Spotlight: iPhoneographer Giuseppe Capozzo. You know him as Krapoz.
Giuseppe Capozzo won the ScratchCam category with his colorful and playful “You, Too”. In the iPhoneography community, he’s better known as krapoz. You may have seen his work in some of our Faved On Flickr showcases last year. We caught up with krapoz recently after the MPA awards announcement. Click past the jump to learn more about krapoz and to read what he has to say. It’s a great read.
Life In LoFi: Hi, krapoz. Congratulations on being one of the finalists in the MPA. Thanks for taking some time for us today.
krapoz: Hi, Marty!
LOFI: Congratulations on being one of the finalists in the MPA. Thanks for taking some time for us today.
I’m extremely honored to appear on such a prestigious stage, so first of all thank you for giving me the chance to share some thoughts here. I’m still shocked to see one of my works among the 25 winners of the MPA. I take this opportunity to shout out loud my big “thank you!” to Daniel Berman, all of the judges, and Steve, the developer of ScratchCam. You’ve done (and always keep doing) a wonderful job!
LOFI: So, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
k: Sure! Born in the mid-seventies, I answer to the name of Giuseppe Capozzo. I’m an interactive developer and creative coder living in Italy, in the Milan area; because of my job – as well for personal interest – I’ve always been interested in the mix between art and technology. That’s why iPhoneography has easily become one of my favorite ways to explore this fascinating field.
I’m also a quite eclectic music lover and in the spare time, I try to improve my skills as a youngster husband and father. My only worry is that our days are just 24-hours long and, from time to time, we also need to sleep. Otherwise I’m sure I would have tried to be good at cooking and dishing like a chef.
LOFI: How did you get started in iPhoneography?
k: My approach to iPhoneograhy has been definitely a slow one. I had a 3G model since its release in summer 2008 but until early 2010 I had installed very few photography-related apps (Photoshop Express, PhotoForge, Photogene), just to make very simple edits of my family pictures. During the same year I began to hear some increasing buzz about iPhone photography. To be honest, I was a little skeptical about it, primarily because I was not particularly exalted by the original captures of my 3G.
Anyway, out of curiosity, I downloaded the well-famed Hipstamatic and everything changed. I know this could be the same story of many others out there, but there it is. From that moment on, I found myself spending a lot of time (and money!) right to assemble my brand new camera-bag in the App Store, and exploring (as well as learning a lot from) various blogs and Flickr accounts devoted to iPhoneography.
LOFI: I hear ya about the money…. Tell us about your style. What do you like to shoot?
k: I like contrasts, paradoxes and extremes. That’s why I love to combine discordant – if not opposite – concepts within my images.
I really enjoy visualizing bizarre situations, often at the edge of surreal. Sometimes I tend to approach my creations with a good dose of sarcasm and black humor. Some other I like to be suspended between dream and reality. In all cases I never forget to add a touch of (typically Italian) poetry and romance.
More technically, I use to start from simple shots or neutral sceneries. Then I play with layers and cutouts, merging elements drawn from different pictures or literally synthesized by some weird apps. With the ideal of a balance between narrative and experimentation, I spend a good amount of time testing different solutions for the same image – often stimulated by the features of an app that somehow caught my attention – as well as taking care of small but significant details.
I try to offer the viewer several levels of interpretation or suggestion, in the hope of turning any image into something interesting or at least thought-provoking.
I’m aware that my style is closer to digital painting or graphic design than traditional photography, but one of the main reasons why I love iPhoneography resides in its crossover nature, allowing us to include different approaches under one umbrella. After all, it always starts from photography and always ends up with images whose strongest peculiarity is to have been produced on a mobile device.
LOFI: Out of your own photographs, which is your favorite? Why?
k: More than being my favorite, “do not rush, vanguards of time!” is definitely the one I am most fond of.
LOFI: I know that one. It was selected for a Faved showcase back in June of last year. Very Dali-esque!
k: Besides having a very deep personal meaning, this image represents the first time I thought I had expressed my vision in a complete and satisfying way, as if I had finally focused my style. From then on, although I’ve been pushing and still push myself with most demanding technical challenges on the apping side, I’ve been able to concentrate mostly on the story – or the message – to convey, since I had no more to worry about the right “language” to use.
