Book Review: Dan Burkholder’s iPhone Artistry

iPhone Artistry is a comprehensive guide to the iPhone as a photo tool, and at the same time an inspiration to aspiring iPhone photographers. Clearly organized, thoroughly researched, and well written, it succeeds in covering a wide range of both technical and aesthetic material in a manner that is engaging and educational. If you are going to purchase only one book to guide you though the process of becoming an artistic iPhone photographer, this one would be my recommendation.

Dan begins with a thorough and well illustrated chapter on the various generations of iPhones, and the methods of navigating them. This is followed by an introduction to photography apps, including the process of searching for them, downloading them, and using them. Once the author is sure his reader is prepared to get started, he provides sections on shooting apps, basic editing apps, creative editing apps, and  specialized apps for panoramas, image stitching, high dynamic range, layering, and other advanced techniques. All without losing touch with the artistic end that is the goal of these tools.

The final chapter pulls it all together with a series of creative workflows showing the processes which lead to the richly textured, artistically colored sample images throughout the book. A clever App appendix shows the names and icons of dozens of Apps, with QR codes for each, allowing the iPhone photographer to snap an image of any that are of interest, and use a QR code reading App to find out more about them. A perfect example of form relating to content.

iPhone Artistry abounds with clear examples of how to take the kinds of photos we all snap with our phones, and process them into the kind of artistry we would like them to be. Equal parts information and inspiration make this the perfect book for learning the “how” without losing sight of the “why.” Also be sure to look for author Dan Burkholder’s iPhone Artistry workshops, which he presents at many photographic workshop locations.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Image below: Copyright 2012, Dan Burkholder



4 responses to “Book Review: Dan Burkholder’s iPhone Artistry

  1. Excellent review of what sounds like a very useful book; I will have to look it up. I especially like the image. It reminds me of Marin’s paintings.

    • Interesting; I would never have thought of Marin. More Hudson Valley School. But there is that centered composition, and whirling bullseye effect, that Marin was so famous for; like a child arranging various shaped blocks from the center out. The coloration and scratchy texture make me think of Andrew Wyeth’s tempera paintings, such as Christina’s World.

    • You have been working in a digital aesthetic, or several of them, for years, Ursula. Allow us, somewhat more literal, photographers a chance to grab a bit of the creative freedom you digital artists have allowed yourselves all along!

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