Follow the Energy

Have you noticed in the art world that, where the energy is excitement is sure to follow? What I mean by that is, I love to watch exciting things unfold and love it even more when I get to be a part (even a small part) of that excitement. For me, lately, the most exciting things I’ve seen have come from the iPhone world. Allow me to explain.

When I first started in photography, everything was new and there was a lot of exciting, new work. Well, I’m the first to admit that, what was shiny and new back then, now seems very tarnished and old. Rusted. Should be put out to pasture. Well, ok, maybe not that bad but like you get the idea. We all (collectively) grew sick of shooting the same stuff over and over again. 

Fast forward to the digital realm. Suddenly it was possible to shoot everything we shot before without the hassles of film. Oh the joy! Oh the humanity! (For those of you who never shot film, you’ll just have to trust me on this. It was a burden we are all so glad has been lifted. Phew!) So now the challenge became shooting everything again only digital this time. That was great, it lasted for a while, and, frankly, I still have more shooting I want to do with the “big girl” camera. But, a lot of the excitement is gone. All that’s left is clocking it in. Some days anyway it seems like it’s all later, rinse, repeat. There is no fun there, there is no there there. Heck, it’s drudgery only without the stink of film chemicals (believe me, they really did stink! So, I guess it’s still a net gain but boring now nonetheless.)

In the iPhone world, however, we have artists moving in. And, move in they did. The iPhone has opened up photography to a lot of people who didn’t (or couldn’t, or didn’t want to) use the stinky darkroom. They also maybe didn’t (or couldn’t or didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to) use digital technology. Suddenly, there’s no need for the stench of the darkroom, there’s no need for the massive outlay of computer gear and the steep learning curve Photoshop has to offer. It’s all just click, play with app, post online. And lots of artists and would-be artists are getting it. Not only that but, thanks to the wonders of the Internets, these same artists are banding together to form groups and these groups are doing interesting things. It’s all very exciting. There’s a newness about it, an energy, it’s like it’s almost electric. You can feel it in the air. There’s exciting work coming out of these little digital hovels. The exciting work breeds hot exciting new apps which in turn breeds hot, exciting new gadgets which in turns makes the artists want to play even more, and so on. It’s a positive energy cycle that’s resulting in an upward spiral which is all just leading to some very exciting work.

Now, I can’t say I’m going to quit shooting my “big girl” camera In fact, all of this iPhone stuff might make we want to shoot it more. Maybe I’ll shoot it just differently-like with purpose. It’s hard to say what the future holds. For now, I’ve been treating the iPhone work like just another medium. Like any medium it has its advantages and disadvantages. Neither good nor bad, I find it just different and try to make the most of what it is.

Today, while I was looking over some material for, I felt most excited about putting up iPhone work. I updated the old website, yes I did a bit, but I added about twenty iPhone images. And, frankly, I want to make more. I even want to get an iPad so I can make bigger ones and work more easily on a new digital “easel” of sorts. I’m also super excited about the new iPhone 6s coming out soon-rumored to have a 12 megapixel camera. How cool is that?

Of course, all of this uploading, updating, and the like has made me realize that I might just need to do an iPhone show sooner rather than later. Now, I had always planned on doing a show of my best iPhone work at some point-heck, I’ve already been included in some invitational shows for this work before-but lately I’ve been thinking about doing a one-person show somewhere. Maybe organizing the work, seriously putting it together, doing a book or a project or a show or a…something. More on this to come, I’m sure, but, for now, I must confess. The energy is there. I’m actually excited about the iPhone work I’m seeing in groups like Dogsitter’s App Circus and even on Flickr. It’s fun stuff. I can’t wait to join in the fun and hope to contribute in some small way at some point.

Yeah, I’d have to say, if you want to see where the excitement is, follow the energy and, right now anyway, it seems like the mobile stuff is all the rage, all the noise, all the energy, all the excitement. Join in the fun! All the cool kids are doing it!

Until next time…

PS This one taken with the iPhone (in keeping with the theme)


  1. Ann Tracy, Maine's Digital Alchemist & Artist
    September 2, 2015 / 5:19 pm

    And you don't even have to have an iPhone…. the camera on the iPod Touch is great! Matter of fact I've got an image I took with a cell phone camera in a show at the Maine College of Art this month!

  2. Carol
    September 8, 2015 / 3:02 am

    Yes, you're so right about that. Even the android cameras have come a long way and, of course, the iPod Touch as well as the cameras on the iPads are really getting useful now too. Congrats on the show!

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