Welcome to our fifth themed Instagram 1000 words showcase! There are many talented artists on Instagram and we wanted to tap into their creativity and showcase their work here. Fun combo theme this time! My Favorite Things and I SPY. Remember those books? Each one of these images has a hidden element, a little surprise, something beloved to the artist and a great story behind it.
Grryo believes that mobile photographers/ artists tell stories through the photographs/ images and art that represents their families, their environment, themselves. We want to support the mobile arts community by having a place for artists to share, discuss, and critique (if requested by individual). These dialogues help the individuals and the community to grow. We thank you for your contribution to the mobile photography/ arts community.
Korea’s second city has become known for its dazzling skyscrapers, film festival, and popular beaches, but Busan’s hills are not to be missed. To the southwest of the trendy Haeundae district and the sights and smells of the old harbor’s Jagalchi seafood market, the colorful ‘village’ of Gamcheon beckons with its maze of public art and narrow stepped-streets leading to pocket plazas and views of the sea.
The steep terrain was mostly uninhabited until refugees pouring into Busan during the Korean War (1950-1953) began to seek somewhere to call home. Followers of an indigenous religion, called Taegukdo, settled as well, and as they built, they made sure to not block anyone else’s light or view. The result was a poor but vibrant neighborhood of stacked houses that has been compared to Rio’s favelas, Greece‘s Santorini, and even Machu Picchu; due to its colors, Gamcheon has also earned the nickname “Lego village.
In recent years, artists have moved in, setting up impromptu galleries and installations in abandoned homes, along with boutiques and cafés. Photogenic murals and sculptures abound, but this is still very much a working neighborhood, where you may well come upon grandmothers washing vegetables in the street. Visitors are requested to keep their voices down, and to leave by dusk so that residents can enjoy a quiet evening…
I took the photo with my iPhone5s. I used Snapseed for some initial processing, and then the Hipstamatic TinType app for finishing.
Annette W. – @dawa_lhamo
I shot this image out the front of the Palace Hotel in Broken Hill, a remote town in the Australian outback. Several scenes in the wonderful Aussie feature film “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” were filmed inside the hotel, it’s main feature being wall to ceiling Australiana slash Renaissance style murals. I took this image just before we walked through the door, so I was full of excitement. It’s interesting to me that the white conservative exterior does not give away any hints as to what lies behind it’s doors. I also enjoy the connection here between the figure on the inside and the person striding by.
Yoshihisa Egami – @YOSHIBOWORKS
The wall in this picture is a thing of optician. The optician is a shop my wife go well. And I had much wanted to take to photograph the beautiful wall sometime inthe best possible way. One day, I went to the optician with my wife and son. When my son stood in front wall, beautiful sight was spread in front of my eyes. Beautiful shades of the wall complemented his charm! I took a photo, engrossed. And I finally got the work convincing!The scene in this photo is a moment of the common everyday life, but a moment like treasure of my life.Time is everything to me.For you?
Device is iPhone5s
Taken with iPhone 5S Hipstamatic ( G2 Lens , Ina’s 1969)
I titled this photo “Museum Series: Interactive Light”. This was part of a number of photographs I took while touring the Denver Museum of Art. The exhibit consisted of beams of light streaming from the ceiling and shown on a screen. These beams were dormant until a figure enters the room and interacts with the artwork. The man in the photo is my husband, who I had dragged to the museum as a reluctant participant. He is shown bathed in light, reluctance forgotten, becoming one with the art, illuminated as both subject and object. As he moves the ropes of light ripple and sway in reaction, a complex web, leading to a total acceptance of his presence.
Ming – @anonymouskraken
I was wandering around Sutro Baths with my friend when this pair caught my eye. Their clothes matched their bikes so I quickly took a photo. I only took one photo and it happened to be when they stepped exactly in line.
A mirror in the window of a rather shabby upholstery shop caught my eye. I took a few pictures using Oggl, doing my best to ignore traffic behind me.
I had taken this shot with my Lumia 1020 of these two old TV sets at an abandoned shoot a few weeks back. After a little editing and cropping in Snapseed I didn’t do anything with it. They were kind of boring. I wished I’d had someone to put in the scenes at this shoot to make it more interesting.It was valentine’s Day and I’m thinking about how to do something a little extra for my sweetie. Hmmm…why not put us on TV? So I pulled up those televisions in PS Touch, found our anniversary photo from a few months back, and layered it over the front set, and blended it into the dust and shadows. Now we are a romantic comedy appearing in our 33rd Valentine season!
Suzanne B. -@_suz4nne_
This photo was taken in Bolinas where I spent an unusually warm. January morning watching my son surf. I really like the two torpedo-shaped silhouettes mirrored here–the guy and his surfboard walking in the background and this unlikely beach-bum dachshund in front of me. It was taken with Hipstamatic (Lowy lens, BlacKeys Extra Fine film, no flash). I warmed it up a bit in Snapseed after.
I took this picture at the M. C. Escher: The Mathematician exhibit, currently mounted at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa until May 3. In the picture is my daughter, Maia – running around as usual no matter where we are or what we are doing, and another museum goer, in front of one of the exhibit walls.
Maia and I visit the Gallery fairly frequently – it’s a beautiful place where there are things for each of us to do. She loves doing arts and crafts, running down the Grand Hall to her heart’s content (I have a couple of photos of her running down this hall on my feed), and simply just wandering with me from exhibit to exhibit – she particularly loves Janet Cardiff’s 40-part motet in the reconstructed chapel (photo on my feed).I of course enjoy the artwork, but am also fascinated by how others ‘interact’ with the artwork and the space, and how they interact with other visitors… Here, an almost 4-year-old was ecstatic to spend a day with her mommy. It didn’t really matter what we were doing – she was happy just running around, stopping when she spotted something of interest to a 4-year-old which was frequent. (The artwork in this exhibit in particular are smaller and therefore hung above her height so they didn’t capture her attention in the same way as the much larger pieces.) At her age, the things that are of interest are other kids, ice cream, lollipop, and shiny, sparkly things, etc. In this instance, she spotted the shiny red motorized scooter. And she wanted to get her hands on it. She ran toward me and asked if she could play with it. To her, it was a a shiny ‘car’. It is not much different from her car toy at home, except her car toy is made of plastic and lacks that sparkle of shiny metal, and she has to ‘walk’ her feet to ‘drive’ it along. This shiny red car drives on its own.
To her, the vehicle looked like fun and absolutely fascinating. To the man, that scooter is a necessity, a must-have in order for him to wander the Gallery freely and take in the artwork – something most of us take for granted. Unlike my daughter, the man slowly and methodically made his way from one room to another (the exhibit comprises several rooms), looking at each of the displayed work. To me, there is a variety of opposing ‘motions’ at play in this shot.
I take photos of things that speak to me.
Pia – @contentwithsilence
My Name is Pia, I’m from Germany and I’m 35 years old. The story behind the “selfie” of my dog and I – I saved him and he saved me:
Since I was little I wanted to have a dog at my side. There was always something that spokes against having a dog: Parents, time, landlords, money.
