AMPt MEMBER ATLE RONNINGEN
He says, “If you listen well you can hear the trees sing.” So, I listen. Intently. It sounds like violins to
me, invoking a spirit of calm and harmony, at once elegant and empowering, strangely soothing, which
is the feeling laced throughout the whole of Atle’s work.
And if you look well, you will find birds, soaring to give sense of freedom, as Atle himself is
free. He is unrestrained, free of rigid adherence to a particular style, convention, set of rules, editing
technique or application. Atle is open. He is open to fog; he chases it. He is open to light; he
follows it. He is open to fellow mobile artists; he values them, through instawalks, collaborations,
recommendations, as an AMPt member, and as creator of DroidEdit.
Atle mixes photography and editing to sublime effect, at times altering reality in order to qualify
it, see exhibit “Moose.” He is as equally invested in the process of mobile photography as the end
result. As I write this, his most recent image, “We dream, live and grow,” a collaboration with Frank,
uncovers an essential linking human truth, a challenge, a reminder to dream, live and grow. And we do.
Indeed. As does he.
- Pyper Stever
In September 2012 he founded the Android mobile photography community @DroidEdit on Instagram along with some friends. This community is one of the first dedicated to promoting Android mobile artists and photographers, with emphasis placed on community, creativity, and editing techniques.
Frank: Please share a bit about yourself, your heritage, cultural identity, and the focus of your work.
Atle: I’m an amateur mobile photographer from Oslo, Norway. I’m 35 and got a lovely wife and daughter. For me photography is all about having fun and capturing moments. I would say the beautiful nature in Norway, as well as traveling in general, heavily influences my photos. For me the value of the photo rises if I’m able to photograph people or animals. My daughter who just turned 10 years old is of course my most featured model, but sometimes I’m not able to get family members along. Tripod and timer then come in handy.
Frank: Norway being such a beautiful place it gives you a lot of scenery to choose from. If you could go anywhere on the planet to shoot where would you go and why?
Atle: That must be Mount Everest, Nepal. Not only because of the nature and mountains but I have heard that the people and hospitality there is amazing.
Frank: When and how did you first become interested in mobile photography?
Atle: Photography has always been close to my heart and until this summer I mainly used Nikon SLR. When I discovered Instagram and got my Samsung Galaxy S3 everything changed and I have nearly used my SLR since. I’m a technical person so combining that part of me to investigate new app on the phone I achieve my goal of changing the realty, just a little bit. A vice man once told me: “If you are able to create the perfect image, why not do so”.
Frank: What is the big difference in how you shoot now with a mobile device, as compared to the many years of shooting with your SLR?
Atle: The big difference is that I always have my mobile with me; it’s part of my body. I use it for everything, e-mail, social media, and now the camera. Using it for photography has made me started to pay more attention to the details around me. If I see something interesting I’m able to take the picture. This can be a bit frustrated for people I’m with as they often have to wait for me when I fall behind. The apps are also a reason why I’m using the phone – it’s quick and easy to edit the image.
Frank: What are some of your influences?
Atle: The community part of Instagram is very important to me. I enjoy the interaction where I can learn from others and get inspired. There are many individual mobile photographers and artists I admire and get inspiration from. One of them is Tori xx, @cloud_dreamer. She combines nature, people and her edits are stretching the reality. Just what I like! I also would like to mention Balqi Firman’s, @balqi. His nature/landscape edits are amazingly well done. Koshi xx, @koshi_another_side is a creative and skilled photographer I also get a lot of inspiration from.
Frank: Do you think Instagram is synonymous with Mobile Photography? Why or why not?
Atle: For me personally it is. Of course the instant sharing part play a huge role and that everything is done on the mobile.
Frank: Tell me how the idea about DroidEdit started?
Atle: The idea behind it was to create a hub for Android mobile photographers and artists for knowledge sharing. I was searching Instagram for such a community to join in and learn more about editing techniques and to get inspiration. Since I couldn’t find any I created it. Soon I found out that to be able to succeed I needed a solid team with me sharing the same desire. Now we are an enthusiastic team of four members running the community and feel we have come quite far considering the short time we have been live. We have much fun!
Frank: How do you create the atmosphere in your images? How and what specific techniques and apps do you use to accomplish this?
Atle: I consider myself as a “mixed style person” who changes what I photograph and my editing style based on what I do in my life. I try to photograph atmospheric scenery and I’m very fan of perspectives or the subject viewing the horizon. I don’t think I have a specific mood but I like colors either strong or toned down a bit to get details visible. Often I perform curves in Photo Editor to set the basis and then I move on with PicSay for manually adjustments. I either use the effects in PicSay or add filters in PicsPlay or Pixlr-o-matic. The filters in Instagram also come in handy.
Frank: How often do you shoot and edit your images? Explain the thought process behind the time you spend taking pictures.
Atle: I mix photography and editing. Many of my published images are minimal edited. Just edited with curves or applied a filter. Other images are edits where I changed the reality either by combining multiple images or some basic drawing. Sometimes I have a plan, or an idea for what I would like to achieve. But mostly things just happen. To get interesting pictures I feel I have to go out doing something. It can be a walk in Oslo, a trip to the mountains, or the beach.