Art Critique & Community vol. 7 : Minimalism

This month we are looking at the work of Crystal @faithmichael for the genre of Minimalism. On it’s face, minimalism seems like an easy task to accomplish but it is actually a very exact science. A minimal work needs to be distilled to just show the barest forms and color to allow the viewer to experience the work without distraction. The Minimalist movement became more popular in the 1950’s although minimal works existed as early as the 1700. Minimalism has close ties to pop art and conceptual art.

Critique written by Rose Sherwood

I  will attempt to write about a subject that I know very little about, minimalist photography. I had to do a bit of research on the subject of minimalism.  There is a plethora of information about the subject,  so much time was spent reading, taking notes and actually stripping away unnecessary information to only leave the important essential core of what minimalism is. The three photos that I am critiquing all present different subject matter.  I do not know if they are by the same artist so I will not make the assumption that the three images are shot by the same person.

The first image is of a slatted fence.  The fence is stained with a red-wood color. In the image there are three darker shadowed shapes that are a darker shade of red brown color. Two of the shadows present diagonal direction into the image and the third is vertical and emphasizes the direction of the wooden slats.  There are nails present in the wood and the stain is weathered and enhances the texture of the grain of the wood.  The spaces between the slats is very narrow and what is behind the fence remains a mystery.

The artist describes this fence as being one of the alleys in the neighborhood.  It is photographed head on so that the spacing of the slats provides a rhythm to the piece. The background does not provide any information to this image.  You can see bits of green if you look closely.  Because I photograph detailed compositions, I have the response of wanting to tear this fence down to see what is on the other side or, at least, to punch a hole in the fence to peep through.

The quality of the image is such that it has a low contrast which flattens the total surface of the picture.   I would have liked the artist to play with this aspect a bit more.  More contrast or ambiance in an editing app like Snapseed would have brought both the shape of the shadows and the texture out a bit more.  I do not know, however, the intention of the artist.

As a minimalist image, it fits.  It has a limited palette with limited scale, direction, and texture.  It is simple,  but is it too simple that it is not as engaging a subject as it could be?  In researching minimalism, I encountered  much writing by Steve Johnson.  Mr. Johnson writes a lot about the minimalist photographer.  He writes about its perspective from a graphic design point of view and also from a reductive process point of view.  I really liked the reductive view of working with an image because you, as the artist have complete control over what the end image looks like;  the artist has the ability to  strip away all the distractions and frills demonstrated by the image leaving only its essential characteristics and what you were attracted to originally as the photographer.

The fence photographer has specified that he/she was attracted to the texture and the gentle slow collapse and aging of the boards but the repetition of the wood was also important.   This image is successful for presenting the graphic rhythm of the fence but I wish that the shapes of the shadows and the textures could have been pulled out a bit more.  But, perhaps, in doing that, I would have pushed the image out of the genre of minimalism.

What Crystal had to say about her image: 

The alleys of my neighborhood are my favorite place to practice composing compositions.  The gentle collapse of this fence and it’s delicately weathered texture were just so elegant. I thought there was a chance to describe some of the subtle depth of this detail without losing the graphic quality of the repeating boards.

The second  image of the surface of water presents us with a full swirling color field of gray-blue.  Reminiscent of a Helen Frankenthaler painting. There is the barest amount of color, texture, and detail in this image.  It is minimal in its subject and the little light and shading that break the blue surface are not construed as focal points.  If the artist had pushed the contrast and heightened it to get more darks and lights, and also more texture, would it be a more engaging image?  Well, taking a screen shot, editing through Snapseed and increasing the contrast was what I did and I liked the image more.  I also sent the image into the B&W arena. I was able to better focus on the detail of the submerged rocks.  I liked the image more.  Has this artist gone far enough with the reductive process?  Taking an image and pushing out the elements that are there so that there is something more to be seen?  I am not the artist of either of these images.  My judgement might be disabled by learning more about the artist and what style their body of work contains. In this case knowing more about the photographer would enable me to know if their work is successful in the minimalist world where “… less is more…”!

What Crystal had to say about her image:

For me to feel like an image I’ve produced is truly “minimal” I need to apply those principles to the entire process (the shot and the edit). I have spent most of the summer working on more complex and descriptive compositions with light and shadow in monochrome shooting with hipstamatic, cropping sparingly, and then editing in VSCOcam.  I wanted to utilize a similar process utilizing VSCOcam only for some 3:2 color images. For this photo I wanted to focus on the texture of the water with hints of what lay just beneath the surface.

The artist’s image of the fire escape is the most playful, lyrical image of the trio of pictures received to critique.  This image, for me, is the most engaging of the three pictures.  It has a strong composition based on the lines created by light, shadow and real object.  The textures and lines of the brick wall play well with the solid black lines  horizontally  and vertically set by the banister in front.  But it is the lighter shadow that plays above the banister’s rail that, for me is the most enticing and interesting. I don’t know where it originates from.  The object that is producing this gentle shadow is completely out of the picture. Yet, here it is like a sheet of music appearing, connecting and touching four round black notes, regularly spaced, becoming part of the banister.  The rules of light source, light direction and production of a shadow do not compute in this area of the image.  Why and how this light shadow is in the picture remains a mystery.  This is intriguing.  Is there an extended balcony that is above that is projecting the shadow onto the brick wall?  There are no other shadows except for the shadow present under and at the bottom of the brick wall.  So the light source must be from above.  Perhaps, it is another fire escape but the rhythm of the lines has changed rather than lines that are evenly spaced, these lines travel in triplicate.  This is the most perplexing and engaging image and I keep looking and thinking about it.

If these images are shot by the same person, then I do believe that they fit the genre of minimalism.   The artist has stated that these images were 3:2 and edited through the VSCOcam app.  They all have a similar look but I would not gather them together as a series.  The subject matter separates them from each other.  They must stand on their own merits.  They are minimalist images.  Are they successful as minimalist images?  As stated above, I want to know more about how (in regards to both process and intent) the artist works and see a body of work that encompasses the understanding of minimalism. I have a feeling that there is more to it than photographing “…less is more…”

Minimalism has rules that artists follow.  Some attend to them with rigor and others are looser in their adherence.  Many of the articles that were read mentioned the importance of composition (the rule of thirds and leading lines) ,  simplicity in the subject matter photographed , the use of bold, strong color,  an awareness of the background,  strength to engage the viewer(s) of the work,  paring the photograph down to its’ essential  elements and the ability to tell a story.

What Crystal had to say about his images:

When I first started taking pictures with my phone I would (literally) have dreams about this fire escape shadow at night. I was still pretty shy about standing in the street taking pictures of walls with my phone but eventually managed to grab one. I walk by this building often and decided it was worth revisiting. Particularly since the light on this occasion illuminated this wonderful play of lines between the shadow of the wall and the bannister just in front of it.

Critique written by Stephanie

So much detail. Yet so simple.

An interesting portrait of a fence: color, texture, the hint of what lie behind the fence. Hinges nails shadows….o my!

I found myself having to zoom in so I could peek into the sliver.

It was fun being able to see so clearly the brick wall and items.

It’s not easy to make the ordinary stand out.

The shadow on the hinge and borders adds dimensional. Choosing to capture this with the shadows shows a discerning eye. Gorgeous!

There only one thing that sort of throws me off. The center shadow feels displaced.

I can’t help but wonder how this would look without it claiming attention.

I suppose if it’s a fixed object and  can’t be avoided.

I think in contrast to the lineal aspects of this fine composition it’s an oddity.

Again…that my own personal taste.

You obviously have some good dreams! This is such a spot on composition. Its good to question how something would look if hung on a wall framed.  I learned that early on determining whether or not a photograph was worth keeping.

This has texture and color and patterns. It’s subtle but interesting. A good example of minimal which proves to be more. A modern statement for ones walls.

The subtle flow of colors are very appealing. The overall tonal values work well. I appreciate the various shades of blue. The foreground of rocks are what really bring life to this. It’s very interesting to zoom in closer on them. Doing such creates more depth and texture. The minimal yet strong contrast of the coral and kohl rocks provides an interestingness to the whole composition.

You definitely have accomplished your goal to focus on the waters texture.

Yet for me personally, I found it a challenge to appreciate.

Having to really look see I was able to define what really worked for this.

Again, that is just my POV.

The purity of a solid shot without the fanfare of post processing is the backbone by which one can have license to edit as they see fit.

While it is best to frame ones image straight in camera without having to crop, sometimes a nice crop can work well.

Our Panelists:

Rose Sherwood Rose is a retired art teacher. She  taught art on the elementary level for 22 years.  She also taught on the high school level and in a museum setting too.  She enjoyed teaching and misses the students.  Before teaching she worked in brain research because her first college degrees were in both the fields of Biology and English.   She met and married a great guy and when their son, Matthew,  was born, she went back to school to study art.  She  continued her education at RIT and earned an MFA in painting and photography and then returned and acquired a MsT in art education.Her teaching career was very full but one of the memorable times was being honored to be a recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship to study in Japan.  It was a pivotal experience that changed her and her teaching practices. Her students benefitted from her experiences. Their daughter, Laura, introduced Rose to IG and returning to all things of photography has occurred.  IG was a way to communicate with family and friends about T., her husband, and his bone marrow transplant.  She has been as active caretaker for him.

// IG // Juxt //

 

Stephanie I am just another person trying to stop time. Photography helps.

Going mobile makes sure I don’t miss a second.

Well…at least it could,  if I see(seize) it.

 //Web// IG // Juxt //
Our Artist:
Crystal  is a creative hailing from Ohio. She works mainly in color showing her audience that less is more on a regular basis. She has an eye for detail and engages the every day objects to create a portfolio of minimalism.Her work is currently available for purchase in the Cincinnati area.
// IG // Juxt //
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As always, We Are Juxt and Anna would like to say thank you to our panelists and submitters for their willingness to take part in this forum.  We couldn’t do this without you. 
Next month we will be looking at architecture if you would like to submit work or be a panelists send an email to juxtcritique@gmail.com

Art Critique and Community: Vol. 6 Still Life

This month in the Art Critique and Community we are looking at the genre of still life. A still life is, by definition, a painting, drawing or photograph of a grouping of  inanimate objects. A still life is not limited to these mediums and can also span a host of subject matter. Usually the objects are common place, everyday objects.  We think you will enjoy our artist this month who takes the still life to a whimsical level.   

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 “i’m a loner, dottie. a rebel.”

Photo by Todd Leban: I found this old box of matches in the pantry of my grandparents house. I love working with objects and developing visual ideas around them. This image was built around the rectangular shape of the box. I attempted to give the matches characteristics that people could identify with, and play around with the isolation that occurs sometimes when people dare to deviate from the norm

Critique written by Jennifer Thomas  

What strikes me about this image firstly is the rhythm and repetition of the subject matter. The layout of the box, the arrangement of the matches, the line, and the textural surfaces all work to create a strong visual statement. The single match acts as a focal point that provokes the viewer to wonder why the match is separated and what is about to happen. It seems as if its part of a delectable narrative that makes the viewer anticipates the next move. The title gives us a hint about the single match and we are left to imagine the remainder of the story.

From a more formal perspective the horizontal grain of the wooden boards provides the viewer with a strong juxtaposition to the vertical matches and also links the source of the wood, paper, card and match sticks back to their origin. Clichés like “one out of the box” come to mind, but this composition has a much greater subtlety to it that goes beyond a common, ordinary comparison.

The choice of an analogous color palette in softened hues of dusky blue,  grey and mint green work wonderfully together and don’t detract our attention from the narrative the matchsticks provide. In conclusion, we are presented with a strong composition and the deliberate placement of inanimate objects to achieve a desired effect, one of both harmony and expectation.

 “the scream.”

What Todd had to say about his photo: I’m fascinated with tools and the hammer is one of my favorites. I don’t remember where this one came from but I know I didn’t buy it. It sits in my tool cabinet and shares the workload 50/50 with one other, a 16oz. Estwing. But those details are arbitrary to the overall recognizable shape. This image originally existed without the grid, etc., but to me was “finished” when I used the app “Tangent. I aimed to created a sense of motion with static objects.

Critique written by Jennifer Thomas

The title of this image combined with the placement of the nails give the viewer an immediate clue as to the intent of the artist. The hammer takes on an anthropomorphic quality as if a character screaming or shouting something to someone. Again the sense of rhythm and repetition provided by the “Tangent” app grid and geometric shapes help to link the craft of building/engineering and the purpose of the hammer itself. This image “works” conceptually as well as in a pictorial sense. It is unified in other ways by use of the limited color palette of muted greys, silver and the soft pink of the hammer handle.

