Abbey Mubiru: iPhone photography from curiosity to fine art

Abbey’s iPhone photography appropriately communicates a deep thirst for moments of silence, reflection and solace.

Agora artist Abbey Mubiru uses photo editing to enhance images he captures on his iPhone. This is a self-taught idea that he calls ‘MiPhone photography. It began by editing portraits of family and friends. He discovered various programs that allowed him to edit these photos with extreme levels of detail to achieve desired results directly from his mobile phone. Mubiru works mainly with florals and landscapes, with overarching themes of tranquility, peace, and reflection.

What is your first memory of coming in contact with photography?

During an animation class, we had a break and one of the first year students came in with a camera. He was working on one of the photography projects, a time lapse photography. I had done a photography class prior during a graphics design course but, for some reason, I remember that moment like it was the first time I was introduced to photography.

When did you start taking photos professionally?

After practicing and gathering photos for a portfolio, I started to consider applying for gallery representations. I usually do all my things in a timely, passionate, and perfectionistic way, which is why it’s taken me too long to put my artwork out. But once I did, I couldn’t be more proud and confident.

How did you start taking photos with your iPhone and why did you not go back to a traditional camera?

Abbey’s little sister

It was back in 2013. I took a shot of my little sister after lunch trying out my new iPhone 5s. I was intrigued by the quality of the shot although it wasn’t taken with a digital camera.

Prior, I had struggled with Photoshop and had disregarded photography all together because of the complexity of the software, but with the smartphone I somehow felt like a pro immediately.

What is the advantage of taking photos with your iPhone?

It’s mostly financial. I cut down on the cost of gear and the process is easier compared to the traditional way of creating photography artwork. Also the freedom to create wherever and whenever I feel inspired.

What was the most gratifying moment for you, as an artist?

Definitely when I was offered to be represented by a fine art gallery.

Describe an experience that truly inspired your work.

I’ve always been interested in floral patterns, particularly bright colored plants. An early morning walk around some fields gave me a chance to observe and create my work.

Do you have an upcoming project in mind or in the making?

Always. I’m currently exploring and experimenting. As soon as it’s ready, I’ll update my ARTmine page.

Is there a work you are most proud of? Why?

It would probably be ‘Best Friends’. I think the way it came out was very rewarding.

Best Friends, Archival Pigment Print, 42″ x 31″, $800

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