Tag Archives: iPhoneography

More Fun With Photomontage

My creative imagination has taken over once again and I have been having a lot of fun with photomontage.  There are times when I burn out on montage work because it takes a lot of time and is pretty tedious to create on an iPhone.  So, I take a little break and gravitate back towards straight photography.  But since I got my iPad Mini, my eyes are far less strained and I am able to do the more tedious editing on the larger iPad screen with the remainder of editing on my iPhone.

Here are some of my recent photomontage pieces.  Yes, I have a very unique and often quirky imagination. 🙂

"Remnants of a Happy Life" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Remnants of a Happy Life” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Rabbit and the Wolf" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Rabbit and the Wolf” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Aliens on Holiday" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Aliens on Holiday” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Phone Home?" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Phone Home?” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

 


Happy 4th and New Work

Happy 4th of July to my U.S. friends!  Still on the healing path and now waiting for word on the West Nile Virus antibodies test.  In the meantime, I have been focused on creating art by shooting with my iPhone and doing some of the editing on my iPad.  The iPad screen definitely provides relief for my strained eyes.

Below are two examples of the new direction that my photomontage are headed.  My photomontage pieces take a lot longer to create than my more straightforward app’ed images, but I have definitely had a lot of time on my hands lately :-).

"Owl Medicine" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Owl Medicine” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.  Apps: procamera, icolorama, pixlromatic, procreate, blender, superimpose.

"Mama Gaia" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Mama Gaia” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved. Apps: procamera, icolorama, superimpose, pic grunger, pixlromatic, blender

 


Healing in Nature – Independence Lake

photo(2)

“On the Mend” – Independence Lake, Tahoe National Forest, CA

I am still on the mend from this not so fun illness.  The mysterious polka dots still remains in smaller patches on my legs and arms but are fading daily.  The only symptoms that persist besides the rash is fatigue and a few achy joints.  I felt well enough this past weekend to escape to the Tahoe National Forest for a night of camping in “Lucy,” our vintage 1956 canned ham trailer.

We decided to check out Independence Lake, a pristine alpine lake that sits at around 7,200 feet in elevation.  The lake and surrounding acreage was purchased several years ago by the Nature Conservancy and is cooperatively managed by a number of agencies with the goal of preserving the area and protecting one of the last populations of native Lahontan Cutthroat Trout that live in the lake.

Our vintage 1956 Canned Ham trailer.

“Lucy”- our vintage 1956 Canned Ham trailer.

There is currently no camping adjacent to the lake so we chose the Little Lower Truckee River campground located off of Hwy 89 and within 10 miles of Independence Lake.

The five miles of road that lead to Independence is a rough and rocky ride that requires a high clearance vehicle.  The surrounding scenery was absolutely stunning with thick forests of pine that would occasionally open up into wildflower spotted alpine meadows and groves of aspen.

Here’s a very condensed version of the trip up to the lake:

In order to protect the lake from invasive species, no outside boats are allowed.  The Nature Conservancy provides the free use of a fleet of kayaks, fly fishing pontoons, and motor boats for anyone who would rather spend time out on the water than along the shore.

Following are a few of the photos I took while there.  I am experimenting once again with a variety of apps so each one is a bit different in look and feel.

Several of the free-for-use kayaks line the shore of Independence Lake.

Several of the free-for-use kayaks line the shore of Independence Lake.

"The Paddler" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Paddler” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Just Fishin'" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Just Fishin'” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Shoreline” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

It was so nice to spend some time outside of the house and out in nature again.  I look forward to our next trip to Independence Lake when I am feeling myself again and will definitely grab one of the kayaks and paddle around the lake and take a lot of photos!

**All photos shot and edited with an iPhone 5**


2013 iPhone Photography Awards – Honorable Mentions

I was more than honored to find out yesterday that I had received three Honorable Mentions in the 6th Annual iPhone Photography Awards.  This is an International competition that brings in a whole lot of global entries every year.  Three of my photos were chosen in the categories of “children,” “flowers,” and “travel.”

My photo “La Niña de las Flores” received an Honorable Mention in the “children” category.

"La Niña de las Flores" - La Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“La Niña de las Flores” – La Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

My photo “La Novia y el Novio” received an Honorable Mention in the “travel” category.

"La Novia y el Novio" - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“La Novia y el Novio” – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

My photo “Icelandic Poppy” received an Honorable Mention in the “flowers” category.

"Icelandic Poppy" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Icelandic Poppy” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.


Still Healing and Creating

Skin biopsy site with rash where the non-latex bandage was located.

Skin biopsy site with rash where the non-latex bandage was located.

Today is day #17 of the Great Pink Polka Dot Mystery.  The crazy rash is beginning to fade nicely after using the heavy-duty steroidal creams for the last eleven days but it is still pretty evident on my legs and inside of my arms.  It now looks like a bunch of faded circular lavender bruises.  Still sleeping about 10 hours a night which is highly unusual for me and am still feeling some muscle weakness and fatigue during the days.   However the fever, headaches and muscle contractions are now gone.  Still awaiting the skin biopsy results and have to go back in for more blood tests in a few weeks.  Bets are still on for West Nile Virus but the antibodies have not shown up in the blood tests as of yet (which is normal for several weeks after infection).

The past two days I have finally felt well enough to begin creating again.  My iPhone 5 arrived so I have been enjoying the much higher resolution over my antiquated iPhone 4.

Here are a few of the pieces I have created over the last few days…

"The Place of His Imaginings" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Place of His Imaginings” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Place of His Imaginings” was chosen for Pixels: The Art of the iPhone yesterday and was “Explored” on Flickr today meaning it was chosen as one of the top 500 photos out of roughly 4.5 million uploaded photos.  Quite exciting and as of this hour it has received over 100 “likes” and a multitude of comments.  You can give it a “like” too at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tjthomas_iphoneography/9008848760/

"Where the Wild Things Roam 1" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Where the Wild Things Roam 1” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Where the Wild Things Roam 1” is the first photomontage I have had the energy to create in a while.  It was also chosen for Pixels yesterday:  http://www.pixelsatanexhibition.com/uncategorized/tracy-j-thomas-where-the-wild-things-roam-1/

 

"Butterfly Iris" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Butterfly Iris” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

I haven’t spent much time outdoors since my illness with the exception of journeys to and from my doctor’s office.  The other day I was going stir crazy so spent the evening in the shade of our patio and noticed the Butterfly Irises had begun to bloom.  I snapped a photo with my new iPhone 5 and went to town on editing it the next day.  It reminded me to open my eyes to everything that surrounds me even in my home.  There is always something picture worthy no matter where you find yourself.

