You may be tempted to marvel at Scott Strazzante’s new book, Shooting From the Hip, simply because he made all those gritty street photographs with an iPhone.
We can’t seem to get over the fact that the little wonder device in our pockets can be used to create great work. Apple touts stunning photos on big billboards, luring us with the promise that good pictures will come pouring out if we upgrade to the latest iPhone.
But photography — good photography, anyway — isn’t that simple. And to fixate on the tool Strazzante uses would be a disservice to him, and to the collection of 150 pictures inside this hardcover coffee table book.
Grab a camera when the zombies come. They won’t eat your brains — they’ll strike a pose.
It’s a trick photographer Luke Olsen learned when he was surrounded on the streets of his hometown. His shots from the Portland Zombie Walk showcase the lean and mean side of his stylish but macabre portraiture.
The organized chaos of events like the zombie walk offers comic relief from formal photography sessions filled with intricate lighting, staging and models. Any opportunity to capture inspired lunacy is technically practice, but Olsen gravitates toward flash mobs to cut loose with his camera-wielding compatriots. He’s thrown himself into the thick of SantaCon, the infamous alcohol-fueled rampage that grew from absurdist San Francisco street theater into a national headache. The moribund Portland Urban Iditarod, where teams of costumed runners dragged tricked-out shopping carts from bar to bar, has also been shutter fodder.
“It’s a great deal of fun to wander into a large event with a group of friends, shoot the event and reconvene later to see what everyone got,” says Olsen. “It’s like The Bang Bang Club, just 100 percent less deadly.”
CHICAGO — I thought I was boarding the train with a camera that gave me a cloak of invisibility.
But even before the train began moving away from the station, the eyes of a man with a handlebar mustache drew a bead on my Autographer, a tiny, continuous-shooting photographic device clipped to my breast pocket.
He furled his brow. He did not blink. What was he thinking? Could he see the lens? Was he wondering if that thing was on? Maybe some insecurity set in, but the vibe felt like he was suspicious.
Like many of us, Travis Jensen spends his lunch hour taking iPhone pics.
Unlike most of us, however, his moody urban landscapes and punchy black-and-white portraits have been the object of two photo books, shot with fellow street photography veteran Brad Evans, Tenderloin U.S.A. and the #iSnapSF Field Journal.
Gray, a street photographer whose work you can check out under the handle “rugfoot” on Twitter, Flickr and Instagram, just wrapped up the first course in iPhoneography at the photography department of Kensington & Chelsea College in London; the next two sessions of the five-week course start April 26 and May 31.
He shared with Cult of Mac the required app downloads for the class and the four most common mistakes iPhone photo students make.