Geri: Your IG friends know you as @theradu, what is your real name? Where do you live?
Radu: My name is Radu Negru. Oxford/England it’s been my home for the last eight years
St Mary’s – Oxford (above)
Geri: How long have you been creating mobile art?
Radu: More than 5 years now… I use my phone camera more than making phone calls. One thing I never leave behind it’s my phone charger (indispensable:)
Examination Hall – Oxford (above)
Style of a commuter – London Tube (above)
Geri: Do you have an art or traditional photography background?
Radu: Never studied photography however I did study landscape architecture and performing arts. Fashion design advertising also played an important role in defining my approach to photography.
Geri: Do you have specific photo shoots in mind, or do you just shoot what you see during your day to day life?
Radu: It happens quite often to see the world around me in photo frames. Instantly I stop and shoot, trying to reproduce what my imagination had “pre-approved”. I commute daily and the advantage of it (apart from seeing the most beautiful sunsets on the countryside of the shire), it’s the fact that I spend a lot of time out and about. Oxford itself it’s a very diverse and eclectic environment and it stimulates my creativity wonderfully.
Encore une fois black / white (above)
Geri: Your gallery includes portraits, landscape, architecture, color and black & white - do you have a preference?
Radu: There’s something about architecture and perspective that draws me in.. much prefer black and white shots with heavy dark tones and contrast. Probably because I much admire early photographers like Brassai.. That kind of photography it’s a lost art. They carried heavy equipment along, set up in the right place and waited patiently until the right moment came along and then press the button. Once. And that was it. Photography nowadays it’s affordable and comfortable. I take 100 shots, edit 10, upload one maybe 2… I like editing only to a certain extent – without distorting the reality.
La Roumaine (above)Geri: When you shoot with your iPhone, do you use the native camera or a specialty camera app like ProCamera or Camera+?
Radu: Always relay on the native phone camera with only the HD option activated. I like it as plain as possible in order to edit it afterwards more freely.
Geri: Do you have any favorite apps?
Radu: Quite a few, the most useful for me are Snapseed and Photo FX. BlurFX (lovn’it), FilterStorm…
Geri: Please share a bit about your editing process?
Radu: Every shot will end up in Snapseed, indisputably. After playing with the tones, brightness, contrast and maybe cropping it goes to Photo FX. This is were I decide whether or not it stays in colour or becomes black and white. If bw, then ends up in Noir Photo and potentially in ScratchCam FX. I much prefer using Juxtaposer and BlurFX lately…
Long lasting love…(?) back to the basics above)Radu: I do have two Oxford shots on a permanent display in Queen’s Lane Coffee House in Oxford. It’s the longest established coffee house in Europe and quite touristy. Future 10-piece exhibition (mobile photography exclusive) soon to happen.
Geri:Have you ever exhibited your work? If not, any plans to do so in the future?
Geri: Do you have any interesting stories revolving around your photo shoots?
Radu: I almost got thrown out of the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for shooting in a temporary exhibition space by the security who kept saying ”there’s no debate about it, step outside now sir”. I was not even taking photos of the exhibits but the people around them….I had to play touristy card and pretend not to understanding much. Since English it’s not my first language that came easy. Photos deleted.
In Oxford, while shooting during the graduation ceremony days, I caught some great snaps of drunken but terribly happy students with their university gowns messed up and covered in flour, feathers, glitter and all. They did spot me shooting but since on public space there’s was little they could do. They explained that if seen in official ceremony gowns in that state – could be a problem for them; I did promise not to post them on popular social media platforms such as Twitter nor Facebook. However, hey, did not mention Instagram: ) …. “If you don’t want anybody to find out – then don’t do it” saying couldn’t be more true.
Geri: Anything else you'd like to add?
Radu: I have a constant fear :) that one day I’ll get caught snapping shots of people around me and being told off if not more. If my phone would go missing I couldn’t care less about the contacts nor the phone itself but the photos I have stored on. Out of 64GB more than 20GB are photos… I really should consider an external backup.
The other side of St. Paul’s on a moody London day (above)
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Radu and look forward to more of his inspiring work.
Please view Radu’s galleries here: