Jun 20, 2015

Featured iPhone Photographer Andyskeptik

What is your name & where do you live?

Andyskeptik:  My name is Andyskeptik. I'm a photographer and artist and at the moment I am living in Spain about 2 hours from Barcelona although I'm originally from London.

While contacting you about this interview I found out that you shoot with both DSLR & a mobile phone. How did you get started in mobile photography? What devise do you use?

Andyskeptik:  I am quite late getting into mobile photography but I've been using digital cameras for well over ten years and have had a DSLR for at least seven of those. I've always loved photography and editing with computers and software, primarily Photoshop. I was a web graphics designer for a long time which included a lot of photograph enhancement, manipulation and touching up. I bought a smartphone a little over a year ago and was instantly hooked. After discovering Instagram and VSCO, I realized mobile photography was the future and after recently upgrading to an iPhone 5s. I haven't looked back.

© Andyskeptik
After the Sandstorm
© Andyskeptik
She doesn't know about me

What advantages are there to using a mobile device?

Andyskeptik:  Apart from some excellent creative apps, for me one of the main advantages of using a mobile device is the ability to post photographs and the opportunity for a wide audience to share your work. This gives me enormous inspiration, confidence and drive to produce better photographs. Apart from being an amazing source of beautiful photographs by other artists, Instagram/VSCO provide a strong social community of both support and appreciation. Although I have probably tried all the decent creative mobile apps available for the iPhone, I couldn't be without Merek Davis's wonderful and amazing Mextures or VSCO. VSCO Cam is my choice of mobile camera as it offers greater control and quality than the native iPhone camera and some of the presets available are just fantastic. The other essential mobile apps that live on my iPhone are: Snapseed, great for final edits and Stackables, a wonderful tool for rich smoky textures and atmosphere.

© Andyskeptik
The Rhythm of Life 001
© Andyskeptik

Who or what inspires you?

Andyskeptik:  My influences are vast. Recently Instagram/VSCO have provided enormous inspiration and I have my favorite galleries/photographers that never fail to motivate me. Pop art, graphic novels, film and graffiti provide ideas for tone and color as do many of the Dutch and Italian old masters with their subtle use of tone, light, mood and shade. Nature never fails to amaze me with its endless supply of texture, vibrant color, tone and energy. I love light, wind, gales, storms, stars, the sun and the sea.

© Andyskeptik
Dead and Gone
© Andyskeptik
In God We Crust

Do you plan your shoots with an end in mind?

Andyskeptik:  I usually have an idea in mind for the photographs I shoot. I have a place with excellent light where I like to photograph flowers and still life. I'm always on the look out for interesting subjects so journeys tend to take longer than planned as I'm always stopping to take photographs. I have recently started trying to take ten photographs a day as suggested by the excellent Josh Johnson. This has if anything made my obsession worse!! Lol!

© Andyskeptik

© Andyskeptik
All of us harbor dark recesses of violence and horror ~ Alfred Hitchcock

I really love your textured floral images - Please share a bit about the process you use to edit them.

Andyskeptik:  My floral photographs are something that has become a big favorite of mine and I really enjoy creating them. I guess the first and most important part of the edit is a great photograph. I always try to use a tripod or make sure the iPhone is supported as a blurred or grained image just wont look good however much you try. Light is very important, I haven't got a lightbox so I use natural light, placing the flowers near open doors or windows always works for me. I usually use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to get the image to my standard (If you haven't tried Lightroom yet you really must. Its the most amazing tool for photographers)  After I have the basic image I am happy with, I import it into the iPhone. I then use Mextures, Stackables app or VSCO to create the feel and textures I love so much. It can take an hour or in some cases a week to achieve the look i want and it's a process that I absolutely adore. When I have what I want it usually gets a final tweak with Snapseed and that's it.

© Andyskeptik
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end ~ Seneca

© Andyskeptik
A rose is without explanation; she blooms because she blooms ~ Angelius Selesius

Your images are almost always accompanied with a title or quote. Does this come easily to you?

Andyskeptik:  What's a photograph without a title? I think a title can be so important to an image. With some images I find the title will be obvious to me but others more difficult. I'm a big reader so I tend to save quotes, ideas or interesting passages to my iPhone notes and edit them later. Also individual words can be a title within themselves. Sometimes a title can take days to find but I enjoy the process of writing, searching and trying to fit words and photographs.

Do you use any add-on lenses or other gadgets with your mobile phone?

Andyskeptik:  No.

© Andyskeptik
Last of the Winter Trees

Have you ever sold or exhibited your work? If not, any plans for the future?

Andyskeptik:  I have never exhibited my photographs, I've never even thought about it if I'm honest. I haven't sold any photographs either although I get many requests especially for the floral images. I'm always amazed that anyone would want to purchase one of my photographs! 

© Andyskeptik
She Intoxicates Me

What was the best advice you were given or read about photography?

Andyskeptik:  Before you shoot, always stop, think and try to avoid the walk up shot. Have fun and just be yourself.

What exactly is a walk up shot?

Andyskeptik:  The walk up shot is that photo everyone takes when we just walk up, set the camera and shoot the first thing we see without thinking. I always stop and think about shoots now since another photographer pointed this out!

© Andyskeptik

© Andyskeptik

Anything else you would like to add?

Andyskeptik:  I would like to say thanks Geri for this interview!! Your hard work with Art of Mob is much appreciated!!

© Andyskeptik

Find Andy: Instagram

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