Chances are if you are reading this interview, it is because you are an iPhoneography buff. Whether you are just beginning, or an advanced artist, this form of expression has captured your attention. One of the people who ignited that interest for me is Nico Brons. It is therefore a huge honor for me to present this feature which explores his work and process.
N: My name is Nico Brons and I live in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Amersfoort is a nice town in the middle of the country. On Instagram you can see some images from this beautiful city with hashtag #amersfoort_nico.
G: How did you get started with mobile photography?
N: In early 2009, I saw some websites (flickr) with incredible images. I could not believe they were made by an iPhone. But they were! From that moment on I wanted to make such images too. I bought an iPhone 3Gs and started with smartphone photography. You can also make calls with it, but I used it more for photography!
|Back to Black © Nico Brons|
G: What device do you use?
N: I started with an iPhone 3Gs, but since December 2012 I work with an iPhone 5.
G: Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
N: I started with photography when I was about 17 years old. I lived near a military airfield and I was photographing airplanes. Nothing spectacular or with art in mind. Later on, I used my camera mostly for holidays and family. In 2004, came a great change in my photography and in my life. I bought a little digital camera, an HP 935. From that moment on I could manipulate my images in an easy way and I discovered a completely new world. Later I upgraded to a Nikon D70, D80 and I now work with a Nikon D700.
I have no art background, but it looks I had some little talent. Now I’am a professional photographer and I work for companies and individuals. My mainstream is photographing people. In February 2011, I begun studying photography at the photo academy in Amsterdam and hope to graduate in December 2013. For some assignments at the academy I used my iPhone and they were well received by the teachers. It is the image what counts and not the equipment.
|Egg Mania © Nico Brons|
|Pacific Standard © Nico Brons|
G: Who or what inspires your work?
N: I get inspired by many things, but mostly by music, books, movies, painters and other artists. I will mention some examples:
Music; Tom Waits, Black Keys, Nick Cave, Rammstein and many many others.
Books: for example Marvel Comics and other comic books.
Movies: Science Fiction and animation movies. (like Pixar movies)
Painters and artists: Salvador Dali, Rene Margritte, James Ensor, Max Ernst, Picaso and others.
Photographers: Joel Peter Witkin, Roger Ballen, Ed van der Elsken, Robert Frank, Robert Mapplethorpe, Anton Corbijn and many others.
|Inemokh © Nico Brons|
|Nobody Knows 01 © Nico Brons|
|Nobody Knows 03 © Nico Brons|
G: Do you shoot with the native camera app on your phone?
N: I shoot a lot with the native camera. For a few months I have also been shooting with an Olloclip. In addition, I use Hipstamatic, SlowShutter, Kitcam. Mostly the native camera is enough for me and my second choice is Hipstamatic.
G: Do you plan your shoots with a specific idea in mind?
N: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If I work on a series, then I do have a specific idea. Also for individual images I sometimes have a plan in mind. The best ideas I get at night when I cannot sleep. But I love to experiment and then I let myself be guided by the moment of time and place. I let go and edit what comes to mind. Often I work intuitively. I can work for hours or even days at one image. It must be perfect for me and there I fail a lot. I try everything out, which keeps me inspired.
|Pim © Nico Brons|
|Still Life - Vase © Nico Brons|
G: Your work includes everything from rich, textured landscapes to abstract portraits. Is there a particular style you prefer?
N: That’s a little problem, I do sometimes do too many different things. At the photo academy in Amsterdam, the teachers warned me about this. I am drawn to many styles. But I love photographing people the most and for my iPhone work I focus mainly on abstract portraits.. As said earlier: my mainstream is photographing people.
G: Do you begin editing a piece with the end in mind or does it evolve as you work with it?
N: I love to experiment and let my intuition do the work. Most of the time I let my subconscious mind guide me. Sometimes it's have and half. For example, the project “The Eye” is partly idea and partly experiment and intuition Sometimes I have a end result in mind, but the finished piece can be very different from my original idea.
|The Eye © Nico Brons|
|The Big Mouth © Nico Brons|
G: What are you favorite apps for editing or shooting?
N: My favorite shooting apps are the native camera with Olloclip and Hipstamatic. Besides them I use some other apps - SlowShutter and some others. When it comes to editing, well that's another story! I mix many apps together. I try them all in a manner of speaking. There are a lot of photographic apps on my iPhone. But there are a few workhorses to mention:
FilterstormSnapseedDynamicLightImage BlenderMoku HDPhotocopierMextures
|The Road to Mrs. Johnson © Nico Brons|
|The Woman With...© Nico Brons|
N: “Rosa” is a real woman and many people like the editing I have done on that piece. I feel honored you like the image too. I had four pieces at the Mobile Arts Festival in Los Angeles. I got good reviews on “The Ballerina”, also part of the exhibition. I have had exhibitions with iPhone Art in the Netherlands and Belgium. In my hometown, Amersfoort in 2012 there was a great photo festival and I was there with 50 iPhone images for a few weeks. I am pleased to say that it was a great success. In 2013, I had an exhibition in Ieper, Belgium. At this moment I have ten iPhone works on A2 format in a design shop in my hometown.
|Rosa © Nico Brons|
|Ballerina © Nico Brons|
G: I am honored that you would give us an exclusive first look at your new series The End (below). What is the meaning behind this series?
G: Anything else you'd like to add?
N: It is about a vision of the End of the World after an atomic bomb. All buildings are destroyed and there are no people anymore. It is a view of a nightmare from me. I hate war and violence. It scares me. There is a lot of misery int he world right now - many people are very intolerant of one another. My worries and fears are the influence behind this series. There are a total of six images - three are shown here.
|The End 01 © Nico Brons|
|The End 02 © Nico Brons|
|The End 03 © Nico Brons|
N: I want to thank all the lovely people who visit my work on the internet and I want to thank you all for all the lovely comments and likes. From my side I see a lot of great great work from other iPhone artists. I can not mention them all as there are too many and I would not forgive myself if I forgot to mention one! And finally I will thank Geri Centonze for asking me to do this interview.
Find Nico: iPhone Work / Non iPhone Work / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / iphoneart / Flickr / pixelsatanexhibition (search Nico Brons)
All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Nico Brons published on iART CHRONiCLES with the consent of the artist.