"The Lifeguard Shack" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Lifeguard Shack” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

The other day while sitting on my couch I found myself day dreaming about the ocean.  I flipped through my photo files from last summer when we spent time down in Santa Monica and Venice Beach for the LA Mobile Arts Festival where I had several pieces on exhibit.  I came across a photo of one of the lifeguard shacks at sunset and decided I needed to app it and keep it on my computer to remind myself of that fun trip and the healing vibes of the ocean.

Tomorrow my new iPad mini arrives and I am so looking forward to using it for a little videography as well as having a much larger screen with which to edit my iPhone photos.

 


Accolades to Boost Immunity

Still feeling under the weather and just waiting for more test results.  I haven’t had much energy to do any work, especially not of the creative kind, however over the past few days I have received notice of a few accolades for recent work that have helped to boost my spirit and hopefully my immune system as well.

"Tainted Beauty Queen" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Tainted Beauty Queen” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

My iPhone photo “Tainted Beauty Queen” was one of 8 chosen for New Era Museum’s “NEM memories” photo-action, curated by Jennifer Bracewell.  You can view all the choices here.

"Oasis" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Oasis” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

My iPhone photo “Oasis” was chosen as one of 8 entries for New Era Museum’s “NEM landscapes” photo-action, curated by Gianluca Ricoveri.  You can view all chosen entries here.

Artist of the Day at iPhoneArt.com

Artist of the Day at iPhoneArt.com

And once again (I believe this is my sixth time) I was chosen as “Artist of the Day” on iPhoneArt.com today.

I only wish my body felt as happy as my mind does with all these new accolades.


Featured in iCreate Magazine

The June issue of iCreate Magazine with a feature on my and my iPhoneography.

The June issue of iCreate Magazine with a feature on my and my iPhoneography.

I have been very ill this past week with a yet to be diagnosed illness after being bit by an unknown bug (most likely West Nile but time will only tell).  So yesterday I received a nice “gift” in the mail that lifted my spirits – the recent issue of iCreate Magazine with a two page feature about me and my iPhoneography.

The two page spread with interview, a few of my photos and some tips & fave apps.

The two page spread with interview, a few of my photos and some tips & fave apps.

You can also pick up an electronic copy of this edition in the Apple iTunes store.


The Frustrated Painter in Me

"Waiting to Board" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Waiting to Board” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

The frustrated painter inside of me has decided to hang out for a while.  Since last Monday I have been ill with the lovely upper respiratory virus that has been making the rounds.  I feel as if my body has taken ten steps backwards following last Sunday’s wonderful 10K run under the giant Redwoods.  I am hacking and coughing and sniffling and am finding it hard to get enough rest.  To take my mind off the illness, I edited a ton of photos I had hanging out in my iPhone photo gallery.  Every single photo I edited ended up with a painterly feel.  I have learned to just trust my intuition when editing and go along for the ride for a while until my creative spirit takes another turn.

"The Orange Bag" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Orange Bag” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Runners" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Runners” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"That Way" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“That Way” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

**All photos were shot with my iPhone 4 and the ProCamera app and edited with Camera+, Glaze, Laminar and Pic Grunger.

 


More Color and Texture

"The Farm" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Farm” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

This past weekend I took Amtrak up to Arcata, California to spend time with friends and to run the Avenue of the Giants 10K under the giant redwood trees just outside of Weott.  It was great to escape to cooler weather away from the heat of the Valley and to spend time on the laid back North coast.  On my way home I took a lot of photos of the landscape from the train window and several photos at the train station.  The photos in this post are further experimentation with the use of color and texture which during the editing phase.  All of these photos were taken with my iPhone 4 using the ProCamera app and were edited in Camera+, Laminar, Glaze and Pic Grunger.

"Along the Tracks" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Along the Tracks” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Terminal Stroll" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Terminal Stroll” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

 


Playing With Color and Texture

This past Sunday we drove up to a lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains to get away from the abnormally sweltering Spring weather we have been having in the Valley.  I parked my chair in the shade and immediately felt the stress of past weeks subside.  I sat and walked and took photos all day long while breathing in the beauty of my surroundings.  Here are a few of the photos I created with a focus on playing around with color and texture in the editing process.

"The Docks" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Docks” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Peaceful Place" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Peaceful Place” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Kayak" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Kayak” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

**All photos were shot with my iPhone 4 using the ProCamera app and edited using the Camera+, Laminar, Glaze and Blender apps.

 

 


iCreate Magazine Interview

©iCreate Magazine.

Photo ©iCreate Magazine.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Features Editor of iCreate Magazine.  iCreate is a print magazine based in the UK with a large circulation that focuses on everything related to Mac computers, iPhones and iPads.  The Features Editor came across my portfolio on iPhoneArt.com and sent me an email with the desire to feature me in one of their upcoming issues.

I was surprised and honored to say the least.  I continue to shake my head with amazement over the amount of exposure I have received for my work since I purchased my iPhone about a year and one half ago.  And to think I never thought I would take a single photography with my phone since I was a diehard DSLR user.  This whole experience has taught me to remain open to the possibilities in all forms of new technology.  I can’t wait now to play more with video and video editing once I upgrade to an iPhone 5, just to see where that experience might lead…


At Times Like This…

"Chi" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Chi” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

It’s at times like this when our country is left with the resounding question “why?” that we are reminded life itself is fragile and the moment of our death is unpredictable at best.  We have no control over our future and can only hope for the safety of our loved ones and ourselves as we journey along our paths.

During these moments it’s easy to dwell in the collective outrage that begins to surface and crowd our puzzled psyches.  It’s hard for the majority of us to understand how a human being can possibly be so evil.  We feel helpless.  We swell with sadness and anger and our wish is justice for those innocent souls who were injured or met with such an untimely and violent end.  We relish, at least for the moment, the fact that our own loved ones are still safe and within reach for us to embrace, to cherish, to love.

"Love" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Love” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

What we often fail to remember during these heart-wrenching times is the amount of beauty and good that still exists within our world.  When we contrast that with evil, it is easy to get swept up in the dark shadows that lurk along the edges.  But when we place our focus on the light, it’s harder to see those shadows and so much easier to heal our broken world.

"Healing" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Healing” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

With a background in martial arts, I am a firm believer in our ability to reshape energy (chi) both as individuals and as a collective.  When we focus on the beauty and kindness in this world we are giving our fellow humans the most wonderful gift.  That kindness and that love begins to swell and brings with it healing and a deep sense of peace.  We might never find all the answers to the questions we seek but we have the opportunity to make this world a much better place by remaining focused on all the good that is in it.

