Chase Jarvis & The Best Camera Trifecta

Chase Jarvis has been one of my favorite commercial photographers for years now.  It’s been sort of dream of mine to someday become a successful professional photographer like Jarvis, Joey L or Annie Leibovitz, despite the fact that I shoot primarily fine-art style photography.

Back in September Jarvis released a sort of trio of unsuspecting photography tools based on his famously popular iPhone photos.  You can view many of his iPhone snaps on his TwitPic stream.  His photos get thousands of views by other Twitter users, more often than not bringing up the question, “how did you do that?”

The answer came out in the form of The Best Camera iPhone app, a social photo site The Best and a fantastic book full of inspiration, illustration and annotation.  He says it best, check out the video below.

The idea behind the project is simple, the best camera is the one you have with you, something Jarvis has proven this to be true time and time again.  From photos of sewer grates to open fields to elevator steps to the decontextualized, his photos rarely fail to capture a certain photographic spirit.

The Best Camera iPhone app is a solid photo manipulator.  It’s not meant to fix problems with photos but by stacking various filters allowing the photographer to create something truly unique.  You can easily share your photos with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends as well as the applications aforementioned social site..

Jarvis’s book is essential the printed version of his TwitPic and Best Camera photo streams.

The photos are well printed and laid out in a way that somehow seems to work.  With such a comprehensive and yet random subject matter, making something cohesive must have been difficult..  Most photography books I’ve picked up have been about one particular subject.  This book is different.  It captures everything, a sort of stream of consciousness.

EverythingEntrace Exit

Some of the cropping and effects used in his iPhone app seem to be a bit overdone, I subscribe to a sort of less-is-more faculty when it comes to these sorts of things.

Cropping down so many of the photos to fit the square book along with the exaggeration in color had me questioning the power of the photos themselves.  Would they have been as interesting on their own or do they rely on the effects in the program?

Perhaps in the end these sorts of questions don’t matter.  If the photos come out beautifully, carry a narrative or simply peek interest, perhaps they’ve done their job.

For under $15, this book is a steal.  It’s really a blast to browse through the photos, to see how the limitations of a camera can become a tool.  When I switched to a 50mm prime lens from a 18-135 zoom, I found myself taking much better photos.  The same seems to happen with the iPhone.  This book serves as a sort of illustration and guide to what is possible, though ultimately the limits are endless.

You can get the book at several resellers including, my favorite,  Click here to check it out.

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Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Wow, he’s everyone I want to be.  Smart, funny, talented, adorable, successful and a photographer doing what he loves and inspiring the pros around him.

Did I mention he’s like 19 years old?  Did I mention he’s the guy that shot the infamous and oft impersonated Twilight poster?

Sessions With Joey L – Tutorial Preview from Joey L on Vimeo.

Joey has a couple of DVDs out with his tips, tricks and techniques and as with most photography tools, these videos are incredibly expensive.  And yet, I’m tempted to scrounge around for the money to buy them.  The two DVDs together will cost around $500!  That’s pretty incredible.

Imagine an Annie Leibovitz that’s guy, that’s 19 years old but nearly every bit as important and successful in his field of photography.  His is the style I’ve wanted to do since I got into art photography.  Real winners are rare between while the market is flooded with fluff photographers not work the equipment they are carrying.

I hope to someday do the work of Joey, to be as successful, humble and passionate.  I also hope that my current trip into architectural fine art photography isn’t a mistake.  That my critique of educational institution isn’t a handicap for my art’s success.

Click photo to visit my photography site

Click photo to visit my photography site

I hope my love for the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf style of photography such as the works of Candida Höfer and Andreas Gursky can actively be incorporated with my adoration of Joey’s and Annie’s works.

This post started as a small plea for things to come together for me to arrive at having a set of Joey’s DVDs and wouldn’t you know it, now I’m questioning my recent vein of photography for the bigger picture.

On the internet and in business I market myself as a social media/marketing/PR guy.  It’s what I do to pay the bills while simultaneously teaching photography both at the University and in my spare time at coffee shops, photo studios and over the Internet.  But perhaps I’m not so off base.  Joey does something similar.  Perhaps I should look towards him as my inspiration in both my business and creative energies.

Would love your thoughts on all this, any of this.  This blog is as much a teaching engine for me, as a vent for the good and bad and a tool for me to learn from my readers and contributors.  Thanks for all you do for me.

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