interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 26 May 2015
With a following of over 140,000, Scott Rankin has become king of landscape photography on Instagram. With the help of the endless Vancouver landscape, Scott has built an impressive portfolio of photographs on his iPhone. QH caught up with the photographer to talk the power of Instagram...
What was the first image you took on an iPhone?
Ha, that was too long ago to remember, but most likely a picture of my cat.
You are a prime example of how powerful Instagram can be, how do you think social media is changing photography as an art form?
Well it is certainly creating more photographers, or people that identify themselves as such at least. I have always had issues with calling myself a photographer because I have close friends that went to school for years, trained, and worked hard to call themselves professionals. I just got lucky, and happened to have a decent eye when the platform of Instagram was still new. If you put me in a studio with lights, I would be lost. However, I do get paid regularly for my photography, so I am part of this new generation of social media generated photographers. I am neither commercial, fashion or landscape. I like to consider myself an experience photographer and unlike more traditional aspects of the business, I and others like me are hired to provide a snapshot of our experience not our technical ability.
You started developing your photography skills with an iPhone then progressed to a professional camera. Are you using you iPhone less now?
I always shoot with my iPhone, I just generally have my real camera with me as well. I use both and sometimes like the image better from the big camera or vice versa. I do not post images that don't have the feel of being taken from the phone though. I don't shoot with my 50mm at 1.4 so I can have great bokeh and depth of field because I think that's just plain cheating haha. That's Instagram easy mode.
Vancouver is an amazing backdrop for the majority of your work, how long have you lived there?
I've lived in Vancouver for 16 years now.
Where in Vancouver should QH readers visit?
There is a huge list of places in and around Vancouver that are amazing to visit, but, if I had to choose just one it would be Stanley Park.
Are there any other photographers on Instagram you admire and follow?
Of course! I am always inspired by my partner in crime @bittadesign. Without her, I would have never gotten into photography or Instagram. I also think the crew I hang out with are some of the best in the game. @alexstrohl, @andreadabene, @maurice, @dudelum, @jongsunpark_ @racheycakes @freerishad, all amazing talents I am lucky to call good friends.
Has instagram changed the way you look at your home town?
Sure, it definitely inspired me to explore. I would search every weekend to find new and exciting locations to shoot in and around the city. I have always known Vancouver was beautiful, but trying to find new ways to look at it has been very rewarding.
What other iPhone apps should QH readers be using?
Snapseed, VSCOcam, Touch Retouch, AvgCamPro and Image Blender are my favourite photo apps.
Where in the world would you like to photograph next?
Oh dear, so many places. Iceland (of course), Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, India, and lately I have been fairly obsessed with Mongolia.