Whenever I see the title of The Scream I can’t help but think of the German Expressionist artist Edvard Munch and his famous image of the same title painted in 1895. In the painting there is a skull like figure on a bridge with a turbulent sky behind him. I see a similar format here with the single form of the hammer and the nails spewing from its mouth. I wonder if the image would have appeared more menacing if the points of the nails were facing outwards?

 

“die, die my darling.”

Todd’s Description: I recently experienced a creative drought and was searching for objects to revive inspiration. I started delving into my collection of dice and found this interesting decaying bakelite piece. The depth of focus on the native camera put this object too far in the distance so I grabbed my olloclip/macro and placed the die on my bureau. After playing with several angles, I discovered this straight ahead shot. I’m always hesitant to use text in an image without agonizing over it being necessary, and found the play on words to be interesting.

Critique written by Jennifer Thomas

This image has a graphic edgy quality to it, as if it’s fallen straight out of a Tarantino plotline. The text is used as an enticing double entendre that relates both to the object and the idea. The number 3 is a powerful compositional matrix and the diagonal force of the circles adds to the dynamic quality of this image. There is very little background and the object is thrust right up into the viewer’s face. Nowhere to hide! To increase the drama a big chunk is removed from the top left of the die. An imperfection in the perfect line that adds interest and provides a counterpoint to the chosen text; ‘die’. Blue is a moody color and works well to contrast with the ivory colored Bakelite. Wow, you’ve gotta love Bakelite. I’m sure we all have a mother or grandmother who used those super jade green or salmon pinkish pieces for picnics or cups of coffee at home when we were young. This image conjures up both nostalgia of the past, as well as a sense of threat. The artist stages a chapter from a narrative, this time with menacing overtones. I love it and it’s easily the favorite of the 3 images discussed.

Our Artist:

  Todd Leban. I grew up with an intense interest in music & art, and an undying desire to create. I have a great appreciation for things that are old & worn, and have always been fascinated with objects and how they influence and enhance our lives. I try to bring out their stories in my images.

I’m a professional art educator at a middle school in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve been taking, making, and editing images on my phone with a serious focus for about two years.

                                                    //IG  // Twitter //  AMPt Community //

Our Panelist:

Jennifer Thomas is originally from Melbourne in Australia and has Fine Arts degrees with majors in Sculpture and Printmaking. She has taught Art at large International Schools for the past 12 years and lived in Tokyo, Brussels and is now London. She was one of the featured artists on Dan Marcolina’s ipad eBook ‘Mobile Masters’ in 2012. She was also part of the Mobile Pixation and Iconiclondon exhibitions in December 2012. She is an active member of the Instagramers London group and co-curates for AMPt on Backspaces and scouts for the Mobile Artistry team on Instagram.

  // IG // Backspaces // IPA //

Art Critique and Community: Vol. 5 Portraits

The most difficult thing for me is the portrait. You have to try to put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Welcome to our fifth volume of the Art Critique and Community feature here at We Are Juxt. This month we are looking at portraiture as our genre and have two talented artists to share. We hope you enjoy the insights of the panelists. Next month we will be looking at the genre of still life.

Portrait by Pat St-Hilaire, The Choreographer 

Portrait by Sue Fagg, She said Yes

Combined Critiques written by Paul Marsh

Description. Presented for critique are two separate images, from separate cameras, of two different people. Both are edited on the iPhone by the photographer, and while different in composition, they share a common style. The second image, of the man with the glasses, is warm monochrome, and the first image, of the man with the black hat, has more hints of color. The second image is more casual and spontaneous and the first is more posed and directed. The photographer sent along descriptions of both images and the moments captured to help bring context to each image.

Analysis. The photographer here used very strong lighting and blank backgrounds to capture the subjects and to isolate them completely from the photograph’s larger environment. This keeps distractions minimal and helps the viewer to focus entirely on the subject. The strong lighting emphasizes graphic shapes and the overall minimal use of color in both images helps break down the scenes into more simplicity. By focusing on only part of the facial features of the man with the glasses, we can see the weatheredness of time, and follow his gaze both forward into a shorter future and backward into a much longer history. He seems very intense in thought and a strong but simple smile suggests that it’s a pleasant moment for him. Even though we cannot make eye connection, we can still connect and dig into our memories and ponder life just as he is doing here.

The other image of a dancer contrasts this by having the composition zoomed out a little more, hiding the eyes and including the hands. There’s a sense of dynamic energy and tension captured with the man as a dancer holding his hat, preventing it from flying away as he works his magic perhaps as part of a well-practiced dance routine. There are fewer hints as to the age of the subject and he appears far more anonymous. But it doesn’t mean he isn’t without his own personal style, which the photographer captured well here.

By using strong lighting, both images are tied together in their graphic quality. In the image of the dancer, the hands are highlighted and stand out greatly. In the image of the man with the glasses, the eyes, nose mustache and mouth are all highlighted. This emphasis helps tell the story of each image.

Interpretation. It’s very easy to see the man with the glasses is deep in a moment of thought and remembrance, and we viewers are longing with him to know the story. The image title “She Said Yes” along with the description provide the context of the situation, with the photographer sitting next to the gentleman as he remembers the moment he asked his wife to marry him, which was right in this very spot. As a big Simon & Garfunkel fan, I can’t help but be transported into perhaps a similar moment described in Paul Simon’s “Old Friends” lyrics. “Old friends, memory brushes the same years, silently sharing the same fears…” Perhaps younger viewers are fast-forwarded into the future sitting next to him, and we’re joining him in reminiscing younger days. Or perhaps we are indeed remaining in today and this man is providing us with sage counsel and gently reminding us of the importance of the present, especially with those we love.

The image of the choreographer/dancer gives me the sense of angst and energy, with the self-expression of movement very clearly established. It reminds me of the struggle most artists face trying to find their place in life and in their careers. No matter the medium of expression, there is a constant struggle in the world of performing artists. With the tension I feel in the way he’s covering his head with the hat and holding it close, it’s almost as if he’s trying to find a way to escape from the noise and pressure of that battle.  The anonymity of the subject (though a name was provided in the description) could also represent the struggle artists face in making a name for themselves in order to find their way into a community, whether a small-town performing group on the side, or the massive industry that is Hollywood. I wonder if there was music playing while this image was made, and if so, what song.  I don’t listen to too much hip-hop but I can almost hear something from that genre of music.

Judgment. Both images are very strong compositionally. With portraits, viewers tend to want to connect with the subjects and get to know the people in them at least in some snapshot of time in which the photo is made. It’s quite easy in both images to do just that. The descriptions help provide context, but the images stand alone strongly without them. I’m not sure that the painterly/textured processing of the second image with the dancer is necessary, since the details that help define the individualistic fashion of the dancer might help to figure out his style a little better. But at the same time, it does provide a more hip/modern quality to the image. Both images work very well and I enjoyed seeing a glimpse inside each of the subjects presented. BRB – gotta go flip my Simon & Garfunkel album and then stop at the record store to find a good LP with some modern dancin’ vinyl grooves…

Critique Written by Todd Leban

“She Said Yes”

In this monochromatic image, I see a man wearing glasses, in profile view, gazing into the distance. His expression is not happy or sad, but content. The setting is unclear. The tight crop around the face, and the depth of field have blurred any surrounding detail. The light source, which appears to be natural light, is coming from the right side, creating shadows on the areas of the face closest to the viewer.

Overall, this is an intriguing image, and not an everyday type of capture. The photographer had a good eye in spotting the subject and asking to take the shot. Without that encounter, we may never have known the importance of the place where the man sat. I thoroughly enjoy when an image has a story behind it that draws the viewer in with empathy.

The perspective of this portrait is refreshing. We are forced to engage the subject from a different viewpoint that is less direct, but still quite intimate. The detail present in the image highlights the years of life experience of the figure, and presents us with an expression that hints at introspection, or observation. The texture of the gentleman and his sweater are in great contrast from the dark, smooth negative space in the background to the right. Initially, as with most portraits, I looked at the eye first, but then was drawn vertically through the image, following the highlights on the face from top to bottom

I would like to see a comparison image with the saturation pulled completely out. I detect a hint of green and yellow still present. Lowering the saturation would have allowed for an adjustment in contrast, heightening the lights and darks, and pushing the figure even further into the foreground.

Critique Written by Sam Smotherman

“She Said Yes”

What struck me first about this portrait is the choice of a profile and the lower angle of the shot. Not what you typically expect when you think of portatiuture or typically get: look straight at the camera, slightly tilt your head, to the right, no my right, ok hold still – snap.

We are told that he is thinking of her, of someone who’s memory he’s carried with him for years. The years that he wears on his face as clearly as the bold knit sweater keeping him warm. One quality of a great picture, which is especially true of portraits, is the ability of the photograph to pose lingering questions. Questions asked but not answered but yet we care enough about the subject to want them answered. And so we speculate, we propose and guess. Like a chain slipping off the cog of a bike no matter how much we want an  answer none will emerge how ever hard we peddle. We want to know who she is, is the memory painful, or is it as pleasant as the light falling across his face?

The words we have direct us to the a small point of light, like a ships navigator of old, finding the small point of light, which then gives the negative space meaning. I am talking abut the small point of light in his eye, the North Star in this picture, for which we can then chart to any port or answer we chose. One could even make a case that the actual subject in this picture is not the man but the woman of whom he’s thinking. That small glint of light is her memory and symbolizes her power over him all of these years.

**Both of the pictures I was asked to critique were excellent examples of what can make a great portrait but not what typically does. Neither of these had the clinical poses or the often shot “nights out with friends” picture. These were both clever and well thought out or if not thought out well chosen. Both are good examples of what can and does make a good portrait.

What Sue had to say about her image:

Taken with a Canon Powershot S51S, for the Flickr 100 Strangers group, and edited on the iPhone.
I sat on a bench next to him, and he was lost in thought.  I asked if I could take his picture.  He said “Yes”… Then went on “we used to meet here, so long ago, even though she shouldn’t. It was here she said ‘Yes’…”
I wanted to catch some of that wistfulness, and the ‘something’ that he are me feel.

Critique Written by Todd Leban

Portrait of Choreographer

In this image is a man in a coat, with his head down, who is holding his hat. The background is smooth, but there is considerable texture throughout the subject. There are vertical and diagonal lines created by the clothing and the figures arms. The use of contrast in the dark clothing and background, highlight the hands and lower portion of the man’s face.

This is a nontraditional portrait based on the pose of the figure. We are not greeted directly by an expression, and are left guessing whether or not the man is happy, sad, frustrated, etc. The traditional use of a blank background provides an area of negative space, that draws our focus to the dancer. There is a noticeable painterly effect on the clothing and the background. However, the face, hands and hat, are seemingly untouched.

It is unclear to me what the intent of the portrait is. I haven’t learned much about the figure. The tilting down of the head doesn’t connect with me, not only for the obvious reason, but also because the expression is so static.

Is it the man who is important here, or is it the symbolism of the hands and hat that we are supposed to notice? Are these the most essential elements in the man’s profession? Is the hat a part of his dance attire, or just an everyday piece? To me, the way the photographer played around with the effect here, is what makes it an interesting image. I am left wondering more about these elements, rather than what the figure represents. It is almost as if the figure is interchangeable.

Critique Written by Sam Smotherman
Not a classic portrait at all.

Most of the subjects face is blocked by the brim of his hat. I’m not sure if this was the subject posing or was caught the moment of putting the hat on. Either way the suggestion of movement or action is not typical in portraits. However, having said that, this portrait works well for me.

There are a couple of things a good picture (portrait) will do. One is answer questions and the other is to invite the viewer into the photo. For me the latter is what this picture does so well. We have very little information to go on but my interest was piqued by this photo.

What I enjoy the most is the use of suggestion. The subject in a black jacket in front of a black background putting on a black hat creates a lot of interesting negative space. The highlights on the hat and on the shoulder of the jacket provides us the thinest of boarders between the man and his surroundings. A small line of red also suggests a division between the man and his jacket. A tiny disk of black reflecting some light – becoming grey.  And the loudest clue we get is a slab of grey showing a zipper of possibly another jacket but it adds to the puzzle. And while his hands are the most we see of his body they act more like a halo of light and are more of an accent to the photograph instead of a focal point. None of the details are over the top. We are given small clues along the way to guide us to our conclusions.

To me these small clues suggest a man of style. He’s just about finished and all that is needed before he leaves is to add the last piece of clothing – his hat and that’s what we are seeing. A man occupied with perfecting the last detail of his ensemble and using both hands to get the fit just right.

The anticipation of his next move leads us to the end of the story. We are waiting, with baited breath, for him to remove his hands and lift his head. We want him to stare right at us with the confidence we know he had based on the attention to detail in his wardrobe.
The photo leaves us wanting and this is what ultimately drew me in.

