Jul 26, 2013

The Mobile Photography of Tracey Renehan

© Tracey Renehan
It has been a great experience getting to know different mobile photographers through this interview series.  This feature spotlights the work of Tracey Renehan.  You may be familiar with Tracey's street photography, but her talent doesn't stop there.  She's also a very gifted portrait photographer and also explores the realm of abstract editing in her work.  I'm sure you will enjoy learning about her as much as I have. 

© Tracey Renehan

G:  What is your name and where do you live?

T:  My name is Tracey Renehan and I am an Australian living in Sweden.

G:  How did you get started with mobile photography?

T:  I have travelled extensively and have always taken a lot of travel photos with various cameras.  In 2011, I decided I wanted to learn how to use a “real” camera and bought a Canon DSLR. 
During my self-study of photography, I came across Mobile Photographers doing amazing photography and became curious.  Winter set in and it was too cold to take my system camera out, so I thought why not use my iPhone to at least practice composition over the winter.  It wasn’t until I joined EyeEm in April 2012 that my real journey into Mobile Photography began.  Looking at photos on EyeEm has been the equivalent of going to school.  It helped me see what both professionals and regular people can do and inspired me to learn.

© Tracey Renehan
Inner Prison

© Tracey Renehan
Sound Waves
G:  What device do you use?  

T:  I started with an iPhone 4S and received the iPhone 5 last Christmas. 

G:  Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

T:  I wish!  My learning curve would be far less steep if I had studied.  The only training I have done is two of the Story Telling Series Workshops with Mobile Photo Workshop.  Last autumn, I did the Portraits workshop and I just finished the Street Photography workshop last week.  Not only are Anton Kawasaki and Sion Fullana amazing Mobile Photographers, they are also gifted instructors. 

It is too early to see the results from the Street Photography workshop, but my photography significantly improved after doing the Portraits workshop.  I am actually very excited about seeing what I do in the coming months with what I just learnt from them.

© Tracey Renehan
Waiting it Out

© Tracey Renehan
Erasing Thoughts
G:  Who or what inspires your work?

T:  Coming out of a tragic time in my life, I took up creative writing and wrote several short stories and a novel.  I realized I had a vivid imagination, but my writing skills needed a lot of work. The novel has been edited four times and I really love the story, but I don’t think it will ever reach the point where I am satisfied with the writing.    Regardless, one of my characters is an artist and in the course of the story she paints an image, which was related to my own personal story.  I considered commissioning someone to paint it and even casually mentioned it to an artist friend.  I’m now inspired to make that image myself.  It is still a long journey to reach the point where I have the skills I need, but hopefully I will get there.

I am also very inspired by images created by other mobile photographers. It is amazing what images are coming out of our mobile photography communities.  I just love when I log on to one of the photography sites and see work that takes my breath away.  Such images give me a high and I am inspired to try to create images that also speak to others. 
There are many mobile photographers and traditional photographers I admire and look up to and I spend more time than I should looking at images. 

© Tracey Renehan
Face Off!

© Tracey Renehan
Morphed Streets
G:  Do you plan your shoots with a specific idea in mind?

T:  Mostly not, though I have planned some shoots.  Typically when I shoot portraits of people I know, I think about the person then have a rough plan of how I want to shoot them.  When I shoot street, I shoot what catches my attention.

G:  Your work is mainly in black and white.  Do you shoot in black and white with an app like Hueless or do you make the conversion afterwards?

T:  Even if I shoot with a black and white camera app, I always apply Snapseed’s black and white processing to my images. Color is still a part of my learning curve.  I hope one day to shoot more color even though I love and am mostly drawn to black and white images.

© Tracey Renehan
From Where I Stand

© Tracey Renehan
The Letter
G:  Do you shoot with the native camera app on your phone or a specialized app like Hipstamatic or ProCamera?

T:  So far I have mainly shot with Hipstamatic, 6x6 and Camera+.  I sometimes also shoot with Hueless, MPro and Pure, never with the native camera.

G:  Do you have any favorite editing apps?

T:  YES!!!  Some of my favourite apps are:  Snapseed, decim8, iColorama, ScratchCam, Blender, Pixlromatic, Photo FX, Filterstorm and BlurFX.  

© Tracey Renehan

© Tracey Renehan
PI Jones
G:  Do you do all your editing on your phone, or do you prefer a tablet?

T:  My preference is to edit on my iPad.  If I’m not on wifi, then I edit on my iPhone.  Some apps are only on my iPhone, so I go back and forth. 

G:  Please share a little bit about your editing process.

T:  First and foremost all of my images are processed in Snapseed.  It is a great app and sometimes it is all an image needs.   I edit both intuitively or with a specific edit in mind, so some of my images have gone through an array of apps.  I love playing with apps and can spend hours experimenting on getting different effects (some by accident, others with intent).  If I have a specific effect in mind and do not know how to achieve it, I will spend hours playing with different apps to try to achieve an idea.  Often I don’t quite manage what I had in mind, but usually get something anyway. This way of editing has given me the opportunity to learn apps and know what both the app and I are capable of. 

© Tracey Renehan
The Jogger

© Tracey Renehan
The Shadow
G:  When shooting on the streets, has anyone ever objected to you photographing them?

T:  So far I have been lucky.  If someone were to object, I would tell him or her what I am doing and offer a copy of the finished image.  If they still object, then I would respect his or her wishes and delete the photo.  Often I wish I had given some of the people I have photographed a card so I could send them a copy of the image.

G:  ‘Jaded’ is a most interesting piece – please tell me more about it.

T:  ’Jaded’ was created when I was trying to hone a special effect for a Poetry series.  I chose a portrait from my album, which had the right facial expression and applied the Bunker filter in decim8.  I then took the image to ScratchCam for texture and into iColorama for the colour tint, warping and transitional adjustments. I then blended a part of another image to balance it out.  The subjects are actually siblings in real life, so the story I imply is pure fantasy based on her expression and the colour.  I think it is interesting to think about why an image comes about and from where it comes.  With this one I can’t give you an answer.  Such images I think are like dreams, they have a meaning, but perhaps not always the most obvious one. 

© Tracey Renehan
G:  Have you ever exhibited your work?  If not, any plans to do so?

T:  You know I am fearless when it comes to posting my images on the Internet.  The only time I feel nervous is when I post images to art albums.  I almost feel like I am an impostor and have no right to post.  I post anyway, but not without some trepidation.

If I were asked to exhibit, I would do so in a heartbeat and would enjoy every second!  

G:  Anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you so much for featuring me on your Blog.  I visit regularly and so enjoy reading your artist features and catching up on mobile photography news.  Great job, Geri!  I would also like to share that you emailed to ask about the feature on the day of my birthday.  I was both honoured and delighted to receive such a wonderful surprise birthday present.  Thanks again.

© Tracey Renehan
Silent Love

Find Tracey:  EyeEm / Flickr / iPhoneArt 

All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Tracey Renehan published on iART CHRONiCLES with the consent of the artist. 

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