iPhone photos like you've never seen

iPhone photos like you've never seen

Journalist Liam Fitzpatrick's new Hong Kong photo exhibition shows how to speak loudly with a little camera

Liam Fitzpatrick Kinky Vicious iPhone photographyiPhone-made ode to Hong Kong skies.

Liam Fitzpatrick kinky vicious iPhone photographyLiam Fitzpatrick, shot using iPhone, of course.

Hong Kong journalist Liam Fitzpatrick shot a bunch of photos on his iPhone and fiddled around with them using photo apps.

The results are breathtaking. Lush panoramas of the city, sweeping takes on Victoria Harbour, dramatic shots of Hong Kong skies are currently on display in Fitzpatrick's first iPhone photography exhibition titled "Kinky Vicious."

The images defy expectations of the iPhone's tiny camera -- in Fitzpatrick's case, the iPhone 3GS three-megapixel camera -- typically more suited for close-range shots of people or that universally preferred subject, food.

We asked Fitzpatrick, senior editor at TIME magazine, for his tips, and why Victoria Harbour features more prominently in his photos than Hong Kong people themselves.

iReport assignment: Share your favorite iPhone travel photos


CNNGo: Why iPhone?

Liam Fitzpatrick: I’ve got a DSLR too, but it was simply because of the fact that I had my iPhone with me all the time, sitting in my pocket.

Part of the great democracy of the iPhone is that now everyone has the ability to shoot from the hip, edit the photos and upload them online.

CNNGo: Which app did you use to edit the pictures? Any tips on editing?

Fitzpatrick: Just the conventional apps, I don’t have any secrets hidden up my sleeves.

It's hard to single out any particular apps because you can get good results from all of them and I often use the popular ones -- like Infincam, CameraBag or Magic Hour -- in combination.

If anyone wants to take better iPhone shots, I'd say the way to go is not to get hung up on apps but to focus on the basics of photography, like composition, light, surface and form. Everything else follows from that.

In fact, I didn’t do any editing other than directly on the iPhone.

Also on CNNGo: How to take an iconic Hong Kong photo

CNNGo: Why is this exhibition titled "Kinky Vicious?"

Fitzpatrick: It’s an in-joke. When I was younger in Hong Kong there was a really long-running hair product advertisement. It always screamed out this message: “Do you have kinky vicious hair?” And I loved that, and wanted to use it.

As a title it conveys a feeling of being a bit sexy and a bit harsh at the same time. As these are very Hong Kong photos, that phrase always reminds me of my boyhood. That and Hong Kong people with crazy Afros.

CNNGo: How has growing up in Hong Kong influenced your photos?

If anyone wants to take better iPhone shots, I'd say the way to go is not to get hung up on apps but to focus on the basics of photography, like composition, light, surface and form. Everything else follows from that.

Fitzpatrick: It’s a Hong Konger’s perspective, but I didn’t set out with some great yearning to document the city. If anything, I’ve tried not to take the standard pictures that I’ve grown up with. My desire is to contribute something original to the huge amount of images out there.

A greater local influence would be the Queen’s Road photographers. I loved how those early photographers used cameras too primitive to capture human movement. It resulted in unintentionally deserted views of the streets and harbor front, often quite eerie and weird. It’s so unusual to see Hong Kong this way.

In the same vein, the photographs of Hedda Morrison are a source of inspiration. She arrived in Hong Kong in 1946, just after the liberation of Hong Kong, to a population reduced by war.

We’re so used to seeing Hong Kong so full and busy, her pictures of a deserted place that was still yet to welcome back its returning citizens are almost haunting.

Also on CNNGo: How the iPhone has ruined my lunch

CNNGo: As well as being mainly depopulated, your images are taken of or on the water.

Fitzpatrick: I feel that Hong Kong is such a maritime place. After all, it’s an archipelago. You don’t really know the place unless you see it from the water.

Being on the water gives lovely alternative perspectives, one that visually inspired me and made me feel really connected to Hong Kong.

One particular experience that stands out was a junk trip to Cheung Chau six years ago. We were on a sail-powered junk and a storm blew up really early on in the trip. Our journey ended up taking two to three hours.

Standing at the prow of the boat in the lashing rain, I felt like a character in "Taipan." It really brought it home to me how maritime Hong Kong truly is and how people must have felt generations ago.

Also on CNNGo: iPhone 5 design leaked in China?

CNNGo: Will you be using an iPhone for future exhibitions?

Fitzpatrick: I’m not partisan towards any format. DSLR, Lomo, conventional cameras -- they are all great.

It’s the picture -- that’s what’s important.

Liam Fitzpatrick kinky vicious iPhone photographyFitzpatrick uses a combination of camera and photo editing apps to achieve his rich images.

Liam Fitzpatrick Kinky Vicious iPhone photography"In The Shipping Lanes," by Liam Fitzpatrick.

Liam Fitzpatrick Kinky Vicious iPhone photography"View From The East Point," by Liam Fitzpatrick.

Kinky Vicious 

Until October 15. Free admission.

Culture Club, 15 Elgin St., Central, +852 2915 1234, www.cultureclub.com.hk

See details at "Kinky Vicous" presents Hong Kong through an iPhone.

 

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