What makes this picture work is the same reason an etching works. Its what’s taken away that creates the intrest. I like to use literary themas to help me catagorzie pictures and to me this one has mystery written all over it. What is hard about this type of photography is when you start taking away or limiting the information is not removing too much. And what is harder is to draw the viewer in with the details you have left for them. This photography really excels with the subtractive nature.

I would encourage others to try to describe  what makes this picture so strong and to apply that in their own work.   It is a challenge to remove as much information as possible and yet keep what is important within the picture.

What Pat had to say about his image:

Angelo Ameur is a choreographer from Montreal. Dancers are the best model.Their bodies speak by themselves, they catch the mood like nobody else.I just asked him to hold his hat… BANG!! Softbox,Native camera iPhone 5 Snapseed, Glaze and Blender.

Our Panelists:

Todd Leban. I grew up with an intense interest in music & art, and an undying desire to create. I have a great appreciation for things that are old & worn, and have always been fascinated with objects and how they influence and enhance our lives. I try to bring out their stories in my images.

I’m a professional art educator at a middle school in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve been taking, making, and editing images on my phone with a serious focus for about two years.

IG // Twitter // AMPt Community 

Sam Smotherman. I’m a Narrative Street Photographer from Los Angeles, believing in the power of dialogue and that is what I try to create through my images. Not just a dialogue between observers but within the whole process. I am not removed from my pictures, choosing instead to speak where subjects often have no voice, making sure to give articulation to those who have not only shared their image, but their words. Photography helps me to define and connect me with the world and my surroundings in a way it does not when I am not shooting. It is not just about the seeing or feeling an image, I want to becompelled to think. Conveying truth in my images is important and I look for the beauty in the broken because that is often where the truth lies. Working to show the conditions of life on the margins, I want all people to feel they can help make the human condition better by working for social justice and spiritual grace.

A picture of a white whale does not tell the story of Moby Dick

 IG // JUXT // Twitter

Paul Marsh. Paul has been doing photography at  some level since before high school. He fell in love with the darkroom  back then and am thankful for having started on film. In college, digital  photography consisted of an early version of Photoshop and trying to  find time next to a computer with an expensive scanner for the prints he had made in the darkroom. Digital cameras were still a decade away from  being commonplace. He snuck a few prints into some shows and somehow  ended up with some recognition. Now, with the iPhone, he can combine  all three elements nearly instantaneously and share his work with a much  larger audience. And these days he continues to sneak into photo shows  with iPhoneography, including having several images chosen for honorable  mention in both years of the Mobile Photo Awards.

He chose a path away from photography,  however, in college and by day he work with a Webby Award winning government  web team. Jack of many trades, he  can be called  a webmaster.  Still, he  makes time to run away from the cubicle walls and venture into  the world of art, both as a creator and as a consumer. A few years ago  he found himself hanging around a photo critique site, PhotoSig, and discovered  he could write a decent critique (affirmed by the site’s editors when  his critiques were chosen as featured critique several times). He has  learned that in looking at photos more deeply it makes him a better artist.  He has also come to see art as the polar opposite of dogma, since life  is full of paradoxes and juxtapositions that go way beyond the constructs  of the reality in which our minds try to keep us.

Some people actually know him as  a musician more than as a photographer. And vice-versa. He enjoys writing.  He also knows way too much about baseball and am a passionate Seattle  sports fan. Again, a jack of many trades but master of none.

Except being himself.

#GoHawks!

IG / /  Twitter  //  Web  //  Flickr  

Our Submitters:

Patrick St-Hilaire, I’m 45.I’m from the darkroom era,I learned it all back then.Today i still try to learn how to apply the proper app on my pict. I do portrait, i love to capture the moment,just before the words come out, that silent moment when the eyes speak.

IG // Twitter

Sue Fagg. Took up photography in 2009, with a Kodak Easyshare, saw what others were doing, and found I couldn’t!  Took a short course with the Open University, sorted out shutter and aperture, depth of field and points of view.  Bought a Canon point and shoot, then a Canon bridge camera.  Had much fun on Flickr!  Invested in a Canon 550 DSLR, and got to grips with that….BUT a Flickr contact EzrazHipsta was having mega fun with Filters, apps and the iPhone, and I wanted to try.  The iPhone 3 was a bit hit and miss, but with some Hipsta, or Filtermania, I was up and running!  Upgraded to the 4s and fell in total love!  The DSLR has cobwebs, as my iPhone is so instant.  See a moment, capture a moment, edit that moment and upload it… all whilst sitting on the bus…Heaven!  And now I’ve discovered Backspaces app, I am mostly taking images with the square format in mind.  Apps and the iPhone…Bring it on!!

Art Critique and Community: Vol. 4 Landscape

“Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions. Ask yourself: “Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print – my own personal statement of what I feel and want to convey – from the subject before me?”

-Ansel Adams

 Thank you for joining us for the fourth volume of Art Critique and Community. This month we are looking at the genre of landscape and our submitters have brought beautiful, diverse work to the table. We do hope you are enjoying this series and are learning along with us.

 Photo by Daniel Berman

Critique written by Senda Shallow
LAKE AND TREES This is an asymmetrical image of trees reflected in water.   The photo is focused well, and the color variation effectively draws the eye into the photo.  It’s very warm and has the feel of an antique photo without the wear.  The reflection of the trees on the lake creates an almost abstract shape reminiscent of a sound wave close up, moving from silence to sound, a beginning point.  The light is calm, warm, and peaceful, although on closest inspection some of the very tops of the deciduous trees are more blown out in the air than their reflection in the water.  Simply because of the levels of the photo, my eye is consistently drawn from left to right across it — from the pale distant shore to the close, dark trees.   The mist and bright levels keep the photo ethereal and idyllic.  It reads as the story of a quite afternoon in the sunlight, maybe on a dock, maybe with my feet in the water watching for little fish nibbling. Because of the weight and draw of the dark right hand side, I find that there is an excess of empty space to the left, and nothing to bring me back to that side.  I’d question the crop here — if the photo might not be more powerful with a little less emptiness there.  There is also one splash of blue that jumps out against the warm browns of the edit in amongst the trees that distracts from the powerful cohesion and vertical symmetry. Overall there is a lot of impact in the shape and horizontal asymmetry of this picture.  It jumps out and you while remaining so very still.

Critique written by Gemma Anton
When looking at the photograph we see a peaceful autumnal landscape. A river which brooklet is fulfilled with trees and cabins. The quietness of the flow allows a perfect reflection of the border line creating a strong horizontal symmetry.

The theme and composition is clearly based upon classical occidental landscape paintings, with a strong use of perspective. The focal point is placed in the center part of the rectangle and the main vanishing lines frame the trees and constructions in an acute isosceles horizontal triangle on the right part of the picture.

Symmetry is also the key for the negative space. The river being a reflection of the sky where a homogenous ochre tone provides a neutral background which highlights the scene on the right.
The edit enhances the composition. A slight foggy treatment helps to blur the horizontal borderline. The nearly monochromatic use of color accentuates this idea.

The use of classical rules of composition as symmetry and centered perspective, and the use of color gives the frame a unitarian character which reinforces the peaceful atmosphere of the photograph.

Technically the picture is remarkable, but in my opinion the question here might be if this picture says something personal, distinctive. Everything in this photograph takes us to “The pictorialism” movement, that dominated photography during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and worked photography as “paintings”. It’s been a while since and lots of research and experimentation has been done. Now that the technique is obviously in control, maybe the key is trying to take all the possible advantage of the medium.

Critique written by Shaun
Description: A gorgeous foggy shoreline, reflected over still waters. Beautifully subtle colors and warm tones, along with the sparse leaves on the trees, give an autumnal feel.

The shoreline fades as it curves into the distance and in the thickness of the fog. Trees, both deciduous and evergreen populate the shoreline, with hints of houses between the trees and small docks with chairs on the water show that this is a peaceful place and a favorite of spot to come and rest and reflect.  Ambient light coming through the fog suggest a morning time.

Analysis: Both the luminance, and the white balance have been significantly boosted. I enjoy the mood it gives, but personally would tend to a more subtle hand on these. Particularly with the “curves”, or luminance brought up so high that I feel that some detail was lost, in the tops of the trees, that would have added to the beauty of the natural scenery. The line of the shore is very pleasing as it leads into the distance and vanishes in the fog. The negative space used in this crop feels a bit much. It doesn’t quite feel balanced and the beauty of the shoreline gets minimalized slightly.

I like the wide format of the frame, but to balance it I would bring it, from the left of the frame, at least 15%, and crop a little tighter to the trees and shore.

Overall, the first impression when I see the photo is that it is a lovely scene, and it is well seen by the photographer.  When I spent a little more time with it, I felt a little more efficient use of the framing and lighter hand on the edit would have made it even better.


Photo by Josh Jones

Critique written by Senda Shallow
BLACK AND WHITE RAIN This is a black and white photo of rain and a lake. This photo plays with the depth of field, pulling the rain droplets into sharp focus while allowing the landscape to blur out.  The view is dark, giving only a hint of the passing landscape on the top right hand side, maybe a dock and an outcropping of trees.  The spread of the droplets suggests motion despite the stillness of the actual landscape.  The lighter values to the right guide the eye in that direction, while the the motion lines of the droplets and the line of the dock itself bring the eye back in. This photo feels very depressed, mostly because of the dark values and the dark mysterious shapes of the landscape.  It gives an impression of the world sliding past while the viewer sits still, protected but untouchable.  The jagged shapes on the right are reminiscent of teeth, of a huge beast with jaws that are reaching to close.  Overall this photo is extremely emotive and very effective in creating a mood.

Critique written by Gemma Anton
The background of the photograph seems to show a river which brooklet is fulfilled with trees while in the foreground we can hardly distinguish a pier. Each ground has a different perspective, breaking up any supposed unity within the image.

Here we sense more than we see. Neat raindrops turn the camera lens into a real screen that filters the information in the picture, maybe as a reminder of the inherent subjectivity of any glance.  The rainy weather, the lack of reflections, the heavy sky and moved water add strength to the concept of mental landscape.

The use of the black and white and the grainy texture help to remark the idea of interrelated abstract patches of different intensities, turning the lack of negative space on a whole non-space that waits for something to happen.

Everything in the composition highlights the plain surface of the photograph as an object, stressing on an abstraction that, having  to do with the oriental landscape paintings, takes us through the Greenberg’s influence in modern photography.

In my opinion, this picture makes the most of the possibilities of the medium in order to show a personal point of view, at the same time it creates tension with its search of abstraction. Against that I would say that maybe the lighting and the contrast should have been more accurately calibrated.

Critique written by Shaun
Description:  A somewhat abstract landscape in stormy weather, shot from, what appears to be either a moving car, or through a window with strong wind against it. The raindrops streaked across the window are in focus and give a sense of movement and wind, as the landscape is blurred and partially obscured by the vignette. This also is looking across a shoreline that fades in the misty distance, with pilings in the foreground sitting starkly in the water. It feels very minimal in it’s composition.  The dark gray and black tones with a strong vignette give a stark and bleak mood.

Analysis:  The dark tones accentuate the feeling and drama of the storm.  The plane of the glass, shown through the rain drops, along with the line of the shore give a sense of movement along the waterfront with a front row view to the power and magnitude of the storm. The heavily treed horizon is very familiar to me, living in the Puget Sound. I’m not sure where this was taken, but it could easily have been just down the road from me. The darkness has an almost oppressive feel to it, along with the thick layer of clouds overhead, and dense forest. I really like the contrast of the pilings against the water. They appear to be abandoned, as there is no discernable dock to be seen. The framing seems balanced between the dark and light, and the use of space in the clouds gives great context. Also the blank space of the water and the use of the shorelines to frame the pilings are very nice. It does not appear to be heavily edited, as it seems like it could have very possibly come out of the camera that way, with a simple black and white filter. The vignette could have been added, but depending on the conditions, it could have very well been natural with the use of the glass, from a dark car and with inclement weather. The little black specks streaking across the frame are a bit mysterious. I’m not sure if those are an effect of the glass, sand flying by or simply raindrops caught in mid-descent.

Regarding the subject of the photo, I would like to engage in a small discussion, as it is not entirely obvious at first, to me anyways, what the exact subject of the photo is. My suspicion is that others may have wondered this as well, so I hope this discussion can be useful.  I think I felt it intuitionally, what this photo was about, first before I could articulate it.  I acknowledge that sometimes the subject is not always a physical thing as it can be more of an emotion, or impression, or even a force.  I’m totally fine with that personally, but I do believe it takes a special skill to be able to pull that off successfully, without going too far into mere moodiness or sentimentality. Perhaps, here, a good replacement for the word “subject” could be “story”. What’s the story here? At first I was asking myself, is the subject the raindrops? The pilings? The mood? But, when thinking in story terminology, it makes me back out a bit, and it becomes clearer, I think: it’s a story of travel. This is interesting to me to consider, as the story is not exactly what is “in” the photograph, but rather the photo gives clues through all the contextual elements to what is not photographed.  It makes for a quiet, but I think skillfully made, point by the photographer. Because of its subtleties, I think this could be passed over by some as a weak photo, but I personally find it more enjoyable. The darkness of the photo can almost overshadow the story, and it’s close here to going too far. However, the emotional element is really important to me in making a photo more compelling.

