This morning I stopped to marvel as I prepared this feature about the technology that allows us to travel around the world to view the work of gifted artists. One such artist that I am honored to feature here is Davide Capponi, better known as @rubicorno in the mobile photography world. Join me today as I take a cyber journey to Italy and speak with Davide about his spectacular work.
|by the window|
Geri: What is your name and where do you live?
Davide: Davide Capponi (@rubicorno). I live in Italy, partly in Torino, where I was born, and partly in Milano, where I work. My life is on the run and from this point of view mobile photography fits very well, enabling me to shoot wherever I am – something I would not be able to achieve with my DSLR gear.
Geri: Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
Davide: I don't have a formal training in art or photography (I earn my living as senior manager of an Information Technology company), but photography has always been a passion. When I was a child, my very first camera was a glorious Diana F (a cult for lomographers); later I put my hands on an Olympus OM2 reflex and learned analog photography techniques on my own, mainly through books. In time, I shot less and less and lost interest, maybe because I had no way to share my works; I recently learned that sharing my photos and receiving feedback is essential to me.
|Lunch break on Naviglio Grande|
|by the blood|
Geri: How long have you been a mobile photographer? What device do you use?
Davide: I bought my first iPhone, a 3GS, in November 2009, but I seldom used the camera. In the second half of 2010 I tried Hipstamatic, and this was the moment that I discovered the potential of an iPhone as a tool for creative photography. At the time, I had a business trip in Kazakhstan and had my first iPhoneographic reportage. A few months later, in March 2011, I registered on Instagram and my iPhoneographic journey truly began. Since November 2011, I use an iPhone 4S and an Olloclip, a fantastic add-on, my favorite lens being the wide angle.
Geri: Your work includes many subjects - architecture, rich landscapes, abstract and fantasy works. Is there a subject you prefer?
Davide: The architectural theme is possibly the one that inspires me most - buildings, especially old, and even more if they are abandoned or derelict, have a story to tell. I have a special love for shooting cemeteries, and everything inside them. In cemeteries, I love the feeling of strong but restrained emotions that is expressed by funerary art and by the writings on the tombs. Landscapes are recently emerging more and more in my choice of shots, I love the sense of immensity and mystery you can find in the land.
Geri: Do you plan your shoots to create a certain piece or do you shoot and then let the piece evolve as you work with it?
Davide: I have learned that my instinct is better at creating images than my rational mind. Most of the time I am inspired by things I see, and will stop and shoot; but from time to time I also plan shootings of specific subjects.
|in a dream|
|inside the mausoleum|
Geri: Please share a bit about your process. What are some of your favorite apps?
Davide: The production of my images is about 40% rational and 60% instinctive: I follow an established workflow in a flexible way but I don’t have standard recipes, I tend to improvise as I edit. I work on a shot until I am satisfied with the edit. This can involve just 2-3 apps and a few minutes or 6-7 and hours.
A thing I discovered about my style is that while for me editing is an instinctive process, from the comments I received by fellow iPhoneographers little by little I became aware of what I was actually doing with my images. To explain it though, I must make a little diversion: there is a psychology theory about memories and how they evolve in time in our mind as we shape them with emotions. Let’s take a meaningful event of your life (positive or negative): as time passes you will go back to that event and elaborate that memory sometimes adding emotions something removing them. In this way a distant memory of your childhood can become very heavily loaded with emotions that come from all of your life, not only the day it happened. I think this is what I am doing with my images: I “dress” them as old and emotionally loaded memories; if you look at my photos with this in mind you’ll understand what I mean.
Now about apps:
- I shoot using PRO HDR, 6x6 or SlowShutter Cam.
- The following step is always through Snapseed, where I crop when needed and make basic adjustments to lightness, contrast and saturation.
- As a third step I often use Dynamic Light to enhance the dynamics of the shot.
- At this point comes the variable part of the processing: depending on the results I want to achieve I will use a number of apps, the most used being Glaze, Modern Grunge, Vintage Scene, Decim8; I often create a number of alternate edits and then blend them multiple times with Image Blender.
- Finally I make closing adjustments in Phototoaster, fine tuning the light, color, and possibly adding vignettes or additional textures.
|Stretching the Veil Trilogy - 3|
|the howling mill|
Geri: Have you ever exhibited your work? If not, do you have any plans to do so?
Davide: At the moment I haven’t exhibited my work in a personal exhibition, but I participated in some collective shows. I am considering a personal exhibition but not in the short term.
Three of my photos have been on show last November as part of a collection of photos about the city of Torino at the contemporary art show Artissima (http://www.artissima.it ) in Torino, Italy.
Last December my photo Collapsed was on show at the "Unit24 Gallery" in London as part of the Pixel Revolution Exhibition organized by mObilepixatiOn.
Again Collapsed, having been selected for THE THIRD WAVE exhibition of iPhonic art organized by Knox Bronson from P1xels, is currently on show at the "Garden Gate Creativity Center" in Berkeley, California and at the "Galerie OutOfMyMind" in Bremen, Germany.
My photos have also been published in local and national newspapers and magazines in Italy in articles about mobile photography.
Geri: I've noticed your work on a few sites (Flickr, EyeEm, IG). Do you find it difficult to keep up with it all?
Davide: Instagram has been my first photography social network and the first occasion to go “public” with my photos. I soon discovered that having people looking at and commenting about my photos was the missing link that made a huge difference to me. I learned a lot from other Instagrammers about creativity and about techniques and apps, and made a number of good friends.
Later I was pointed to iphoneart and it was a pleasure finding so many quality iPhoneographers over there and interact with them. From there I discovered P1xels another great site for mobile art and unique because of the curation of images - so more challenging. I then added a Facebook Page and I am participating in photography groups on Facebook, and I also joined Flickr and EyeEm.
My latest addition has been the friendly community Mobitog and a newborn initiative called the New Era Museum that gathers many talented iPhoneographers.
I am on many networks and sites because each one features distinct attitudes, people and context, but it IS difficult and energy consuming keeping up with everything: I think many “social iPhoneographers” like me would love a software solution that integrates all this multifaceted world.
|until the end|
Thank you Davide for all of your insight and for your rich contribution to the world of mobile photography.
Find Davide: You can view Davide’s work here: Website / Facebook / Flickr / iphoneart / P1xels / Instagram / EyeEm
All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Davide Capponi published on Art of Mob with the consent of the artist.