iPhone Photographer of the week is Miguel Angel Camero / @maicamero on Instagram.
His approach to iPhone photography is about old and new photography.
Fed with successful experiments, Miguel’s photographic style also seats firmly on solid fundamentals.
Below is an interview of Miguel along with some of his photographs posted on Instagram. It has been very difficult to select some images because Miguel’s gallery is full of gems. Visit his fantastic stream and let yourself be carried away !
“I realized that editing via an iPhone or an iPad is like a path to the past, like a reconciliation between past and present and dignifies the history of photography.” Miguel Angel Camero
P : Pierre M : Miguel
P : Miguel, what is your Background and current occupation ? Are you a professional photographer ?
M : I was born in a little town on the coast of the Gulf of México, my family are workers of the petroleum industry. In 1968, my father took us to México City, then I began my studies until University. In 1993, I returned to my home town, and I’ve been here since then.
I learned to take photographs in 1980. For economic reasons, in 1988, I started taking photos as a business, and three years later began teaching photography. I had taught in universities for 15 years, and now I do it in my own studio. I also produce my personal work, with 14 solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions.
P : What is your relationship to photography ?
M : I would like to quote Joan Fontcuberta “I owe my life to photography”. Almost in every way possible. For me it’s not such a way to make a living, it’s the way I feel good about myself, learn about what I see, and communicate with people around me.
P : How long have you been taking photographs with your mobile phone ?
M : Yes, for work I use a couple of DSLR, and for travel I used to use a Leica D-Lux4, camera wich I no longer use since I bought my iPhone.
In the early years, I shot with all kind of films, Black and white, slides, color, infrared, for 35mm, 120, 4X5 cameras, I even took a workshop to make Cyanotypes. I know how to print in B&W fiber papers and platinium paladium (I haven’t done it for so long, perhaps by now I already forgot). I must say, I miss my old darkroom very much.
P : One of your angles as an iPhone photographer is about old and new photography. Could you tell us more about this ?
M : When I began to shoot with an iPhone, I didn’t know much about Apps. So my only tools were the instagram filters. As time passed, I met a number of apps that evoke aesthetics of the past : lomography, polaroids, cyanotypes, ambrotype, daguerrotypes, etc. Then I realized that editing via an iPhone or an iPad is like a path to the past, like a reconciliation between past and present and dignifies the history of photography. I remember in the late twentieth century, when the digital revolution in photography began, photographers communities in my country were polarized, some for and some against it. Then the Holga and Diana cameras reappeared with great force. Nearly 10 years have passed and iPhoneography is making that gap disappear, and I very much welcome all those new photographers, new iphoneographers, recognizing the past history by evoking aesthetics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries photography.
P : How do you see the emergence of Mobile photography ?
M : In my country, we are in a very slow process in accepting mobile photography as an art form. There are a few iPhonography exhibitions, but that’s it. I used to think that way too, but now I know its only a matter of time, and perhaps a little bit of ignorance. Eventually, in a near future, this will change.
Once in a while, photography changes the way we see things and the way we take photographs. It happened many times : first, when photography was invented, then evolved and changed the exposure time making it possible to freeze action, then when they changed glass plates for cellulloid. Again when photographs appeared in newspapers, then when Polaroid developed the image in our own hands, and again when you just need a memory card to take a photograph. Now, we are witnessing another attempt to democratize photography. Its quite naive to think that everybody can become an artist, but sure we all can learn about photography a couple of things. Helping us to change the way we see the world around us, iPhoneography takes its part (internet takes the other part) in the perception of a world united by images.
P : Where do you find inspiration ? Are you influenced by cinema, letters… ?
M : For me, Inspiration is about my past, my family, my hometown, my culture, as R.M. Rilke says in “letters to a young poet”. Inspiration is something floating around and sometimes I found it when I´m working, when I´m walking or even when I´m editing. Intuition is another very important thing that helps me in my creative process. My intuition grows as I read books, see art cinema, hear a particular kind of music, when I visit museums, and of course when I see photographs or study the body of work of a great photographer.
I was very lucky because when I was about 22 years old, my teachers introduce me the work of Edward Weston, Cartier-Bresson, Alvarez Bravo, Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals, Capa, Minor White, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunninham just to mention a few. Later on, I began my own way of studying by buying photographers books. But, in a very informal way, I can see in my work traces of Cartier Bresson, Weston and Mapplethorpe. I realize that these authors are quite different from each others. However, I can see some of their teachings or subjets in my own work.
P : Could you tell us about your editing process ? (without revealing too many secrets…)
M : Let me explain it this way: photographs ask what they need. They are the container of a lots of forms, signs, meanings, and each photo asks for what it needs to be edited, optimized, color corrected, like if they had a will of their own. I know this is a very romantic way to explain myself, but kind of like it ! So my job is to see what I just photographed, and try to understand what the image needs, and then I began the process of editing.
Editing for me is only part of the creative process. I think that photographs are a pack of choices: first, when we shot them, secondly the editing process, and finally when we present them to an audience. So, the choice is a very important matter, and the only way we can choose is by knowing what our options are, in other words : study, practice and experiment.
P : Any movie, book, artist, city, country,… that you recently discovered and that moved you ?
M : Books : I just bought a book by Robert Frank called “come again” and it’s beautiful. Another one is “Naturata” by Graciela Iturbide, this one is a work of art. In my recent voyage to Spain, I found a couple of authors about photography that a friend and teacher of mine recommended : Walter Benjamin’s essay about photography, and as I mentioned Joan Fontcuberta.
Movies : I became a great fan of the movies of Terrence Malick, and the last one “The Tree of Life” really moved me.
Country : well I think that I really have a particular and historical admiration for France, I do recognize that there began this art that I really love : photography.
P : Thank you very much Miguel !
To discover more :
IG : @maicamero
Website : http://www.camero.com.mx