Juror: Dan Burkholder
As Photographers, you’ve likely engaged in the heated discussion over the capability, viability, credibility of the camera phone. Purists scoff at the intrusion of a mediocre, fraud of a device, that is marring their photographic religion. And then there are the rest of you, embracing the technology and embracing the all-in-one, multi-media lifestyle of the cellphone-toting imagist, so many of you have become. We’re not taking sides in this great debate, but we are going to show you just what your phones can do (and it’s pretty amazing).
What better a Juror to take on the task than Dan Burkholder - just look at what he’s done with his iPhone. We can’t wait to see the photographic artistry you’ve achieved with your camera phone. Likely you’ve got your phone with you at all times, while you’ve forgotten your dSLR or film camera at home. (You wouldn’t dare leave your phone at home, would you?) It’s liberating, knowing your cell or smartphone can take a picture, anytime, anywhere.
Exhibit Calendar (Subject to Change) Exhibit Opens: 21 June 11 Artists' Reception: 15 July 11 05:00 Exhibit Closes: 15 July 11 Phone-o-graphic Arts
Exhibit Catalog now available at PrestoPhoto
What sets the cell phone camera apart in this wacky world of photography is its clear and obvious invitation to immediacy and exploration, like no camera before. Not only is a cell phone always in your pocket or purse — with its amazing selection of apps you can stylize the image in ways we only dreamed about in years past. In short, it’s fun and oh so very photographic.
It only seems right that a show of cell phone images be different from an exhibition of “normal” photography. Honoring this expectation, you might notice many images that celebrate the “I had a camera with me!” approach to everyday life. In other images you’ll find a certain playfulness, again reflecting the cell phone’s ease and non-threatening approach to photography. In all cases, what you’re seeing is honest to goodness photography in the 21st century. There is nothing second-rate or “cheating” about cell phone photography. Remember, there is no virtue to difficulty by itself — in life or in photography.
For all those who submitted photographs for this exhibition, thank you for your creativity, your investigation of technique, your willingness to put your cell phone over your head, on the ground, near the dog’s nose and close to the frog. You are photography’s newest pioneers, finding fresh ways to see, capture and render the world around you. And that’s something for which you should be proud.
When a photography exhibit is juried by a single person (in this case, me), there’s no way the final selection can’t reflect the juror’s preference for subject matter, creative approach, technical application, presentation or humor. I’m also sure “envy” enters the equation, as in, “I wish I’d seen or shot this myself.” The process is much more demanding than simply deciding if each image is a fine photograph.
Whittling this marvelous group of cell phone images down to a group of 50 was a daunting task. With so much good work to consider, I was constantly aware that I’d have to eliminate many images that I’d be proud to have photographed myself or display in my home. This is my clumsy way of saying just because your images weren’t accepted doesn’t mean they were not good.
For the Juror’s Choice, I tried to decide which image captured the spirit of our new cell phone photographic frontier. Does it display the immediacy that marks our new medium, as if the photographer pulled the phone from a pocket or purse to make this one special image; does it create its own visual world of intrigue; does it ask as many questions as it answers, is it simple and complex, all at once?
“Into the Light” does all that. It’s a wonderful, casual, warm image with depth. It starts a dialog with the viewer but leaves space for that viewer to finish the story alone. It is — without a question — a fine photograph.
Juror: Dan Burkholder
Dan Burkholder has a long history of looking over the photographic horizon to see, explore and teach the next great thing in imaging. His newest book, iPhone Artistry (Pixiq Press, 2011), is the definitive how-to for creative iPhone photographers. His first book, Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing (Bladed Iris Press, 1995) became a seminal manual for photographers wanting to blend the power of digital imaging with the charm of the handmade print.
Dan received his B.A. and Master’s degrees from Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, CA. Dan has taught digital imaging workshops for 16 years on three continents and several island countries. His platinum/palladium and pigmented ink prints are included in private and public collections internationally.