Daily Portfolio by Tony Edenden — Black-and-White Photography That Comes as an iOS App

Today’s Daily Portfolio by Tony Edenden is not your average portfolio. It comes as an iOS app for iPhone and iPad. Passer-By is the name of the app that brings you some 160 black-and-white pictures. They’re funny, sad and just plain odd, says photographer Tony who’ll tell you why he’s pleased to work with the Leica M9 and why he’s not using the LCD for reviewing.

Tony presents a mix of black-and-white travel, documentary and street photographs spanning 20 years. The pictures you are about to see are the result from Tony’s fascination with people watching. Street photography? Social documentary? Snapshots? Who knows… Moments in time captured by a mere… passer-by!

An app is certainly a bold, unique approach to publish one’s own photography. Tony chose it because — from an unknown photographer’s point of view — iTunes can be a huge plus. It’s more affordable than traditional publishing. And it’s the publishing of the future. More on this further below.

+++ BTW, feel free to submit your portfolio work to THEME. We publish it, you reach a growing audience.

Talk | Tony Edenden

Coming from an engineering background, from 1978 to 1998 Tony made his living as a sports photographer. Soccer, cricket, rugby, horse racing, snooker, tennis, motorcycling, etc. were his world.

Like most successful sports photographers he had a lot of gear (Nikon) and battery of lenses, just to name the 300mm F2.8, 600mm F4 — and the 300mm F2.

“What a lens,” says Tony. “It came with a dedicated 1.4 converter.”

Around 1983 he purchased his first Leica. He used it occasionally when he was close up and needed silence. But most of all he used it for personal pics.

That’s the photography he was always interested in.

Says Tony:

Photography has always been a very personal thing with me, sometimes to my detriment professionally. However during the late 60s and early 70s, before I turned pro, I was fascinated by photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Tony Ray-Jones, Burke Uzzle, Elliott Erwitt, Chris Killup, Don McCullin, Richard Kalvar, Josef Koudelka, and many more.

I never could see a way to make a living doing that! Sports photography was more obvious!

So my interest in documentary photography continued throughout my life, collecting some great books along the way. When my marriage failed and I left home (my darkroom and office were in my house), I moved to a sports agency run by a colleague and stayed there for a few years, but wasn’t getting the same “buzz” anymore. So decided to leave professional photography. My personal photography continued via my Leica and black-and-white film.

Unfortunately many of my negatives were mistakenly disposed off, but that’s another story…

When I was shooting professionally I still shot my personal pics when I could. Perhaps shooting what was an obvious black-and-white picture on color tranny with a view to converting it later.

So here I am, an amateur photographer again, still thinking like a pro! Still shooting and having a blast.

The Kiss I | Tony Edenden

Not too long ago he bought his first digital camera, a Leica M9:

I’ve been using the M9 now for around 15 months. Wat do I think of it?

Well I still own an M6 and a MP with a .85 viewfinder. As I probably shoot 70% of my work on a 50mm, the .85 is ideal. But you can always use a magnifier on the MP.

I get nice image quality from the MP, color is pretty good.

Black-and-white conversions using Silver Efex don’t quite give the film look, but high quality. If you’re trigger happy you can clog the buffer. But most of my pics are taken on single shot, lift off for rewind.

Most shots I make cannot be repeated, so I never look at the image after the exposure. I’m too busy looking for the next shot!

Having said that the screen on the M9 is bloody awful, fine for menu tweaks. Viewing your masterpiece? Uh uh.

The M9’s not as quiet as MP, but OK. Electronic shutter seems far more accurate than mechanical, so that’s a fair trade off then.

A faster shutter, say similar to Contax G2, might be an option, combined with a larger buffer. Again, keeping it “Leica silent” could be a problem.

And a price drop of $1,000 would be welcome.

I dropped that in because this is the first brand new Leica I have ever purchased. So many owners cherish them (don’t use em much), they are good used buys.

So yes, I’m pleased with it, not perfect. When you’ve been using a camera for 29 years, operation is, or should be instinctive, so why change an extension of your eye!

Beach | Tony Edenden

And why black-and-white only, Tony?

As to my personal pictures, well I do prefer black and white to color. When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph them in black and white, you photograph their soul… Well that’s complete bullshit.

Try telling that to Steve McCurry! I prefer simple pictures that don’t need too much in the way of description, monochrome facilitates this. I shoot color with the M9 of course, but I’m usually looking for a black-and-white image in my minds eye.

I shoot people going about their everyday life. Maybe they are having fun, sometimes sad, occasionally making fools of themselves. I try to go unnoticed, not always successfully.

I shoot pictures in the street, but I’m not a street photographer, just an observer.

And why the app?

From an unknown photographers point of view, iTunes is a huge plus. So many people dip into it every second every day. It’s a good opportunity, not cheap, but affordable, when compared to traditional publishing. At $3.99 for 160 odd pictures, wow that’s as cheap as a large coffee in Europe.

What’s left to say? Download Passer-By, Tony Edenden’s inspiring iOS app for iPhone and iPad. BTW, an Android app is under development.

Ladbrokes | Tony Edenden
Girls Talk | Tony Edenden
Self Portrait | Tony Edenden
The Kiss II | Tony Edenden
Dark | Tony Edenden
Fair | Tony Edenden
Fish & Chips | Tony Edenden


  • Bartpics

    I have seen the pics before and always enjoy them, it is nice however to see somebody speak honestly about their own work and also give an honest appraisal of equipment and why they use it.

  • Si G

    I bought Tony’s Passer by app and I love it… It looks fabulous on the iPad and the pictures are imbued with soul… Hard to find stuff like this in the app store, but worth the very reasonable asking price to turn my iPad into the ultimate ‘coffee table’ book!

  • Michel

    What a wonderful world, the world of Tony. I appreciate having downloaded his App. That’s rough life, poetry, and ordinary people.