Entrepreneur, investor, artist and photographer Kevin Abosch has just added a new function to his portfolio, app publisher. With the release yesterday of Lenka, an exclusive high end B/W photo app, he offers everyone the tool to connect with what made photography so appealing: simplicity.
No crazy filters, no stickers, “likes“, audio files, no in-app social media. Just the bare essential to take beautiful B/W pictures a la Ansel Adams. If anything, Lenka should appeal to the purist as well as those washed out by the artificial photo filter race. Professional photographers, some of which were beta testers and helped refine the app, should also love the traditional and bare bones approach that can offer them a well deserved break from their over complicated DSLR’s. Since it connects with all your existing social media channels, unlike Ansel Adams, it won’t let you feel like a solitary outcast. We sat down with founder Kevin Abosch to learn more :
In a few words, what is Lenka?
Lenka is a dedicated black & white camera app for iOS.
What made you decide to create it?
I wanted to be able to shoot great B&W without having to fuss with filters afterwards or have to tweak a dozen parameters before each shot. I built the app that allowed me to shoot on my iPhone and get a quality of image I couldn’t find anywhere in any other app.
Can you tell us how it is funded? How big is the team currently?
Self-funded. There are just three of us.
What do you think is the number one appeal for people to use Lenka?
The combination of its simplicity and the quality of the images.
What’s wrong with the color?
I love color! I love how color speaks to us emotionally, similar to how music moves us. Black and white can also work emotionally, but I love how it quickly brings the viewer to focus on the morphology and composition of the subject. It demands critical analysis, but not at the expense of beauty. Black & white, by its nature is an abstraction from reality. Perhaps this is why so many think of it as being more ‘artsy’… Because it lacks the realism of color.
Who do you see as your typical user?
During the beta testing of Lenka with roughly 100 people, professional photographers and ordinary people alike, seem to appreciate the app. I think the typical user is someone who regularly uses their iPhone to take photos and recognizes the quality of Lenka’s images.
What will be a sure sign of success?
Do you expect Lenka to replace Instagram or Snapchat ?
Absolutely not. Instagram has created an amazing platform for sharing. Acquisition of the image is at the discretion of the users. You can use Lenka and share anywhere you like, including Instagram. As for SnapChat… I can’t imagine Lenka integrating messaging anytime soon.
What are some upcoming features that we can expect to see in the near future ?
As sensor technology and lenses improve, I’ll continue to analyze the native capabilities of the next iPhone and adapt Lenka to make great B&W photos. Working on an Android app as well.
What keeps you up at night ?
The news. I’m a news junkie.
What would you like to add to Lenka today that can’t be done because of technology restrictions?
Holography. Maybe in the iPhone 6!
Author: Paul Melcher
Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.