Overall, I love the photo. I love when black and white photography is used to it’s potential in creating shape and form, shade and mood. I appreciated how the contextual elements were used to tell a story about what wasn’t photographed, as much as what was.

 Our Panelists:
Gemma Anton. Born in Valencia, Spain, in 1974. After working for several years in Madrid, I have moved to Paris.

I am an Architect who sees public space as a “moving collage” of differences. A crossroad of endless disciplines addressed to serve as tools to understand the everyday of human existence. I understand Architecture practice as a lifelong learning process, a continuous questioning which will find its answer in social reality, as a net of different natures in progress connecting at different scales and multiple levels.

Active Iphone Photographer and collagemaker, I try to capture the glances of existence day-to-day life carries in its streets. Our epoch’s juxtaposition of heterogeneities. The contingence upon the temporary meeting points, their fugues and voids included. The disappearance of every kind of hierarchy and an the « assemblage » of inequalities. Overlapped messages which texturize ephemeral realities, only fulfilled if related with the environment. As a collage.

\ IG \ Flickr \ Tumblr \

Senda Shallow is a mom with a mountain commute and a love of photography.  She has worked for Apple and as a independent web designer, and is now in eBook distribution.  She sews, reads, obsesses over perfect birthday parties for her son, takes lots of pictures, and has a newly acted upon obsession with steampunk.

  \ IG \ Instacanvas \

Shaun Swalley Photography is a relatively new, passionate hobby for me. I’ve always admired it and didn’t have the tools and time to pursue it before. The possibilities and ease of using the iPhone, along with inexpensive apps for editing, blew up the world of picture taking. I have been able to use style, technique and effects that were never before within reach for me. Also, the social networking aspect of Instagram helped inspire, challenge and teach me. Trees are a favorite subject of mine. I’m partial to the form of bare branches and the dramatic shapes they take. My wife and three kids make our home on Bainbridge Island, WA.

 \ Flickr \ Facebook \ Twitter \ Email \

Our Submitters:

Daniel Berman is a fine art photographer, filmmaker & digital artist. With a background as a producer of music and nature programs for television, Daniel brings a lifelong passion for rhythm and the imagery of the natural world to his art.

Just a few of the many television programs he created and produced for his company Original Spin include Rhythm & Blooms a 39 part series on great botanical gardens for Discovery Channel, SOLOS: the jazz sessions a set of 39 hours on legendary jazz musicians and a 39 part series of rock concert specials called Beautiful Noise. His programs have been broadcast in dozens of countries over a 15 year period. Some of the musicians with whom he’s worked directly include Levon Helm, Sonic Youth, Bill Frisell, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Mickey Hart, Feist, Brad Mehldau, and My Morning Jacket among dozens of others.

In addition to his television productions, he works works regularly as a freelance photographer and as a creative consultant to corporations and universities.

Daniel is also the founder of the Mobile Photo Awards, the world’s largest competition and open gallery call for mobile photography and art.

He was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and now lives in the scenic hills surrounding Milton, Ontario.

// Twitter // Instagram // Web //

Josh Jones Husband. Father. Entrepreneur. Author. Innovative civil engineering CADD tech. iPhoneographer. Web designer. Follower of Christ.

\ about \ 500 \ Flickr \

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Art Critique and Community is moderate by Anna Cox. If you would like to be involved please send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

Art Critique and Community: Vol. 3 Mobile Artistry

Welcome to our third installment of Juxt Critique and Community. This month we are focusing on the genre of Mobile Artistry, which is a genre that is as diverse as the artists that make it up. It encompasses app stacking, layering, and adding elements to create an entirely different picture in the end. Our artists this month are diverse and span multiple categories within mobile arts.  

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Images by Roberto Cuevas
Critique by Rebecca Cornwell

Triangular Transformation It’s always exciting for me to take a hard look at a fellow artist.  Generally artists view other artists with not just visual reading but also with curiosity, wondering how they did this, or that.  What apps they used, what images they started with. The realm of Art/Abstract photography is a somewhat new one.  Allowing for broad definitions and wide interpretations.  Digital editing has given us, like special effects in the movies, the ability to make anything look real.  To some this is unsettling; to others it’s like opening the brain and seeing what’s inside.  Visually, anything is possible in this creative world.

Her Shadow In all 3 images shown here we see a solitary figure wandering/walking through imagined space, grounded to the picture plane only by their shadows.  In all 3, the figures are walking away, almost leisurely, from the viewer.  The figures are faceless, nameless and unidentifiable.  They carry some attributes of normal daily life like bags and water bottles but exist almost as anonymous silhouettes. The space they inhabit is emptied of any touchstones of reality, in fact its just space, a simplified, colored, almost decorated, space.  The decorative elements appear to lead the figure on their path as if their destination is a certain color or shape in the photograph.  The titles, like the photographs, are somewhat ambiguous.  They describe an element of the scene like “Her Shadow” but don’t give us any deeper clues as to the intention of the artist. We are left to determine the nature and purpose of theses figures in space.  This ambiguousness can be both exciting and unsettling to interpret.

I, personally, find these works interesting to dissect from a technical point of view.  At first the works seem simple in their minimalism, but upon further inspection the details and subtleties begin to reveal themselves.  In the first and third images we see details in the clothing and things the figures carry but we also become confounded and confused by the Escher-like way the figures seem to move through their little square. Where are they going?  How will they get there? They seem both frozen in time and moving in step.  In the second image the space appears completely vacant, almost sterile, and the figure a mere outline of a human, but as we look closer the pale shapes appear in the upper left quadrant.  We wonder if the figure is headed towards the shape or stopped in his tracks.  Is the shape menacing or gentle? Mechanical or natural? The contrast of the black figure in the quiet pale environment is almost a shock to the eye. As all the figures in each image are in motion, moving from one part of the frame to another, ultimately what we wonder is: where is this figure and where is it going?  The artist creates an imaginary world giving us very few visual clues about the central figures that inhabit the space. They lack faces or expression that might help us understand any emotion or condition.  This absence of visual cues leaves all the interpreting to the viewer, allowing our imagination to run wild.

Untitled Additionally, as an artist, I found myself intrigued by the artist’s methods and use of apps.  The artist’s minimalist, geometric style is in direct contrast to my own organic, layered imagery.  I find myself going through the editing steps wondering how it was done.  I don’t find this distracting but adds to the interest of the photographs.
Ultimately, the works, as a whole, asks a lot of questions and allows for many kinds of interpretations.  Alternatively, we can accept the vacant minimalist imagery of the works, they are, beautiful, eye-pleasing shapes of color and design.

What Roberto had to say about his images:

Triangular Transformation  I was going for a simple feel here, but I still wanted to include something that would make it slightly complex. I started with a blank slate, added and masked the figure in the lower right corner, and started stacking triangles like crazy. I used Image Blender for this one.

Her Shadow This is an edit on a street photograph of mine. The raw photo itself wasn’t very interesting and had too many flaws, so I spent a few hours editing it. That involved masking and splitting the colors in Image Blender, and processing in VSCO Cam.

Untitled This is an edit on another street photo as well. It involved several sessions of editing. I did most of the work in Image Blender as well, pulling effects from other apps and adding them, as well as fracturing the different versions of the edit and bringing them together. Then I processed it in VSCO Cam & Snapseed.

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Image by Federico Sardi
Critique by Giulia Macario

When it comes to sharing photographs – stories, one of the incredible things I’ve discovered is how images can move people. Hearing how a picture can make someone feel is always a primary motive for me in sharing visuals. What can the artist evoke in the viewer, what as a viewer can I see, beyond the obvious within the frame?

I often leave tiny tales and thumbprints underneath the images that stop me in my tracks, time permitting. It’s an honour for me to take that extra time to delve a little deeper into this image chosen by the  We Are Juxt team and share some of my perceptions with you.

In Federico’s image, I see swirls in the spaces, ghostly remnants of old friendships from the past, and memories fondly recalled of friendly encounters…

“Bernard had kept up the tradition of his weekly round of cards for 50 odd years. Every Thursday he’d saunter down the street in his favourite fedora and worn in suit to meet up with his old mate George  – who would always greet him with a grin and a bit of a dig “Lookin’ sharp Berns’, lookin’ sharp”. Berns, as George called him, would brush off his comment with a wave of his hand and grumble something like “Hurry up and deal fool”…. And George would laugh…  They were like chalk and cheese these two but had found a common language in the deck of diamonds, hearts and spades… This continued every week without fail, all up until … Bernard became sick, he’d hid it from everyone so no one would worry, but George had always known, deep down…”

Immediately I was drawn into the character of the old friend in white with the cheeky grin and shiny glasses – for the purpose of the critique I’ve called him George. The short story above was purely fictional, written to help get me into the headspace of the ‘subjects’ – though I hesitate to use that word, go figure. He is completely engaging, even though taking up only a fraction of the foreground (bottom left); our eyes go directly there to the lightest corner of the frame. He has a magnetic charm; I think it’s something about his quirky expression, glancing upwards.

What the hell is George looking at and why is he smiling like that? Is he losing his mind, is he remembering the past, is he what…? Is this his ghostly friend from the past looking down on him?

I’m asking questions already, I’m intrigued. That’s a good thing in my book. Sometimes we can gain clues from the title, like little crumbs left behind, there were none left here. This allowed me as a viewer to step inside and fill in the gaps myself, with no preconceived ideas of the original intention.

But lets go back to the image itself, I say we start around the edges and work our way in.

To frame or not to frame? Well, I think if it adds to the story then why not. The Polaroid border fits quite well here, adding another tactile element to the composition. Besides, I like things that look a little frayed, digital photos can look a bit too new and ‘clean’ sometimes, but that could just be me. There might have been an opportunity to add some text here, underneath – like a title, a name, a hand scrawled message of some kind maybe, a clue of what he was thinking, or a date or location to ground us in a time or place.

If we now ‘step inside’ that black square and into the eyes of the characters swirling around the space, we can start to fill in the story.

The use of negative space behind both George in the foreground and our friendly ghost Bernard floating above has been used effectively to help bring focus to the characters ‘living’ inside. The photographer has used this contrast and negative space to his advantage to heighten the attention on the figures, had he chosen another colour I’m not sure it would have worked quite as well to set the tone of the image. George, in his white t-shirt, leaps out of the black, and even though he takes up such a small area, less than a third of the photo – I found my eye going straight to him and that glint in his eyes – with the reflective glasses providing yet another contrast. I thought the change in scale and hierarchy between the two friends, as well as Bernards tilted body angle – added another dynamic to the composition. I have added an overlay (below) to show the spiraling semi circle path my eyes traveled when viewing the image.

The simplicity of the background means there is nothing to detract or distract us from the emotion of the characters; on the other hand we also have no other hints about where they are and what they are doing. The ‘heaviness’ of the black background is counter balanced with those lighter areas of subtle imperfect scratches present in the textures of Bernards’ suit, and the slight opaque texture like a flickering projector seeping through the skin of the characters. The translucency and lightness in the figures adds to the ethereal atmosphere. There is also an ever so slight sepia tone to the Polaroid, which adds an antique feel to the photo. Federico has maintained warmth to the spooky and smoky undertones so that I believed there was nothing sinister about these ghosts. With a tip of his hat Bernard leaves tactile trails of times past in the frame. It felt to me like George was remembering an old friend, and Bernard floated on by to say both hello and goodbye.

Bernard (the stylishly suited ghost) – is entering the frame from the right in a whisper of smoky lines and hushed movement. We can get a sense of him being larger than life and a proud, no-nonsense kind of guy, dressed in his dapper suit and hat. The repeat of Bernard adds to the out of body like experience. In the first instance he is looking down towards George – connecting them visually, and secondly he curves upwards with his chest puffed out – determinedly, towards the top. To further emphasise this shift up to the ‘heavens’ I might have moved the secondary (and slightly smaller) ghost up further to the top edge and a little to the right. This would have matched Georges gaze a touch more and also led the eye up to sweep out of the frame more dramatically – overall though, I feel he has translated a wonderful stary.

It is my opinion that while many photographers are skilled in the techniques of creating the best compositions and utilizing the best lighting, that pulse or heart inside an image is not always present. That is not the case here; as the first thing that drew me into this particular image by Federico is the inherent humanity of it. Federico shows an understanding of being able to tell a story rather than just glance over the surface of things with a snapshot. A big thank you to  him for sharing it and allowing me to see through his eyes.

