That device in your pocket: Do you see it as a phone that takes pictures or a camera that takes calls? Mobile-phone photography apps such as Instagram, Hipstamatic, Camera Bag, iDarkroom, Phototreats and hundreds more have turned a generation of phone-pic snappers into maestros of lighting effects, “lenses” and filters. If you have a smartphone, you probably have at least one of these apps – and if you do, you might be proud enough of some of your pictures to wish they could jump off your phone and onto a gallery wall. Depixtions, an art show organized by Cliff Manspeaker and Sarah Blacksher of AIGA Orlando, has enabled 465 photos from users in India, Ireland, Hong Kong, Russia, Italy, Thailand and some Australian cities as well as cities across the U.S. to do just that.
“The entrants may not be photographers for a living, but I feel like we really got some beautiful photos,” Manspeaker says. Far from falling victim to social-media cliché (Facebook = pictures of other people’s lunch), the photos in Depixtions portray exotic locations and landscapes and show off the impressive technical capabilities engendered by a camera phone and an editing app or two.
The ease with which photo apps transform a so-so snapshot into a tiny work of art makes them just as addictive to a certain segment of mobile-phone users as Angry Birds or Words With Friends, but what appeals to Manspeaker is the way that some apps offer not just image editing but also social features similar to Twitter or Facebook.
“I really love the filters Instagram offers, but most importantly I think its strength lies with its ability to share,” Manspeaker says. “I thought we should hold a gallery event in town that is open to everyone to bring local enthusiasts together to meet one another and share their passion for this medium.”
The low resolution of most phone photos makes them unsuited for printing on paper; they’re meant to be seen and shared online. Manspeaker worked with Color Services, the lab behind the HipstaMart (which sells prints of Hipstamatic users’ photos), to get a 4-inch-square print of each submission, all of which will be for sale at Saturday’s exhibition at Julio Lima’s Orange Studio. (Proceeds will benefit local charity New Hope for Kids.) If you miss out on the one you want, each print will also be accompanied by a QR code, which will lead those who scan it to more information about the photographer. (Below, submissions by Lindsey Garrett, Pamela Maret, Charles Previtire, Andriy Protsyk, Zeno Peterson and Mercedes Reinhard.)
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