"Peace" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Peace” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

My heart wraps all those effected by the events in Boston with a blanket of love.  May you dwell in the kindness and the comfort of your fellow humans and find healing and peace.

 

 

 


Never Give Up

The Press

Have you ever had one of those weeks that was stressful for a variety of reasons and no matter how hard you worked it felt as if you were running backwards instead of reaching the target you were shooting for?  That was the type of week I had.  So, when more good news in the area of my art work began to flow in at the end of this week, I was reminded of the fact that hard work is eventually rewarded as long as you just stick with it and never give up.

To begin with, I had work chosen for “MobFORMAT: The Press” at the Format International Photography Festival in Derby, UK.  This was a unique exhibition deemed to be the first mobile photo press and curated by the festival goers themselves.  Over 6,000 photos were printed and displayed over a period of 30 days.  The concept was to “print out the thousands of photos being shared on EyeEm every day and create the largest interactive exhibition the mobile photo world has ever seen.”  Here is a time-lapse video from the event:

I was also informed that three of my images were chosen for the “Physical Streams 2” exhibition at the Overpass Gallery in Loano, Italy.  This is the second year in a row I have had images chosen for this exhibit of 100 mobile photographs presented in a giant mosaic.  Last year’s exhibit was also on display at the Nuovo Film Studio in Savano, Italy.

The poster announcing Physical Streams 2.

The poster announcing Physical Streams 2.

My three pieces chosen for “Physical Streams 2.”

"Rubber Band Man," "Illuminati," and "The Undertaker" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Rubber Band Man,” “Illuminati,” and “The Undertaker” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Illuminati” being printed for the exhibit:

©Alessandro Gimelli, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Alessandro Gimelli, 2013. All rights reserved.

The giant mosaic that hangs in the Overpass Gallery.:

©Alessandro Gamelli, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Alessandro Gimelli, 2013. All rights reserved.

And then today, I woke up to find out I was named “Artist of the Day” on iPhoneArt.com again:

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 12.08.54 PM

All is well within my soul this morning and I am ready to keep my nose to the grindstone and never, ever give up!  :-)…


Recent Exposure

"Wings" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Wings” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

On Sunday I was very honored to have my iPhone photo “Wings” chosen as a  featured photo on the Juxt 1000 Words Showcase.  Juxt is a highly respected site made up by some of the best mobile artists from around the globe.  You can view it along with the other amazing pieces chosen for the showcase here.

"In Praise of Blue" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“In Praise of Blue” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

This morning, two of my iPhone photos were chosen for display on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone website.  “In Praise of Blue” above and “The Pleading” below.  I took these two photos last year at a local Color Run and just recently rediscovered them when plowing through all my photo archives.  I love the quality of light in each one and the energy of the subjects and used minimal apping with Laminar to create two images I am really happy with.

"The Pleading" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Pleading” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

All three of these images seem to speak to my current personal spiritual journey as do several other images I have been working on for quite some time now.  It will be interesting to see how they evolve over the coming months.


Taking the Leap

"A Conference of Clowns" - Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“A Conference of Clowns” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

I was looking through my photo archives for one of a series of photos I took a few years ago when I was documenting the “Occupy” movement with my big girl DSLR and I came across the following photos that I decided to share in this blog post.

My studies at the Academy of Art for my M.F.A were in Documentary photography and I still love taking photos of people whenever I get the chance to wander the streets. I do a ton of that street photography with my iPhone although until recently I haven’t shared much of that work since I have been so focused on creating and exhibiting my montage work over the past year.  But perusing through my archives this afternoon has rekindled my desire to delve a bit further into my street and documentary photography with my iPhone.  All my serious pro work has been captured with a DSLR but I think I am ready to take the leap as soon as my iPhone 5 arrives (yes, I get the upgrade this month finally!).

I was also extremely inspired by hearing Richard Koci Hernandez present at MacWorld.  A photojournalist by trade, Koci now shoots his street photography exclusively with his iPhone.  And God knows we need more women representin’ in the world of street photography.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Happy Hippy” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Strike of the Sunflowers” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Half and Half” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Thinker” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Two for a Buck” – Oakland, CA ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 


Spring Hath Sprung

"Fire Poppy 2" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Fire Poppy 2” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

Ah Spring.  The beautiful awakening of flowers, pollen and the honey bees that still remain.  The the time of year I love to roam the garden and take photographs of all the pretty blooms that appear after a Winter’s rest.

This year we have Icelandic Poppies that we planted in the Fall and they seem to be very happy to be here.  So here are a few of my favorite shots for you.  The piece above “Fire Poppy 2” made its way onto the “Pixels: The Art of the iPhone” gallery website today (you can view it along with all the other wonderful art here).

"Fire Poppy" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Fire Poppy” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Poppies in a Row" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Poppies in a Row” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Spring Hath Sprung" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Spring Hath Sprung” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Spring Equinox 1" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Spring Equinox 1” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Spring Equinox 2" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Spring Equinox 2” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.


Interview on iArt Chronicles

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 2.22.45 PM

I was honored to be interviewed by Geri Centonze of iArt Chronicles about my iPhoneography and my creative process. You can read the article and learn a bit more about me here.


New Era Museum Founder Artist

NEM RoundLogo Transp

I am more than honored to be a “Founder Artist” for the New Era Museum, along with an incredible group of artists. Based in Florence, Italy, NEM is the first virtual museum devoted solely to mobile photography, and is the brainchild of Andrea Bigiarini.

NEM’s mission: “Promote the creation of visual art on mobile devices, in order to spread a form of active thought, which will help to build a new era in society, a new culture, and free our artistic expression even further.”

