Portrait of a Man (above)What is your name and where do you live?
Geri: My name is Geri Centonze and I live in Southern California about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, but if you know our freeways that hour can quickly become two and a half hours in peak traffic! For 22 years I lived in the Cayman Islands and both of my sons were born there. I mention that because living there had a big impact on my life. I was exposed to a different way of life and got to know people from so many countries since the Caymans attract people from all across the globe.
The Realtor (above)
Portrait of a Man Reading (above)
At the Mall (above)Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
Geri: I was never trained in either but have always loved both. I purchased my first 35mm camera when I was a teenager back in the 1970’s (okay do the math and you’ll figure out that I’m no longer a teenager!). It was a Konica and it took me a year to pay it off with monthly payments to J.C. Penney’s. I would often go on shooting adventures down to the beach or convince one of my friends to be my model for the afternoon so I could experiment. But in those days, photography was a very expensive hobby due to film and developing costs, so that limited the number of photos I could take. My camera ended up on the shelf taken out only for special occasions and family outings.
On the art side of things, I loved drawing since I picked up my first crayon. I thought of pursuing a career as a commercial artist but my father discouraged it as he thought my science and math aptitude could be used in a better way. Although I worked in an art gallery in the Cayman Islands, it wasn’t until 2008 when, encouraged by my stepdaughter, I started creating sketch cards and selling them on eBay. Sketch cards are collectible 2.5” x 3.5” original works usually Sci-Fi or comic themed. Selling on eBay led to doing official sets for a few trading card companies. I also dabbled in mixed media pieces and in the four years I was creating original works, I sold more than 1300 pieces on eBay.
Benihana Chef (above)
Butterball (above)How did you get started in mobile photography?
Geri: After four years of drawing sketch cards, my passion was waning. I had begun to use my iPad create original art using an app called Sketch Club. These were all original pieces that were not image based. My sister kept telling me how much fun she was having on Instagram so I joined. I mainly saw a lot of photos of meals, shoes and teenagers. I figured it wasn’t the venue for me until I stumbled upon the galleries of artists like Alain Vincent @alainvincent and Richard aka @thelongsilence. These were two of the first feeds I viewed that opened my mind to the possibility of creating art with a mobile device. At about the same time I discovered the blog of Karen L. Messick and her painterly images captivated me. So I started shooting everything in sight and poured through the app store looking for ways to enhance my images. When I started getting feedback on Instagram, I was hooked! I decided to abandon my sketching career to pursue this new and evolving art form.
Man with a Red Hat (above)
Mall Shopper (above)
How did the blogging begin?
Geri: When I was selling my original art, several people who had purchased my work wanted to know if I had a blog or website, so I started blogging. When I began creating mobile art, I thought it was a good time to start a new blog and that’s when iART CHRONiCLES was born. It’s almost a year old now.
I’ll Watch Over You (above)
The Venetian (above)Do you use the native camera app or another specialty app?
Geri: For quite a while I used ProCamera because of the ability to lock in exposure and focus separately. Now,in addition I use Camera Awesome. I also like Slow Shutter Cam. There are I rarely use the native camera on my iPhone 4S.
Who or what inspires your work?
Geri: I am inspired by faces. I loved drawing them and now I love capturing them in photos and doing painterly edits. I also secretly long to be a street photographer like Dilshad Corleone @italianbrother, brave enough to capture images of everyday people, but living in the suburbs limits that endeavor. I could walk for a mile in either direction of my home and not pass a single person! Mobile artists like Sarah Jarrett also inspire me – her work is brilliant! I also marvel at the work of artists like Dan Burkholder and Davide Capponi. Their heavily textured images remind me of old world paintings.
Dusting off the Sand (above)
Westin Lobby (above)Do you plan your shoots or is your work created out of random shots on your camera roll?
Geri: I don’t plan. Much to the chagrin of my husband, I take my iPhone everywhere and I am continually pausing to snap an image of someone or something I find interesting. I love swiping through my camera roll looking for a face or a scene that I find edit worthy. I often use an app called Real Spy Camera that randomly captures images every few seconds. Using an iPhone clip case that I purchased for $6 on eBay, I attach it to my purse or pocket when I’m on a busy street. I never know what I’ve captured until I look at my camera roll.
Shot with Real Spy Camera (above)
Easter Ranunculus (above)Your work is eclectic with portraits, street photography, abstract work, black and white, color. Do you have a preference?
Geri: I love it all and will try most anything, but most enjoy painterly edits. Collaborating with other artists really interests me as well and I recently edited images by Patrick St. Hilaire and Ketty @LadyKTY that were received well on Instagram and EyeEm.
My edit of an image by Patrick St. Hilaire (above)
My edit of an image by @Ladykty (above)
Please share some of your favorite apps and a bit about your process.Geri: I shoot everything with my iPhone and do all editing on my iPad. I normally begin each edit in Snapseed where I do my cropping and make adjustments to exposure, ambiance, contrast and often use the “Structure” adjustment that is unique to Snapseed. Then depending on what I’m doing, for painterly edits I take the image into PhotoViva or Artist’s Touch where I will do a rough painterly edit. I will also make various edits of the original image in apps like Glaze, Shockmypic, Painteresque or Portrait Painter and then combine all of the various versions using Sketch Club. Sketch Club is an app I purchased when I was doing a lot of original digital painting and I just got used to working with the layers in the app, but I really need to get more familiar with Filterstorm which allows for masking as well as combining layers. I have more than 300 editing apps on my iPad so I consider myself appdicted! Other favorites include iColorama, Laminar Pro,
Photo FX, PhotoStamps (for adding a signature), Monovu, Deco Sketch, Picfx, Alt Photo, Pic Grunger all the apps by JixiPix, and Portray. One of the newest apps I enjoy experimenting with is Repix.
Is there an area that you’d like to explore more?
Geri: I definitely want to look into compositing images and also using apps in unconventional ways. For example the app Perspective Correct I’d like to use to distort images and some of the novelty apps that skew faces are great for distorting figures. Recently I tried something different with Hipstamatic. I really like the effects of Hipstamatic but you can’t pull an image in that you’ve taken with another app. I’ve found a workaround for that. I shot a blank white page using the D-Type Black and White film and the GSquad lens and here’s what I got.
Hipstamatic “texture” (above)I wanted to use it to apply to an image that I had already run through Snapseed (below)
After Snapseed I ran the image through Old Photo Pro (below)
Here is the image with the Hipstamatic texture applied over it using a Hard Light blend (I used Sketch Club to blend the layers (below).
Anything you’d like to add?
Geri: Yes, mobile photography and the community that embraces it have really added to my life. I believe we can all create something and it’s inherent in our nature – whether it’s a poem, a drawing, a photograph, a song…through this medium I’ve been able to explore various genres and techniques at a fairly low cost (I do have a lot of apps!) I want to thank all of those who encouraged and inspired me over the past year.
All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Geri Centonze with the exception of the collaborations.
Geri Centonze on Google+