Spotlight: iPhoneographer Souichi Furusho
In December, the winners of the Mobile Photography Awards were announced (Life In LoFi is a media partner of the MPA). Among the winners was the abstract industrial “Image pic #35″ by Japan’s Souichi Furusho.
You’ve probably seen a lot of Souichi’s work displayed in Life In LoFi’s Faved On Flickr showcases often. His photography is simple yet stunning. He caught everyone’s attention with his stark use of light and shadow. Recently, he has been creating incredible abstract dreamscapes with his photography.
We finally caught up with Souichi. Here’s the Life In LoFi interview. >>>
Life In LoFI: So, tell us a little about yourself — where you’re from, your background, what you do — things like that.
Souichi Furusho: I live in Japan, and work as a graphic designer in the field of advertising media.
LOFI: What got you started in iPhoneography?
SF: I discovered iPhoneography on Facebook and Flickr about the same time I bought my iPhone. That was followed by a variety of delightful encounters with people online. Although I had no prior experience whatsoever as a photographer, I was familiar with working with photographs as part of my career in graphics. This made it very easy for me to use the iPhone applications as picture-making tools. Trying out application began my pursuit of iPhoneography.
Despite an interest in other cameras, I don’t consider myself a person who could use both them and the iPhone well. I can carry my iPhone every day with ease, and this makes it a very useful camera in my mind. You could therefore say I made a conscious decision to shoot exclusively with the iPhone. All considered, I think I made the right choice.
LOFI: Tell us about your style. What are your favorite things to shoot?
SF: My style is what I call “freedom & simple.” And I approach it from many different angles. It is the result of pursuing my own vision, which is represented by my works. I often have the final image in mind at an early stage of the creative process. One challenge becomes seeing whether I can achieve the final image as envisioned using the applications at hand. I then proceed using these various applications as I work to complete a piece. At times, surprising forms take shape while processing, and this can change the final outcome. I find this process quite interesting.
LOFI: Souichi, you caught everyone’s attention with your excellent monochromes — a lot of light, shadow, and a lot of contrast. Recently, you’ve been sharing some brilliant abstracts. How did this evolution come about?
SF: When I began posting on Flickr, I established color divisions and thought that I would present my works according to those. The reason is that I wanted to discover which color would prove significant among my works. I thought I would see a big difference show itself. I also wished to analyze my works through this classification for myself rather than for those who look at my work. However, as I produced images, I found myself making many in monochrome. The black-and-white palette turned out to be one of my favorite “colors”. It offers a simplicity that lets me explore my vision. I feel it was a good idea to attempt this color classification as an approach. I shoot in a variety of situations, most often shooting scenes I come across in daily life. I do not go to various places seeking out shutter opportunities, as do many photographers. I therefore combine photographs taken in everyday life with imaginary scenes and moments as I envision them. This gives birth to “My World” as viewed through my images. All this said, I do think it good to get out and shoot lots of photographs. Of course, it was also indispensable to my evolution to view the work of others.
LOFI: Out of your own photographs, which is your favorite?
SF: My favorite work is “Child pic #07.”
SF: I have many recollections as regards this piece. My son served as my subject, and makes it most important to me. Furthermore, this piece caused me to start being strongly conscious of iPhoneography. It serves as my logo and I use it as my icon. To me, this is the best piece I have created to date. For me, it is also the most wonderful work.
LOFI: I love that photo. That’s your Flickr profile pic. What other artists or photographers inspire you?
SF: I am inspired to try new things by viewing the works of others. It allows me to observe feelings and sensibilities that are not part of my inherent makeup, and I absorb a great deal from the works of other iPhoneographers. Let me introduce some of those who inspire or influence me.
Carlein van der Beek
Chia Aik Beng
iPhoneography London (Robson Santos)
Janine Short Graf
ReCal El Ectro
Masahiro Jitsuda (iCloud_9 / NyanJiroo)
U-ko Pebble (Browneyes)
Takamasa Mitsugi (3S-i)
And many others. There are too many to list.
LOFI: Great list. I’m familiar with most of those artists, but there are a few there that I’m going to check out based on your recommendation.
What are some of your favorite photo apps?
SF: Applications I use often include Iris Photo Suite, Filterstorm, FX PhotoStudio, Photo FX, and PhotoClip. All these apps are important to my workflow and were used in producing the pieces I’ve created. Iris Photo Suite broadens the range of my imagination by allowing me to perform compositing processes. My latest favorite is Filterstorm because of its ability to introduce particular details. Photo FX is helpful when processing colors. Each application has its appropriate place and function to me.
LOFI: Where do you see iPhoneography and mobile photography going in 2012 and beyond?
SF: I expect iPhoneography and mobile photography to continue evolving as it becomes more capable. This will also change the nature of the photos we create with them. At the same time, the imaginative power and techniques of those who produce images will evolve further. I think this continued change and its relationship with the ongoing evolution of the hardware and software is most interesting. I think that the evolution will continue to attract even more people to the field.
LOFI: If you were in charge of design at Apple, what would you want in the iPhone 5?
SF: If you allow me to digress…
LOFI: Of course…!
SF: If you allow me to digress, my desire is to see Apple release a version of “iOS” that is designed specifically for children. In conjunction, I would like to see them make a product intended for children. This is my wish.
LOFI: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
SF: I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a few people. Firstly, I’d like to thank all the friends and families who have supported my efforts. I’d like to thank you for inviting me to do this interview. And, I appreciate the ongoing support shown me by Alan Kastner and Daniel Berman. Thank you all very much!
LOFI: My pleasure! Thank you, Souichi for taking the time to talk with us.