Cell phone pictures that surprise
Walk into The SoHo Gallery for Digital Art in New York, and you'll encounter a feast for the eyes. Photographs of dream-like landscapes. Crystal-clear close-ups of nature. Artistic shots of inanimate objects. Posed and natural human interaction that pulls you in closer and closer until you are almost literally face-to-photograph.
Halfway through your examination of the digital screens displaying this creativity, you forget: these are all cell phone pictures.
Cayenne Douglass and her two friends, Ruby McNeil and Amanda Cassandra, created a temporary photo exhibition called "Click Send."
"It is a multi-artist show that was basically open to anyone and everyone from professional photographers to amateurs," said Douglass. But there is one catch: all cellular photography must be unedited. Photo application effects are allowed, however.
Douglass and her partners are intrigued with the immediacy of cell phone photography, and how fast the captured moment can be sent to social media sites, email accounts, and other phones.
"We wanted to feature [cell phone photography] and take it out of the realm of just a small, digital medium scale and see what else it can be turned into in a different time and space," Douglass said.
And they certainly did just that. "Click Send" digitally showcased around 180 different photographs. Onlookers were able to buy prints of the photographs they liked, and all the proceeds went toward "Reach for the Stars Learning Center" in Brooklyn, New York, which helps children with autism.
One of the featured photographers, Marina Vykhodtseva, admits that today, most of her photography is coming from her camera phone and not her digital camera. For Vykhodtseva, it's more than just convenience. "What I like about using your phone is that people usually don't notice you if you are taking a picture of them, which also makes photos more natural."
Her camera phone came in handy when she caught the image of two children drawing on pavement in Central Park. Vykhodtseva added some vintage flair by using the iPhone hipstamatic application, which makes the picture look like it was taken with an antique film camera.
While some praise cell phone applications for the quality of their photos, others simply credit their usefulness.
Simon Jones captured a picturesque moment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when he saw an older woman sitting on a park bench, staring across the East River at the sunlit Manhattan skyline.
Jones took the photo quickly and discreetly, "It is easier with a cell phone to take a picture like that very fast. Just point and shoot it, and put it right back in your pocket."
He believes you use your phone daily to store and send a lot of information, so why not utilize the quality, built-in-camera that comes with this compact device?
What is clear, especially after looking around the "Click Send" photo exhibition, is that cell phones have given every owner the chance to become a photographer. No experience, or professional digital camera, necessary.
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