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I’m a Dubai-based senior digital art director, interactive designer and creative developer with deep expertise in interactive design, front-end development, 3D and photography.

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REY AMIO

Digital art director & multimedia designer

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iPhoneography

A while back, photographer Chase Jarvis made quite a killing in the app market with Best Camera, a pioneering iPhone photography app that capitalized on a very simple premise: “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” The simple truth behind those words can’t be overemphasized. Indeed, of what use is an expensive DSLR or medium format rig if its whole reason for being—taking pictures—isn’t realized because you don’t have it at hand when a photo opportunity strikes?

Just a few years ago it would have been laughable, if not outright unthinkable, to even consider shooting print-quality photos with a mobile phone. The low resolutions of lenses and sensors, pitiful light sensitivities imposed by the small form-factor, and molasses-slow processing imposed very real limits on the photographic capabilities of these devices.

Then it happened: the mobile camera phone was adopted by lo-fi photography aficionados. Suddenly, the phone camera’s weaknesses—lack of sharpness, low clarity and contrast, and noisy image—became prized assets. Endless variety and instant gratification was ensured by a variety of apps that enabled users to do instant post-processing, and with the phone’s built-in connectivity options, sharing a lo-fi masterpiece is just a click away.

Some apps take vintage character and film verisimilitude to a whole new level, adding realistic film, paper and slide edges, dust, grain, light leaks and diffraction. While some bona fide film users have cried out against what they termed “artificial nostalgia,” most people embrace it, perhaps as a reaction to the sterility and antiseptic clarity of digital captures. I myself have mixed feelings: while I love the dated vibe of a Hipstamatic or Lo-Mob shot, the aging effect itself is static, stuck in a moment of little or no relevance to the time the photo was taken.

Ice and Fire

Music

My piano reduction of Ramin Djawadi’s “Ice and Fire,” the main theme music on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Performed, recorded and mixed using Garage Band on iOS.

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Singapore Chinese Garden

Photography

Singapore is a study in contrasts. Part ultra-modern and crowded, part old and sprawling. A young city by any reckoning, it nevertheless boasts pockets of local flavor, both real and artificial. One such place is the Chinese Garden, located…

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Black & White Mobile Photography

Photography

These days, when you hear the phrase “mobile photography”—especially in its iPhone-centric incarnation, “iPhoneography”—the first things that come to mind are retro filters and faux vintage processing. The results are generally tasteful, but are not infrequently reminiscent of a…

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Laguna de Bay

Photography

I recently came upon a stash of old photographs from 2007. I visited a lot of places that year, taking a lot of photos (mostly snapshots because of lack of planning), but thankfully I had the good sense to…

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Dubai Night Photography

Photography

Much has been said about Dubai’s skyline, but one thing is certain: things comes alive after dark. The desert haze and glaring sunlight mask much of the cityscape’s character, and with them gone the clustered buildings, architectural flights of…

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Hipstamatic Customization Guide

Photography

I love Hipstamatic. It takes ordinary scenes and imbues them with color, character and subtlety sorely absent from other, lesser camera applications. One can almost believe the hype wholesale—that the app is developed by artists. And, in suspension of…

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False Infrared Lightroom Presets

Photography

I’ve always been intrigued by the otherworldly character of near-infrared black & white landscapes—black skies and water, stark clouds and white vegetation. However, since I mostly do general photography, I couldn’t justify the expense of a camera conversion (which…

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The InteractiveSprite Class

Code

ActionScript 3 best practices dictate that when an item is no longer in use, all references to it, as well as all its event listeners, should be removed. This is done to aid garbage collection, as only unreferenced items…

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iPhoneography

Photography

A while back, photographer Chase Jarvis made quite a killing in the app market with Best Camera, a pioneering iPhone photography app that capitalized on a very simple premise: “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” The…

Read more →
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