Early in 2011 was diagnosed with depression. I had a difficult time. So I thought about my life and about what my heart is longing for. It was a dog. So I started searching for a new apartment where I could have a dog, I found one, too expansive, but I didn’t care. I reduced my working hour from 40 to 30 hours a week. And didn’t care. Then I visited the local shelter in April 2012 and totally felt in love with Cody #herrkotmann. He was a one year old, wild, chaotic, had no manners and is supposed to be dangerous just because of his breed – it is called “Kampfhund” in Germany. But I didn’t care. He taught me, and still teaches me, lessons in patience and confidence and makes me smile so much. He still helps me through my bad days, when I totally wanna isolate myself from the rest of the world. I took this picture in 2013 on a rough autumn day in the fields, with my smartphone and edited it in Snapseed and VSCOcam.
Silhouette Friends – This photo was taken end of January, the first day of winter, when there was snow and beautiful sunshine at the same time. Cody and I met our friends Noma (a ten year old sheepdog mix-breed) and her human Kati for the first time in 2015. We had a great three hours walk together, talking, giggling and playing. Cody adores Noma and she’s is so patient with my big chaotic boy. I took this photo with my Olympus OM- D E-M10 + M.Zuiko 45mm 1:1.8 and edited it in Snapseed.
Stef – @sanikdote
We traveled to west coast of Florida and were able to catch the last few seconds of the sunset.
My husband -the one with the hat in background ,said-‘we missed it ‘.
I had no clue what he was talking about because from my POV- this was good enough.
I loved the way the water and sand contrast and the remnants of sunlight.
This photos does not justify the actual scene. However, I was pleasantly surprised in the heavy contrast of land and humans.
It wasn’t my intention to capture people. Their presence was the benediction of keeping my eyes open.
There is no edit on this other than a crop to fit IG. Taken with a Samsung Galaxy S4.
Each week we ask the community to tell us a story based on a photo. We have compiled a few into a month digest so you can enjoy them all in one place. Please join us on Monday mornings to tell your story.
Story credit: Laura McCann
Photo credit: Graeme Roy
He felt the slices of sunlight on his back and neck; undulations of heat and emptiness. Should I? Shouldn’t I? If I do, it will devastate her. But then again, if I do, maybe I can make it up to her. One day. Yes.
Story credit: Christine Benner
Photo credit: Devin Graf
Eighth time I’ve shoveled this effing car out…I should have sold it when I had the chance. I’m so over this winter. I wonder what Amy is up to? I really need to clean out the garage. I’m feeling like chicken for dinner. Sigh, ok, let’s get shoveling.
Story credit: Rebecca Cornwell
Photo credit: Maki Tabusa
Words are so unnecessary when it’s enough to see, hear, smell and touch. I hadn’t seen her in almost 3 months. Her absence was felt deeply in the house. Sometimes we missed her easy chuckle and quick wit while other times there was relief in not feeling subject to her judgment and chaos. She had become impossible to read, sometimes lost and other times angry. Looking back now, I can understand the mental illness that was gripping her but at the time I thought it was just normal teenaged rebellion. I had raised her carefully, eating only organics, refraining from alcohol and caffeine during my pregnancy. This hyper awareness of her needs, wants and constant and unflinching protection continued through childhood. The
first time we found her unconscious I thought it was an accident or a reaction to something she had eaten. She was secretive. The second time when we discovered her, fully clothed, in the tub with the blood pooling around her, I saw in her devastation so complete, I wondered if any of us would ever recover.
Story credit: Rose Sherwood
Photo credit: Fabio Giavara
These people have been riding the same subway route daily. Nothing out of the ordinary happens until today, when this person boards and starts yelling obscenities at everyone. Some riders are surprised by the behavior and others don’t care. It’s the insanity of living in a large city. People sometimes disconnect because the craziness will surround you and drag you into it….
Captain and the Kid written by Cally and Grandreopening
The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. It’s a story about a girl and a boy on the subway, right and wrong, life and death. Actually that’s not entirely true; this is just a very short story about Captain (C) and the Kid (K).
(K): Four schools in four semesters. It’s not a record; we set that in grade school; 3rd through 4th grade. To be specific, Ms. Elwood, Mrs. Derringer, Mr. Dicks, Mr. Raji, Mrs. Bergdorf, Ms. Gutierrez, and I think there was one more with a Spanish-sounding name, and I’m pretty sure she was really nice to me but I honestly can’t remember.
But this is now, that was when. When there was a reason. There is always a reason, always some never-seen emergency. Ma says I’ll make new friends, like the ones I made at the last school, at the last “Buy-the-Week” Inn which she insisted we call the ‘apartment’. It was nothing but another shithole motel and Ma will never understand the only friend I have is Tiger. Tiger is black and white and ugly, just like me but he’s the only friend I’ve really every had.
(C): Captain’s Log, Star Date 68557.5. It’s been one a hell of a night. I’ve been walking for five hours in the horrible cold and strange frozen precipitation, and still no sign of Lieutenant Cox. Never hire a man for your communications officer; they refuse instruction and ignore directions. Neither the tricorder nor the communicator is functioning property, apparently disallowing our return to the ship. I should never have let him out of my sight, never mind the novelty of alien porn. I’ve taken temporary refuge in an arcane transportation system that appears to simply crawl around in circles on strange metal tracks attracting what I deem their plebian citizens. Again, Cox dropped the ball on the civilization research. We were supposed to be observing signs of mating and/or fertility, but all I’ve actually seen is this ugly ass dog dry humping on one out of every five beings entering the car. Seems random, yet somehow very focused and specific (insert bookmark here for further review). I’m beginning to feel like the ship’s transporter isn’t even functioning or someone surely would’ve beamed me out of this shithole, Cox or no Cox.
I will now attempt to coerce one of the natives to aid me in a physical respite (primarily sleep and nourishment) outside of this rolling tin can. Captain out.
(K): I’m on my way the “Diss”, that’s what everyone calls D.E.H.S.; Who ever heard of a ghetto high school being named after Dwight D. Eisenhower? I take Tiger because Roy in maintenance lets him hang around his shop in the boiler room. I don’t trust my Ma and the folks she has over; not that they would hurt him on purpose, though a few that might, no, most are cool, they’d likely just get drunk then something dumb would happen to him.
This ride sucks. It’s a two-train jump that starts early, and in this neighborhood the early trains still tend to smell like puke. Sometimes all the bangers’ are still coming home drunk and mean; god they suck. Its been pretty mellow lately, which is nice. This morning it’s strangely empty except for this weird-ass woman behind me. An empty car and she’s been leaning on the door murmuring under her breath. She keeps looking around all twitchy, it’s like she’s looking at everything around here for the very first time. Fricking weird.
(C): “Pssst, hey kid.” Kid looks up at me like I’m some kind of freak. “Hey, I need help and I’ve got barter material. No I can’t show you here but take me to your place and maybe we can strike a deal.” I wasn’t too sure whether this was a good idea, especially now that I can see the look of stoic, yet frightened indignity plastered across his face like a half-assimilated Borg. Kid turns around, clearly lost in thoughts that might include jumping up and racing away or pissing his pants and deflating into a ball of liquid alien goo (not pretty−I’ve seen it before). The dog just stares at me, lower jaw jutting out, slow trickle of saliva shining on its slightly trembling lip. All of a sudden the dog emits a low, yet surprisingly menacing growl, and leaps from Kid’s lap, through the near-empty train, just as the train slows to a stop and the doors begin to open in a bizarre, slow-motion screech. Kid looks at me with wild eyes akin to a Klingon in heat, screams “NOOOOOOO, TIIIIGEEERRRR” and panic ensues.
