photos and trying new methods, eventually finding a personal style and developing a photographic aesthetic.


Favorite Subjects


© Tal Shafik – ‘Time Dilation’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


JC – What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

TS – People, buildings and architecture, and my dog. I’m starting to really enjoy street photography. I love the contrast the can be captured in the street. I’ve been trying to get closer to people, but haven’t been able to work up the nerve. I love taking photos on the bus, simply because I cant sit and stare into my iPhone while taking as many photos as I want without anyone noticing. A crowded bus is full of closeup subjects.


Top Five Tips


© Tal Shafik – ‘Underground Love’ – Camera+


JC – What are your top five tips for iPhone photography?

TS –

1. If possible, lock focus and exposure before capturing.

2. Using ProCamera, try the ‘full-screen shutter’ option and hold your iPhone at your side and snap away. You can capture very interesting angles this way.

3. I try to take at least 2 copies of every photo. I hit the shutter button twice in rapid succession. This somewhat eliminated chances of a badly exposed or focused shot.

4. Don’t delete photos. While some appear to be useless or badly exposed/focused, some may have elements which can be cut/copied to other photos when editing abstractly or surreally.

5. When taking photos of moving objects and people, don’t follow the subject and capture. Instead, anticipate where the subject will be at a given point, holding the camera focused and exposed on that area, and capture when the subject fills the frame.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – Camera+, Noir


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

TS – I only edit on my iPhone. Not for reasons of Mobile Purity, but simply because most edits I require really are simpler to do on my iPhone. Not to mention the ease of sharing them once they’re finished. I’m not opposed to editing on the desktop, but personally never saw the need to. I do, however, oppose sharing DSLR images to mobile-centric services like Instagram.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

TS – Haven’t really recorded that much video.


The Future Of Mobile Photography


© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


JC – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?

TS – I think Samsung’s new camera is a step in the right direction. The sensors in a mobile phone will continue to get better and smaller, but a full fledged camera with a working OS (Android or iOS) is probably where things are headed. I believe the division between mobile photography and regular photography will eventually blur and fade away. The importance of this trend isn’t the device or OS, but the liberation and democratization of art and creativity.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


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

TS – I know it’s very popular in Indonesia, and also Berlin, Australia and the US, of course. It seems to be growing toward a global trend.


iPhone 5


© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, Snapseed


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

TS – A better camera (obviously), better handling of photo albums and folders, allowing for more intuitive management of multiple copies, unedited and edited photos and photos ready for sharing and archiving. Camera Awesome has such a feature.




© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, VSCO Cam


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

TS – I love reading about different iPhoneograpers, their methods and inspiration. I also enjoy and learn a lot from the various tutorials posted.


Links To All Apps Used Or Mentioned In This Article


© Tal Shafik – ‘Untitled’ – ProCamera, VSCO Cam


645 PRO
Image Blender
Big Lens
Noir Photo
Photo Toaster

Additional Images


© Tal Shafik – ‘Wife’ – Hipstamatic 225


© Tal Shafik – ‘Wife’ – ProCamera, Noir Photo

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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]