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Screen Test: Recreating the Art of Photography

Paul J. Toussaint isn’t your average photographer. What sets this Killingworth visual artist apart from everyone else with a creative vision and some kind of photo lens is his appetite for…everything. And his visual medium of choice makes him doubly unique. Toussaint has taken all of his award-winning photos on an iPhone.

“All the so-called rules should be broken when it comes to taking a picture because with this technology, all perspectives can become extraordinary. With the iPhone, my artistic vision has allowed me to produce a portfolio that one time I only dreamed of having,” says Toussaint.

He studies both lighting and texture, predominant themes in his photographs. His mission is to beg the question: Is this really a photograph? His eye for the ordinary—like a pair of shoes or a paper clip —captures the extraordinary details in every one of his pieces. His secret? He uses a combination of apps, keeping it at no more than three apps per image. Just a few among them are Filterstorm, Snapseed, Camera+, and Photo fx.

More than other visual artists digital photographers use Photoshop®, Toussaint paints with apps. He has turned it into more of a ‘technique,’ like how some people work in pastels or oils. Photoshop, in Toussaint’s world, levels the playing field and allows the amateur, in some cases, to appear to be genuinely talented. Similar situation to a screenplay writer using screenplay software.

He’s also spearheaded the Empty Spaces project, based in Putnam, Connecticut. It’s a program that turns empty retail spaces into galleries to give artists their first true platform and experience.

Toussaint wishes to share this unique vision with technology-savvy millennials and baby boomers alike. He has most recently lead an Apple® Master Class Series during which he demonstrated his technique and critiqued iPhone photos from the audience.

Toussaint’s work was featured on the September 2013 cover of iPhotographer Magazine. He was also awarded first prize by Rangefinder magazine in their 2013 Back to School contest. His work has been internationally recognized as well.

He believes in stepping away from the printer and making use of larger and different materials such as canvas, wood, or metal murals. “Pick up the phone and just shoot,” Toussaint advises young artists. “You can see art in everything from soup cans to stop signs. If you don’t see it, you’re looking at it the wrong way.”

Browse Toussaint’s gallery of work at www.paultoussaint.com.

“Nothing ever touches Photoshop,” Toussaint clarifies. “When you enter iphoneography competitions, people can—and will—find out.”

“If you don’t see it, you’re looking at it the wrong way.”

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