First write a bio about yourself. Whose Nick Hoffer ?
Well, I guess it all started on a dark and stormy night. Not just any dark and stormy night mind you, but one at 50,000 feet. I was two and taking my first plane trip cross country. I had already acquired my lil’ pilot wings and was settling in when the plane tipped to the side and headed straight for the ground. Later on, it was discovered that a large crate of pet shop hamsters and fancy rats had been misloaded and had tipped over causing the shift in the plane that hurled it too the ground. I woke amid the rubble and toddled off into the woods. 3 days later (having survived on questionable berries brought to me by an apologetic teddy bear hamster) I awoke to find myself surrounded by a pack of wolves. After a moment of fright, I noticed (I was very perceptive for a two year old) something strange; one of the wolves was wearing an ascot! As I looked around, I noticed wolves in bowler hats and cummerbunds; some wore monocles and spats, one even had a very tidy three piece suit. I’m sure you can guess what happened next, they took me back to their dapper den and invited me to become part of their pack. As time went on, they taught me the ways of the wild: how to track game, how to have a keen eye for fashion, how to fashion a nice furry coat to survive the winter months and interior decorating. Most importantly, they taught me advanced photography skills and secrets that only wildly dapper creatures know. For you see, wolves have not only keen night vision but an eye for perfect composition and greyscale. After 16 years, it was time for me to head out on my own and become a man wolf, to lead a pack of my very own. In summation, I leave you with the words my wolf mother gave me as I left home. She said, “woof woof arrruuuu woooooof grrrrr woof arrrruuuuoooof. ” yes, words for all of us to live by. Thank you and good night.
1. What’s the top 10 apps you use the most ?
Filterstorm – good for blending and adjusting.
Photowizard – Great for textures and cut and paste edits and making abstracts.
Picfx – love the grunge this provides
Snapseed – great for tweaking pics and many other little features.
Pixlromatic – so many great filters and effects.
Magic Hour – an endless supply of filters.
Decim8 – excellent for tearing apart pics and making abstracts.
Tiffen PhotoFx – love the diffusion feature and adjusting pics.
FX Photo Studio – good set of filters and textures.
Kik – not really a photo app but a must have for bouncing ideas off of people!
2. Do you listen to music when you shoot your photos & when you edit them ?
Not normally. Although, sometimes my brain radio is on. Music tends to get stuck in my head. So many edits have been completed while music from The Muppet Movie rolls in my noggin.
3. Who are your influences ?
Oh sweet baby Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt, there are so many from artists like Dali, Escher, Adams, Gilliam, and so many others; not to mention, all the wonderful artists on IG (Instagram) and just people I talk to on a day to day basis. This also wouldn’t be complete without a shutout to Jen a.k.a. @puppywings for inviting me into her @puppywings_challenge were creativity and originality come out to play (nudge nudge plug plug wink wink) and keeping me creative. Yeah, there’s to many to list, but I love you all.
4. Where do you photograph ? What do you like to photograph ? Why do you like to photograph ?
I photograph everywhere. I tend to take walks and wander around randomly just seeing what I come across. My favorite things to edit are forgotten things and places that we’ve been conditioned to overlook. You may drive down the same street every day for years but until you get out and explore it you’re missing a lot. I tend to find myself in back alleys and abandoned buildings for just that reason. I love rust and texture and hidden places. I like to find them to bring them back out into the open. To show that there’s beauty in the lost and rundown and destroyed. These are the things that shouldn’t be dismissed. Sometimes the world just needs a second look from a different angle.
5. While editing what goes through your mind ? Do you think about things going on with you life or just edit ?
I generally tend to blank out. Editing is my squeezy red stress ball. When things get hectic I break out my phone and go to town on some pics. It’s my zen moment.
6. Does your way of editing come from comic books and SiFi movies ?
I’m sure those are a part of it. I think anyone’s style is an amalgam of the different experiences, likes, dislikes, nurtures and natures that one comes across in life. Knowingly or not, I’m sure I’ve soaked up bits and pieces from many places be it my favorite comics or movies. This probably explains why half of my edits look like a Monty python segment!
7. Where did you get the name Bongwaterjoe from ?
On the day of my birth, two voodoo monks from Nepal and one silly man from Cleveland followed a bright and glorious light to a small stable in a back alley, to find my mother and myself all new and shiny with that new baby smell. The two voodoo monks wanting to speak but unable to grasp the language so they asked the silly man from to Cleveland to translate and so they spoke. “this boy, this leader of mankind, this glorious specimen of mankind shall grow to lead all men to glory and the woman to make with the booty shaking. From this day forth his name shall be know as ‘Blessed Flying Dragon Who Brings Peace, Booty and Love To The Cosmos’”. Sadly, at this moment the silly man realized that he didn’t speak voodoo Nepalese, panicked and let out the only curse word he knew, “Bongwater!” as well as a tiny fart. Being afraid that whomever smelt it, will be accused of having dealt it all three quickly departed leaving me forever so named. So there it is, the entirely true and not at all fabricated tale of how I came to be know as “BongwaterJoe”.
I found this doll posted up in the middle of nowhere beside a railroad track while on one of my wanderings. Not sure what it’s story was but it was dirty, beaten up, missing a leg, and had a hole in its eye. In other words, I had to take some pics.
For this edit I started with filterstorm to crop and adjust the brightness and contrast. Next I moved to snapseed to add ambiance, crank up the structure, and added vintage filter #7 and set that edit to the side. I then took the cropped original pic to magic hour and added the dry black & white filter. After that it was back to filterstorm to blend the two together for the finished product.
On another one of my walks along the river I came across another man out taking pictures of the city skyline. He had a tripod and his massive camera hooked up to his laptop taking a ton of pics and checking light quality and such on each one. I walked up next to him and said “hey!” snapped this and walked away. I bet he thought I was silly.
As with the last I started this edit in filterstorm for cropping and upping the white balance. Then it was off to photostudio to add the Ancona filter and set it to the side. The original cropped pic was then run through snapseed’s structure and sharpness filters to bring out the details. Finally they were both put back through filterstorm to paint some of the details back into the darker pic.
You’ll have to bear with me on this one. I didn’t take notes here. For this one I started with (yeah you guessed it) filterstorm for the cropping and adjusting. Then off to photostudio to add the Ancona filter for some texture and gradients. Then I took the picture of the moon into photowizard to chop and paste it into the railroad pic. I then used photofx to add a couple black and white looks (I think steel and one of the hicons) to give it the night time look.
What can I say about Mr. Hoffer ? He’s one very interesting guy I follow on Instagram. We Kik each other with editing ideas and other topics. I love his random comments, lurks in and out like ninja and most of one super funny guy. Everyone should check out @bongwaterjoe’s FEED. You will not be disappointed. He’s one of the few people that can push me harder to come up with better ways to edit photos. I’m really glad I get the chance to talk to him on Kik…thanks Nick.
Combo Apps: iPhoneography Extreme Editing, a group on Flickr.