Federico’s description:
I started this image with three shots taken with Hipstamatic (using Jane + C-Type Plate) on an iPhone 5. Two of them can be found on my Instagram and EyeEm galleries.

First I edited the first image (a guy standing on the sidewalk) on Filterstorm to make the background black. With Image Blender I’ve imported the face of the old man looking up and blended it with the body of the first image. I imported the man with the hat with Image Blender, applied texture with PhotoToaster and sent the picture to Decim8. I’ve applied the precog1 effect until I got that beautiful ghost coming out of the man with the hat. I’ve blended the decim8ed image with the previous image I had, so I could have the old man’s face as before. Finally I applied a black and white filter (can’t remember which one I used) and Evidence frame.

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Critique By Richard Gray
Photos by Jeff Kelley

Together the images show a variety of styles, techniques and subjects. They also show the artist to be very adventurous and clearly very accomplished technically. Apps were put on this earth for us to use so why not. Indeed for many people one of the joys of iphoneography is that it has given us so much power over our images. And, as we never tire of repeating, all in the palm of our hand. Like many people though (myself included), we are still getting to grips with the sheer range of capabilities they have given us and we’re still trying things out, seeing how they fit, thinking about when they might work best. Or not. One really good thing with these images is that the techniques that the artists has used are not totally obvious. Sometimes the fact you can see how an image has been created detracts from its value. But in all the images apart from perhaps the last one, the artists has used blending or layering in a style that has come to characterise a lot of iphoneography in the last couple of years. It’s a style that has less to do with straight photography and more to do with graphic art.

Photos simply provide the raw materials for the artist to build their creation with. The first image is typical of this sort of surreal style. A large purple eye is transposed over a grey winter landscape. The artist seems then to have used Decim8 or some other app to distort the image, adding bar-code style streaks whose modernity contrasts with the natural backdrop. Nature is present again in the second image with more trees, but is more dominant than in the first image. Though this time the treatment is more organic, with a heavy basket-weave texture (courtesy of Glaze), rather than bar codes, being added to take the image from the realms of reality into a dreamlike world. Both images experiment with interesting techniques though they are both perhaps excessively led by this desire to experiment.

The same might be said about the third image, which again employs various techniques to interesting effect. Colour splash is an effect seen widely in the iphoneography community and it’s used here on the central building. There also seems to be a mirroring technique to create an interesting double-shadow. A brown doorway seems to have been grafted onto the bottom of the image and is perhaps part of the artist’s personal narrative, though it seems to jar slightly with the rest of the image. In terms of subject, there is now no connection to the natural interest of the first two images.

The last image is perhaps the most straightforward (possibly a blend of two slow-shutter images), but it is perhaps the one with most impact and the most successful. We are fascinated by the human form and that is all the more true when the subject is someone we know, as is the case here (the artist’s daughter). And the personal connection is clear in what is an emotionally charged image. Whereas technique may have led the creation of the first three images, we sense that the order is reversed in the last image and it is the artist’s own emotional creativity that has led to the creation of this simple but very striking image.”

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Critque by Cindy Patrick
Images By Leif Stark

Graffiti Heart I will admit that I am not overly fond of photos that depict graffiti. To me, they seem lacking in self expression on the part of the photographer and seems akin to photographing someone else’s painting. It is merely a picture of a picture. However, after initially dismissing this photo, I found myself returning to it again and again. So I took a closer look and sought to determine just why this particular photo spoke to me.

First, I love the color and the heart. It reminds me of a Valentine’s Day card, which immediately puts me in a happy frame of mind. The skill of the graffiti artist is also quite apparent, and on that level alone the picture is very interesting to look at. But the more I look at this piece, the more I begin to ask questions. Where is this? What kind of graffiti artist paints a heart on a wall? And why is the heart locked up, trapped behind an iron gate and barbed wire? And then there is the bolt cutter, poised to cut the lock and set the heart free. Then I became intrigued by the photographer/artist who created this piece: Why was he in this place and what drew him to photograph this graffiti? What is he trying to say? There is a story there, and I feel compelled to learn more. My eye begins to move around the frame looking for clues. The cinderblock wall and the strong overhead light make me think that this photograph was taken in an alley, or somewhere off the beaten path where the graffiti artist could work without being discovered. Then there is that bit of text on the left side, begging to be read but obscured by the red paint. It adds an extra dimension and a little touch of mystery that I like. All these elements add up to an image that holds much interest for me as the viewer. It reminds me a bit of William Eggleston, who saw beauty in the mundane.

Something else that makes this image interesting to me personally, is the fact that I’ve always been fascinated with illustrated journals; journals kept by artists to express themselves and document their daily lives or travels. This image looks like an illustrated journal page to me. The poem that this photographer/artist wrote to accompany this image is as compelling to me as the image itself, and my immediate reaction is that I would love to see the words incorporated somehow into the piece. The text could be added as a layer and worked into the design, which would make the piece more personal than simply using a filter from Filter Mania. While I enjoy the square composition here, as it puts the subject front and center, I would love to see this as a horizontal and the poem included as a part of the piece. I think that would have made an already interesting image much stronger.

Lastly, I think that titles are quite important. Titling a finished piece can add greatly to the meaning of the piece and also add to the emotional response of the viewer. The title “Graffiti Heart” while descriptive does not provide an emotional component. A line from the photographer/artist’s own poem would have given this piece a big boost. Something such as “Love is a Feeling that Can’t Be Locked Up” or something similar would have worked very nicely.  Don’t settle for weak or lackluster titles. Give it some thought and show your viewer that you value your work enough to give it a worthy title!

Overall, I think this photographer/artist is on the right track in creating a piece of art that goes beyond being a mere record to being something much more personal and expressive. Nice job!

 

Hibernation This image is pure fun! My first reaction was that it could be a page from a children’s storybook and it made me smile. I immediately sense a larger story here. What I see are two pairs of insect wings sticking out of the snow, but why? What kind of insects are they? Were they youngsters just learning to fly? Or did they get lost in a blizzard and suddenly find themselves buried in the drifting snow? Whatever the storyline, the cartoon-like rendering and the primary color scheme combine to assure me that nothing terrible has happened to these magical creatures. I feel certain that their heads will pop up out of the snow at any moment, letting me know that all is well in Faerie Land! The wings are rendered very beautifully. Their translucency adds to this feeling of lightness and flight and contrasts nicely with the rough texture of the snow. Despite the application of a grunge filter,  and without reading the accompanying text, I do get the sense that this is snow. The blue tones lend a bit of a chill the scene, and the splashes and splotches and directional lines incorporated into this particular grunge filter really add to the sense of motion. I can almost see the two little faeries flying into the snow, so the choice of this filter was a good one! The warm yellow at the bottom of the image draws me in and nicely leads my eye to the subject. The placement is a bit too centered for me, though, and my advice would be to remember the “rule of thirds” when composing an image. Moving the wings up just a bit would have placed each pair of wings in one of the compositional “sweet spots.” This would have provided a bit more visual impact to an already interesting image.

As with the previous image, “Graffiti Heart,” I find the artist’s writing to be as compelling as the images. The little story that was sent to me along with this image for critiquing was very interesting to read and added greatly to the meaning of the piece. I am getting a sense that the artist has something to say beyond what is visually expressed , and that his descriptive text could somehow be incorporated into the piece. I would love to see that from this artist! I think it might round out his voice and result in some very strong, emotive, and personal pieces of art.

Lastly, while I like the title “Hibernation,” I do think it could be a bit stronger. Using the word “faerie” in the title would have given me a clue to what this picture is about as opposed to my having to rely on the descriptive text provided to me for this critique.

I always enjoy images that cause me to ask, “How did they do that?” and this images does just that and makes me smile too. Overall, a delight to look at and a job well done!

 

Self Repix I like to look at self portraits the same way I look at other types of images, which is to locate the main subject first and then make my way around the picture to find other clues as to what the artist is trying to say. The main subject of this self portrait is the eye. The artist has successfully employed the “rule of thirds” and placed it in a compositional “sweet spot.” Because of this, my eye is immediately directed to the eye in this picture. The artist has employed a few other successful techniques to draw my eye there. First, he has used warm colors to surround the eye (the deeper warm yellows and oranges) which immediately attract my eye. Second, he has used leading lines to direct me. The circles on the left and the pattern of the drips and splashes act as directional lines, or pointers, that all point to the eye.

So why has this artist made the eye the main subject? Why does he want me to look closely at the eye in this picture? A viewer’s first instinct might be to interpret the drips as tears and the bubbles and other textures as erosion or scars. Yet upon close inspection, the eye of this person does not look sad, sick, or depressed. The word “confident” comes to mind. when I look into the eye. I see someone who is self-assured and content with themselves. The little twinkles in the eye add to this feeling as does the hint of a smile on the lips. It puts me in mind of Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” This interpretation causes me to see the drips and bubbles not as erosion, but more of a metamorphosis. It is the depiction of someone shedding their old skin to reveal something new beneath. This person seems to be showing their face to the world, possibly for the first time, and saying “Here I am, world!” The clean part of the face adds to this sense of “coming clean” or making a fresh start.

All these things add up to a compelling and pleasing self portrait. Once again, I would give the title more serious thought. The title “Self Repix” is lackluster and only serves to describe the process and the genre. Such an emotional piece of art deserves a worthy title, and it’s your responsibility to give it one! To the artist of this piece, I would just like to say, “keep going!” This is a remarkable piece which hopefully will spur your creativity in a new direction. Well done!

What Lief had to say about her images:
Graffiti Heart This graffiti was inside a punk house called C-Squat, a place that houses some local street artists. I ended up here one night when I went to see the band Humanwine perform.  I had shot this about an hour before we found out the Marriage Equality Act passed in New York, so I wrote the following to go with this image:

Love is a feeling that can’t be locked up, 
Love is a freedom that should not be denied, 
Love is a right each and everyone of us deserves 
and finally the day has arrived where we break free 
our choice to marry whomever our heart desires. 

Shot and edited with Camera+ and I used the grunge filter from Filter Mania

Hibernation It seems almost every time it snows, I have to run out and play. This was a period where I wanted to escape and wished I could just hibernate like some animals do. So I played with the idea that my “twin faeries” were hiding away in the snow, but only got a glimpse of their wings. Instead of feeling ignored or not seen, I reminded myself that faeries are invisible and only show themselves to whom they choose to. So it’s ok that not everyone saw me/them. And instead of pure white snow, I went the other direction with a stained look, like glass, to match my mood at the time.

Used iPhone 4S native camera, edited with Camera+, ScratchCam and Snapseed.

Self Repix  Once in awhile I’ll take self portraits, but I’ve never edited it quite like this before. I have been so inspired lately by some other people’s dark, creepy, yet hauntingly beautiful edits that I decided to try it myself.

Used iPhone 4S native camera and edited with Repix.

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Critique by David Rondeau
Images By Beth Gibbeson


She Hides At first glance, it appears there is at least part of a human form in the image. Is it an arm? Maybe a leg? It’s not clear how the limb connects to the body, making the whole image hard to read. After looking at the title and the description, it becomes obvious that the large shape in the upper center of the frame is a child’s head, flanked on either side by arms. Arms which have pulled a shirt or dress up to completely cover and hide her face (but not her long hair). Why is she covering her face? Has her child’s sense of privacy been violated, or is she just playing peek-a-boo?

The obscured figure is dead center and fills most of the frame. The amorphous blob at top center and the arm and elbow at right are most prominent. The covered head is lighter than the rest of the image and the arm stands out because the dark strands of hair offer some contrast. Overall the image doesn’t have much tonal contrast and the color palette is limited to a subdued range of muted browns.  The mottled texture of the fabric is quite interesting (almost like a camouflage pattern) and the boundaries of the dress and the arm on the left side have been heavily obscured by swirling, smoke-like edits.

The very balanced composition and minimal contrast give the image a very static feeling. The color palette and minimal tonality are calming, but I feel a little trapped in the image. My eye is drawn to the large blob and then to the arm and darker contrast of hair, but quickly moves back to the left, following the dark shadow under the blob, up to the other arm and then back to the head. But it keeps following that same path, with no room to explore and no place to really stop. In combination with the mottled texture and obfuscating swirls, I’m left with a feeling of confusion and bewilderment. What am I looking at? What am I supposed to be seeing?

The piece is clearly about covering oneself and attempting to hide in plain sight. The figure fails to avoid being seen, but succeeds in avoiding being “read”. The image is the same—we know something is there, but we can’t “read” it. The texture and swirls act as a sort of camouflage, obscuring the image and making it hard to decipher. The more I analyze the image, the more I like its conceptual depth. Unfortunately, all of that analysis is based on my reading of the artist’s description of the photograph.

This image would be far stronger with more clues to the subject matter and less obfuscation. If you give viewers enough info, they’ll build the story in their mind and assemble the puzzle on their own. It’s that spark of understanding that will leave a lasting impression. Even with the deep conceptual aspect of this work, it could also be improved with a more interesting composition. If it were less perfectly balanced, had more interesting negative space, and had more room for the eye to wander, it would be as equally strong aesthetically as it is conceptually.

She Turns Away I’m immediately struck by the wonderful textures in the image and the stark contrast of dark brown hair with rich scarlet highlights. The figure of a young girl, shown from the waist up, is surrounded by an empty, yet lushly textured space. She stands sideways, frozen in some kind of motion with her arms raised slightly and her long hair flipping up to cover her face.

My eyes move from the dark strands of hair whipping through the air, down to the beautiful floral texture of the dress, out across the slightly raised arms, stopping to examine the wonderfully detailed hand, and eventually moving back to the hair. But along that journey, there are wonderful details and textures strewn throughout the image, where the eye can just linger and soak in gorgeous details.

Every element adds energy to the image: the slightly off-center framing of the figure with close cropping at the top of the head, the slight backwards angle of the torso and V-shape of the arms, the subdued brown color palette speckled throughout with flashes of red, the tiny flowers jammed together in the floral pattern of the dress, and the marble-like variegations of the background.

The rich texture with sparse color, the dark strands of hair and dynamic body lines against an empty background, and the slightly off-kilter pose all combine to make the image shimmer and crackle with energy. The figure itself is a bit of a mystery too. The face completely shrouded by a frenzy of hair and the motion of the body caught in an interesting state—one of unclear potential. Is the girl jumping up in excitement, dancing in childish joy, or instead, has she just been startled with fear or is she turning away to hide or flee? (The description explains, but I prefer to see it more ambiguously.) The dynamic energy of the overall image also creates a certain feeling of joy—like the simple joy of bodily motion. But that joy is dynamically at odds with the awkward pose of the figure and hidden face.

These many wonderful tensions breathe life into the image, giving it a raw visceral beauty and a quiet conceptual power. And that, to me, is a very good thing.

What Beth had to say about her images:
She Hides
Description: The other week ago, my eldest daughter was very anxious one afternoon. I couldn’t help myself and started to take some photos of her in this emotional state. I really love to focus on the natural emotion of children, as there is always a story behind each image. I felt with this image that my daughter, even though she hid from me, exposed so many elements of anxiousness, fear and un-want. She didn’t want to be seen. She didn’t want to be judged. An emotion all felt by all of use, particularly children.
Process: Apps I used were Snapseed, Filterstorm, Grunge, Glaze, Space Paint and Image blender. I always like to start and finish with using Snapseed. The other apps, I generally explore various textures, colours and save several versions of them. I then bring them all together in Image Blender and have a really good play with blending certain elements of them all together.

She turns away
Description: This image is part of the same photo series as the image above. My daughter really tried to resist me, and in doing this started moving her body in beautiful ways.
Process: However,I really wanted to help hide my daughter in my editing style with this image. I felt her feeling exposed, and even though I was the one exposing her, I then wanted to cover her up with making the image highly textured.

Apps I used here were Snapseed, Filterstorm, Grunge, Etchings, Photoviva, Photo fx, Image Blender. Again I started with Snapseed, and then developed heaps of various forms of the same image that contained different textures and different colours. I took them all to Image Blender ( I have to say that this is my favorite app) and blended them all together until I was happy with the outcome and I could do no more.

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Critique by Rose Sherwood
Images By Heather

Impossible This is a nicely layered and blended image .  The focal point is the young woman looking to the right in a wistful manner.   The rectangular format that her image is within is firmly connected to another focal point of a laced curtained window.  There is a water spicket  on the right of  side of the image,  it has a strong verticality and emphasizes and repeats the verticality of the window and young woman.  In the lower left side of the image is a flower that describes and separates the foreground.   This creates depth in the image. When this image is first looked at it seems to evoke a mood of remembrance and produces a nostalgic pang in the viewer.  But on further examination the window and woman seem to be tense  because of the scale of the clapboards of the building.    The clapboards are wide and large and don’t make architectural sense in relation to the scale of all the surrounding elements. Their size creates a dynamic tension within the image.  Another area of complexity is presented by the young woman.  She has been photographed standing in front of a fence, but, here she is contained near a lace-curtained window, free but not free within this image.   More tension is found in the foreground with the hydrangea.  This plant is a different color than the rest of the image;  it is  more pronounced and has a dark sepia tone that separates it from the rest of the subtance within the composition. The hydrangea is dry.  Its prime has passed.  The placement near the young woman could be a metaphor for the passage of time and the effects on beauty and youth changing and withering.  The clapboards, the window and the flower may be brilliant devices used by the artist whether on purpose or by a subconscious accident.

Practical Magic This is magical.   It reminds me of reading Harry Potter stories while traveling on the train to NYC many years ago.  The woman in silhouette, wearing a hat, does have the effect of an otherworldly presence and draws the viewer’s attention towards her.  Her right hand is splayed out on top of an open book that she holds and the left hand is holding the book from underneath.  Her hands look as though they are twisted but there is also an uncanny comfort in this  gesture and in the position that they presented.  There is also strength in these hands as they become a strong focal point within the image.  The woman is seated near wide open space that is cloud-filled and peppered with a flock of black birds.  There is a unified surface that is soft and has the look of looking through a glass surface.   There is also present a “mixtures” type of dusting that has become popular with artistic editing, this “dusts” the surface with a presence that has the illusion of another world.  It also has the effect of producing nostalgia within the overall image.  The clouds in the bottom lower left “float” and further enhance the magic specialness of this image.  The overall color of the photograph is a quiet combination of monochromatic red, blue and white. 3rd image:  This image depicts light and the sense of motion in a tunnel; at the end of the tunnel there is an explosion of light surrounding a tree.  There is also present a flock of birds that is flying towards the tree and light and their eventual freedom beyond the containment of the tunnel.  The surface of this photograph is soft, unified and blurred to produce a dream-like world.   The photograph is a low contrast B+W with no distraction of color.  The photograph contains the metaphor “…there is light at the end of the tunnel….”  The photographer may have been going through some life circumstance that may have consciously brought this image to its fruition. These three images are the work of one photographer.  It is the second and third images that possess the most similarities and I would be able to attribute them to the same person. These two images do not hold the tension that the first image has for me.  The first image is more layered and blended and the different things that are brought together into one picture make it more complex to decipher.   The second and third images are more to the point and are immediately understood.  I believe that the artist was able to present images true to intentions.  This artist has a full grasp of layering and blending.  This produces imagery that works on many different levels.  Also, the complexity of bringing story and metaphor to the images  is not perplexing to the artistic vision and  it is another element that adds to the intelligence that will connect the viewers to the work.

What Heather had to say about her images;
Impossible Intention: I’m usually shy about approaching strangers to take their photo.  After striking up a conversation with a group of grafitti artists mid-tag, I surprised myself by asking Tegan if I could take her portrait where she stood, facing the sun on a steel fence.  She was happy to comply.  In the edit process, I was taken by her youth and hopeful, eager expression despite her hard exterior features including tattoos, nose ring, leather attire.  The giddy emotion of connecting with strangers compelled a surreal feeling that I wanted to translate into the edited and layered portrait.

Practical Magic Intention: This lovely girl, riding the bart train on Sunday afternoon, struck me with her black hat and oversized book.  This time, I didn’t ask for permission but stealthily snatched the seat across from her as I attempted to capture the spectacle as nonchalantly as possible.  I couldn’t help but connect her witch-like ensemble with magic and make-believe.  Her hand struck me as a key element in the overall composition and I wanted it to be the focus of her sorcery.  Perhaps, it became an extension of the magic I feel in being able to conjure up photos in this way; layering, masking, seeking warmth and light in just the right combination to alter reality and make the unthinkable happen.

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Critique written by Tammy George
Images by Tony Nahra
Firstly, I am so very honored to have been asked to critique one of my peers from the world of mobile artistry. I absolutely love what Miss Anna has created with this forum. It is so vital that we learn from one another so that we can continue to develop. This community is rich with talented artists, and it is a pleasure to be counted amongst them. 

Night Tempest In this image I see a topsy-turvy city. I get a sense of the playfulness that artist may have had in creating it… introducing the city skyline of a clear blue day to the star sprinkled pitch black evening sky, and then with exact deliberation, floating some overturned clouds in between.

Most striking to me about this image are the tones and textures, so very rich, with just a subtle touch of a painterly effect. These give the piece a sense of drama, but the subject matter keep it light and playful. Secondary, I am enamored with the details of the city, al of those little buildings, each one containing it’s own story and it’s own set of people… each with their own stories.

The editing is seamless; attention to detail was taken in the masking and layering of the three atmospheres into one image. Not seeing the starting and stopping points of each image allows the viewer to step into the image and follow the story that is being told. The proportions of the 3 zones are quite harmonious. Just a hair more of any one of the atmospheres and the whole piece would be off balance.

One element that is a bit lost on me is the choice to have blurred vertical bands on each side of the piece (slightly more prominent on the left hand side). They start up in the clouds and run down into the city. Overall, the blurring does not distract too much from the piece as a whole. But I don’t see what the intent was to add it, or how it adds to the narrative of the piece.

All Things Must Grow This image is so very cinematic to me. A mysterious man heading off into an unknown future… just what exactly lies at the top of those stairs?  And I cannot help but wonder if the mischievous Amélie is just out of frame, spying on him and plotting some wonderful surprise.

Like the previous image, the tones here are rich, lush with just a hint of the painterly. The choice to go monochromatic with this piece really allow for the main characters (the man, the path, the shadow and the destination point at the top of the stairs) of this story to breathe and develop. The composition is balanced; the rule-of-thirds are at work here with the placement of the man.

The lighting and shadows are as much a character of the piece as the man, the contrast of lightness and darkness playing-up the mystery. This time the blur is in a horizontal band, running across the top third of the image. Unlike the previous image, I feel that the blur works well with this piece, contributing to the unknown that lies at the top of the path.

What Tony had to say about his images:
Night Tempest This is a composite of three shots: the city (Seattle), the clouds, and the night sky. I’m a big fan of putting something a little unexpected or off kilter in my images, and this is not the first time I’ve turned clouds upside-down. Adding the starry sky above perhaps pushes this image beyond “off kilter,” but what the heck! I won’t pretend I began this image intending to convey a deep message, but I like the message I see in it now that it’s complete: There’s a serene city, and a clear and peaceful night awaits, but first we have to get through this storm.

All Things Must Grow This is a shot of my husband that I took during a walk in our Seattle neighborhood. There’s actually a bit more editing in this shot than might appear at first glance. I removed a railing that ran up the center of the staircase, and I worked on the vegetation until I got the balance I wanted. Monochrome was a last-minute choice to emphasize the figure by removing other distractions. It was a flat, cloudy day, so I spent considerable time on the lighting effect on the figure, including adding a subtle shadow on the steps. The title could simply reference the abundant vegetation, but I was going for a secondary meaning: Strive to grow and the light will shine.

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Our Artists:
Leif Stark is a technical designer in New York’s fashion industry. She loves to travel and has been using photography as an outlet to express her creativity whenever possible. She enjoys capturing moments and finding the beauty in everyday life. From wildlife and natural landscapes to candid, street or cityscapes, Leif likes using her mobile device to photograph it all.
//  IG // Juxt //

Tony Nahra is a product and furniture designer in Seattle. His household consists of himself, his husband, two cats, an espresso machine, two ovens, a pair of hiking boots, travel shorts, and a stack of unread books
// IG // Juxt //

Jeff Kelley is, in fact, a postal employee (commonly known as a mailman) who stumbled upon mobile photography a year and a half ago. You can usually find him roaming the streets of Northampton, Massachusetts, taking pictures of a wide variety of subjects and pretending to work.

// IG // Backspaces //

Federico Sardi is the Bassoonist of the OSSODRE & Montevideo Philarmonic Orchestras. iPhoneographer. MPA Honorable mention (Performing Arts 2013)
EyeEm ambassador: @federicosardi Instagramers Uruguay’s manager Instagram Artistry  moderator

// Instagram: @federicosardi & @estopasaya // Backspaces // Twitter //  Blog // AMPt // Juxt //

Roberto Cuevas is a 16 year old musician and DJ based in Atlanta, Georgia. While playing multiple instruments, and having an interest in creating graphic artwork in a physical and digital manner, I’m fortunate to have multiple creative outlets for me to stay inspired constantly. As a learning artist, I’m always excited for new opportunities to connect with others who share similar interests, and who love art & music just like I love my turntables.

