Sublime Photography With iPhone And Herman’s Brilliance

For decades, Robert Herman shot street photography mainly in New York and primarily on Kodachrome film. Mr. Herman was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island and began shooting on the city streets in the late 1970s while working as a set photographer.

1083-01-Women in Handmade Dress
Woman in Handmade Dress, New York 2011 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
Kids, New York, NY., 2011 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
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Walking in the Flatiron, New York, 2013 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Southside, Williamsburg” Brooklyn, 2014 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Cup Installation, Flatiron Building, New York, 2011 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Avenue of Americas.” New York, 2010 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Post No Bills” New York, 2013 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
The Gap, New York, 2014 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Anything Helps” New York, 2014 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
Pedestrians, New York, 2011 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“The Apple Store” New York, 2014 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Shadow of Streetlight” New York, 2012 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Fashion Statement.” New York, 2012 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“Door to the Rivers.” New York 2013 (Photographer : Robert Herman)
“There’s a lot of time between takes, so I started taking photos in the neighborhoods where we were shooting,” he said.

About five years ago, after a stint with a professional digital camera, he started shooting photos with an iPhone and fell in love with the image-processing app Hipstamatic. The occasion was a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, he said. He left his clunky, pricey camera in the hotel room, and was intrigued by what happened.

Shooting on an iPhone “had a way of slowing me down because you couldn’t shoot a burst of pictures,” said Mr. Herman, 59. “It was more like photographing on film.” The iPhone also allowed him to be “more invisible,” he said. “People think you’re looking at your email.”

Hipstamatic allowed him to shoot in a square format, which would be difficult with a traditional camera. It also allowed him to recapture his style as a film photographer, exemplified by the photographs in his collection “The New Yorkers.” The app “referenced analog,” he said, offering lenses and films “that felt like the kind of style I liked: bright, contrasty colors.”

Today celebrates the release of the project, The Phone Book,” by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. The 7-by-7-inch book includes iPhone images from Johannesburg, New York, Paris, Buenos Aires and San Juan. The geographic diversity was largely a product of the work travel of his partner, Debra Zimmerman, who runs the film distributor Women Make Movies. “I tagged along,” Mr. Herman said, “thanks to frequent-flier miles.”

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