LOFI: What other artists or photographers inspire you?
k: Without even thinking, I can affirm that I’ve always had the deepest admiration for the surrealist movement, regardless of the artistic context of application. So I could spend hours staring at the immortal creations of Salvador Dalì, Renè Magritte or Giorgio De Chirico, as well as enjoying the always amazing reading of Boris Vian, Raymond Queneau or Stefano Benni.
On the other side, if I were asked to choose three musical outfits for my visual aspirations, I would surely mention the crazy and creative freedom of Mr. Bungle; the dreamy, abstract and powerful soundscapes of Explosions In The Sky; to finish with the dark, urban and vaguely melancholic spirit of Interpol.
LOFI: What are some of your favorite photo apps?
k: Well, as a true app-dicted (sort of an OCD, indeed) I can’t live without my daily visit to the App Store in search of new apps or updates. Over the last three years I’ve installed tons of apps (mainly for photo and music creation) on my iPhone, so extracting a top-list out of my huge collection is a quite tough task. But If I were to outline my favorite apps inside my habitual workflow, categorized by use case, I could get to something like this:
- shooting: Hipstamatic, Lomora 2, 6×6
- general adjustments: PhotoForge 2, Snapseed, Iris Photo Suite, Camera+
- cleaning and perspective correction: TouchRetouch, FrontView
- layering and juxtaposition: Image Blender, Juxtaposer
- artificial lighting: LensFlare, LensLight, Rays
- blur and/or artificial focus: BlurFX, TiltShift Generator, Big Lens
- B&W and color manipulation: Noir Photo, Bleach Bypass, Cross Process
- texturing: ScratchCam FX, Pic Grunger, Photocopier
- final touches and fine-tuning: Photo fx
I would also like to mention the apps from Jixipix, especially the PhotoArtista family, as well as all the ones focused on a more experimental side, like Percolator, WordFoto, Pixel Twister, Decim8 and so on.
LOFI: Where do you see iPhoneography and mobile photography going in 2012 and beyond?
k: With the advent of devices more and more powerful and advanced, I can only predict – or at least hope – a growing success for mobile photography, along with an ever increasing interest in the medium on the part of traditional establishments.
Online communities, social platforms and blogs (long life to Life In LoFi!) will continue to be essential in spreading the word, attracting new participants in the movement and eventually encouraging people to raise the bar on quality and “interestingness” of their images.
Last but not least, I want to stress the importance of events such as the MPA, wishing this is just the beginning of something even more important and large-scaled, in order to help iPhoneography – and the overall mobile photography – gain the deserved respect as a mature artistic expression.
LOFI: One last question…. If you were in charge of design at Apple, what would you want in the iPhone 5?
k: Definitely a more resistant front glass! I have already had the “pleasure” of seeing mine broken into pieces some months ago after an otherwise negligible fall. Apart from this, I do not foresee or expect anything more because I love surprises as much as I love the style and ideas from Apple.
Ok, to be really honest I would go crazy for something like the just announced Polaroid SC1630. Naturally by Apple!
LOFI: Yeah, I’ve got to say that just looking at the specs, that could be a sweet little camera. I’m interested to see how the optical zoom works. Anyway, is there anything that I forgot?
k: This is for all the people and friends who visited, commented, faved and inspired my work online so far: thank you so much my fellows, I always appreciate any form of support and attention you bless me with. And to the amazing guys who operate each one of the other iPhoneography related channels – Nicki from iPhoneography Central, Edgar from iPhoneogenic, Glyn from iPhoneography.com, Yann from i comme Photo, Allan from What I See Now, everyone at EyeEm, just to name a few. Thanks a lot for your work and always keep up your great passion and dedication!
LOFI: Again, congratulations, krapoz, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work in 2012 and beyond!
Thank you again, Marty! I follow Life In LoFi from the very first moment I stepped into iPhoneography, so I will cherish this moment as one the best memories from such an exciting journey. Stay creative and see you all soon.
krapoz’ work can be found online on these websites: