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My Favorite iPhoneographer: Karen Klinedinst

Autumn Lake-img_7324-1024px

I’m not exactly sure that I remember how I first discovered the work of Karen Klinedinst. I suspect I was searching for iPhoneographers who were doing especially interesting work. iPhoneography is the term applied to using your iPhone’s camera to create interesting images – and iPhoneographers are those creative people who create their art this way.

Somehow I ended up on Karen’s web site – one of those delightful discoveries that sometimes happen to us on the web. First, one image – then another, and another, and yet another. Beautiful in their treatment of a landscape – with the delight of having been shot and edited on an iPhone. I found her on Facebook – and friended her.

I was particularly taken with Karen’s “Autumn Lake” (above) and emailed her an order for a framed print of this beautiful image. Karen’s Autumn Lake is now hanging in our living room – a beautiful image that changes it colors as the window light shifts across it during the course of a day. It’s one of those very special images.

Along the way, I asked Karen if she’d be willing to share more of her story here on my blog. She agreed – and We worked together on a Q&A. I sent her a list of questions that I had about how iPhoneography – and she replied – sharing some of her artistic inspiration as well as the details of her iPhone photo processing.

What a wonderful chat with a great artist – thanks Karen!

Q&A with iPhoneographer Karen Klinedinst

1. How did you get into your iPhone image making? Was there some spark that lit your interest?

About three years ago, I was looking at the Center for Photography at Woodstock‘s schedule, to see if there was a workshop that might inspire me. I had been doing Polaroid transfers for many years, and was searching for a new creative spark. CPW had a “iPhone Artistry” weekend workshop with Dan Burkholder listed. I was curious, and looked at Dan’s website and was completely wowed by his iPhone images.. During my research, I also discovered the work of Nettie Edwards, and was really blown away by her beautiful, mysterious images–all created with her iPhone. I had never considered using my iPhone for anything other than snapshots of my cats. I immediately signed up for Dan Burkholder’s workshop.

2. Tell us about how you see when you’re in the field – and how you capture with your iPhone?

An integral part of my process and how I see is influenced by walking. I’m an avid hiker, and spend at least once a week, hiking in beautiful places in the Mid-Atlantic region. Walking through a landscape allows me to see and feel the nuances of space, light and time. This, influences how I photograph the landscape. By using an iPhone, I’m totally unencumbered, because it so easily fits in my pocket. I can be free about what I capture, and start processing images right in the field. I call it “plein air processing.”

3. There seem to be a never-ending assortment of photo processing apps for the iPhone. Which ones are your favorites, how did you settle on them?

I’m very particular about composition and getting the best quality image capture that I possibly can. I generally capture the image using the apps Pro Camera or 645 Pro. These are great camera apps that allow you to control focus, and exposure. Sometimes, the lighting situation requires using an HDR app. My HDR app of choice is HDR3. So many of my images are panoramic, and with the iPhone it’s incredibly easy to create them. By far the best pano app out there is AutoStich.

Post-processing is where you can get very creative. Some of my favorites are SnapSeed, PhotoToaster, FilterStorm, Vintage Scene, Modern Grunge, Photo Studio, Laminar Pro, and PhotoForge (unfortunately, no longer available in the App Store). I’m constantly experimenting with new apps, so the list is always changing.

Because I do create prints from my images, file size and resolution is very important. So, I only use apps that allow me to get maximum file size and resolution. Some of the file sizes of my AutoStitch panos are fairly large–the maximum possible is 18MB.

4. What’s your general workflow – once you’ve captured a scene?

Because I’ve done a lot of alternative photographic processes throughout my creative life, the image capture is just the jumping off point. I’m not really interested in capturing reality, but creating a neo-Romantic world of my imagination.

Once I capture an image, I think about what I want to covey, and the emotional qualities that the landscape conveys to me. I do some fine-tuning and exposure adjustments with SnapSeed or FilterStorm. Then the creativity begins. I experiment with different apps such as VintageScene, PhotoStudio, PhotoForge, or ModernGrunge to add textures and colors. I sometimes layer effects by bringing several versions of the same image into Laminar Pro and using the layers function. I do a lot of experimentation, and save many different versions of an image before I get where I want to be. I’m always surprised by the process–it’s magical!

5. You take special care with your printing. How did you arrive at your current process?

Because I come from a traditional and alternative process background, the print is an integral part of creating an image. The type of paper used for a print can really change the image. I experimented with a lot of digital fine-art papers before I found what works best for my images. I do most of my own prints using an Epson 2880, and print on Hahnemühle Bamboo paper. It’s a bamboo-fiber, warm-toned paper with a surface very similar to a hot-press watercolor paper. It also comes in a wide variety of sizes, and in rolls. Some of my panoramic images have been printed as large as 30×15″ by Full-Circle Photo in Baltimore. They specialize in fine-art printing for photographers and artists, and are wonderful to work with.

If you have any other questions, please ask – add a comment below! Happy Holidays!

Looking to learn more about using your iPhone to create beautiful art, be sure to checkout:, and

Image of “Autumn Lake” – © Copyright 2013 Karen Klinedinst Landscapes.

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