I’ll be the first to admit it. I suck. I have not been a good blogger of late. Life has been pretty insane/rotten/strange lately and has sucked out the last bits of remaining energy that I usually have for creative pursuits. I’ve done a little writing this summer and even less film photography but an opportunity last week got the creative wheels turning again.
I mentioned the folks at Eye’em in my last blog. They’ve taken an even bigger step in making mobile photography a viable art form by revamping their site so that you can sign up for an account and post your mobile photos for all to see and admire, much like LSI’s lomo homes. The amount of fantastic works that people are producing with these crappy little digital cameras is crazy! It is well worth your time to browse these images not only to get an idea of what you can do with these cameras, but also to get an idea of the wide array of apps and programs available.
I got an email from Sara at Eye’em a couple of weeks ago: My shot, entitled “Flooded”, will appear in a book, to be published in the next month or so and they wanted me to say a few words about it. I’m actually very grateful for that opportunity because it really allowed me to solidify what it is about iPhone photography that is so appealing to an analogue gal such as myself.
I see toy/vintage photography and mobile photography as very similar animals. They’re both fun, relatively simple and can be crazily unpredictable. As with toy cams, my iPhone cam can give beautiful results or total garbage. In general it’s much more reliable, but not consistently so, than my toys. It’s pretty awful in low-light, just like my toys and the shutter lag can be ridiculously long. There’s a real art to pushing the shutter at the correct time, something I’ll never master, but the so-called mistakes that I’ve captured because of that shutter lag (like the one in this post) have been really freakin’ cool, so I can live with it.
Because of great apps like Hipstamatic and Camera Bag, I can get toy and vintage-like results. Is it cheating? Sure. Do I care? No, and why is that? Because I’m still not spending hours and hours in front of a computer adding layers of saturation and ‘years’ to a perfectly ordinary shot for the sake of making it ‘look like it was shot on film’. With an app like Hipstamatic I pick the camera, film and flash I want to use and push the button. That’s it. I have a couple of filter programs but most of the time find no reason to use them, unless I’m trying to really kill some time while waiting for soccer practice to conclude. Not that they’re super labor intensive, it’s just that I don’t have the time or patience to mess with the extras.
The biggest similarity between the two is that they’re both seriously under-appreciated and under-respected (if that is a word) forms of art. I love the look on people’s faces when I show them a picture and tell them I captured it with a two-dollar camera as much as I love to tell people that I was recognized in an international competition for a shot I took with my iPhone. I don’t think either of these art forms will ever garner the respect that ‘serious’ photos taken with DSLRs are given, but that’s one more reason to strive to make beautiful images with my both.