// IG // Juxt //

Beth Gibbeson Creativity is something that has always been in my life since a very young age. I am driven daily to create art, whether it is a painting, a drawing or photography. However, being a mother and witnessing the beauty of children has really triggered my imagination at this stage in my life. I am so busy running around in the day that having my iphone on me at all times allows me to take so many photos easily and spontaneously, capturing pure and genuine moments.
// IG //

Heather. San Fransico Bay area. Iphone 5 // IG //

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Our Panelists:

 Tammy George Shoot. Bang. Create… goes the girl!Armed with her trusty iPhone 4S and a passion to capture, edit and release, she adores sharing her funky-fresh vision with the world. Mobile Photography and Abstract Mixed-Media Art are her game and Punk Rawk Purl is her name. {Okay, Tammy George is her name, but most of you know her by her crafty name.} An artist and a designer at heart, she is in her comfort zone when she is stitching paper, sewing textiles, knitting wool, sculpting paper, and/or snapping photos.She first discovered the world of mobile photography upon the release of the Hipstamatic app, just a few months after getting her fist iPhone. It wasn’t long after that she was gobbling up photo editing apps in order to manipulate and transform her photos. It was then, that she fell madly, truly deeply in love with this crazy idea of creating abstract art with her phone. All of Punk Rawk Purl’s mobile images are shot by her, with Hipstamatic and then crafted on her iPhone using heaps and oodles of editing apps. Her favorites? Decim8, Image Blender, Snapseed, Camera+, Pictureshow, Pixlromatic, Picfx, Lo-Mob, Phonoto and Diptic.

// Juxt // IG // Twitter//

Richard Gray, aka @rugfoot on Twitter, Flickr and Instagram, takes and crafts images with his iphone camera and gives workshops (currently with The British Journal of Photography). He also writes extensively: a weekly column for App Whisperer, on his own blog iphoggy-bloggy and in various other leading publications, mostly notably The Guardian. He has given presentations and talks around the world, is a member of Juxt and has been a judge on various mobile photography competitions, most recently the Mobile Photo Awards. He is also a professional events photographer (rugfoot.net).”

//IG // twitter // Flickr // Juxt //

Rose Sherwood Rose is a retired art teacher. She  taught art on the elementary level for 22 years.  She also taught on the high school level and in a museum setting too.  She enjoyed teaching and misses the students.  Before teaching she worked in brain research because her first college degrees were in both the fields of Biology and English.   She met and married a great guy and when their son, Matthew,  was born, she went back to school to study art.  She  continued her education at RIT and earned an MFA in painting and photography and then returned and acquired a MsT in art education.Her teaching career was very full but one of the memorable times was being honored to be a recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship to study in Japan.  It was a pivotal experience that changed her and her teaching practices. Her students benefitted from her experiences. Their daughter, Laura, introduced Rose to IG and returning to all things of photography has occurred.  IG was a way to communicate with family and friends about T., her husband, and his bone marrow transplant.  She has been as active caretaker for him.

// IG // Juxt //

David received a BFA from the University of Lowell in 1991, with a focus on illustration and mixed media. He spent the next 21 years developing his career as a successful interaction designer—tackling complex software problems and exploring new technologies. Shortly after getting his first iPhone, he took up photography again and since 2011 has fully embraced the new medium of iPhoneography.

// Instagram // iPhoneart // Flickr // EyeEm // Tumblr //

Rebecca is inspired by the beauty in oddity,  I’m interested in capturing that strange feeling between asleep and awake, the present reality and memories. The nostalgia that can be slightly unsettling but also strangely familiar.  I want to represent the human experience from a slightly surreal and always very feminine perspective.  I believe beauty, even in the ugliest things, can seduce a viewer.  It’s in this magically odd space I try to hold your attention.

// IG// Backspaces // Juxt //

Cindy is an award-winning professional photographer, iPhoneographer, and fine artist whose work has been exhibited globally, most notably in February 2012 at the Latitudes International Photography Festival in Huelva, Spain. There, she was one of only six iPhoneographers whose work was selected to be shown alongside that of many world-renowned photographers from the esteemed Magnum Photo Agency. From there, she has gone on to exhibit her work across the US and in Europe at the Oxford i-Festival in Oxford England, the Arthaus Gallery in San Francisco, The Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art in Los Angeles, the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, the Santa Monica Art Studios in Santa Monica, the CS Gallery in Columbus, OH, the Baton Rouge Gallery in Baton Rouge, the Garden Gate Creativity Center in Berkeley, the Ocean County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, and at the Wynwood Exhibition Center and The Lunchbox Gallery in Miami. Her work has appeared in publications such as Architectural Digest Spain and she has been featured in online publications and blogs such as Pixels at an Exhibition, iPhoneography Central, The App Whisperer, and iPhoneogenic, where she was named one of the 50 most promising, influential, creative, and encouraging mobile photographers/artists of 2011. She is a contributing artist to three books: “Mobile Masters,” an iPad e-book book by Dan Marcolina, “Mobile Digital Art: Using the iPod and iPhone as Creative Tools” by David Scott Leibowitz, and “The Art of iPhone Photography” by Nicki Fitzgerald and Bob Weil. In January, 2013, Cindy was a presenter at the annual Macworld/iWorld convention as part of the “Mobile Masters Sessions,” the largest assemblage of iPhoneography talent and inspiration to date, celebrating a new chapter in photography’s history – the Mobile Movement.

// Web // Flickr // Eyeem:// Instagram // iPhoneArt://

Giulia is drawn to pictures that have a soul – like someone breathed life into them and left behind only the traces. A Melbourne based story-teller, she uses photography to capture the details and characters on the street and hidden in the shadows. With a background in Graphic Design, she can often be found chasing light, lines, forms, shapes, textures and typography; always looking for the beauty in the every day – the discarded, the abandoned, and the calligraphic. Her work is often abstract, sometimes dark, and focuses primarily on black and white imagery, though her signature splash of red is smeared across the lens of many of her photos like ink drops of emotion. As an image maker she likes to play with perceptions, adores ambiguity, and engaging the viewer – often leaving them with more questions than answers.

// backspaces // eyeem // ig // juxt // twitter

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Next month we will be exploring the world of landscape photography. If you have any questions concerning the critique or you would like to participate please send an email to juxtcritique@gmail.com.

Art Critique and Community Vol. 1: Architecture

Welcome to our first critique and community forum!

We are very excited to be launching this kind of community here at Juxt. We hope this will promote growth, introduce the community to new language, and open the door for a honest conversation about photography. Once you finish reading the critiques please leave a comment with your thoughts on the series. We want you to join in the conversation!

We started with the architecture genre with a beautiful series from Paula Gardener.

We have four panelists crituqing Paula’s series. Paul Marsh, Su-Lin Meyer, Tilman Haerdle, and Fernando Prats.

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Paul Marsh Seattle, WA
Description:
These four monochrome images from the Sol Y Mar hotel in Egypt all show different perspectives of the same work of architecture, presented thematically but with very different compositions. They appear to be taken on the same cloudless, bright day where gradient shadows add to the compositional elements. Although there are no titles to the images, clearly they’re presented as a group. A hint of warmth in the monochrome toning seems to deliberately add to and unify the compositions.

Analysis:
The photographer used very strong and dynamically angled lines to convey a crispness and sharpness to each image. A wide depth-of-field with everything in focus enhances this crispness, and the choice of high-contrast monochrome helps to dramatize the shapes. The warm-toned monochrome suggests a sense of the dryness of a desert environment. In the last image, the repeating pattern of angled lines and bars adds some interesting depth to that image, and in the second image, the diagonal line in the middle of the frame unifies the implied curve created by the larger dotted dark patterns from the windows and lounges. The positioning of the blank sky in each frame mostly helps punctuate the graphic, angular shapes in the architecture. Each composition fits the orientation chosen for the image. Minimalism is clearly a theme in all of the images, and the photographer was drawn to the different geometric patterns and shapes found throughout the hotel.

Interpretation
By reducing the building into more geometric, high-contrast patterns, the photographer presents a sense of strength and abstracts the sense of place. The more warm-toned monochrome helps provide context. In some ways, except for the last image, the 3D world of this hotel is flattened into a 2D space, where gradient shadows help to provide the texture and depth.  The simplicity of the compositions presents a meditative silence, especially with the lack of people and motion in the images. The compositions, especially with the choice of monochrome, are reminiscent of some of the Architectural Geometric Abstract works of Paul Strand and Ansel Adams’ 1929 photograph “The Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Taos, New Mexico.”

The high-contrast strong figures in the first and third images are very clear and interesting. In the third image, I’m sensing a conversation between the two figures. Perhaps an admonishment, with the figure on the right being a parent and the shadow covering the left figure representing the flush of sadness, embarrassment and shame felt when being scolded.

Judgment
I’m particularly drawn to the first and third images for the reasons mentioned above. As a group, while the images fit together thematically, I think the specific geometric reduction used in these two images could be further explored and brought together in a wonderful portfolio or photo essay.  The second and fourth images could be strengthened, perhaps, by a little tighter cropping.
In the second image, I can see some of the natural and hard-to-correct lens distortion of the iPhone’s camera lens that detracts from the strong lines presented in the image. Since this distortion can be difficult to correct, I would suggest removing the sky and turning the image into a square composition (or crop it a little tighter so that it’s square-like but not exactly square):

This crop helps focus the simplicity of the image, provides much more balance and emphasizes the dynamic of the image. The diagonal line that intersects the middle of the scene is much more strongly presented and gives the little smaller shapes a sense of motion. The viewer is initially drawn downward into the image from top-left to bottom-right (around the implied curve/angle/L-shape) and then brought back around to the top again by the triangle shape in the lower-left corner that brings our eye back up into the top-right of the image – all in a bit of a top-heavy, angular figure-8 pattern:

The last image, too, would benefit from a square-ish crop as well: This crop reduces some of the extra noise of the repeated pattern yet provides enough anchor to still retain the simple geometric shapes in the overall composition. I wonder if burning in the sky in the left side a little bit just above the smaller portion of the building might add a little more contrast. With this crop, I again get a sense of a larger figure dominating a smaller figure – giving the photo some extra emotion.

Finally – this set of images is a great example of how color might be a distraction sometimes. By choosing monochrome processing, the gradients and contrast and smooth textures are emphasized. While I’m curious how these same images would look in strong color, I think we would be much more drawn to the contrasts of the blue and white/cream tones rather than the graphic lines and geometric shapes that are far more important in these images.

All of the images are very well composed and presented. As I mention above, this scene is worth further exploring and presenting as a unified photo essay.

Su-Lin Meyer San Francisco, CA

This series is comprised of snapshots throughout a North African hotel, and as a group, conveys an essence of place.  There is a sense of relaxation, simplicity, and leisure.  Forms are reduced to basic geometries, there is a lack of excess, and the environment is simple and pure.  The removal of color in this series allows the viewer to focus on basic form.  The skies are vacant of clouds and movement, and our attention as viewers is instead drawn into the play of light and shadow across surface.

In #2, the blank wall is punctuated by the dark hollows of the windows and the casual layout of the seating.  The sun is high in the sky which helps convey the feeling of a warm climate.  Looking at this photo, I find myself wondering how this scene would change had the shadows been longer and more dramatic.  The small punctuations of dark shadow in this photo would be extended, and perhaps the overall effect would make the photo less washed out. For example, the stair railing is barely visible in this image.  However this is also part of the photo’s appeal… the serenity of midday at a resort.

Compositionally, I like the somewhat whimsical layout of the chairs and how they balance against the very strong geometries of the facade.  The emptiness in the center of the photo, whether intentional or not, further emphasizes the dispersed nature of the layout.  It’s a sparse, minimalist spatial experience, and this view has framed its emptiness and emphasized a flat quality.  This scene could also work quite well if there was a person walking down the stairs, though that would change the very nature of the photo.  It would become more about how a person inhabits space, and less about the spirit of placid emptiness. Technique wise, I might have tried to straighten some of the lines in the windows, and along the bottom of the wall, in order to minimize the slight skew.

The use of shadow in #3 is more distinct, which immediately draws me in.  This image is quite captivating in its use of values.  The sky moves from dark to light and the walls move in opposition, from light to dark. The balance and play between these is quite nice.  It moves the eye up and down through the composition smoothly, as opposed to #2 where the eye is darting from each isolated element to the next.

The simple demarkation of the shadow on the wall is lovely.  The light is stark and it has given this photo a sense of being under a very strong, almost artificially bright, light source.  It reminds me of a stage set for a play, or the vacant architecture in the paintings of Giorgio deChirico – an ambiance that I personally love.  This photo has a transcendent, timeless quality and purity.  I only wonder what other shots the photographer might have taken of this corner, at different times of day.  The play of light in this area throughout the day must have been a joy to shoot.

