iPhone 5 Lightroom Living Photography

Happy New Year 2014!

Coastal Light - Pigeon Point - 2012

Today is my father’s birthday – he was born December 31, 1921 and would have been 92 years old today.

His father, my grandfather, was born on December 24, 1879.

Two Carl’s – one born on Christmas Eve, the other on New Year’s Eve. On this New Year’s Eve, I remember them both. Wonderful fathers indeed.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a great 2014!

Art and Artists iPhone 5 iPhone 5s Photography

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.

Black and White iPhone 5 Photography Photography - Black & White San Francisco/California

On the Run at SFO

On the Run - San Francisco - 2013

We were on our way to Miami – getting a day early so we could shoot South Beach before heading to Havana.

I turned around and captured this iPhone shot – on the go at San Francisco’s International Airport.

Another one of my favorites from 2013!

iPhone 5 Lightroom Photography Photoshop CC VSCO Film

Down the Line at China Camp

Down the Line - China Camp - 2013

I’d heard of China Camp – but never been there. It’s a great spot – on the bay side of San Rafael in Marin County – with some wonderful places to shoot.

This is an image I shot with my iPhone 5. Post=processed using Lightroom 5 with VSCO Film 04 and then Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CC. I love how the painterly effects play with the water and sky in this image.

iPhone 5 Photography San Francisco/California

A Bright Day at Mission Rock Resort in San Francisco

Mission Rock Resort - San Francisco - 2013

Here’s an iPhone 5 shot taken at Mission Rock Resort in San Francisco.

Doug Kaye and I headed to Hunters Point for an artists Open Studio show – and stopped here for lunch on our way home.

iPhone 5 Lighthouse Lightroom Photography Santa Cruz

The Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse – Santa Cruz

Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse - Santa Cruz - 2012

Here’s another iPhone 5 images – this one from late December 2012 in Santa Cruz, California. The iPhone 5 (and now the iPhone 5s) has a great camera – I’ve put together a special set on Flickr with some examples of my iPhone 5 photos – and a new one where I’m collecting iPhone 5s photos.

This is the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse built by Abbott’s parents following his death in 1965 while surfing near the point.

This version was adjusted in Lightroom 5 using VSCO Film presets.

Black and White iPhone 5 Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Radio Road #2 at Point Reyes

Radio Road #2 - Point Reyes - 2013

I’ve been enjoying the work of Jean-Michel Berts who enhances his monochrome images with the selective use of light. He sells two video tutorials that walk through his approach.

I went back to this earlier image of mine – shot originally with my iPhone 5 – and added just a bit of Berts’ technique in Photoshop CC. The original version is below.

Radio Road - Point Reyes - 2013

Black and White iPhone 5 Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Car 1003 in Monochrome

Car 1003

This image is of one of the streetcars in the car barn at the Western Railway Museum just outside of Fairfield, California.

I shot this image using my iPhone 5 – and post-processed it totally on the iPhone using the Dramatic B&W application. When I took the shot, I got lucky to be able to light up the headlamp of the camp – thanks to a reflection of natural light coming in from the far right. That light in the headlamp makes this shot – without it, it’d just be another streetcar image!

iPhone 5 Living Photography VSCO Film

Welcome to Fall 2013

Welcome to Fall! Hard to believe it’s just arrived.

Here are a couple iPhone 5 grab shots from some explorations yesterday.



Design iPhone 5 Photography VSCO Film

Abstracts on the Shelf


These are some iPhone 5 shots taken in the lounge of a hotel I recently visited. I had been reading in the lounge one evening and, while heading out, noticed these interesting pieces in cabinets well lit by halogen spots above them. I played with a couple of them in VSCOcam – but most are straight out of the iPhone 5 camera.

“The best camera is the one you have with you…”