Conceptual Photography with Bob Weil

Bob Weil is a friend of the Mobile Photo Awards and one of the finest conceptual photographers working in the mobile arena. He recently produced a terrific video tutorial on some of his methods and we wanted to share it with our readers. In this brief video tutorial, Bob describes his approach to creating collages using the iPhone and the iPad, and his approach to narrative vs. documentary photography. He shows before and after examples, as well as taking an in-depth look at one of his pieces and how he came to create it.

Conceptual photography is more like narrative filmmaking than it is like street photography – the goal is to express a story conceived in the mind of the photographer and not necessarily to reproduce what the lens sees. The process more closely resembles painting if the original image is only the substrate for a series of composited layers that completely redefine the scene.

In my case, I often look at images in my Camera Roll to see where a story may arise by inference (post processing decisions, image titling, etc.) or by reconstruction from the ground up (compositing or collage of new elements into a scene). – Bob Weil

12 Comments on “Conceptual Photography with Bob Weil

  1. Bob, thanks for your insight on how you think and create. Found it very interesting and inspiring

  2. Very inspiring indeed! Wonderful how you’ve taken such normal, mundane elements and turned them into something quite profound. Great pre-conceptualization at work here. Thank you for sharing your process!

    • David – I’m a big fan of your street photography and have had the occasion to select it several times for – and I’m very grateful that you found my approach intriguing!

  3. Fantastic work and great insight into the connections you make. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful world.

  4. You possess the mind of an artist in the truest sense of the word, Bob. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful process and brilliant work. Amazing!

    • Thank you for the very gracious compliment, Christine. Would it surprise you to learn that up until 2012, I had never done any sort of collage work, and have no skill whatsoever in wielding a brush or even drawing a straight line? If I’ve got anything to offer, I think it’s from informally studying the masters in photography, painting and film, and the way they frame their subjects – and in knowing which abject failures to leave on my camera roll and out of the public eye! I love Ansel Adams’ quote that a year yielding 12 good photographs is a good year.

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About the MPA

The Mobile Photo Awards were founded to promote the global phenomenon of mobile photography and art.  The awards are committed to presenting the art-form in galleries and exhibits. The MPA is the world's largest open gallery call and competition of its kind.
The Mobile Photo Awards were founded to promote and celebrate mobile photography and art. With fine-art exhibits, competitions and open gallery calls, the MPA is the world's largest event of it's kind.