Click on the photo below to view a listing of the Founder Artists and click on each name to view their amazing work.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.38.27 AM

I was also fortunate to have “Illuminati” chosen for the “NEM Fantastic Flickr 8,” curated this week by Roger Guetta. Just click on the photo below to view on NEM.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.41.35 AM


Tienes mi Corazón San Miguel de Allende

The bride and groom of a traditional wedding leave the Parroquia in a horse-drawn carriage followed by a mariachi band. - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The bride and groom of a traditional wedding leave the Parroquia in a horse drawn carriage followed by a mariachi band. – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

I arrived home this last Tuesday night after spending a week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I presented a workshop on social media for writers, gave private consultations, and was part of a “Women Write Their Lives” speakers panel during the International Writers’ Conference held in this beautiful city in the heart of Mexico.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Chicle para usted” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

For the past four days I have been catching up on my work, my sleep, and have been struggling to find the right words to describe my experiences in this truly magical place. So for today I will let a few of my photographs do the speaking for me until I find my voice again. To say that San Miguel de Allende won my heart is an understatement. The culture, the beauty of the architecture, the amazing faces, and the kind hearts of the people who live there will forever remain etched inside my soul…

"Flores en la Puerta Roja" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Flores en la Puerta Roja” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Músicos" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Músicos” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Cruzar la puerta de la iglesia" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Cruzar la puerta de la iglesia” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Dolls para la venta" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Dolls para la venta” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Esperando en la Puerta" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Esperando en la Puerta” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Sombreros y Bolsos" ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Sombreros y Bolsos” ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

**All images were shot with my iPhone4**

*Back to iPinion Syndicate*


Photowalk: Jenkinson Lake

Yesterday was another nature day. It has been warm and wonderful here this past week, actually climbing into the 60’s by midday. Warmer days means snow melt in the Sierras, that in turn opens up access to some of the recreational areas normally covered in the cold white stuff this time of year.

I spent the day wandering around Jenkinson Lake near Pollock Pines, a short 45 minute drive up Highway 50. The lake was created in 1955 when a dam was built to harness Sly Park Creek, a tributary in the Cosumnes River watershed. The dam formed a 650-acre reservoir called Jenkinson Lake. It was constructed primarily to provide irrigation water to a portion of El Dorado County.

I’ve spent a lot of time around this little lake, hiking on the trails and kayaking in its pristine waters. I always see something new when I go there that I didn’t see before.

Yesterday’s photowalk was all about capturing the familiar vistas as well as the smaller intricacies of nature that we often fail to notice while becoming smitten by her grandeur.

A duck flies across Jenkinson Lake near the marina and boat launch.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A duck flies across Jenkinson Lake near the marina and boat launch. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A paddle boarder makes his way across Jenkinson Lake. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A paddle boarder makes his way across Jenkinson Lake. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Detail in rock found next to the lake.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Detail in rock found next to the lake. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Rocks along the shoreline.  This one reminded me of a horse head.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Rocks along the shoreline. This one reminded me of a horse head. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A piece of driftwood surrounded by colorful rocks at the edge of the shoreline.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A piece of driftwood surrounded by colorful rocks at the edge of the shoreline. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Leaves and colorful shale.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Leaves and colorful shale. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

One of the finger inlets that feed the resevoir.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

One of the finger inlets that feed the lake. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The sky was on fire on the way home.  A dramatic ending to a perfect day.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The sky was on fire on the way home. A dramatic ending to a perfect day. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

[All photos were shot and edited on my iPhone4.]

**Back to iPinion Syndicate**


Photowalk: The Evidence of Creatures

When I was a child, I spent most of my summer days following animal tracks in the fields behind our house in search of elusive creatures. On occasion I would find one, but most often their prints were the only evidence that proved they had once waddled or hopped or slithered on that same piece of ground.

Yesterday’s photowalk was all about finding evidence of creatures both big and small. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the Sacramento River was calling. The heavy rains have subsided for now so the river was lower than normal for this time of year. I made my way along a short stretch of sandy beach and found prints of several animals that make this area their home.

Here are the photos with evidence of creatures, both human and animal, that I discovered yesterday. All photos were taken with my iPhone with the Hipstamatic App, JohnS Lens and Ina’s 69 film.

Looking across the Sacramento River towards Riverbank Marina. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Looking across the Sacramento River towards Riverbank Marina. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon and mollusk tracks.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon and mollusk prints. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Bobcat prints.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Bobcat prints. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon rear foot print.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon rear foot print. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Clam shell critter snack.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Clam shell critter snack. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Baby raccoon prints the size of one half of my thumb.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Baby raccoon prints the size of one half of my thumb. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

River Otter prints.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

River Otter prints. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

River Otter and Bobcat prints.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

River Otter and Bobcat prints. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon print.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon print. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon family prints.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Raccoon family prints. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The head of a sardine discarded by a fisherman.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The head of a sardine discarded by a fisherman. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Discarded shopping cart that was most likely the carryall for one of the homeless who live along the river.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Discarded shopping cart that was most likely the carryall for one of the homeless who live along the river. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

**Back to iPinion Syndicate**


“Illuminati” – Honorable Mention in the Mobile Photography Awards

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Illuminati" - Apps used:  vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Illuminati” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam

My heart is beating double time. They just posted the “People/Portraits” category winners for the Mobile Photography Awards and my iPhone piece “Illuminati” won an honorable mention! So this piece, along with “Rubber Band Man” in my previous post will be on exhibit in the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City at the end of February. An unbelievable honor to be in the company of the best mobile photographers in the world!

You can view more of the winners here: http://mobilephotographyblog.com/peopleportraits/


“Rubber Band Man” – Honorable Mention in Mobile Photography Awards

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

I am beyond thrilled and honored that my iPhone piece “Rubber Band Man” has been chosen for an Honorable Mention in the Visual FX category for the Mobile Photography Awards! These awards feature the best of the best in the world of mobile photography. All those chosen in all categories will be on display at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City from February 22-28.

You can check out all the amazing works here: http://mobilephotographyblog.com/visual-fx/


Photowalk: Old Sacramento

After finishing up the class I have been writing for the University and finally recovering from a bout with the flu, I was able to get out on a photowalk this morning. I decided to photograph Old Sacramento with my iPhone and used my Hipstamatic App with the Tinto 1884 lens and D-Type plate. This combination seemed very appropriate for a place steeped in history.

The Sacramento River

The Sacramento River with the I Street Bridge and paddle wheeler boats docked in the distance. The Sacramento River was an important food source for the area’s indigenous tribes and became a major transportation and trade route during the California gold rush during the 19th Century. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge was built in 1935 and was the first vertical lift bridge in the California highway system. The center section of this bridge raises and lowers for large boats to journey up and down the Sacramento River. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The paddle wheel of the Delta King that journeyed daily between San Francisco to Sacramento from 1927 to 1940.  It is now a floating hotel and restaurant docked in Old Sacramento.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The paddle wheel of the Delta King that journeyed daily between San Francisco and Sacramento from 1927 to 1940. It is now a floating hotel and restaurant docked in Old Sacramento. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The I Street Bridge has spanned the Sacramento River for 100 years.  The steel double-decker swing bridge was built by Southern Pacific Railroad and continues to carry trains and automobiles across the river to this day.  The bridge swings open for larger boats to go up and down the river.

The I Street Bridge has spanned the Sacramento River for 100 years. The steel double-decker swing bridge was built by Southern Pacific Railroad and continues to carry trains and automobiles across the river to this day. The bridge swings open for larger boats to go up and down the river.

A Sacramento Southern rail car sits on the tracks near the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.  The Sacramento Southern rail line was built between 1906 and 1912 and ran south for 24 miles to Walnut Grove and later became part of Southern Pacific.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A Sacramento Southern rail car sits on the tracks near the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. The Sacramento Southern rail line was built between 1906 and 1912 and ran south for 24 miles to Walnut Grove and later became part of Southern Pacific. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A stack of freight sits near the Central Pacific Freight and Passenger Stations in Old Sacramento.  The station was reconstructed on the site of the original which was built in the mid-1860's.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A stack of freight sits near the Central Pacific Freight and Passenger Stations in Old Sacramento. The stations were reconstructed on the site of the original which was built in the mid-1860’s. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The backside of the passenger train station along the tracks.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The backside of the passenger train station along the tracks. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Looking toward the trains and boarding area from the passenger station. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Looking toward the trains and boarding area from the passenger station. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The Huntington, Hopkins and Company Hardware Store.  During the 1860's this company was a wholesale brokerage that supplied all of Northern California.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The Huntington, Hopkins and Company Hardware Store. During the 1860’s this company was a wholesale brokerage that supplied all of Northern California. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Pioneer Park sits in an empty lot where City Market, a butcher shop, used to stand.  There are remnants of Old Sacramento's past throughout this park including columns that used to adorn the outside of buildings and ironworks cast in Old Sacramento in the 1800's.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Pioneer Park sits in an empty lot where City Market, a butcher shop, used to stand. There are remnants of Old Sacramento’s past throughout this park including columns that used to adorn the outside of buildings and ironworks cast in Old Sacramento in the 1800’s. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A slab of granite, some ironworks, and the old brick wall of the adjacent building in Pioneer Park.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A slab of granite, some ironworks, and the old brick wall of the adjacent building in Pioneer Park. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Closeup detail on one of the columns used to adorn the outside of business buildings in Old Sacramento.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Closeup detail on one of the columns used to adorn the outside of business buildings in Old Sacramento. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A fallen column slowly being absorbed by a tree in Pioneer Park.  ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

A fallen column slowly being absorbed by a tree in Pioneer Park. ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

**Return to iPinion Syndicate**


My Favorite Superhero

My son Justin was born with FG Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder linked to the X chromosome that affects him physically, emotionally, neurologically and intellectually. His syndrome has in no way stopped him from blooming into a remarkable and independent young man with a heart of gold, a wonderful sense of humor, and a deep sense of compassion for both humans and animals. He is the defender of the underdog. He is my role-model for unconditional love. He is my favorite Superhero…

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

[**All photos shot and edited on my iPhone4**)


A Self Portrait in Pieces

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

These eyes have seen the depths of Hell and stared into the very face of God. They have stayed themselves on beauty and sought out the very truth of every soul they’ve met.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

This mind is often lost in thought. A thousand pictures formed in rapid fire across the neurons, reminding me of things I’ve seen and forming visions of what is yet to be.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

These hands have written a million words, played a thousand tunes, gently cradled a newborn child, clenched closed with rage, and held my heart for all to see in tenuous trust.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

These wrinkles. Each one earned as a badge of honor over time, woven across a once smooth surface like a roadmap leading to my past.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

These feet have climbed a dozen mountains, walked a million miles, run as fast as they could carry, and propelled me through the dark out into light.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

And this heart still keeps on beating, whether broken or whole, happy or sad, empty or content, with others or all alone. And it will beat on, until the day it decides its job is complete.

This is me.

[**All photographs were taken with my iPhone4 using the Hipstamatic App, Tinto 1884 Lens and D-Type Plate Film**]

Back to iPinion Syndicate.


“Asphyxia” Makes the Best of 2012 on iPhoneOgenic

"Asphyxia" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Asphyxia” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

My steampunk inspired iPhone piece “Asphyxia” made it into the “Best of 2012” on iPhoneOgenic. It is one of 60 iPhone photographs chosen out of 45,000. Quite an honor to have my work placed in the presence of some of the top iPhoneographers in the world.

You can view all the photos here.


More Playing With Colors

And the color phase continues. Every time I finish one of these pieces it makes me smile. They bring me right up out of the fog (both literally and figuratively). I am reminded of summer and warmth and the sand that sifts between my toes. I can smell the barbeques and feel the waves lapping rhythmically against my feet. I taste the salty air on my lips and curl up beneath the shade of a beach umbrella, completely content with life.

"Beachcomber's Paradise" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Beachcomber’s Paradise” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

"A Parasailer's Heaven" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“A Parasailer’s Heaven” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

"California Dreamin" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“California Dreamin” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

To view the rest of this series visit my recent post Playing With Colors.

Return to iPinion Syndicate.


Playing With Colors

The New Year finds me playing with colors and texture. I suppose it was some subconscious shift from the dark events that occurred in our country at the end of 2012 and the hope that 2013 will be a brighter and more colorful year. Whatever the reason, this week I found myself pushing color and texture on a few beach scenes I had shot with my iPhone while down in Santa Monica at the LA Mobile Arts Festival last summer. Although it is most likely a temporary direction in my art, I am having a lot of fun with these pieces and they have a way of keeping my spirits high during a very busy time in my life.

"A Surfer's Sunset" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“A Surfer’s Sunset” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

"The Pier" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“The Pier” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

"The Beach Electric" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“The Beach Electric” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

"Beach Time" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Beach Time” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Primary Apps used for all these pieces: procamera, camera+, iris, glaze, blender

Back to iPinion Syndicate


Happy New Year!

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Today I went on a long walk and reflected on what an amazing year this has been for me professionally. It has been filled full with exhibitions, publication and a ton of wonderful projects that kept me focused and moving forward with my life. There were of course some difficult times – you’ve heard the expression “starving artist” I’m sure – however, I used those times to focus on creating art which carried me right through to the brighter side. Art always does that for me.

May each one of you reflect on all you have accomplished during 2012 and have a wonderful and very happy New Year!!

Here are some highlights from my year:

Exhibitions in juried shows at:

The Lunch Box Gallery in Miami, Florida (2x’s)
LA Mobile Arts Festival in Santa Monica, CA
Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, SC
Nuovo Film Studio, Savano, Italy
The Overpass Gallery, Loano, Italy
Orange Gallery, Orlando, Florida
Black Box Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Gallery 1075, West Sacramento, CA (Solo show)

Featured Artist on the App Whisperer, Life in Lofi, Pixels, iPhoneOgenic, Mobile Photography Awards, and iPhoneography Central websites.

Artist of the Day at iPhoneart.com (3x’s)

Two-time featured documentary series on SocialDocumentary.net

Finalist in Digital Photo Pro Magazine’s Emerging Pro Photography Competition

Finalist in the Digital Arts: California “Wide Open Digital” Competition

My photography was featured in PhotoWorld Magazine – China, The Huffington Post, LAist, Lesnscratch, the Miami Herald, F-Stop Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltic News Network, The Daily Mail UK, and the West Sacramento Press.

I was published in the Seal Press Anthology “Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the stories that kept us small.”

I was added onto the teaching faculty at the San Miguel Writers Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

I was contracted by the Academy of Art University to write the “Business Practices and Principles for Photographers” course.

May 2013 be just as good or better for all!


Digital Arts California: Wide Open Digital Finalist

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 9.25.20 AM

What an exciting week! The good news for my iPhoneography keeps on coming! In addition to being notified I am a finalist in the Digitial Photo Pro Emerging Photographer Competition that I wrote about in yesterday’s blog post, I just found out nine of my iPhone pieces were chosen along with 66 other digital artists and photographers for the Digital Arts: California “Wide Open Digital” competition.

Here is a link to the online exhibit: http://www.digitalartscalifornia.com/?cat=14

From the Director:

“Our latest exhibit, ‘Wide Open Digital,’ showcases exciting innovative work by 67 digital artists and photographers from 22 countries. This show includes 293 images that range, in style and technique, from one end of the digital spectrum to the other. These images represent some of the most talented work in digital arts around the globe.

I would like to mention that this was a very competitive show, and thus, having even one image chosen for inclusion is a high honor. As much as we would have liked to have included every entrant in the show, we did not. But, we can say that every image we evaluated showed promise. We hope that those artists whose work was not chosen will continue working to further that promise.

…I would like to thank my fellow judges. These two graphics professionals have long resumes of accomplishment in the visual arts. As Art Director of Buddah Records, Elektra/Asylum Records, and 20th Century Fox Records, Glen Christensen was, for many years, a major figure in graphic design in the music industry. He has received two nominations for the prestigious Grammy Award, for Best Album Package. Gary Viskupic has, to his credit, an extensive body of work in editorial illustration. He created most of this illustration during his long tenure as an editorial artist at New York’s Newsday. In addition, his international freelance work has included many award-winning posters and illustrations for magazine and book publishers. Gary has been recognized many times by such prestigious organizations as the Society of Illustrators, Graphis, The Society for News Design, and Print magazine. He is currently an instructor of illustration at New York Institute of Technology.”

Additionally, on Wednesday of this week I was chosen as Artist of the Day at iPhoneart.com!

ipa


Finalist in Digital Photo Pro Emerging Pro Competition

DPP

I woke up to some really cool news this morning. My iPhone piece “Illuminati” is one of 42 finalists in the Fine Art category for the Digital Photo Pro Emerging Pro Photo Competition. Now it is up for People’s Choice Award and you can help me out by voting for it (if you are moved to do so of course).

Digital Photo Pro is a major photography magazine with a circulation of 100,000+ and I am so excited they chose one of my iPhone photos as a finalist alongside many other beautiful pieces shot with DSLR’s.

Just follow the link below and choose “Register” on the left (it’s free). After you register click on “Return to Contest Page” then under “Vote Now” choose “Fine Art Finalists” and give 5 stars to the little man with the illuminated umbrella (photo below). It will be greatly appreciated!

http://www.digitalphotopro.com/6th-annual-emerging-pro/fine-art/finalists.html

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Illuminati" - Apps used:  vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Illuminati” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam


Twenty Little Angels

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved

It has been a week since the Sandy Hook shootings…

Most of us are still reeling from the tragedy and attempting to navigate a roller coaster of emotions. This shooting has been more difficult to deal with than most.

Maybe it’s the proximity to the holidays; the time when most little children are wide-eyed excited about lighting the Menorah or sitting on Santa’s lap.

Maybe it’s the reality these were little innocent six and seven-year old’s, many of them sitting in a Kindergarten classroom singing songs and reciting the alphabet. Trusting their teachers to impart the knowledge required to navigate this big and oft-scary world.

Maybe it’s simply because we are just done. Our shoulders are breaking from the burden of helplessness. Done with the continuing senseless shootings at the hands of troubled young men with automatic assault weapons and endless rounds of ammunition loaded into military-style clips.

Whatever the reason, these twenty little angels have come to stand as symbols of all that is wrong with our world.

The great gun debate has once again reared its ugly head with little talk of equally important things like mental health issues. The head of the NRA made the extremely insensitive choice to speak at a press conference a mere hour after a national moment of silence for the victims. In his speech he failed to take the stance of gun control and instead decried the absence of armed guards in all of our schools to protect our children from all the “evil bad guys” waiting in the wings to kill more of our children.

The NRA does not care about protecting your Second Amendment right to bear arms. Really, it could give a crap.

What the NRA cares about most is a $3.8 billion industry that keeps them in the money. The purpose of the NRA? They are lobbyists who represent gun retailers.

There is a ton of money behind the NRA because the gun business is BIG business. Of course they will take the stance that we need to put more guns in our schools. More guns in our schools means more gun sales for gun retailers which means more money in the coffers of the NRA so they can buy more politicians. You see how it goes…

What the NRA does not refer to in these speeches meant to rile up the NRA’s gun-toting “4 million mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters,” is the fact Columbine had two armed guards at the school during the time Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 and injured 21. Or that Virginia Tech had an entire police force housed on campus when Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 and wounded 17. Armed guards made ZERO difference.

Our focus should remain on the twenty little angels who died that fateful Friday. As mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, we should continue to shout the names of these victims. We should keep a face on the innocent lives lost whenever a military-style assault weapon is wielded by a mentally ill individual and turn our focus away from arming ourselves in paranoia against all the potential “bad guys” who are creeping around in the shadows waiting to pounce.

Violence always begets violence.

As I stated in my blog “For the Innocents Lost,” we cannot look at gun control in a vacuum. We need to keep the conversation surrounding mental health on the table right beside automatic and semi-automatic military-style weapons and gun control laws.

We owe it to the victims and their families…

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Aveille Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino
Dawn Hoschprung
Anne Marie Murphy
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Nancy Lanza

For twenty Fridays forward, I will create one angel piece in memory of the twenty little angels that died that day. They will be limited edition (100 pieces) printed on 12×12 metal. Fifty-percent of the proceeds are being donated to one of the Sandy Hook victim’s relief funds that focus specifically on help for the siblings and classmates of these victims. The prints can be purchased here: For the Angels of Sandy Hook.

