Jul 5, 2015

Eclectic Imagery of Claude Panneton

What is your name and where do you live?

CP:  My name is Claude Panneton and I live in Gatineau, Quebec, in Canada's national capital region. 

How did you get started in mobile photography? What device do you use?

CP:  I bought my first iPhone in 2010 and began using it to take photographs of pretty much anything that caught my eye. Soon after, I joined Instagram and immediately realized its immense potential for artistic expression.

I use an iphone 5 now and edit on both the phone and an iPad mini. 

© Claude Panneton

Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

CP:  My artistic background is in music and theater. Although, in lieu of acting, I chose to pursue a professional career in public relations, I still play in a classic rock band, six-of-one.com. My photography and mobile editing is mostly self-taught, although I did have a lot of help along the way from some very talented and wonderful artists and photographers. I formally studied photography last year at the Ottawa School of Photographic Arts. As passionate as I am about mobile art, I also aspire to improve as a traditional photographer. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

What are the advantages of mobile photography over DSLR photography?

CP:  Access. Availability. Ease. Spontaneity. All advantages of the mobile device. Something I'm looking at seriously at the moment in developing a project I hope to launch in the fall. It's the accessibility of mobile art that I hope to bring to youth at risk, working with my daughter, Emma, who is studying social work in college. 

While I have to admit I do love the control and resolution I get with my DSLR, there's something to be said about the spontaneity with which one can shoot high quality images with a mobile device, and edit moments afterwards, anywhere, using a number of mobile applications. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

Who or what inspires you?

CP:  From the beginning, my mobile art has been inspired by my relationships. I have tried to keep the motivation for creating art routed in my love of the work and pride in constantly improving and creating something that people feel something about or relate to on a personal level. Like many artists, I imagine, my motivation for creating is to make connections. In publishing my work, I hope to show those vulnerable bits of myself to the world and hope someone relates and connects.

My two children, Alex and Emma, inspire my personal growth and discipline. Other artists and photgraphers inspire my creative growth. I have been fortunate to collaborate with some very tallented and wonderful people.  All have helped me grow as a person and as an artist. I try also to join as many online groups and sites to keep up with trends and the amazing talent that's out there. It's almost a full-time job! 

Of late, I have been more inspired to create with a view to attain some commercial success and greater public exposure. But right now, art photography is my retirement plan. It’s a time-consuming passion for which patience is required as I focus on the few remaining years of my professional career before retirement. Yes, I am over 40... 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

Do you plan your shoots with an end in mind?

CP:  Sometimes. Usually I'll shoot with an end in mind if I have something I want to express, if I am working with a model or on a specific project. I shoot constantly. Backgrounds, landscapes, and self-portraits. I do have a number of conceptual ideas and plan to use models more extensively in the future. 

In reality, I consider my mobile work to be very much in its infancy and the majority, to date, has come from spur-of-the-moment inspiration.  

I plan to continue creating in the mobile art genre but also aspire to further expand my photography skills to DSLR studio and art photography. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

Your gallery includes a wide array of styles and subjects. Is there any subject or style you prefer?

CP:  I'm pleased you noticed the wide variety of my subjects. Although I think being all over the map may not help my commercial viability, I prefer to vary my work depending on the story or sentiment I wish to express. 

I'm inspired by any different styles and haven't yet found one particular one I could focus an entire body of work on. My favorite subjects are nature, landscapes and people. Although my work features quite a lot of self-portraiture, that's more by necessity than by design. It is my collaborations, work with models and nature photography that inspire me the most. 

Most recently, was a rewarding creative partnership with talented photographer and artist Kirsten Fenton; a fellow Canadian now living in Chicago. The partnership, CLAUSTEN.com, culminated in a handful of awards, including Best of Show at the Color of Humanity Art Gallery and a second place prize at the Charity Gala in support of "Inspiration Corporation", an organization that helps Chicago's homeless. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

What apps do you use on a regular basis for your edits?

CP:  I use a wide range of apps but my staples are Union for blending and masking, iColorama and Art Studio, primarily for details, and Enlight, Snapseed, Mextures and Stackables for tone, light and color adjustment.

I'm constantly trying new applications and am pleased that many are producing higher resolutions. I've found the biggest hurdle in using mobile applications to be the limitations in printing work for exhibits. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

Most of your photos are titled. I struggle to find a suitable title - is this an easy process for you?

CP:  Yes and no. While most of my work comes from a desire to express an emotion or thought, I sometimes struggle to find words that suitably match the edit, without being too candid or blunt. I'll research and use quotes and song lyrics when I can't formulate my own words appropriately. 

© Claude Panneton

Have you ever participated in any mobile group shooting events with other mobile photographers?

CP:  I'm actually quite introverted but I have been to a few "Instameets" organized through my city's Instagram community. I found each event quite enjoyable. I credit these meet-ups for helping me to feel less self-conscious about shooting randomly in public. Street photography intrigues me but it's not something I've practiced very much. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

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

CP:  I have exhibited internationally, as far as Naples, Italy and in the Southern U.S., Chicago and here in Ottawa, Canada. I have sold a number of pieces, but plan on actively marketing and exhibiting my work in the near future. 

Have you ever submitted your work to any of the international mobile photography award competitions?

CP:  I have submitted work to a number of mobile competitions, including the IPAs. I find it difficult to keep up with the deadlines because of my day job. I realize the value of entering these competitions, but I have to be patient for the time being. 

© Claude Panneton

© Claude Panneton

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

CP:  I'd like to thank you, Geri, for this opportunity and I'd like to thank all the wonderful artists who have helped and inspired me along this journey. I'm very grateful to each and every one. 

Find Claude:  Facebook / Instagram / Flickr / Twitter

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