Artist Jonathan Marks Creates Exquisite iPhoneography Day After Day

You have to admire fine artist Jonathan Marks: every day for over two years he’s posted a photo to his Tumblr site that he’s taken with his iPhone. You can see quality in each photo, and clear evidence for his artistry. But he takes things a step further. For each photo, he posts both the original and then his version that has been tweaked for effect, exclusively using iPhone photo-editing apps. The differences are remarkable and give the viewer insight into how an artist sees things.

Take the following photo as an example. It’s a competent photo that shows off the ability of the iPhone’s camera, and shows his sensitivity to lighting and color.

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But then he tweaks it.

The edited version, focusing on just a corner of the bed, goes so much deeper. This one has composition that the original didn’t have: the phone juxtaposed with the pillow and the corner of the unmade bed. There’s almost a feeling of loneliness. The emphasis switches from color to more muted tones and composition. And note how the new tone of the lamp plays off against the color of the headboard.


The following photo is a mildly interesting snapshot showing bicyclists.

But the edited version transforms it into art. The editing shows that iPhone photos can be effectively enlarged and can have the contrast increased. The revised version has a much different feeling, with its focus on a single rider — almost seemingly in the middle of nowhere.The adjustment to the colors adds to the effect.

This final example uses perspective well in the original.

The more muted tone in the slightly enlarged and cropped edited version removes detail and increases the focus on perspective. The blending of color of the road and sky heightens the feeling of an almost infinite horizon.

These daily postings are enjoyable to follow, and quite instructive. They show how you can use your iPhone to edit your photos so that they create more of a story and emphasize certain elements.

Jonathan has a professional photography background, and is also a contributing writer to iPhone Life magazine. His daily postings can be found on his site on Tumblr. And his other work can be found on his main site.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.