Thank you to all who have already purchased a piece from last week’s posting.


For the Innocents Lost…

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Yesterday was art day for me. A kind of therapy day in the midst of a very busy week.

I was in the middle of working on the above iPhone montage when the news broke of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings.

I was stunned.

I was heartbroken.

I cried. No, I sobbed…

How in the world could anyone take the lives of such innocent babies?

Like everyone else in this country I feel devastated.

In the past I have addressed the gun control issue on this blog. I believe strongly that automatic and semi-automatic weapons should not be available for purchase on the market. Stricter laws surrounding background checks and proper identification should be enforced. However, purchasing firearms by way of “legal” retail channels is not the only way people who intend to do harm find those guns. If someone is set on using a gun, they can find it and still purchase it through illegal means.

I am all for the gun control conversation, however that conversation should not be held in the vacuum that it is usually held.

We need to stop sweeping mental illness under the rug. That is the BIGGEST conversation our country needs to have right now… It should be the “why?” Not the “what?” or the “how?”

We know that guns kill. But so do knives and bare hands and barrels of fertilizer and all the bombs we drop on other countries. Gun control is an important conversation because it gives us all a sense of “control” during a time when we feel utterly helpless.

But we should also be brave enough to face the fact that mental illness is REAL and there are a lot of individuals in our country who suffer.

Parents, teachers, doctors, clergymen, friends, family, etc. need to be trained to recognize the signs. We need to encourage our politicians to stop cutting programs that help the mentally ill. We need to have a conversation about the constant stream of violence that fills our televisions, the internet, our music and video games that feed unstable minds. We need to have a conversation about dysfunctional families and how they serve as triggers for mental illness.

But more than that, we need to start loving each other a little bit more. We need to stop and listen. We need to give a lot of hugs and kisses and stop our self-absorbed busy existence long enough to make a difference in the lives of a young person who might be hurting very deeply inside their soul…

For now, I am going to continue to embrace life and cherish each moment I have been given on this beautiful planet, as if it were my last day. But I am also going to love more deeply, listen more intently, attempt to understand more thoroughly, and always take the time to wrap my arms around the wounded souls that cross my path.

[I have decided to run a fundraiser for the siblings and classmates of the victims. You can purchase the above limited edition 12×12 print (run of 100) for $80. Fifty-percent of the proceeds after cost will be donated directly to a victim’s relief fund set up for the children of Sandy Hook. You can read more or purchase the print here: For the Angels of Sandy Hook]

For the little angels of Sandy Hook:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Aveille Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

We will hold you in our hearts forever…


Feeling Gratitude

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Although my life is currently the busiest it has been in a while I am feeling incredibly grateful. Grateful that I am able to wake up every single day and create art for a living. Trusting life enough to cast all other expectations aside and take that step off the precipice with faith was not easy. But doing so has brought me such a full and satisfied heart filled with great peace. Finally, I know my purpose in life.

My days are now ruled by writing and photography and creating. All the things my soul has longed to do since my childhood. I am finally free enough inside myself to bring this life to fruition. It is through these very gifts that I have been given that I was able to free the chains that bound me for so long.

Today I am grateful, as I am every day. Grateful for the gifts, grateful for the opportunities, grateful for the people in my life who have always cheered me on through the good and through the bad. Grateful for the chance to wake up every morning and breathe in a new day. Grateful for nature and all of its beauty. Grateful for the knowledge that through my words or one single photograph, I may make a difference in someone’s life. And that is all that really matters.

I wish each one of you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you will carry a sense of gratitude with you beyond Thanksgiving day and into every day you receive the opportunity to open your eyes to a new dawn.


Soliloquy Continued…

so·lil·o·quy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\: a dramatic monologue that represents a series of unspoken reflections.

It is in nature where I cleanse myself from the constant drone of the city and absorb the quiet beauty all around me. A deep breath of fresh air and my lungs open to capacity, free from the exhaust and toxins spewed out hourly by the bane of a “civilized” society. My feet do a happy dance as they touch the raw earth beneath them. It is much more forgiving than the asphalt and concrete of everyday life. I feel connected to the core.

Surrounded by an infinite wisdom that transcends the exterior casing that houses my soul, I walk. I listen. I see. I discover. A swarm of white gnats gathers next to my cheek. I am amazed by an almost silent, collective “whoosh” created by their tiny wings. They move in unity with barely a space in between. Somehow they know to move left or right or up or down as one, without impeding the flight of another.

I continue my walk and contemplate. Hours go by and I feel refreshed, renewed, ready to move forward through life. The fall air lays its final kiss across my skin and once again the evening comes to slowly bid adieu…

“Soliloquy 9” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 10” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 11” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 12” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

More Soliloquy here.


Soliloquy

so·lil·o·quy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\: a dramatic monologue that represents a series of unspoken reflections.

Nature has always been my savior. No matter how dark, cloudy or confusing my life circumstances become, I can always turn to the outdoors to calm my nerves and regain perspective.

Nature helps me to breathe a little more deeply and to strike up an internal conversation with self. That internal monologue can be dramatic and filled with expression in order to release frustration and solve all of life’s dilemmas or it can be quiet, centered and reassuring.

I will forever embrace it as the grounding mechanism for my soul. My safe place. My source of replenishment. My healing balm. The inspiration for self-dialogue. My soliloquy…

“Soliloquy 1” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 2” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 3” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 4” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 5” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 6” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 7” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Soliloquy 8” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.


The Bothersome Borg

I was recently infected with another case of the sillies. After a few months of being pulled back into the more serious side of life with our “Dancing at the Shame Prom” book launch and a couple other more straight-laced writing and photography gigs, my whimsical side decided to tackle me to the floor and demand release.

So, “The Bothersome Borg” series was born.

The Bothersome Borg is kind of like that annoying person who shows up in your life during the most inopportune moments. He is that pesky little brother or that persistent and ridiculous thought that pops up in your mind when you least expect it. Wherever he shows up, you would prefer that he didn’t. He tends to wreak havoc on everything around him. He makes a mess out-of-order, noise in the midst of quiet and constantly colors outside of the lines.

Regardless his foibles, you still can’t help but feel a little love for him… And maybe, just maybe, he can teach you a thing or two about life.

Without further ado, the beginning of my series, “The Bothersome Borg”…

“The Borg Around the Corner” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Sewer Diver” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“A.K.A. Borgsky” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Chef Borg-Uignon” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.


I Left My Heart in Massachusetts

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Here we go again.

