Apr 6, 2013

Talking to Myself & Bonus Hipstamatic Tutorial!

Profile150I am kind of in a bind this week – there are some artist interviews in the works, but I’m waiting to receive them, so rather than scramble to put something together, I decided to “interview myself”.  There are perks to having your own blog!  It’s probably not the first time I was caught talking to myself.  Hopefully next week I’ll be back on track with my regular artist interviews.

© Geri Centonze
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.




© Geri Centonze
The Realtor (above)
© Geri Centonze
Portrait of a Man Reading (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.
© Geri Centonze
Benihana Chef (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.
© Geri Centonze
Man with a Red Hat (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.
© Geri Centonze
I’ll Watch Over You (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.
© Geri Centonze
Dusting off the Sand (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.  
© Geri Centonze
  Shot with Real Spy Camera (above)
© Geri Centonze
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.
© Patrick St. Hilaire
My edit of an image by Patrick St. Hilaire (above)
© Ladykty
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 ClubSketch 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.
© Geri Centonze
Hipstamatic “texture” (above)
I wanted to use it to apply to an image that I had already run through Snapseed (below)
© Geri Centonze
After Snapseed I ran the image through Old Photo Pro (below)
© Geri Centonze
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).
© Geri Centonze
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. 
© Geri Centonze
All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Geri Centonze with the exception of the collaborations.

JUXT / EyeEm / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

20 comments:

  1. Bravo! Physician interview thyself! Love getting inside your mind and world. Are you behind the Orange curtain? We use to live in Fullerton.

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  2. Geri hope you do a how to just for hipstamatic! Great words!

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  3. @Alex Lion - thanks Alex - I'm not an expert on Hipsta but when I get a bit more familiar with it I hope to do a tutorial.

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  4. I'm glad you interviewed yourself, I bet everyone was wondering about you as they read your wonderful interviews about other artist : ) It was fun learning more about your art and hearing your thoughts. I still haven't crossed over yet, but I really enjoy your interviews and being exposed to so many artist. Thanks!

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  5. Apps have taken over the world...can't keep up as ypu know, but I liked your onvterview and how you made that texture sheet....Love your motion photogrphy...xox

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  6. Thanks for the interview. I'm curious how you use structure in Snapseed. I ignore that feature as I don't understand it. Thanks.

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  7. I'm so glad you interviewed yourself - I loved reading more about you and your creative process. And now you've given me some more apps to look into - too many apps, too little time! Thanks for sharing, Geri - as always, your work amazes me.

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  8. Hi Geri~ Thanks for the mention! Love the work you are doing with your iPhone! and your blog! Awesome!
    Fun interview and cool tip on making an image overlay with Hipstamatic.
    Here's a link to a u-tube video I made on setting up Hipsta- for my online Johns Hopkins iPhone class. Maybe that will help Alex

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6YLUO032ac

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  9. Loved both the images (wow!) and interview!
    Most entertaining and visually enjoyable article in the iPhoneography world all weekend (and I've sure done quite a lot of surfing...)

    Best always, Cat.

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  10. I enjoyed your self-interview...like a self portrait with words

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  11. @9mayfield - I just increase the structure setting on most of my images which adds clarity to the details. Experiment with it - I think you will like it

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  12. @C - thanks so much for reading! I appreciate your support.

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  13. hey Geri. this was a great "get". good job. love your images, and of course, your blog

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  16. Great Review, Geri!
    Incredible images, don't remember seeing them on IG, so it's nice to see some more works.
    Will definitely try that spy camera app :)

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