Image #1 is alluring compositionally… the photographer has captured the folds of the facade in this corner quite well.  I appreciate the mild sense of vertigo looking up at the building from this angle.  The light must play in these folds and corners so beautifully, and I feel that the contrast between surfaces could have been emphasized more.  This photo leaves me wanting more… I want to see how the light plays sharply across the flat planes and how it etches dark shadows into the corners.  I want to see a bit of drama….

Again, similar to #3, I love the anonymous, simple purity of form.  Basic geometry with no decorative excess.  There is a beautiful, somewhat vapid emptiness, which is what I love about minimalist architecture.

The fourth image is the least captivating of the series, in my opinion.  This one is by contrast more about detail; I find my eye flitting around the composition to the various elements and rhythms of pattern.  Again, as in #1, the play of light and shadow is subdued.  In this case however, heavy shadows could make this photo too busy, especially in contrast with the other three, which are purely minimalist.  I think this photo is of a different typology.  It was taken to show an intersection of details, instead of framing simple plays of light or minimalistic emptiness, like the others.  Compositionally, I think this is the weakest of the group. There is no “wow” factor or strong visceral reaction when I look at this photo.  It’s simply a nice photo, but does not create an ambiance or present a narrative like #2 and #3.

I imagine this hotel offers a whole series of photos that explores the play of shadow, form and surface, and the photographer has tapped into this.  I especially see this in #2 and #3.  Light and shadow add compositional depth and drama.  #1 is just slightly more tame than I would like it to be… it feels like it’s holding back.  #4 does relate to #2 and #3 somewhat, in a compositional sense, but doesn’t have any deeper element of transcendence like the others allude to.

I do love the quiet, elegant nature of black and white, but part of me feels like I could be missing out on witnessing a beautiful play of color.  I imagine these sheer, white walls cutting across a clear, deep blue sky.  Although these shots might have worked well in color also, the nature of this series would change.  Presenting these views in black and white adds a certain dimension to them, an ambiance of memory perhaps.  They are devoid of the liveliness of color, devoid of excess decoration and form, and skies are reduced to smooth, featureless backdrops. It’s a quite compelling ambiance and I can understand why the photographer chose to present this series in monochrome.

Tilman Haerdle Munich, Germany
The photos, set in black and white, show parts of very clean, reduced looking buildings. The photographer explained to us that they belong to one of the Sol y Mar hotels in Egypt. One photo shows two deck chairs that hint to a recreational area. The series is untitled yet it is clear that those 4 photos belong together as they are linked by a common style.

The images are very much reduced to simple polygonal shapes. There are additional curved elements, especially in the fourth image that shows some kind of a balcony. Apart from the deck chairs we only see the building and the sky as a background. The buildings are further decomposed by different levels of grey as the shadows create their own shapes on the walls of the buildings. In every image we only see parts of a building, the viewing perspective is always looking up. Probably only few editing steps were taken, most likely some adjustments in contrast and brightness and cropping.

Since it is architectural photography, we’re focused on the buildings and their situation. All of the images convey a very minimal approach to architecture. Thinking of Northern Africa, sun, heat and the desert come to mind immediately. The buildings underline those associations. The white color reflects the sun in order to leave the inner parts of the building as cold as possible. The sky is perfectly clear as we would expect it to be in this region. The very simple geometries, apart from those arched windows and openings are a tribute to a very clean approach to architecture, as we know it from Bauhaus. The arches are symbolizing the local architecture that is rich of arches, curved roofs and ornaments. Very often buildings in this region have the same color as the sand, the white tone was probably deliberately chosen to stress the relationship to minimal architecture.

The images are beautiful and very aesthetic, their composition reflects the cleanliness of the depicted architecture. By forgoing the use of color the deconstruction to mere shapes is further enhanced. The photographer used the different intensities of the shadows to his advantage. Image 1 and 3 are very similar as they both show a similar scene so it would have been possible to eliminate image 1 from the series as it is the least necessary. Image 2 adds some human element to the situation by showing those deck chairs and some (hidden) stairs where we can imagine that someone steps down to the chairs. Image 4 is the most detail-rich image with those many arcs in different lengths and lines in different tonalities. I’d probably use this one as the signature image for the series as it also creates the best link to the region the building is located in. I could imagine a more extreme version of image 2 by cropping it to the point where no sky is visible. Still, those images very much create the desire to visit this very place and enjoy not only the sunny climate but also the pleasant environment for a relaxing vacation.

Fernando Prats Barcelona, Spain. [translation in italics]
Mirar y volver a mirar estas fotografías me traslada, cómo no, a lugares imaginarios. Ciudades que es posible y hasta tentador re-construir dejándose llevar por el pulso de una muchedumbre que aún no ha concretado sus futuras citas. Fragmentos que funcionan como índices e indexan objetos, significantes vaciados de contenido vueltos a rellenar mediante la acción del fotógrafo que se detiene con más o menos calma, reflexiona con más o menos prisa y decide un relato posible más o menos ininteligible frente a una multiplicidad de instancias narrativas al abasto.

Looking and looking again at these pictures, they moved me  to imaginary places. Cities that are possible and even tempting re-build carried away by the pulse of a crowd that have not yet finalized its future appointments. Fragments that function as indices and index objects, signifiers emptied of content and re-filling through the action of the photographer, ponders more or less quickly and can choose a story more or less unintelligible against multiple instances narratives.

En la fotografía arquitectónica, el contexto suele estar dado por referencias al autor-arquitecto, cuando el autor-fotógrafo aísla la obra de su entorno, o al objeto-ciudad, cuando en el encuadre se permite la entrada de otras hipotéticas estructuras relacionales, habitualmente dadas por gente que se dirige de un punto a otro y es contemplada, que vive, vamos. En el caso de estas cuatro imágenes la deliberada ausencia de estos elementos nos remite, como mencionaba al principio, a lugares imaginarios. Tal vez se trate de las ciudades sutiles elucubradas por Calvino y digo tal vez porque así prefiero desearlo. Desconozco casi todo de estas fotografías excepto a ellas mismas, lo cual me satisface. Veo lo que aún permanece de sus datos EXIF aunque no sé sus títulos,  intenciones previas, locaciones o autores.

In architectural photography, the context is usually given for references to the author-architect, when the author-photographer isolates the work of its environment, or object-city when the frame is allowed in other hypothetical relational structures, usually given by people who go from one point to another and is contemplated, that live, let’s go. In the case of these four images the deliberate absence of these elements leads us, as I mentioned at the beginning, to imaginary places. Maybe it’s the “subtle cities” conceived by Calvino and say well maybe because I prefer to desire it like this.  Am unfamiliar with almost all of these photos except themselves, which satisfies me. I see what remains of their EXIF data but do not know their titles, previous intentions, locations or authors.

Desde un punto de vista técnico, advierto una preocupación por la composición enfatizada por sutiles recortes a posteriori del encuadre original. El punto de vista elegido refuerza el uso de líneas y diagonales; de la misma manera que la gradación tonal homogeniza la serie y le otorga al espacio negativo cierta uniformidad que beneficia el resultado final. Se agradece que estas fotografías intenten realzar lo fotografiado sin haberse embarcado en un sórdido compendio de apps coleccionadas.

From a technical standpoint, I notice a concern with composition which is emphasized by subtle a posteriori cuts of the original frame. The chosen perspective reinforces the use of diagonal and lines , in the same way that the tonal gradation homogenizes the series and gives the negative space uniformity that help benefit the final result. We can appreciate that these photographs attempt to enhance the photographed without having an apps’ collection show.

Considero que se trata de una serie lograda. Se transmite la dureza solitaria de estructuras que aguardan bajo un sol que insta al resguardo.

I consider this a successful series. A lonely hardness of structures is transmitted that await in the sunshine urging the shelter.

Quizá hubiera planteado los encuadres para no tener que modificarlos luego -incluyendo el ángulo y tratamiento de la perspectiva en la imagen 2, y ganar en detalle-enfoque o minimizar el grano; aunque evidentemente éstas son decisiones y prioridades de índole estética y por lo tanto, intransferibles.

Perhaps I would have raised the frames to avoid having to modify them later – including the angle and perspective treatment on image 2, and gain in focus-detail or to minimize the grain, although obviously these are decisions and priorities of these kinds of aesthetics, and therefore non transferable.

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Our Artist:

Paula Gardener

Flickr / IPA / Tumblr / Twitter / Juxt

I am a wife, a mother to four wonderful children. Photography is my first language. It’s how I can share my thoughts, visions and dreams. I studied photography and fine art at various colleges in London, which enabled me to harness the creative soul within me. I am currently based in London, however Photography has made it possible for me to ‘visually’ travel on a global scale. My own photography business was launched in 2010, alongside my blog as a creative writer. It wasn’t until November 2011 that I realised the true potential and versatility of the iPhone. Through mobile photography, my creativity has evolved, my interpretation of life has been revolutionised. I am a visual storyteller with a passion for telling stories . . .

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Our Panelists:

Paul Marsh

Flickr / IG / Facebook / Web

I’ve been doing photography at some level since before high school. I fell in love with the darkroom back then and am thankful for having started on film. In college, digital photography consisted of an early version of Photoshop and trying to find time next to a computer with an expensive scanner for the prints I’d made in the darkroom. Digital cameras were still a decade away from being commonplace. I snuck a few prints into some shows and somehow ended up with some recognition. Now, with the iPhone, I can combine all three elements nearly instantaneously and share my work with a much larger audience. And these days I continue to sneak into photo shows with iPhoneography, including having several images chosen for honorable mention in both years of the Mobile Photo Awards.

I chose a path away from photography, however, in college and by day I work with a Webby Award winning government web team. Jack of many trades, I suppose can call myself a webmaster. Still, I make time to run away from the cubicle walls and venture into the world of art, both as a creator and as a consumer. A few years ago I found myself hanging around a photo critique site, PhotoSig, and discovered I could write a decent critique (affirmed by the site’s editors when my critiques were chosen as featured critique several times). I have learned that in looking at photos more deeply it makes me a better artist. I have also come to see art as the polar opposite of dogma, since life is full of paradoxes and juxtapositions that go way beyond the constructs of the reality in which our minds try to keep us.

Some people actually know me as a musician more than as a photographer. And vice-versa. I enjoy writing. I also know way too much about baseball and am a passionate Seattle sports fan. Again, a jack of many trades but master of none.

Except being me.

Su-Lin Meyer

Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / IG

I’m an architectural designer and Chicago native, currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In all of my creative work, I strive to create refined. I value the power of simplicity and minimalism – “no more and no less”; and the reduction of elements to an elegant, self-contained whole. When I photograph and compose, I enjoy finding innate beauty in clarity of form and balance of structure, color and light. As a creator, I live for the moment when an image or design simply resonates to me, and I know I have found my solution. All of my photography is 100% mobile.

Tilman Haerdle

IG  / Flickr / 500px

I’m 44 years old and work as an IT consultant and software developer. Living in Munich, I’m happy with my wife, my daughter, a colorful patchwork family and an array of cats, dogs and turtles. I began taking mostly travel snapshots since I was 18 or so but I didn’t really start to take photography seriously until I found Instagram in October 2010. Since then it’s an integral part of my life to take pictures of everything I find  which can be, well, everything. While the iPhone, especially with Hipstamatic, is my main camera I really enjoy to shoot with a DSLR, too. In the end, it’s all about photography. If you browse any of my galleries on IG, Flickr or 500px you’ll find that I have a certain inclination to architecture and landscape but I also love everything that is weird or out of place.

Fernando Prats

Flickr /Twitter / Facebook / Web / IG / EyeEm

fernandoprats researches from photography, design, poetry, music, video and other disciplines, the word and its representations.

He was born in Buenos Aires, and he lives in Barcelona from a decade ago. He’s the author of many poetry and photography books, have directed different art & culture magazines and has received several awards for his photographic works.

In 2012, his mobile photographies have been published by  Life in LoFiiPhoneography.com,  IphoneographyCentralThe AppWhispererThe iPhone Arts and more. He has been part of the recent exhibitions MINA (Mobile Visual Arts Showcase) @ FRINGE Festival 2012 (Wellington, New Zealand), Depixtions (Orlando, USA), IX Colourgenics (Toronto, Canada) and Ubiquography (Barcelona). He has reviewed some of the leading photographic accessories for mobile media as Gizmon’s lenses, olloclip, Joby or the Glif + and he’s a beta tester for some new apps dedicated to this subject.
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The Art Critique and Community forum for Juxt is a safe space for constructive critique and support to advance the individual artist and the artform.  We expect the utmost respect for all participants, panelists, and community members.  If you are wanting to contribute or you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and one of the moderators will respond to you. 

Big thanks for all your support and love.  Big thanks to the moderators:  Anna Cox and Tony Marquez.


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