Exposure: Michelle Robinson

Michelle Robinson is a mobile photographer and artist who uses a number of different devices to capture her artistic vision. Explore her portfolio on Exposure.

Lexy Savvides
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Lexy Savvides
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To sit and read

Michelle Robinson

(Credit: Michelle Robinson)

Photographer: Michelle Robinson

Speciality: mobile photography, mobile art

Biography: Michelle is a full-time mother who was born in Singapore and has lived in Australia since 1998. Most of her childhood was spent in Singapore, until she left to study law at the University of Sheffield in England. After graduating with honours, Michelle decided not to qualify as a barrister, instead returning to Singapore, where she embarked on a career in banking and finance before moving to Australia.

Michelle has had a love of photography since she was a child, but her passion for visual arts came to the forefront in 2005. She is a self-taught painter and photographer. With the advent of the iPhone and the photography apps available on iOS, Michelle has been able to combine her passion for art and photography in a more comprehensive manner. She is not comfortable with being called a "photographer", as she doesn't make a living from it and is unable to articulate the technical terms — she just knows what needs to be done to get the shot.

I make a strong distinction between photography and mobile photography: I practice what is called "iPhone-only" or "mobile-only" photography, ie, any image captured on a mobile device is edited on a mobile device. I don't cross operating systems at all. For images captured with a camera, the desktop editing tools I use are Aperture and, on the odd occasion, Flare for Mac OS.

Equipment: Canon EOS 10D, Canon EF 24-85mm, Canon EF 75-300mm, Olympus E-PL1, M.Zuiko 14-42mm, M.Zuiko 40-150mm, iPhone 4S.

Video interview

More of Michelle's work can be seen on her Google+ page.

This image won third place in the "People" category of the 2012 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAs), now in its fifth year and the largest and longest-running mobile-photography competition. I entered the competition only after being persuaded by a friend.

This was a photo that was taken in a local cafe here in Adelaide in the suburb of Unley, called "A Mother's Milk". The photo was taken with the iPhone 4S, but with Hipstamatic, using the Kaimal Mk II lens setting and Claunch Monochrome film, and then treated with two filters in the Scratchcam app, which is an app used widely by mobile artists and proudly conceived and made here in Australia by Steve Arnold.

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The Pianist

This was an opportunity too good to be missed. There are many buskers in Rundle Mall in Adelaide, but few with a piano right at the end of the mall and facing Rundle Street itself!

Exposure: 1/320, f/4.4, ISO 200, Olympus E-PL1

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The girl with the raspberry beret

Another capture that I couldn't resist — simply for the colour — she was standing outside of the Commonwealth Bank next to the ATMs on Rundle Mall, and the graphic quality of the colours made me take a photo. I did have to tell her to return to looking at her phone, though.

Exposure: 1/320, f/4.9, ISO 320, Olympus E-PL1

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Getting the balance right

This is one of my recent iPhone art pieces, which was part of my "Echoing Escher" series.

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Early morning training

This photo featured as an honourable mention for the EyeEm "Mobile Love" competition recently.

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ION, Singapore

Taken in Singapore, it's one of my favourite images of the underside of the glass roof of the ION shopping centre on Orchard Road. I have a great love for form and design in architecture, and the many nuances and curves of the glass roof is an amazing sight.

Exposure: 1/100, f/5.6, ISO 320, Olympus E-PL1

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The fish monger

This was the first time in 15 years that I had returned to a wet market in Singapore — it was an experience that I felt that my daughter should not miss. This was an image captured because there was every element that just captured the essence of what this man does — and the yellow apron was irresistible.

Exposure: 1/60, f/4, ISO 640, Olympus E-PL1

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African lily

This was taken in the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide recently on an "Instameet" — it's where the local Instagram community meets for a photo walk. The colours and the form of the African lily was irresistible.

Exposure: 1/200, f/6.3, ISO 400, Canon 450D

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Textured glass

Another one taken at the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide during the Instameet photo walk for the local Instagram community, this was taken inside the hot house for the African lily exhibit. This corner was compelling, because of the different ways with which the condensation had formed — it gave the illusion of different textures. The light coming in made it even more compelling.

Exposure: 1/125, f/9.9, ISO 200, Canon 450D

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This was the first photo taken for the ADay.org project on 15 May 2012. I had decided to capture 12 hours of my day in 10 images, starting at 7am and ending at 7pm. I had also elected to do the entire project using my iPhone 4S. This was taken with the iPhone 4S native cam, and edited in Snapseed.

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This was the 5pm photo for ADay.org; I wanted to capture myself preparing dinner. I used a tripod specific for the iPhone and captured the image in an app called Slow Shutter. The image was edited to black and white in the app Snapseed.

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I can't keep up with her

The one thing I love about having cameras in mobile phones is that it has definitely replaced the point-and-shoot. I was walking behind these two women, and it just made such a statement about age and ageing. This was taken in the iPhone 4S native cam and processed in Snapseed.

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The reading glasses

Someone had left their reading glasses on the table in the cafe — what caught my eye was the light against the glasses. This was taken with the iPhone 4S using the AE/AF lock selectively to cut out ambient light and focus on the glasses more. The image was processed to black and white in Snapseed. It often still amazes me, the capabilities of the iPhone 4S.

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Signs and signals

Part of the fun of photography is just seeing things and capturing them — a moment that you might never encounter or be able to re-create again. This was just timing, and the light quality was perfect — I had just crossed the road and noticed the shadows. I enjoy images that tell a story, and anyone can create their own story. This was taken with the iPhone 4S and edited in Snapseed to black and white.

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Denial in dementia

Part nine of 10 of my "Suburban Urban Series", this one is called "Denial in Dementia". This series was inspired by an episode of Great Music Cities of the World on Max Channel (Foxtel), where the presentation of much of the program was a frame within a frame; ie, they showed the video within a frame, be it an old television or in a form of a sign and against a grafittied wall or side of stairs, but each one was in context to the other, so not merely a frame within a frame. This image comprises of two iPhone images blended and layered using various apps. This is the part of iPhoneography that I love: the ability to create iPhone art.

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Part five of "High Wire Life"

"The High Wire Life" series was the most recent iPhone art series that I completed. This is part five of five, called "Risk Taking Should Be Calculated: It's Often Better to Walk than to Run or Cycle". I had quite a few photos of cables and telephone poles in my iPhone 4S, and didn't find them very interesting. I also had quite a few photographs of objects and the cyclist, which on their own would have made an interesting image, but wasn't quite enough. Again, this is why I love iPhoneography so much, as the ability to create art on an iPhone or iPad is limitless with the number of apps available.

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Violin girl

This photo was taken on the Google+ 1st Anniversary Photowalk in Adelaide on Saturday, 30 June 2012, using the Canon 10D.

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Man (iPhone)

This was an iPhone 4S photo that was taken on the Walk Down Under — the image was processed on the spot with Snapseed and Noir Photo, and uploaded to Instagram during the walk itself.

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To whirl and dance

Taken on the Google+ Anniversary Photowalk with my iPhone 4S.

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Jakarta market

Taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, at Glodok (Chinatown) in January 2012 — one of those scenes that make life what it is: details of the exterior of another person's home.

Exposure: 1/125, f/6.3, ISO 200, Olympus E-PL1

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The smile

I had originally wanted to take a photo of him with his skateboard from the back, but when I spoke to him, his smile was irresistible.

Exposure: 1/80, f/4.5, ISO 320, Olympus E-PL1

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