Welcome to our very exciting column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled “A Day in the Life of…” 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 ninety fourth installment of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.
Today we are featuring Sacha Dohmen aka Maktub Street-Dog. Sacha is 36 years old (today actually – Happy Birthday!) and lives with his beautiful wife in Belgium in a very rural area in the middle of nowhere between Liège (Belgium), Maastricht (Holland) and Aachen (Germany). Sacha is a self taught Amateur Photographer. His work has been featured extensively on many mobile photographic websites, not least of course, theappwhisperer.com. Sacha also received an honorable mention at the Mobile Photo Awards last year and a few weeks ago he was also featured as Artist of The Day at iPhoneArt, for the second time,
You can find all the links to the apps used or 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.)
‘Scream For Your Right’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, ScratchCam, Lo-Mob
Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
I´m up every day at 6:00 am. Then with a cup of coffee and a cigarette I check my Flickr, Eyem and Facebook feeds. After a quick look at what’s new on TheAppWhisperer and mobitog, i´m ready to go work on 7:30.
‘Bad Obsession’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, ScratchCam, Lo-Mob, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
Over 90% of my pictures are street shots and I love it to be really early in a city to see how they awakened. It´s not for the light or so, I just love the mood.
‘Mr. Soul’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, BigLens, PhotoToaster, ScratchCam, Lo-Mob, Type-Writer, Filterstorm
How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop? (pardon the pun)
I bought my first camera, a Nikon D60, 5 years ago to photograph my holiday in Mallorca. I shoot all I see and came back with a lot of photos but especially with the knowledge that I had a lot to learn. So I bought a book from Andreas Feininger and one to learn a bit about Photoshop. From then on, there was only photography for me. Each week in the magazine shop I bought everything there was about photography. I came to iPhoneography by accident last year. One day before my annual leave, i broke the viewfinder from my Ricoh GXR (a fantastic camera), I was so accustomed to hide myself behind my camera that i was not able to take street shots and so I left my camera home.
Already at the airport I was very nervous because I could not photograph anything, then I remembered my iPhone. I took thousands of photos within three weeks, most of them not usable but I really love those shots, they were good. Back at home, I discovered in a library a book from National Geographic about iPhoneography with works of Carlein van der Beek and Richard Koci Hernandez. I was in awe. I had never heard anything about IPhoneography but I knew that´s what I wanted. I couldn’t think that my pictures would be better with any other camera.
‘My Mind Is Dangerous’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, PhotoToaster, ScratchCam, Lo-Mob, Font Art
Do you like to download new mobile photography and/or art apps regularly?
In the first 6 months, I’ve downloaded everything I have found interesting but I always use the same 10-12 apps. So I only buy now if I´m really sure that I need it.
‘Heartache & Misery’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Mextures, Polamatic, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
How often do you update your existing apps?
First I check if I need this update, then I wait a week or two to be sure there is not a bug.
’99 Shades Of Crazy (04)’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – ProShot, Snapseed, Camera+, BlurFx, PhotoCopier, ScratchCam, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
I find interesting people in each city of the world, so it doesn’t really matter.
‘You Talkin’ To Me?’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, ScratchCam, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as window?
I know this app, but for my type of photography, I don´t need it.
‘Dead End Friends’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, PhotoCopier, PictureShow, ScratchCam, Lo-Mob
What are your favorite, at the moment, mobile photography/art apps and why?
My favorite app to shoot with my iPhone is Hipstamatic, it´s the easiest way to make snapshots. With my Lumia 925 I use ProShot, really crisp and I love the black and white out of phone. For the treatment I use Snapseed on really every single image.
‘I’m Mad As Hell’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, ScratchCam, Snapseed
Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
I upload on Flickr, Eyeem, IPA, mobitog, Instagram and Facebook. It´s so simple and a great way to find inspiration.
‘Got To Find A Better Way’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, BigLens, Lo-Mob
Do you take photographs with your mobile device everyday?
No, I leave in a tiny village with perhaps 40 people. There it is not possible to photograph for me. I shoot only on Saturdays and holidays.
‘Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Is The Fairest One Of All?’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Pure, BlurFX, ScratchCam, Snapseed
What are your favorite subjects?
Street portraiture in general, there are so many interesting people.
‘Insomnia And The Hole In The Universe’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Pure, Camera+, BigLens, Snapseed, PhotoCopier
What are you top five tips for mobile photography?
The first one is find your style. I see a lot of amateur photographer (not only mobile) who publish one day a portrait, one day a landscape, then a street shot, then cats or dogs… Not one is really good. Think about what you like and specialize you in this genre.
Search inspiration, buy photography books, visit galleries and exhibition. Always pose the question why do you like or don´t like a picture?
Zoom with your feet.
Learn from other, do not be shy and ask in the community for advice
The last tip is specifically for aspiring street photographers.Treat your look to not attract attention. We do not speak often of it but it´s very important. We cannot become invisible so we have to adjust our look to the surrounding street. Don´t dress flashy and don´t dress too funky. Just dress normally with neutral or dark colors and wear good shoes so you can walk far and run fast.
‘The Untouchables’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Camera+, Camera Awesome, Lo-Mob
Do you edit images on your mobile device or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
I do everything on my iPad.
‘I Think I Smell A Rat’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Camera+, Polamatic, ScratchCam, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
Do you enjoy videography with your mobile device?
No, I´m really old-school. My iPhone and my Nokia Lumia are simple cameras. I’ll even get angry when someone calls on it. For normal use, I still have an ancient Samsung.
‘Before I Die’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – ProShot, Snapseed
Where do you see the future of mobile photography?
It´s a new step in the photography story. I´m not sure how it is in other countries, here in Belgium or Germany there are still a lot of hardcore purists for which this is not real photography. Therefore it´s always a special pleasure to me to post pictures in German photography forums, and explain later how they are made. Sometimes even the last skeptics will realize the possibilities of mobile photography.
‘Arise And Shine In Necro-City’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – ProShot, Snapseed, Camera+, PhotoCopier
What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?
I think art in general. You do not necessarily to buy Photoshop for thousands of euros, then a 1000-page book to understand how it works. Now you can buy just the app you need for a buck or two and it works really fine.
’99 Shades Of Crazy (01)’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – ProShot, Snapseed, BlurFX, Camera+, PhotoCopier, Filterstorm, Lo-Mob, Type-Writer
Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
I definitively don´t think that. I know talented mobile photographers from anywhere in the world. In some countries more, in some countries a few less.
‘On A Lonesome Road’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, PhotoCopier, Polamatic, Filterstorm, Type-Writer
What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
Definitely one of the biggest sources when I search information and I love to discover always new artists on the site. Something positive for me, it´s not limited to the iPhone and Apple.
Links To All Apps Used Or Mentioned In This Interview
‘Born To Be Wild (colour)’ – ©Sacha Dohmen – Hipstamatic, BlurFX, Snapseed, ScratchCam