“This books passes muster as a great instructional tool for the novice mobile artist – A Classic”, Joanne Carter, 2016
Recently in a cafe I was hungrily perusing ‘Art with an iPhone – A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Altered Realities’ by American Fine Art Photographer, Writer and Instructor, Kat Sloma, when a woman I knew touched me on the shoulder and asked what I was reading. I considered this question as I glanced up and around at all the other customers in the cafe and noticed that most of them were engrossed with their iPhones, possibly (hopefully) apping images. ‘It’s a book about creating art with an iPhone’, I replied. She looked surprised and then asked if she could join me. This then became the perfect way to review this book. I explained that ‘Art with an iPhone’ is a great learning platform for newcomers to this wonderful artform to develop their skills, my friend became hooked and is now a great new mobile artist!
Sloma explains, “That’s not photography,” the long-time photographer commented to me, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not photography…
A few years ago, as I started to transition to my iPhone camera and apps to create images, I got that a lot. It was a bit confusing, truth be told. I knew my images did not always end up looking like what most people expected a photograph to look like, but how could it not be photography? I was still using a camera; still using all of the skills I had learned over the years to see and frame and expose images. I just took them a little further in post-processing than I used to. I didn’t try to portray reality any more.
I went through a bit of an identity crisis after hearing enough of those comments. If it’s not photography, then what is it? If I’m not a photographer, then who am I? I loved what I was doing, and I wrestled with this question for a while, coming to a simple conclusion that took me back to where I started. Yes, I am a photographer, because what I do starts with an image captured with a camera. The starting image is crucial to my creative process. Without it, my art doesn’t exist.
I now call what I do “altered photography” because I want to signal that it’s not what people typically expect photography to look like, but I also want the people who see my work to know it started as photograph. I am proud of my art form, and the wonderful history of this fantastic medium. I believe what I (and so many others!) are doing with photographic images on mobile devices is one more step in the evolution of the photograph. We are, one image at a time, expanding the definition of photography.
But right now we are in a time of transition. Not everyone is on board with this point of view. If you ask other photographers, yourself even, “Is it photography or not?” I would expect to hear wildly different reactions”.
This book is divided into 60 sections over 128 pages. It is an A4 sized colour, softback, glossy book, published by Amherst Media (12 January, 2016). It is simply laid out with the initial sections based around hardware and other essential software elements including Power Management and Transferring Files Between Devices. In this case, Sloma explains how to make use of Cloud Connected Transfers as well as using Apple’s AirDrop service, when connection is not available.
There are useful sections on techniques, including Exposure and Focus Control and she demonstrates this example well with the use of ProCamera app. Capturing Moving Subjects is a section that many will find useful. Again, Sloma demonstrates this technique using ProCamera with Rapid Fire for Jpegs. (Rapid Fire is only available for Jpegs here due to the time for additional data information load for TIFF format for example).
Sloma looks at many effects that can be created including Monochromatic filters, Textures, Grunge and more. All well explained for the novice to iPhone art.
The post-processing section is also a very useful area with Cut to Invert and Layers clearly and demonstrably explained.
One of my favourite sections of this book is entitled ‘Creating Possibility’ – this is what we are all striving to do. The mobile photography and art world revolves entirely around creating possibilities with a very simple and small device.
This book will help get you up to speed with creating your own Mobile Art if you are a newcomer to mobile art and it will inspire you to go on to further to develop your skills and discover more. Sloma has created a very good book here to help anyone get started creating with this medium that we are all so passionate about.
We are delighted to have three copies of ‘Art with an iPhone’ to giveaway in a competition. If you would like a chance to win one of three copies (list price $37.95), please submit your very best Art with an iPhone image via Instagram with this hashtag #theappwhisperer_artwithaniphone – we will select our top three winning images on 8 July 2016 and the books will be shipped out to the winners!
Kat Sloma – Artist Statement
For Kat Sloma, photography is meditation, expression and revelation. She finds photography a way to process what’s going on around her and a way to be in the moment. She pauses to observe details in the greater world and photographs them, and works to create the same feeling of “pause” in her photography-based art. The type of “pause” can be meditative or surprised; curious or joyful. She seeks anything that stops thought for a moment, allowing the world to be perceived in a different way.
Kat’s artwork is greatly influenced by the places she lives and explores every day. Over the last few years her photographic work has shifted from urban scenes to forest elements, reflecting a move from Milan, Italy to Corvallis, Oregon. She has also moved along the spectrum from literal and representational to abstract, taking photographic elements out of context and recombining them into something new and different. She is currently creating new work using an iPhone camera and apps, enjoying the experience of experimenting with a new process and seeing what possibilities appear. Her iPhone work expresses a distinct contemplative style which has received recognition in the US and internationally.
As a fine art photographer, writer and instructor, Kat believes everyone has the potential to share a unique point of view through art. She writes, teaches workshops, and speaks about iPhone and other creative aspects of photography. She is the author of Art with an iPhone: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Altered Realities available on Amazon.com or your local bookstore, and Digital Photography for Beginners: Understanding Exposure, Light, Composition and Using your DSLR available on PhotographyBB.com. Kat currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon with her husband and son.
You can see Kat’s work at kateyestudio.com.