Debra Kuzbik’s camera bag is getting lighter.
These days, the photographer is more likely to pack her iPhone instead of carrying around a chunky DSLR.
“I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve been able to do,” she said of using her cell phone’s built-in camera and photography apps on her iPad. “The technology is changing really, really rapidly.”
Kuzbik’s journey to iPhoneography, which is defined as taking and editing photos solely using iOS devices, started
40 years ago when she and her husband received a Praktica 35 mm camera for their honeymoon trip to Europe. She quickly latched onto the medium and after many years of using film, Kuzbik eventually made the switch over to digital in 2001 when her husband bought her a DSLR for Christmas.
“I didn’t fall in love with it right away,” she admitted of the new technology. However, she quickly embraced it when she learned what creative controls it gave her, especially when Photoshop was added to the work flow.
The same thing happened a few years later when Kuzbik was similarly hesitant to embrace the built-in iPhone camera. “I was a real snob for a long time,” she said.
But as before, the photographer changed her tune. With the technology advancing and herself becoming tired of packing around her large camera all the time, Kuzbik made the switch to her cell phone. (That being said, she still does use the DSLR for landscape shots and will bring a point-and-shoot camera with her on the road.)
Many other people are giving iPhoneography a second look, too, and the results are mixed. However, while president of the Oceanside Photographers Club Vivienne Bearder said that everyone has the right to speak their opinions about using a cell phone as a camera she personally doesn’t think people should look down at others based on their equipment.
“A person should be open to all forms of expression,” said Bearder, who doesn’t own an iPhone. “Why should someone be limited by the photographic equipment they have?”
“There’s room for every genre,” said Kuzbik. “We are free to start with an image and create what ever we can imagine.”
Many of the images in Kuzbik’s latest show, North of L.A, South of the Bay, show off what she could imagine creating using her iPhone, iPad and photography basics like composition, exposure, colour, form and line. These photographs sit side-by-side with images taken on more traditional cameras.
The exhibit showcases the central coast of California, where she and her family have spent a majority of their winter vacations over the past five years. “We just stumbled on it,” she said, describing the area as “delightfully undeveloped.”
The show isn’t a documentary-style exhibit, however. Instead, the photographer tries to capture the ambience of the area, which she said often feels like it’s still in the 1960s due to the slow pace, small surf shops, Volkswagen mini-vans and the ever-present music of The Beach Boys, The Surfaris and The Mamas and The Papas. “You really feel like you’re in a worm hole,” she said.
North of L.A, South of the Bay will show at Arts Cafe on Harrison Ave in Parksville until April 10. Kuzbik will then be busy putting together another show of iPhone images for the MAC in November.
To view more of Kuzbik’s work, visit debrakuzbik.com.