(K): “NOOOOO, TIIIIGGGGER!” I scream. “What did you do you crazy bitch?” Fear and anger seized me. I hate it when it happens, it reminds me of Ma, how she loses it sometimes. I guess I’m the apple and she’s the tree; that anger bug that’s been chewing her trunk forever has me now. It bites deep and hard as I see Tiger bounding down the aisle, tail between his legs then out into the blur of legs on the platform. He’s never done that; he always stands his ground when the drunk bangers start to push and shove on the early train. Something is wrong.
I shout “crazy bitch’ and shove her hard. I’ve never done that, to anyone, much less an adult. I feel like I’m watching myself; this is so weird. Then I turn and run, tears streaming down my cheeks, to find Tiger…to find my only friend in a city of 15 million.
(C): Damn. The little shit pushed me. But, seized by the anathema of empathy that propelled me into this line of work in the first place, I took off, following the kid as he ran, wailing and cursing. I ran, thinking I’m definitely not logging this, chasing Kid chasing Tiger through the throng of underground life. I wasn’t sure exactly where we were going or if Kid actually saw the damn varmint, but I felt somehow responsible. As I rounded a corner I just glimpsed the kid’s back as he rushed into a “public restroom.” I had, quite painfully, found out about public restrooms several hours ago and stopped well short, knowing there was no other way out, and I sure as hell wasn’t going in there. I waited, torn between internal disgust at this ridiculous situation and the haunting realization that I’m pretty much lost, stranded, and pitifully ignorant of the species I was here to observe in the first place. I started looking around at them, all of them different. Hair color, eye color, skin color, clothing, expressions, all different; some subtle, some not so much. I never knew a race so different, yet so similar. A firm grasp on my shoulder bolted me out of my daydream; it was Cox! Looking down (yeah Cox was short and quite stocky) I was at once heartened and somehow horrified to see that Cox had emerged from the public restroom, Tiger tucked quite snugly under one arm. A second later, I saw (over Cox’s head) Kid emerge from the public restroom, just as Cox whipped out his communicator, breathed in a low, throaty drawl, “beam us up,” and the familiar tingle of my own matter breaking up began to overcome my body. The last thing I heard was, again, “TIIIGEEERRRR.”
(K): I saw Tiger’s tail disappear around a corner through the salty blur of tears. I just wanted to get to Roy’s office, drop off my dog and get through another day at the “Diss” with as little attention as possible. I was good at fading through the day, at being unseen. The teachers remembered my name; most did anyway. None of the students did. I had forced, semester-long lab partners that had no clue what to call me. I knew how NOT to draw attention to myself. Now I was crying and wailing on the subway station chasing my only friend.
He went into a restroom—thankfully it was the men’s. I race in to find him and ran into the chest of a thick bald man. He’s not mean looking but has distant, faraway eyes. They are raincloud blue, his eyes. Ma always said ‘the eyes tell no lies’ but this guy’s eyes were mute, maybe deaf and mute because it was like I wasn’t even there, in front of him, like I wasn’t tugging on his sleeve and blubbering. He just gently brushed me away like I was a cat and he was done petting and walked out. He walked out with my best friend whimpering under his arm.
I follow him out, getting mad. That molten coal that had burned before, glowing, starting to sear my guts. I charge out, around the corner and he’s there, talking to that same crazy woman.
“What the hell is…..” Then they start to glow, a little, then more. There are people everyone in the station but no one is noticing, only me. It’s like they are fading. I don’t think. I yell “TIIIGGGGER” and leap, the last thing I remember is grabbing that crazy black bitch’s pant leg, and then I’m glowing and fading too.
(C): Captain’s Log, Star Date 68775.5. We’ve got two unregistered, unvaccinated mammals aboard ship. Cox has been severely reprimanded and sent to the brig for disobeying orders, illicit cavorting with the native species, and several suspicious contraband powders that are currently being analyzed. I’ve ordered full medical scans of Cox, the kid, and the dog. Once cleared, I will escort our erstwhile guests back to their planet, and hope this incident doesn’t get us all (myself) into hot water. I’m stating for the record here that this entire fiasco was completely due to the incompetence of Lieutenant Cox, who I am recommending for psychological evaluation. Captain out.
Off the record, I have been persuaded to, and will in all good conscience, escort the kid and the dog to the “Diss” as he calls it, which seems to be an educational institution of questionable repute. As I learned from a hard-fought conversation with him that ended in an awkward, yet sloppy tongue kiss, the kid seems to think my mere presence will assuage his extreme anxiety that was apparently gained in the current situation, and serve to dissuade him from “calling the law” and “bringing me down.” He must know I could kill him and his scruffy little snaggletooth right here and now. But never mind that; I kind of like the little shits. At present, we are in the control room and will beam down momentarily. Having finally won him over, he smiles sweetly, hugs Tiger, and we stand quietly for a few minutes. Kid is still all eyes, still doesn’t quite comprehend where we really are, then Kowalski nods from the control panel and the tingle begins…… back to Earth
Photo credit: Sheldon Serkin
Cally Lence & @grandreopening
A word from Caleb:
I’m pretty lucky to have creative friends, Nina being one of them. Last month we started talking about making a film together and the rest is history. The final product was following her around Minneapolis for a day, documenting it all. Having a mutual sense of dedication is important in creating great work and I think it shows in the film. Her narration gives insight into what inspires her photography, the style of her work and her thoughts on the artistic process.
Nina’s work inspired me to start this project in the first place and it’s been cool to see the aesthetic of her photos progress over the years. But one thing has been a constant; the way she photographs the natural qualities of her subjects. Nina turns people’s insecurities into something beautiful.
I shot this film in the same style of her portraits, trying to catch a smile or candid moment of her. Some of my favorite images are happy accidents, where it seems like the subject doesn’t realize they’re being photographed. You’re seeing a true representation of the person and that’s what makes Nina’s portraits special.
After getting to know Nina through Caleb’s eyes, I wanted to find out a few more things to share. I asked Nina to oblige me with a quick interview and she agreed.
How did you start taking photographs?
I started taking pictures in middle school. I was definitely that annoying friend who took pictures of everything, and I never really thought anything of it. They were pretty terrible. My dad encouraged me, though, and taught me a few things. I began engaging with the photo community on Flickr at the suggestion of my favorite teacher in high school, which is where I really started making major progress. By my junior year of high school I began doing senior photos, and the rest is history!
I would love to hear more about your growth through Flickr. Could you share more about how it affected your photography?
Absolutely! Flickr really helped me to understand where I stood in the photography world. There were tons of photographers who were much better than I was – and I learned from them. There were also people out there that hadn’t yet gained some of the knowledge and skills than I had. It was important for me to have those balancing factors so that I could see myself rightly in the spectrum of photographers. Flickr at that time was a thriving community filled with feedback, so I gave and received a lot of excellent critique on my work. Of course, that lead to growth. It was definitely instrumental for me in getting a better idea of who was creating what at that time.
There is definitely less emphasis placed on traditional learning now that art is more accessible to the masses. iPhones and other devices have brought photography and digital design to everyone’s doorstep. Do you think that it hurts or helps?
