Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Artist Interview, Iphone Photographer Dennis Stein

How long have you been a photographer? 
I started in my 20's, just general snapshots, and became more serious in the 1980's, when I started printing b/w. I also took workshops in Maine and discovered toy cameras, and have been using them for my fine art work until I got my iPhone in the fall of 2010.

What is your workflow on the IPhone?
It depends on what I want the final image to be. First of all, I shoot everything at the highest resolution, to guarantee the most information in the image. My app of choice is the Hipstamatic, for its lens and film combinations. It's also square format, which I prefer for my artwork. Once I get the basic image, I tweak the color, contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc. I keep it fairly simple. I then use other apps which can add light leaks, texture, a grudge effect, etc. until I'm happy with the result. My editing of images is done on the iPad, which is a better size for viewing details.

How is photographing with the iphone different from using a regular digital camera?
The main difference is that I always have my phone with me, so I can always shoot when I want to. There's nothing to adjust on it, just point and shoot. I still use digital cameras but it's not as spontaneous as the iPhone, and I don't get what I want as an image. I need to work a digital camera image more to get what I want.

What are you favorite subjects? What are you inspired by? 
When I first started photographing, I was drawn to the look of the plastic camera print, with it's softness and vignetting. I used to shoot everything with them- landscapes, urban, everything. I still do that, and I can get results with the iPhone that emulate plastic camera images without using Photoshop on my Mac.
A friend of mine recently told me I make the mundane beautiful. I would agree.

You led a photowalk in Dedham last November, what in Dedham are you drawn to photograph?
I like the "other" viewpoint of anything, so I would check out the alleys that weave in between buildings, and anything off the beaten path.

You show at the Dedham Guild, where else do you have your work on display? 
At this point, no where else, but I've been in group shows in Franklin, Framingham, Hopkinton, London, and Medfield in the past year. There are a number of online competitions that cater specifically to iPhoneography, and I've been part of those as well.

Where is your studio?
It's in the Holliston Mill, in Holliston. What are the advantages to having a studio versus a home set-up? It gives me a place to focus on my work. Being at home can be distracting, having 3 dogs that always need attention.

Any future projects you are working on?
Not right now. When I lived in Maine, I photographed a lot in Portland and put together some books that I published online, as well as books of plastic camera photos, and iPhoneography. One project may be to spread the word of iPhoneography, so holding workshops may be in the future.

Take a peak at the work on by other photographers on, a website for iPhone-based artists.

Dennis Stein's matted and framed photography is available in the gallery
His portfolio and art online

Dennis photographing at the Village Cemetery, Dedham, MA

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