We all like to play with iPhone filters, but what happens when the pros get in on it?
The CONTACT Photography Festival runs from May 1 to May 31. We’ll be profiling selected artists and shows throughout the month.
Everyone’s an amateur photographer these days, what with the advent of the iPhone’s mighty built-in camera and the proliferation of instant hipster-ifying photo apps such as Instagram. Which immediately raises the question: how might a professional photographer handle this technology?
Jennifer Reedie took on the challenge with her new photo exhibition for the CONTACT Photography Festival, “iPhoneography.” Reedie shot a series of photos on her iPhone and then used various apps such as Percolator to apply layers of effects. All photo editing was done on her iPhone, and then printed onto 20×20 or 40×40 canvas in order to bring out the highly textured and vibrant results.
The photos are so retouched as to be abstract. Green Tomatoes looks like a work of pointilism; the fruit, only vaguely recognizable, is rendered in bright greens and blues. Fire Shower looks more like digital art than photography: a shower of sparks pop against a pitch-black outline of trees. Many works look primed for the cover of a paperback beach read: Cat Tails features just that—cat tails in front of a beach scene, layered with a crackle effect that makes the photo look more like a mosaic.
The most successful photos are those that jive well with their medium, such as Praying Buddha, which features a close-up of a Buddha’s face. Its cracked, sun-washed surface is brought out by the canvas’s own rough texture.
Reedie appears to rely more on effect than subject in her iPhone shots. This is unusual as her other photography features striking faces and places. While the iPhone shots look pretty neat, without strong visual anchors they fall a bit flat—as many amateur photographers are learning, iPhone photo apps make everyone an effects expert, but it’s all too easy to fall pray to excess.