It used to be a little disconcerting to me that everyone was considering themselves either a professional photographer or an artist in general. As I’ve become more confident in myself and my work, though, I’ve really come to appreciate how easy it is for the everyday person to start engaging with and making art. Wouldn’t it be sad if nobody was trying to make anything beautiful except a select few who had an official title? To everyone who feels drawn to photography or art making of any kind, I say go for it! If you can add more beauty to the world, do it.
Thank you Caleb and Nina for sharing more of your craft with us. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
Find Nina // IG // website //
Find Caleb // IG // Website //
Brendan O Se: Travels with my Camera by Andy B.
I first came across the work of Brendan O Se last year thanks to Mark T Simmons. Brendan is an award winning photographer from Cork in Ireland. He is a master in the use of motion and blur with his photographic portfolio incorporating a unique blend of abstract art and street photography, shot either with his trusty iPhone or his DSLR
Looking at his iPhone work it is not surprising his portfolio has caught the attention of so many people especially when you look at such images like ‘Sitting on a train’ or ‘A diet of Blur’.
I caught up with Brendan during a trip he is currently taking across East Asia which he is documenting through a series of street photography images. I wanted to dig a bit deeper to find out more about his work, approach and his travels through Asia.
AB: Andy Butler
BOS: Brendan O Se
AB: Firstly, tell us bit about yourself and your introduction to mobile photography
BOS: Firstly, thanks for this opportunity Andy. To give you some background, I am a university teacher from Cork, Ireland. I am married with two small children. My main hobby is photography. A trip to Asia in 2012 was the first time I realized the potential of the iPhone as a camera. It was a liberating experience being able to get up close to capture street moments and also being able to process and share with friends and family immediately was incredible. I took hundreds of images on that trip and began to post regularly on Instagram. When I returned to Ireland and back to posting on Flickr I discovered there were many mobile photography groups and the quality and diversity of the images inspired me to experiment and explore more
I am believer in the old saying that the best camera you have is the one you have with you, and the iPhone is always with me; always ready. In the past two years, I have taken many more photos with the iPhone than my DSLR. I believe that while the genre at the moment is still called mobile photography, the mobile part will, in time, be dropped. After all, when has a camera not been mobile?
AB: Your portfolio is a mixture of abstract art and street photography. How would you describe this style and approach to mobile photography
BOS: Street photography is what interests me most. The photographers whose work excite me most all do street work. The story that evolves from a street image can be powerful. It can cast us back or project us forward in time. It is about connection and the personal impact an image can have on us. Street photography has the wonderful ability to allow us to step into an image and at the same time allow a distance for us to begin to understand its impact
Then there are things which do not need to be understood or examined, things which just have a beauty. Things like lines, shapes, colours and movement. Blur, for me, is the most beautiful and enchanting of photography. It can transform the mundane and dull. I am intrigued by contradictions and blur can reveal and conceal.
Last note heard
This coincidence continues
AB: What apps do you use for the production of your abstract work?
BOS: I have downloaded many apps over the past two years but the one I have stuck with is Snapseed. It is simple to use and gets great results. The one thing I wish it had was the ability to paste from previous settings so that a series of images could all be processed in the same way.
The warmth of the womb
AB: Where do you get your inspiration? Are there any particular subjects or photographers that have influenced your work?
BOS: Subjects would be movement and form for blur images. For street work it is people; people with character and attitude. There are many photographers who inspire and influence me; mainly contacts I have made on Flickr. Of course, I admire well-known and world-famous photographers, but the ones who impact on me are those whose work I engage with on a personal level. People like Michael Kistler, Shel Sherkin, Mark T. Simmons, Mimo Khair, Albion Harrison-Naish. These photographers have a signature style and the ability to compose stories with their street work. I have made many friends on Flickr and learned so much from them that I wish I could name them all here.
AB: You shoot with a DSLR camera as well as your iPhone. How do the two compare and do you have a preference?
BOS: With the DSLR I know I can produce a technically better shot because of the different ways it can be managed and with the iPhone it allows me get in close and to get in discreetly. The DSLR is bulky. Carrying it around my neck is like carrying a bucket of water around. It weighs too much and on a hot day it is not comfortable. The two cameras are great. I love both and would struggle to choose, but as I said earlier the best camera you have is the one you have with you, and more often than not it is the iPhone.
AB: You are currently travelling through east Asia and documenting your travels in a series of street images. How did this trip come about?
BOS: My wife is Korean, so we came out on a trip to visit family. We are lucky to have some really great friends in Hong Kong and we stayed with them for a few days en route. Part of the trip was business for me and this took me to Seoul and Japan. I also took a short break to Taipei to experience a new city in Asia.
AB: Looking at the street portraits from this series. There seems to be a different feel and approach to the images you’re capturing. Have you found your new surroundings have changed the way you approach your subjects?
BOS: In Taipei, I was surprised at how camera-friendly the people were. Sometimes, understandably, people do not like the camera being pointed in their faces and often you can be met with a scowl when you raise the camera or they may cross their hands to signify they do not want their photograph to be taken, but in Taipei most often they smiled when they realized I had been shooting them. Sometimes, they wanted me to take more photographs and began to pose for me!
Asia has a different dynamic to Europe. It is frenetic. There is a pace and sensation to it so different to where I come from. Wanting to shoot street can be frustrating when you come from a place where there are not enough streets or people. Here in Asia, that is not a problem. Find an interesting location and you know you will not have to wait long for an interesting character to pass. I once waited in the cold and rain for over an hour in Cork to get a shot in a cool location.
On this trip, I promised myself to be brave to get that shot. It has worked, I suppose. I got this shot of a Seoul policeman. He was not too pleased it seems.
Soured Faced Cop
AB: Are there any interesting stories or incredible encounters that lie behind any of the photographs captured on your travels?
BOS: My bravery did get me into one or two tricky situations, like when I was trying to get a shot of a woman who was sitting with her legs crossed and dangling her shoe on her outstretched toes down a side alley. Her shoe was in a perfect pool of sunlight. I was on my knees with the DSLR setting the shot up when I suddenly heard shouting. I ignored it at first, but then it dawned on me that the shouting was directed at me. I had not realized that this alley was where prostitutes hung out and this guy, probably a pimp, was shouting at me and the woman with the dangling shoe had stopped dangling it and was now also shouting at me. I got up off my knees and with the camera swinging around my neck I scarpered.
Prostitute Alley shot with a DSLR
Heading back to the hotel one night in Taipei I walked past this open door to an apartment block and noticed the doorman was asleep. I turned back, got the iPhone out and as I passed again I took a shot. It was blurred. Now, I had promised myself that on this trip I would be brave. I would not pass up opportunities to get that shot. So, I went back and crept in to get as close as I could to get it. The following night I passed again and noticed he was awake. I popped my head in and he growled at me. I can only imagine what might have happened had I woke him when I was getting the image.
The things I did not reveal in the job interview
AB: Finally, how can people connect with you?
