Apstracted: An Abstract Photographic Study of iPhone Swipes



All images by Hamish Robertson. Used with permission.

“The project, titled Apstracted, began as an artistic response to the notion of a photograph being taken on an iPhone.” says photographer Hamish Robertson. “My works are literally taken on an iPhone, specifically the surface of the glass screen.” Apstracted focuses on the nature of the unique physical actions done to interact with whatever is on the screen of the device.

To do this project, Hamish used his own fingers and interacted with apps on the iPhone. His natural oils created steaks that then left an imprint on the screen. Hamish then photographs the screen using a Canon 6D and a Sigma 50mm macro lens. “My surroundings at the time reflect in the screen to give each shot its hints of color.” states Hamish.

Think temporary oil paintings.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.

Hamish: I don’t remember ever not being into photography. My grandfather worked for Agfa, the Belgian photo film company, during the second world war which led to my father being heavily into cameras and photography. I grew up with dozens of camera in the house. My dad shot principally shot with a Nikon F and I had a hand-me-down brass-bodied Asahi Pentax SLR. I used that all through art school where I did a Fine Art degree within which a great deal of my work was produced with cameras. I definitely see myself as an artist who uses the tool of the camera more than myself as a traditional photographer—I like the creative freedom that gives me.

Phoblographer: Where did the inspiration for Apstracted come from?

Hamish: I was inspired to create the “Apstracted” project after seeing not only the meteoric rise of impressive images from cellphone cameras but also, living in Los Angeles, the wealth of Apple billboards in the city showing images “Shot on iPhone.” I generally look to approach projects with a twist on the obvious—often with a little humor if possible—and I liked the idea of taking that statement literally and producing work actually on the iPhone itself. As every image captured with a phone is unique I wanted to mirror that with the finger gesture marks—equally unique but also carrying the story of creation within them. With every motion and action there was a visible creation within the phone but also a narrative left on the surface itself.





















Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.