When Your Phone Is Your Camera
Meet Petra (PetraIpa), a blipper from the Netherlands, who celebrates her 100th blip posting today! In addition to the fact that she photographs exclusively with her iPhone, we thought it might be interesting to gather her relatively fresh impressions of life in Blipland.
The “ah ha!” moment that got Petra started
Petra’ interest in photography started when she took a course in floral design in 2003 and wanted to capture the results of her creations. “I soon had more fun in photographing the flowers than in making bouquets,” she quips. A subsequent breakthrough happened when she took a course about the history of photography and joined a camera club.
Though she did purchase a camera along the way, her “ah ha” moment happened when she entered a series of five pictures taken on her iphone and edited in Photoshop and won a mention. While she was frustrated with the many controls of her camera, she tremendously enjoyed working with her phone. With a new iPhone6 gifted by her husband, she soon set out to take every course offered by the iphonephotographyschool.com and joined a Facebook group that offers monthly workshops.
“I always tell people that I am not a photographer,” says Petra. “That is because in iphonography, there is much more to explore with all kind of apps for creative editing and drawing,and for shooting pictures resembling those of a DSLR camera.” She also enjoys the many apps available for sharing pictures in a digital album or for making short video presentations. Although she has an iMac, she mostly edits her pictures on her iPad or iPhone.
Petra’s creative intent is also distinctive. “Most of the time,” she says, “I don't take a picture of a scene because I like the scene or the subject matter but because I have an idea how I could edit the scene or how I can use this kind of subject matter in another picture.”
Petra was looking for a safe site on which to share her pictures when she came across an article by Andy Butler, owner of Mobiography, on how to do a 365 project, which reminded her of Blipfoto.
She describes her impressions of the site: “On Blipfoto I have the feeling I am hosting my own website. I have a place on the web to share my interest with people, friends or family but I don't have to worry about the technology or building a website. I like the way you can easily and quickly upload your picture in the app. And if you want go deeper or want to spent more time reading about challenges and so on, you can visit the Blipfoto website.”
Getting serious about a 365 project
While Petra had done a Project365 in 2016 and enjoyed it very much, she wanted to do something more serious and in a way which would enable her to learn more about her photographic style.
So, she pushed herself to use the iLearnPhoto365 app. One of its options is to photograph the same object for 30 days and that’s what she set out to do as she joined Blipfoto. “I wanted to use the same app for a month and I wanted to photograph in Black and White (B&W) for the whole year. Very ambitious, too ambitious, I think, so I needed to let go of the reins a little bit.” She’s now resolved to photograph in B&W, using the same app and subject for a month, only for as long as she can find new inspiration with it.
A supportive community
While discipline and strong headedness about our goal are fine qualities, we all know that those first 100 days can be tough to sustain.
That’s when the Blipfoto community kicked in: “After five blips I got my first follower and, after nine, I got more and also faithful followers who visit my journal every day and provide me with very supportive feedback. It definitely helps when you get stars or comments from other blippers. Even though I started with Blipfoto just to collect my pictures for the Project365 and for sharing with family and friends, I am now very glad I met other Blippers who share their stories and are inspiring me.”
She always visits the journals of those who interact with her and actively looks for other iphonographers. Do get in touch with her if the phone is your camera!
Advice to others?
When asked what advice she would provide, Petra offers these suggestions:
- Don't push yourself too hard.
- Try to stick to one goal you set for yourself, in my case to photograph in B&W.
- Try to post your picture at the same time everyday. In case you know you can't manage that for a particular day, post your picture directly after breakfast.
- If you have time, do research and make a list of things to photograph. In case you have a photography block, you can use that list for inspiration.
- If you don't know what to photograph, just take ten minutes to concentrate on things between you and couple of meters around you. That's how I make most of my pictures.
- In case I really get lost, I go wild in iColorama and transform pictures into an abstract image.
- If you need rules, you might like the iLearnPhoto365 app. This app provides you with lots of challenges and tips on how to photograph (not specific to mobile photography only).
What will keep her in Blipfoto?
Petra thinks the community is a lovely mix of interests, ages and personalities but what she appreciates most is the support of other Blippers. “It is difficult to describe,” she comments, “but I feel safe and free on Blipfoto. I also like it that the support team of Blipfoto keeps an eye on the content of the journals.”
“Visiting Blipfoto has become a daily routine for me,” she concludes, “in which I can find inspiration and recognition. It was on Blipfoto that I learned about Pep Ventosa, and I am inspired by lots of things, like book titles or poets and pictures in journals of other Blippers.”
Petra lives with her husband in Heijplaat, near Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where she moved after a career in the IT and logistics sectors.
Cover photo by Petra: Hello? Goodbye?
Remarks collected by Michele (aka Alsacienne)
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