My Blog // Instagram // Twitter // Flickr – iPhone // Flickr DSLR
The sun balances on a haze so thick you taste it, encapsulated in a swath of life from below. Smoke rises from the earth sending flavors of masala, the previous day’s used and discarded plastic, the sweet smell of sandalwood and the unmistakable aroma of charred flesh to swaddle the ball of heat attempting to cook everything below. In Varanasi, India, the holiest Hindu city along the banks of the Ganga, a cacophony of stimuli envelop every sense a human possesses. The chaotic orchestra of Baba’s chanting mantras from along the Ganga shores, temple bells echoing from every corner of the city, chai wallas and street peddlers shouting their days merchandise options to those resting along the ghats, childrens’ laughter and infant cries penetrate straight to the heart as you inhale the smell of a beedi from the businessman leaning against a wall and spot the thick red splat of betel projecting out the door of a tuktuk as it honks its way through the obstacle course of people, cows, cars, motorbikes and vegetable carts fills an entire soul.
Amidst the potpourri of sensory overload a life altering experience unfolds as Stephanie Lane, a former philanthropy and fundraising student at NYU and half of the inspiring duo from the non-profit Silent Tapes, walks the shores of the holy Ganga. She pauses to take it all in as a dog comes to her feet and starts tugging. As she looks down she sees him digging through the rubble of unidentified ashen mess at a pile of human bones to chew. “I just knew! Wow, this is what we become. For a moment I felt all of my insignificance and that our physical bodies are entirely meaningless in the realm of bigger things,” Stephanie says.
Those bigger things amass to using her newly realized, impermanent vessel of flesh, in partnership with her husband, Francis Lane, as a vehicle to change the world one slum at a time. She brings to the table a solid foundation of truly knowing herself and what her purpose is in life, having trudged her own infinite path to self-discovery, self-realization and self-acceptance. Having a yoga practice made her learn to accept all the parts of her, “mostly the bad things,” she says. “Without the realization of those horrendous truths about myself, it’s possible I would have never embarked on the path I’m on now. The most important thing for any person to do is really embrace and accept their faults. Without that step, there is no way to become the greatness we are meant to be.”
Growing up below the poverty line in America, which she knows from experience is vastly different from other parts of the world, gave her a unique perspective on the choices we make. In a community riddled with the typical challenges of those under dire financial stress, like crime and drugs, she made a conscious choice rooted in her passion in the arts. “Art gave me a safe place, an outlet to express myself about everything that was going on around me. I had a choice to either end up in jail in my teens or dream of sharing my art one day. I chose the latter and not only because I loved art but because I wanted a voice. I wanted to live.”
The seed for Silent Tapes blossomed from that foundation and Stephanie, and Francis, decided to use their combined talents and love of travel, philanthropy and photography to provide the gift of a voice to the children in slums around the world. “Our vision is to have these pockets of empowerment all over the world. I know it’s a big dream to rid the world of poverty, disease, child abuse and so many other things but the least we can do is try. I feel strongly about having a social responsibility and a commitment to helping others,” said Stephanie.
Their philanthropic work originated in Klong Toei, Thailand, at the orphanage Stephanie volunteered at while she and Francis were living there. “Bangkok is very strange in the sense that one of the largest shopping centers in the world, with all the riches you can imagine, is just down the train tracks from 300,000 residents living in a notorious slum. The juxtaposition is really unique and interesting.” Their original efforts were focused on volunteering for an established organization and using funds from their own photography to donate to the local day care, which provided children with a meal plan, basic care supplies and a safe environment to stay while their parents worked.
Their latest project, slated to take place this summer in Fortaleza, Brazil, coincides with the World Cup, where $400 million USD, in Fortaleza alone, has been spent and 200,000 residents displaced for the sake of tourism, in a country with over half a million child prostitutes and 16 million people living on less than $1.30 a day. In Fortaleza they have partnered with a local organization that will help them organize efforts to provide 50 children with a 5-week photography workshop focusing on the basics of photography and how to capture varied emotions. “The aim is to have the children capture their surroundings and also capture how they translate their personal emotions into what they see visually around them. There is so much the heart can feel that the eyes don’t see, so we are hoping that with clear and simple guidance, they will be able to communicate those feelings with their cameras,” Stephanie said. “There are so many things that we would never be able to capture ourselves that are in the hearts and minds of these children and we want to guide them through the process of finding their voice.”
An exhibition in New York City, later this year, will showcase some of the selected photographs from the project and books of the children’s work will be published and distributed to selected school libraries and community centers in the twinned cities.
Want to help with their efforts? I know you bunches of supporting and loving people do! Stephanie and Francis are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to run the project and the mobile photography community has already come out in droves to support them. “So far the response from Instagram has been mind-boggling. We really had no idea everyone would be so supportive and are running out of ways to say thank you! It’s been really surreal.” The campaign has 2 days remaining and while their original goal has been shattered, they are in the process of working on a stretch goal that will allow them to work with an outside group and film maker to produce a documentary and provide a platform for wider distribution.
“I am very blessed to have the basic things I have. I don’t need anything else. I guess what I am trying to say is to love selflessly, live fearlessly and spend time contributing to this beautiful world we are all born to share.”
From Jessii: It’s with immense gratitude and appreciation that I thank Stephanie for taking the time, during this very busy period, to have such an open heart and speak so candidly with me. It’s been a wonderful few weeks getting to know her and I’m overjoyed to see what sort of success and changes she and Francis will bring to the world and those we all share it with. Please take a moment to view the video below for their Kickstarter campaign, which ends Saturday, May 3 at 10am PST.
Kickstarter / Website / Instagram / Facebook
Continuing from the first installment of the “Indie Tags” series #nyekundu, I now present a second tag created on Instagram with another wonderful group of friends. #0o0 shows our love, delirium and obsession with circles among many other things.
Circles, the reoccurring theme with #0o0, can be found in any form (except artificially generated with editing apps) in various places – on the floor, objects, street signs, holes, windows and endless exciting performances.
Once I mentioned that Instagram to me is like my taxonomy diary in which I collect, record, compile and separate the simple things that catch my attention. I get caught by some feature of formal beauty or simply to evoke a sense of satisfaction to live it.
If you love circles, you’ll love this tag along with the selections we have made.
Jolanda explains :
I was really excited to find out that all these guys from all over the world, Hector (Mexico), Michael (UK), José (Mexico), Matt (Australia) and Ozan (Turkey), were collecting full frame circles too. Together we wanted to share our pics so we invented #0o0. I believe it was Hector who proposed to use a tag and Matt who came up with 0o0 name and, in no time, had a lot of pics in our tag and friends who joined us.
#0o0’s first picture was tagged on 11-10-2011 by Michael; there are currently 5626+photos in the gallery.
Photo by : @xxxxxk7
Photo by : @macenzo
Photo by: @lesslee63
Photo by: @laura_noriega
Photo by: @juliegeb
Photo by: @fujimax1978
Photo by: @bmjaworski
Photo by: @benolivares
Photo by: @delstelle
Photo by: @roszcorrero
Photo by: @sadecefrd
Photo by: @strangers_opus
Photo by: @thenewinstacraig
Photo by: @subtlebro
Photo by: @iccattivik
Photo by: @jolandamoose
I started with IG early 2011 and was instantly hooked, images are much more valuable to me than words.
I work as a graphic (web) designer in the Netherlands and IG inspired me a lot.
Nowadays there are a lot circle tags, but in the beginning I thought I was the only one collecting circles. I started collecting them when I went to art school (90’s, analog) and rediscovered this addiction on IG.
