Sidebar: Meet iPhoneogenic’s Edgar Cuevas
We’ve got a new addition to the blogroll on Life In LoFi. Be sure to check out iPhoneogenic, a blog which highlights iPhoneographers talking about themselves, as well as their work.
The blogroll in our sidebar isn’t just a place where I swap links. These are links to sites and iPhoneographers whose work I like or blogs I read often. In this “Meet the Sidebar”, we talk with someone who fits both descriptions.
Read past the jump for another look behind our sidebar and meet not only a very talented iPhoneographer, but a prolific blogger as well, Edgar Cuevas.
LOFI: The iPhoneogenic blog is the creation of iPhoneographer and fellow Texan, Edgar Cuevas. Good afternoon and how are things down south, Edgar?
Edgar Cuevas: Hey Marty, it’s nasty out there right now! It’s been hot and rainy the past few days and when it clears up you’re hit with the humidity. That’s what Houston is known for though, heat and humidity. Other than that, everything else seems to be in fair condition.
LOFI: I hear ya. We got it today. Thanks….
Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Edgar Cuevas? What do you do when you’re not taking photos? Tell us a little about where you’re from and how it affects your art.
EC: I’m a native Texan from a place called H-Town. I am student at the University of Houston Downtown studying for a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. When I’m not taking photos, I try to find iPhoneographers to feature on my blog, iPhoneogenic and just being a mid-twenties kind of guy. The enlightenment from interviews with fellow iPhoneographers propels me to keep improving my own work.Â Being from the H has its limitations when it comes to my art, especially living in suburbia. If I want to capture something truly unique I have to venture thirty-five minutes into town or an hour the opposite way toward the country fields. The local art scene here is fairly hidden underground, either you know about it or you don’t. Houston is moving from the traditional urban art to a new medium of street art called Wheat Pasting, with guys like Dual and Give Up leading the way. This has inspired me to start a new series in my Flickr iPhoneography in which I will attempt to chronicle the Houston Street Art phenomenon.
LOFI: What formal arts training do you have?
EC: I have no formal training in any art form that I pursue. For the most part, I think anyone is quite capable of creating a masterpiece without formal training. Sure, there is a need for basic knowledge to improve your work but I don’t like dealing with the technicalities that formal training requires.
LOFI: Let’s talk about your iPhonegraphy. How did you get into iPhoneography? (I lifted that one straight from your site!)
EC: I have always used my iPhone to take snapshots, but never thought about the potential of creating art in the realm of iPhoneography. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon iPhoneography.com and Life In Lo-Fi a year ago while searching for a plug-in-play replacement camera with higher resolution for my 3G (no luck). From then on, I was hooked by all of the reviews about photography apps and the inspiring work of others.
LOFI: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
EC: I tend not to focus on any particular subject. I believe being open to any subject gives you a wider range of possibilities for capturing something you feel is truly unique. Much of my earlier work (not posted online), consists of Mother Nature.
Another aspect of shooting that I love is panoramic shots. There is so much to see around you and panos does a great job of capturing that. Panoramic iPhoneography is quite underappreciated might I add.
Street iPhoneography presents many possibilities as well. Thanks to iPhoneographers like Sion Fullana, Greg Schmigel, and Robson (iPhoneography London) I have found inspiration in the streets. Everything is just so real and I enjoy capturing moments that usually go unnoticed.
Perhaps it’s my unwillingness to conform to one style/subject that keeps me evolving as an iPhoneographer.
LOFI: What are some of your own favorite photos that you’ve shot?
EC: My favorite photos are the ones that usually don’t get much attention on my photo blog and Flickr. Those are the ones that I actually put a lot of effort in. Sometimes it takes more than half an hour of patience, probing, and close monitoring of the subject. For example, following a fly around for a significant amount of time to get a decent shot makes it a favorite of mine because I know what it took to capture it.
LOFI: Who are your artistic influences? Who inspires you?
EC: There is a laundry list of artists that I admire. They include artists from the Byzantine era, Pop artist Andy Warhol, Nontraditional artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jackson Pollock and Street Artists like KAWS, just to name a few.
As for iPhoneographers, there are plenty of influential and inspiring people I follow on Tumblr, Posterous, Flickr, Twitter, and elsewhere. Too many to list but they know who they are.
LOFI: You’ve got some nice apping in your work. You use the apps to enhance the photo, not to be the photo. Nice. What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re using right now?
EC: You’re right, Marty, I like to use the apps to improve a photo, not to change it into something it’s not. There are plenty of iPhoneographers using the apps to really change their photos into a form of mixed media, which I love but, Knox over at Pixels has been encouraging everyone to produce a more refined look that would be more accepted by galleries and the general public as a form of photography. With that said, don’t be surprised if I use some of the radical filters in PictureShow or Backgroundz because that’s one of the things that makes iPhoneography so great.
In my camera bag right now, there is well over 50 apps, most of which rarely get used. I usually cycle through my apps but, my go-to apps include Perfectly Clear, FilmLab, Diptic, TiltShiftGen, CameraBag, PictureShow, Lo-Mob, Cropulator, and Pic Grunger,
LOFI: Okay, let’s talk about your blog, iPhoneogenic. Does it feel a little weird being the one interviewed?
