life in lofi, marty yawnick, iphoneography

September 30th is Life In LoFi’s 4th Anniversary online — our 4th birthday, if you will. Four years is a lifetime in blog years and it’s been quite an exciting ride for me so far. What started as a spinoff of another blog I was writing at the time, over the years has grown into something much larger than I ever thought it would.

We start the day at 1,805 posts shared throughout the years. And I say we because of the outstanding contributions Life In LoFi has also had from other authoritative voices, such as Cindy Patrick, Steven Thomas, David Bird, Tina Rice, as well as Sid Peña, Nox Dineen, Dimitris Karathanos, Simon Ellington and many others who have graced these pages over the years. Even The iPhoneography Blog’s Glyn Evans contributed in the blog’s early days.

iPhoneography Over The Years

The original purpose of Life In LoFi was to celebrate the original iPhone cameras. The iPhone 2G and 3G cameras were good, especially for their time. They were convenient because you almost always have your mobile phone with you. They were invisible, because in the early days no one took serious photography with a camera phone except a few of us on the fringe. Throughout the years, I’ve never tried to stray from Life In LoFi’s original mission — iPhoneography and getting the best picture in-camera before you you app it up.

Just by virtue of being here, we’ve covered a lot of iPhoneography over the years to the point where we are now a considerable repository of a history of iPhoneography.

iPhoneography started with a few basic photo apps — CameraBag and Best Camera, a couple of fake Polaroid apps, PhotoForge and PhotoGene image editors, Camera Genius and ProCamera camera app replacements. There are now thousands of photo apps available in the App Store. Most of them now claim some ties to Instagram….

In four years, iPhoneography has grown from being dismissed by photographers and galleries into a serious art form. Some of the bigger stories we’ve seen and covered in our tenure here:

  • Among the first big stories we covered was “Pixels at an Exhibition” at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, California — the first major brick and mortar show of iPhone photography
  • We covered the release of Hipstamatic
  • Back in January of 2011, we dropped the ball on a little, low-res, photo social networking app named Instagram. At the time, I thought is was more of a social network with photos rather than something that would change the way we shoot and share photography. My bad. We still cover Instagram. Just the juicy bits, though.
  • iPhoneography taking center stage at the 2013 MacWorld event.

A Look Behind the Scenes

What started as a way for me to share photography and my thoughts about the iPhone photo apps I was using throughout the course of my graphic design studio has ended up being a full-time job on its own and there are days when, much to the consternation of my fiancé Stacy and to my clients, LoFi’s needs sometimes eclipse the paying job.

Even a quick post here takes a minimum of 30-60 minutes of writing, massaging, tweaking, self-editing. Graphics need to be acquired or created then processed. Text needs to be formatted. As a graphic designer, I’m pretty much a stickler for format styles and style sheets. And the blog’s styles have evolved over the years.

Reviews and other posts take hours or even days, living the with the app, contacting developers, working with an app, using the app and trying to push it to its limits.

If an app passes muster, a review gets written. Paid apps get priority over free apps most of the time, mainly because the cost of a free app is time and bandwidth. But if even a few thousand people download a crappy $1 app, that’s rewarding a developer with a couple thousand bucks for an app that is taking up chart space and promotion from a more worthy photo app.

I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I can turn you on to a great photo app you may have missed — an “overlooked gem” as I call them. Or, if I can save you a buck or three by avoiding one of the crap apps. There are days when I feel like I’m really fighting a battle with some developers.

Life In LoFi is a full-time job in addition to my full-time job. It’s a passion. It’s an obsession at times. It’s me giving back back to a community that gives so much to me.

Like most of you, I have made many good friends in the community in the four years since starting this blog, both online and in real life. This is one of the true gifts that iPhoneography has given me.

Looking Forward

So, now Life In LoFi is a precocious four-year old. As we start our fifth year, changes and improvements are slowly being made to the blog. New voices, new features. More to come.

Whether you stop by occasionally, daily, or if this is your first visit to the blog, you have my sincere thanks for letting us share our thoughts and opinions with you. Thank you for all of your feedback and discussion in the comments here, on Twitter/@LifeInLoFiBlog, and on LoFi’s Facebook page. You help make Life In LoFi more than a website — you help make it a conversation.

Most important, thank you for spending some of your time here.

Here’s to another year of digital lo-fi. So, let’s hunker down and get back to work. There are exhibitions to be viewed. Apps to review. New iPhones on the horizon to begin speculating about.