Instagram / MOOSE / Email
From all of us here at We Are Juxt, we want to send our heart felt congrats to Andy Butler, creator of Mobiography, for the one year anniversary of his magazine. He has selected artists with care and has done more than his share to nurture the mobile community! We look forward to seeing what the net year brings!Publisher, Andy Butler commented: “We’ve had some pleasing results in the magazine’s infancy and have witnessed a growing demand for the education of this style of photography.
The multi-platform launch has enabled Mobiography to reach a wider audience and create the highest quality of content by tapping in to knowledge of experts
To mark Mobiography’s first birthday, the magazine has launched a competition for one lucky reader to win two detachable mobile phone lenses, one fish-eye lens and one wide angle/macro lens. To enter, simply visit the iTunes App Store or Google Play , download and install the Mobiography app and complete the entry form inside the anniversary edition.
On the Streets with Maktub Street-Dog by Dilshad C.
His name is Sacha Dohmen aka maktub street-dog, and he is 36 years old. Sacha lives with his beautiful wife in Belgium in a very rural area in the middle of nowhere between Liège (Belgium), Maastricht (Holland) and Aachen (Germany). “I´m a self taught amateur photographer” as he likes to point out. His work has been featured on P1xels, Mobiography, the Appwhisperer, Mortal Muses and IPhoneography.com, IPhoneography Central, in the first issue of IPhotographer magazine and in the second issue of MobFiction Magazine. He also has got an honourable mention at the Mobile Photo Awards and made the shortlist with 2 of his images on the last IPA quarterly. His work has been exhibited in Prague at the Gallery Kvalitár and in Holešov at the New Drive Club. He is co-organizer of the second Belgian International IPhoneography Art Movement exhibition in Brussels this year. I came across his work sometime ago now, and fall in love with Sacha’s photography straight away! We have spoken many a time and I consider him a friend and a person that I respect, so, to be able to interview him it’s only a great honour, for he is a true source of inspiration for me!
You talkin´to me.
DC. When I look at your work I truly feel as if I knew what you are feeling, I can see you roaming the streets and trying to catch what other people don’t see! We both have been inspired by the same people or style, so talking to you now gives me only great pleasure! And I thank you for accepting my offer! Before we get into the nitty gritty of this conversation, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Why maktub street-dog?
M S-D. It´s a pleasure for me. Why maktub street-dog? When I start doing street photography, I did not want to publish under my real name. Street photography is not really legal in Europe. So I needed a pseudonym. Maktub is an Arabic word and literally means: “it is written”. Street-dog from the German “Straßenköter” which mean stray dogs.
Arise And Shine In Necro-City
DC. Your heart, quite similar to mines, is dedicated to street photography, or specifically to catch peculiar and particular faces and expression or people that, most of the time, are left alone by the general crowd. What is street photography for you?
M S-D. For me, street photography is not a genre of photography. It´s a lifestyle, street photography is the time you can give yourself to watch, observe and understand the people around you. It has changed my life so sudden and with unexpected result, my life took a new direction. I’m more attentive about the people and situation around me and I found an activity that allows me to express myself. I capture a fraction of life and later, build my own storyboard for this person. All I need is a street and my camera to make something extraordinary out of the banal, to create a social drama, to awake emotions.
My motivation to document life and take street shots is to capture and awake emotions. Photography is all about emotions. Street photography is also a social study and a mission; you show the world what life is like.
Dead End Friends
M S-D. Yeah, that is the extraordinary about street photography. You can talk about everything, love, pain, solitude, anger… My camera is a mirror that I tend to the society. It´s not enough to go out and press the shutter, you must have a genuine interest for people and their life.
The Tombstone Blues
DC. With me, probably because I am pleasurably inspired by Koci, it’s all about people with hats too, but I love them to wear a heavy beard, or to have their faces lived, wrinkled, old… used and abused, I want to see someone that everyone else tries to walk away from, or no one pays attention to, that’s what takes my attention, what is your trigger?
M S-D. I feel like you. Nowadays the world is getting smaller and smaller and people are tending to look more alike. I´m always on the search for people with a certain individuality, in the way they dress, the way they walk, the way they look…
Down So Low
DC. Each time I see one of your photos I am overwhelmed by the capture, their expressions are jaw droopingly good! How do you manage to catch that moment? Who are these people?
M S-D. Cartier-Bresson called it the decisive moment. Well, in my case I would call it luck. I’m lucky to be at the right moment at the right place and pull the trigger at the right time. In candid street portraiture you have only one chance and this opportunity will only take a fraction of a second. The only thing you can do if you’re fast enough is to shoot twice; the killer in the film shoots always twice. Street Photography is like a game, you get lucky or you get nothing.
Insomnia And the Hole in the Universe
DC. The characters of your photos are those that I have been looking for all the time, I am truly boggled, how do you find them? Do you talk to them? Is there any one story that will always resonate in your mind?
M S-D. I don´t think when I shoot, I’m a walker, or like the French poet Baudelaire said a flâneur, and my camera is part of the walking. My eyes are always 10-20 feet ahead and search for something to catch. If I´m alone and found an interesting person, I can follow this person for a quarter hour, waiting for the right situation, before I show up out of the crowd like a shark to take my shot. I never talk to them, I´m too shy. As soon as I show up, I dive under again.
Evil Man, Don’t Play Your Games With Me
DC. There are, of course, many ways to do street photography, for me two resonate most. The first just walk around and shoot each time I see a character that tickles my senses! But with this I have one problem: the composition or the background might not be there as I wanted, hence I go into the heavy apping and blurring and scratching, which I also like as a style but it all started because I wanted to cover what I did not wanted to see and concentrate on my main character. The second is to find a location and patiently wait there as a fisherman waits for his catch: I have the story and I just need the protagonist, which hopefully will fall in my net… Where do you see yourself? How do you plan your day? I would love to know how you shoot?
M S-D. For me, the real originator of Street Photography is Garry Winogrand with his book “The Animals” and the streets as zoo. I never plan when I go out in the urban jungle and like Winogrand, I can walk down any street without taking photos. In 99% of cases I shoot from the hip, without thought on the background. I´m only interested on facial expressions, emotions… The background would only distract, regardless of the quality of my composition. Only in a few of my shots like “Before I Die…” the background is more important or just as important as the protagonist.
Before I Die…
DC. Your editing style is wonderful, how much experimentation does that involve? Do you know exactly what do you want to achieve or sometime you are sitting there, scratching your head and thinking “I Love this one but also this and this, which one should I go for?”
M S-D. Thank you. I think the most important thing is to find one’s own style. Once we found the style, the rest comes from alone. I use primarily black & white, it´s the purest form of photography. As I said earlier, photography is all about emotions and I think black & white focuses the emotions better. Then I heavy blur the background. Black and white and the blur reduce my picture to its essential elements. My third step is to add scratches and texture, for this point, I´m very influenced by the music I listen while I work on the photo: dirtier the music, dirtier the edit. Bruce Gilden said “If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it´s a street photograph”. This is my workflow to make people smell the street.
DC. You have a few on-going series, can you talk to me about these? The one with the 99 shades of crazy characters is my favourite! How did you come up with the idea?