EC: Somewhat. I never thought that my blog would be so well received by the iPhoneography community that I would end up answering a few questions about it.
LOFI: Tell us about the blog. How did you come up with the idea?
EC: When I first encountered iPhoneography.com, I saw the feature “The iPhoneography Showcase Of …” and took a liking to it. I wanted to recognize iPhoneographers for their extraordinary work as well so I started iPhoneogenic as a Facebook Page where I introduced a feature called iPhoneographer of the Day. I wanted to make it a point to feature someone new everyday, but it had to be more than just a feature. I wanted to get to know each iPhoneographer on a more personal level where they lived, how their iPhoneography journey began, etc.Â I didn’t want iPhoneographers to ask me to be featured, but rather, I wanted to find artists that had great work and deserved to be recognized. The task of featuring someone everyday in an interview has become overwhelming due to other priorities outside of iPhoneography but I do my best to post interviews whenever I can. iPhoneogenic will continue to be a place for highlighting the iPhoneographer.
LOFI: One of the things I love about your blog is your ability to get so many iPhoneographers to open up about themselves and their work in such great detail. You have a ton of interviews on the site. Is it hard actually getting the iPhoneographers to interview?
EC: I was quite surprised by their responses as well. Their willingness to open up was set up by the first interview I conducted with Matt Beechan. I had no idea what I was doing, but Matt set a precedent on how to go about answering my questions. From there, things have only gotten better. Each iPhoneographer has really taken their time to articulate what iPhoneography means to them. I wanted people to see that iPhoneography is not only about the photos but the people behind the work and the strong sense of community between iPhoneographers.
As for how difficult it is to get an iPhoneographer to interview, it hasn’t been difficult at all. They are more surprised that I would consider them to be featured. Everyone has shown gratitude for the opportunity to be interviewed. They feel honored that I have asked them to be a part of the blog.
LOFI: Are you afraid that someday you’ll run out of iPhoneographers to interview?
EC: That has crossed my mind, but the number of new iPhoneographers continues to grow every day. More and more people are switching or upgrading their mobile phones to an iPhone, everyday people like me are becoming iPhoneographers.
Now that the new iPods are equipped cameras, there is a new pool of iPhotographers to consider for interviews. There will be a debate in the weeks to come if the community should consider this wave of iPhotogs as iPhoneographers. What should we even call them, iPodographers?
LOFI: Are there any iPhoneographers who you haven’t interviewed yet that you’d really like to?
EC: Yes. Dirk Dallas, IcyThings, Steve John, Odilia Liuzzi, Marty Yawnick, Maia Panos, The Lisa Show and Pixel Particles are due for an interview on iPhoneogenic.
I have also asked two prominent iPhoneographers if they would oblige to an interview but I have not heard back from them in a while. I won’t say their names because that would be calling them out, but the people want to hear from you! I’ll remind them that there are Q&A’s in their inbox very soon.
LOFI: I know a guy who can hook you up with a Marty Yawnick interview….
Writing a blog like yours, you are exposed to a lot of iPhoneographers. Who are some of your favorites?
EC: Man, that’s a tough one because I don’t want to leave anyone out! There is so much talent out there so I’m going to limit this one to three iPhoneographers in no particular order.
Odilia Liuzzi : Her work is phenomenal. The vibrant tones in her photos and choice of subjects are out of this world. To me, she represents the fine art nature of iPhoneography.
Daniel Berman : His work in capturing Mother Nature in all her beauty is jaw dropping. From sunrises and sunsets to flowers and trees there is a sense of tranquility and awe that leaves me speechless.
Gusbano : His work in black and white iPhoneography is very cool. He finds a way to really accentuate the difference between light and dark spaces.
LOFI: Dan Berman and Gusbano are great. I definitely need to track down Odilia Liuzzi — I haven’t seen her work. Thanks for the tip. Are there any up and comers that we need to watch out for?
EC: Some recent discoveries have led me to a few iPhoneographers that we need to keep our eyes on. A fellow Texan Meagan Metcalf, a young lady from Delaware Jenni C., and a veteran iPhoneographer who I have not heard of until yesterday, Eliano Imperato.
LOFI: Where do you see mobile photography and iPhoneography a year from now? Two years from now?
EC: I believe iPhoneography can go as far as it wants to go. Proponents like Knox Bronson, Marty Yawnick, Glyn Evans, and others like EYE’EM and iPhoneArt are doing everything possible to make iPhoneography come up from being an underground medium to a publicly accepted art form. iPhoneography Artists are also doing their part by producing amazing work. If everyone continues to do their part, the sky is the limit for iPhoneography.
LOFI: Anything else you would like to add?
EC: I want to thank you, Marty, for including iPhoneogenic on your BlogRoll and supporting the efforts of iPhoneogenic in shedding a new light into the world of an iPhoneographer. Not only that, but also asking about my personal iPhoneography. Your words are much appreciated.
LOFI: You’re very welcome. Your blog is a great read.
Edgar, thank you so much for your time. Your blog, iPhoneogenic, is a resource. You are helping to write down the history of iPhoneography.