A kind of beautiful desolation pervades Karen Klinedinst’s photograph “Morning Moon.” In muted grays, blues and browns, it exudes a disquieting stillness: bare trees, patches of snow on a riverbank, chilly water. Taken, manipulated and edited entirely on Klinedinst’s iPhone last year along the Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins, Colo., the image embodies the melancholy that frequently characterizes her work as a landscape photographer, or, more precisely, iPhoneographer.
“I’m very influenced by 19th-century romantic landscape painting,” Klinedinst, 53, a MICA graduate who lives in Hampden, says. “I’m trying to capture the emotion of a landscape.”
An avid hiker, Klinedinst spends considerable time in remote environments, and freely acknowledges that the images she makes there can seem “sad” or convey “loneliness,” an aesthetic that jibes with the way she sometimes feels about nature: “Oftentimes, it’s such a temporary thing—it will never be that way again.”
To achieve the effects she seeks, Klinedinst uses software in her iPhone to alter the original photograph. “During the whole process of creating an image, I will go through 20 or 30 different ways of doing it, depending on how I feel about that place and that time,” she explains. Once satisfied with the result, she moves the image to her computer to print on Hahnemühle bamboo paper.
Prior to switching exclusively to her iPhone in 2011, she used a conventional camera to photograph landscapes, then transferred the images onto Polaroid film and then onto watercolor paper, at which point she manipulated them. But the iPhone, she says, allows her to “do so much more. It gives me a real understanding of how time and weather and emotion can change a place and how you feel about it.”
Published in the April 2016 issue of STYLE.