M S-D. As I start with street photography 4 years ago, make series was a way for me to learn to see. I went out of the street with the purpose of only photographing bearded man, the next day only smokers, and so forth… After 4 years on the street I´m not sure if this is something that lets learn, but this little series help me a lot.
The idea after the “99 Shades Of Crazy” project is simple, find 99 extraordinary character that many would call crazy and thus show that there is no “normal” in our wonderful crazy world. In one or other sense, we are all crazy. That we are all different makes the world just interesting.
99 Shades Of Crazy (04)
DC. Does having an on-going project help you? What would you say to some that maybe is struggling with its motivation?
M S-D. Yes for those who have a problem of motivation, a project is the perfect remedy. Starts a 365 project (1 image/day/year). Or the IPod shuffle project may be a good idea, I don´t know if it already exists, every morning you press the shuffle button and during the day you try to make a picture that has to do with the title.
Personally, I think this kind of project does not help me. The first reason is that if I’m too focus on something, I miss other occasion. The second reason is that if I force myself to post a photo every day, I will publish photos that I regret later.
99 Shades Of Crazy 01
DC. Do you get stuck? Do you sometime doubt what you are doing? If yes, how you come out, what is that one thing that inspires you?
M S-D. Street Photography is an art that nobody wants to hang in his living room. Of course I doubt from time to time. But like Robert De Niro says in Heat “I do what I do best” and I don´t know how to do anything else.
DC. Out of all the photos you have taken, which one are the three that you really are in love with? And why, what is the story behind?
M S-D. My favourite picture is definitively “It´s Coming Down”, a simple street portrait. I always want to take pictures that stimulate the imagination of the viewer and I´m not really a fan of a picture saying, “this is what it is”. I think this works very well in this picture. The story of this picture is really simple. Non-scheduled I take the bus to Aachen, the next town near my village. When I get off of the bus, I start directly to shoot. After two minutes, I realize that I forgot my bag in the bus. Damn, my IPad, my papers, my money, and my keys… A non-stop one-kilometre sprint to the central station, but the bus was gone. After a lot of discussion and phone calls, a driver told me my bag was found and that I should wait until the bus come back. Always worry if everything was still in it, I was there when this woman came studying the timetable. I knew immediately this is my picture of the day.
It´s Coming Down
“Just You And Me” This is a shot from a trip to Maastricht Holland. One of the rules in street photography is be invisible and adapt yourself to the environment. When I left my house in Belgium three hours earlier, the weather was just awful so I dressed me accordingly. My thickest Barbour Jacket, leather boots, a hat… That and over 1 meter 90 tall is all you need to be discovered if the local weather conditions are not the same. Impossible to photograph unrecognized. So I have to rethink my options. For this shot I saw this guy take a cigarette and instead to stand still and to photograph him, I distracted him “can I have one too?” and while I went up to him I shoot from the hip.
Just You And Me
“Got To Find A Better Way” The first thing I noticed when I saw her, was with what dignity she wears her age. There was nothing to do with the sad, the miserable and pathetic of most of my street shots. Full of vitality, she looks just great, and for sure, a lot of young lady´s would love to be like her when their get old.
Got To Find A Better Way
DC. Flickr is your home, and you have been incredibly popular in there, what’s the secret behind this? On the other hand, it seems that Instagram is somewhere that you don’t really post, why?
M S-D. Ok, let´s start with Instagram. The main reason why I´m not active on Instagram are all the, follow me, follow me and “a like for a like” type of people. Naturally, every time I have a picture in the “Flickr Explore” twenty people added me to their favourites. The difference is that these people don´t harassed me. Why I am so successful at Flickr?
I think the secret is to just follow the work of someone we admire. I have roughly 200 contacts that I follow on Flickr. Some four years. Among others Richard Koci Hernandez or John Fullard whose work I admired for years, they still have never comment or fav on one of my photos. It’s all the same to me. I prefer people who do not like what I did and ignore me that people who “likes” anything without looking.
DC. Where can we find you? And if someone would like to learn how to edit with your style, what should they do? Do you have some tutorials around that we can check out?
I just start my own website and blog about street photography
The aim is to give tip and tricks about street photography and feature photographers I admire. If you are interested?
DC. Thank you, is this an offer? (Happily Smiles).
M S-D. MOB Fiction Magazine just published in their second issue one of my tutorials. The complete issue is about street photography and worth every cent. Otherwise you can find me on Flickr and Facebook
DC. Would you like to add anything that I have missed?
M S-D. I thank you from the bottom of my hearth for this opportunity, I noted that the questions were chosen carefully and with passion like all what you do.
DC. Again, thank you ever so much for your time and please don’t stop, for each time I see your photos I just want to go out and shoot!! You are one incredible person and I hope that I will have the honour to personally meet you and go out for walk!
Love, Faith, & Magic. The mobile art of Erin Leight by Todd L
“What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.” – Ray Charles.
This quote, like many others, accompanies the work of Pennsylvania mobile artist Erin Leight. Her eye for composition, combined with her ability to reach us on an emotional level, imbues her work with soul, and is presented with sincerity. Whether the subject matter is landscape, architecture, or still life, she has passion & patience, and accents the greater aspects of humankind.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Erin and ask her few questions about herself and her mobile photography. Here is her story.
Todd: Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself, including how you got your start with mobile photography?
Erin: Since an early age, I’ve always felt it wasn’t truly a good day unless I created something new. My fascination with type began when my parents gave me a calligraphy set at the age of 8. I wrote and illustrated stories from an early age and realized how words could enhance an image, and vice versa. I collected strange and interesting trinkets and arranged them in still lifes just because it was satisfying. When I look back on my childhood, I realize it was the precursor for what I now do with my mobile photography.
I was formally trained in journalism and advertising copywriting. I saw it as a way for my creativity to be profitable. I wrote scripts for print, radio and tv ads and did voiceover work for a few years before realizing my heart was more in the creative design aspect of advertising. I bought a Mac, taught myself the basics of design and jumped headlong into freelance graphic design. Over the past four years I’ve built a successful custom wedding stationery design business.
As far as my introduction to mobile photography, a little over two years ago a friend said, “I found a great app you should try. Do you take a lot of pictures with your phone?” My answer was a firm, “No.” I downloaded the app anyway and was immediately pulled in by the concept of random and spontaneous creativity that could be instantly shared. Aside from one class in college, I had never dabbled in photography so I was a virtual newcomer to the genre when I began focussing on mobile photography.
I backed away from advertising copywriting because I felt there was a certain level of manipulation involved that I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with. I’m still drawn to the idea that reaching a target market is like solving a puzzle. But I feel like mobile photography allows an opportunity to connect with an audience through emotion and common interests… and allows one to make that connection with a modicum of soul and authenticity. I painstakingly labor over each shot with the hope that what I’ve created will touch people and be meaningful to them.
A Quiet Little Moment Hovering Between Winter and Fall
Todd: How would you say your style has evolved since the very first image you shared?
Erin: I rarely look back at my early Instagram posts, but your question prompted me to revisit and analyze a bit. I seemed to be concerned with composition from the beginning but I was all over the place stylistically. I edited only with IG filters for my first few months… so my style was very raw, primitive and exploratory at best. I snapped what I saw and tried to make it work.
I think my style has evolved to be a bit more refined and focused, with the intent behind each post being that I present something unique to the viewer. If I snap a shot, look at it and think “anyone could snap and post this shot,” then I don’t want to post it. There needs to be an element of something that’s uniquely “my world” in each shot, or it feels somehow unauthentic and unsatisfying to me.
There is not a Sprig of Grass that Shoots Uninteresting to me- Thomas Jefferson
Todd: How do you select objects to feature in your photos?
Erin: I always want the objects to have a little bit of soul, history and meaning to them… an air of timelessness. When I’m doing a word collage, I choose objects that fit the timeless mold, conceptually work and just feel right in the flow of the space.
Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” – William Faulkner
Todd: Your images are often accompanied by quotations. How do those quotes play into the process of creating an image? Does the quote influence the image, or is it the other way around?
Erin: I always create the image first and seek out words that enhance the meaning of the photo and represent my mood at the time I worked on the shot. If I feel like an image is traditional or bordering on mundane, I tend to put pressure on myself to find words that will lend weight or a deeper meaning to the shot. (I think one of the best examples of making my caption work to fit the image is “Love” in which the V is a wishbone.)
Love is measured yet organic, wishful yet wise. Love is about the grand scheme but, even more so, about the details.”
Todd: Although you’ve been focusing on still life more recently, your gallery consists of a great deal of nature and architectural shots. Did they become the catalyst/inspiration for later still life?
Erin: I appreciate the random beauty of nature and the orderliness of architecture. But each one is what it is. I began to feel less and less satisfaction out of shooting something that just is what it is and could be captured by anyone that chooses to shoot it. I get much more creative satisfaction out of manipulating natural and manmade objects to create a sort of orderly randomness.
“There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.” – Colette
Todd: You have a great command of the formal elements of art: line, shape, space, etc. In addition to being a designer, do you have a background in photography?
Erin: I took a basic art class in 8th grade, one introductory photography class in college, I’m a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator, so any command of the formal elements of art I’ve gained over the years has come from trial and error and sheer instinct. I think I approach photography with a designer’s sensibility. At the same time, I find that mobile photography is helping me refine my eye for detail in all areas of design. What I create through mobile photography combines all the things I love in design and is the most fun I’ve had over the course of my career.
“With faith and love anything is possible.”
The image above was created by Erin for a very special reason, and is a true example of the power of friendship and community. To find out more please view this link on Instagram and consider making a contribution.
“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Todd: What are your plans for the future with mobile photography?
Erin: I’m developing a line of stationery using my still life and collage work. My plan is to take it one step further and, once photographed, create framed three dimensional assemblages of the collages.
I’ve started doing commissioned collage work for individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses. To be able to combine several of my passions and interests and venture down a new career path is an exciting prospect to me.
I’m looking forward to an upcoming collage project for an extremely worthy cause, Watts of Love (@watts_of_love) a global solar lighting nonprofit providing sustainable lighting products to poverty stricken regions in order to vastly improve quality of life. wattsoflove.org
I’m also excited about a mobile photography collage project I just completed for a major printing company that will be revealed at the end of April.
First and foremost I want mobile photography to be a creative escape for me, but I do think mobile photography can bridge a gap between marketing/advertising and artistic expression.
“There’s a bit of magic in everything.” – Lou Reed
The Secret Revealed – Behind the scene of “Henry, Portrait of a Cereal Killer” by the Amazing Cedric Blanchon By Dilshad
A few weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Cedric Blanchon! Not only I consider that interview one of my best, but also, I was honoured to better get to know Cedric, who, I can easily can say, is a true gentlemen with an unparalleled creativeness! During this interview I asked Cedric if he could have revealed to me some of his secrets and show me a how he manages to create his surreal pieces of work. Here, without much ado, A great tutorial by Cedric:
Henry, portrait of a cereal killer.
To make this picture, I take a picture with Camera+ using the timer. The staging is very important I put the head in cereals with milk for maximum results (photo 1)
Take your bowl of cereal, which I took it with pro camera (photo2)
I then open superimpose then load the background (photo 1) and the foreground (photo2) the result is in (photo 3)
After, set transparency for better juxtaposition (photo 4 and 5)
And Photo 5
Pressed mask and choose the brush, decrease the size (choose the 20) and press the button soft (photo6)
Start clear and refined details, the goal is to have a perfect simulation (photo 7, 8)
And Photo 8
After saving it I open snapseed app and use the grunge effect, decrease thoroughly contrast and choose your style (photo 9)
Save your pic (photo 10)
Open vfxstudio (11)
Load your photo (12)
Choose fx and crack L effect (13 and 14)
And Photo 14
Superimpose your crack around your skull (15)
After you save it, open blender and load the photo 10 and then photo 15 ( photo 16)
Erase completely with the draw (17)
Then again repeat and choose another crack, but this time let reappear crack effect around the bowl of cereal (18 and 19)
And Photo 19
Your photo is ready (20)
After you can adjust the brightness and contrast and a little sharp. Hope you enjoyed it! Bye.
Thank you very much Cedric for this fab Tutorial!!!
Long Live Southbank by Paula G.
As a tourist when you visualize London, you think of mainstream iconic landmarks like The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (St Stephen’s Tower), Buckingham Palace to name a few. There is though a place that is steep in history, culture and the embodiment of London life. A place I visit frequently, anyone who lives in London knows about the Southbank. The vast array of cafes, the National Theatre, not to mention the London Eye. If you walk along the river front you’re greeted by vendors, street acts of every kind all trying to attract the surge of tourists that frequent the area. As a Londoner I’m always amazed at what I see, I love this part of London because of its love for community living.
The riverside walk will also bring you to a special place, quite different from the other attractions. In the 1970’s the Southbank undercroft was a place of shelter for the homeless, However this partly subterranean space soon became a center for graffiti artists, skateboarders and freestyle cyclists.
Everyone and anyone who wanted to skateboard, meet other artists maybe hold events would visit the undercroft. It is a place of inspiration, bursting with the creativity of the many voices that stamp their mark on this cultural landmark. Unfortunately it is now being threatened of closure, in April 2013 the Southbank Center proposed the development of the area for commercial units. A group was formed to oppose this development, they are called Long Live Southbank. Amazingly they have the backing of the local council, the Mayor of London and many celebrities. Thousands of people have signed the petition to oppose the redevelopment of the undercroft. Here are just a few of the quotes supporting this petition.
“The skate park is the epicenter of UK skateboarding and is part of the cultural fabric of London. This much-loved community space has been used by thousands of young people over the years. It attracts tourists from across the world and undoubtedly adds to the vibrancy of the area – it helps to make London the great city it is.” – Boris Johnson “I urge you to please preserve the integrity of Southbank, a sanctuary for skateboarders, and an important piece of London history.” – Tony Hawk “Southbank is the oldest surviving skateboard spot in the world and hailed as the birthplace of British skateboarding. This space has empowered generations of physical, visual and collaborative expression and informed and directed the lives of people from all walks of life. This world famous landmark and cultural icon must be preserved for future generations to flourish.” – Henry Edwards-Wood.
If you would like to pledge your support by signing the online petition here is the link for their Change.org campaign. Also have a look at their website ‘Long Live Southbank’ if you want to find out more plus keep up to date with their progress.