With every trip I take, I find myself falling in love with the new surroundings and reaching the conclusion that yes, I should definitely live there. Or there. Or over there.

I have done this with Port Townsend in Washington, Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, San Luis Valley in Colorado, Moab in Utah, the island of Kauai, Paris, London, Singapore, St. John in the Caribbean. And the list goes on.

Just call me fickle. Or maybe it’s due to a little bit of gypsy intertwined somewhere in my DNA.

Our most recent foray was to the lovely Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For decades now I have longed for a trip to Boston and Rhode Island in order to place my feet firmly on the ground where our country had its beginnings. I finally got my chance when asked to shoot a very special wedding in New Bedford.

The minute our plane circled over the Boston skyline and approached Logan Airport I knew this was going to be an epic trip. I became immediately smitten with the aerial view and had no doubt I would fall even more deeply once my feet hit terra firma.

“Mass Turnpike” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

As with any new relationship, the first contact was a tad tentative. Finding our bearings and navigating the Mass Turnpike was a bit nerve-wracking straight off a six hour flight with nighttime approaching. We only missed one tunnel and were lead back smack into the heart of the downtown. But there were plenty of friendly Bostonians to point us back in the right direction.

After an hour drive, we reached our accommodations for the week; a charming little beach house in Fairhaven. The moment I stepped outside onto the back deck I felt myself take a deep breath and release it in a long, slow sigh. I could hear the ocean lapping at the shoreline mere yards from the house.

I was in love. Yet again…

The next morning revealed an astounding view of Buzzard’s Bay from the big bay window in the living room.

“Buzzards Bay” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

There was a quaint little beach shack directly behind the house that held fishing poles, clam rakes, a kayak and anything else one would desire to use at the beach.

“Beach Shack” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

In between shooting the pre-wedding events, we took as many side trips as time would allow.

No journey to Mass would be complete without riding the “T” into and around Boston. We drove to Quincy and hopped on the red line that lead us to the orange line that was supposed to lead us to the blue line where we would walk mere yards to the Long Wharf to catch a Boston Harbor cruise.

“The T” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Well, being a tourist is simply not being a tourist unless you end up lost at least once. We exited the “T” earlier than we should have after speaking to a local who told us we could hop out at Downtown Crossing and take a short walk through Quincy Market and past Fenueil Hall to the Wharf. His version of “short walk” and ours were worlds apart. So we missed our cruise.

We discovered how nice Bostonian’s could be when the ticket agent not only gave us a full refund but booked us on the next cruise for free! That gave us time to have lunch at a seafood restaurant where I drooled over a bowl of lobster bisque and fresh out of the oven french bread. I washed that all down with a wonderful Maine-brewed Hefeweizen.

“Boston Harbor” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The harbor cruise was relaxing and informative and provided a glorious view of the city skyline.

“USS Constitution” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

After the harbor cruise, we chose to follow part of the Freedom Trail up through the Italian section to the North Church, past Paul Revere’s house and then back to the Olde State House.

“Olde State House” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

The next day, we had lunch in Providence, Rhode Island and walked the hilly streets that were lined with incredible Cape and Victorian-era houses.

We strolled through beautiful Brown University where I began to think of ways I could attend Brown and acquire yet another degree. It’s good we didn’t visit Yale or Harvard or Dartmouth because I would certainly feel conflicted. Yes, I also fall in love with educational institutions. Especially the ivy-league kind that I could never afford to attend.

We drove to Falmouth and took a ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard one afternoon. Everything about Martha’s Vineyard embraced me. From the oldest working carousel in the nation to the quirky and colorful gingerbread cottages that line the MVCMA.

“Gingerbread Cottages” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

And then there was the steamed lobster…

Alex lovin’ on his steamed lobster – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

On our last day of the trip, we decided to drive all the way up the Cape to experience Provincetown. Of course I fell in love with every little historical town that lined the cape thinking “I could live here. I could live there.” The sense of history and beauty of the area was astounding.

Though quaint, P-Town was a bit too touristy for me. I can certainly understand its lure during the non peak season. We had lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe that served incredibly delicious Lobstah rolls.

Lobstah roll in P-Town. – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

On our way back down the Cape we stopped in at Highland Lighthouse and were pleased to spot a pod of whales feeding just off the point. I got great pleasure posting this on my Facebook status: “Whatcha’ doing right now? Oh, just watching whales swim by off Cape Cod… Nothin’ special :-).”

Lighthouse at Truro on Cape Cod – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

It was such a magical trip for many reasons. I fell hard for the history and beauty of the area. I fell hard for the friendliness and happy demeanor of the people. I of course always fall hard for any town near an ocean and beaches, but these little towns drew me in like few others.

I could only imagine the lure of the Fall colors and how that would have sealed the deal for me. I would have adamantly refused to climb back on the plane for home if the wedding had occurred but a month later in the year. But that is one more of many good reasons to visit the east coast yet again in the future.

“Alone Time” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.


LA Mobile Arts Festival Opening Night: Not just your mama’s snapshots…

This past Saturday, August 18th, was the opening night for the LA Mobile Arts Festival at the Santa Monica Arts Studio in Santa Monica, CA.

And what an epic opening night it was.

The entire evening brought a steady stream of art lovers and artists flowing through the 2,400 square foot Arena 1 Gallery housed inside a 22,000 square foot airplane hangar.

The exhibition was stellar and the gallery browsers appeared genuinely mesmerized by over 600 pieces of outstanding art created by 200 plus artists from 30 countries. The pieces were shot and edited entirely on iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices and are a far cry from your mama’s average mobile phone snapshot.

I was so honored to have six of my own pieces chosen for this show and humbled to have them displayed next to the stellar work of so many amazing artists. Some of the work in this show literally took my breath away.

Here is a video I created with photos and video I took during the opening gala on both my Canon 7D and my iPhone4 then edited in iMovie. This is a rough edit mind you, as I am getting ready to leave for Boston in a few days and wanted to get something up on the web before the show ends this Saturday the 25th.

This amazing event would not be at all possible without the founders of iPhoneArt.com and the LA Mobile Arts Festival, Nathaniel Parks and Daria Polichetti, plus the amazing LAMAF crew who worked so many tireless hours in preparation for this event.

Nathaniel is a “veteran visual effects editor with a stream of award-winning films to his credit. Park received his BFA from University of North Carolina School of the Arts in film editing and sound design. Los Angeles-bound, he launched his career in film and TV production, editing main title and visual effects sequences, honing his sense of photography, storytelling and design on projects such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, Sherlock Holmes, Across the Universe, Seven Pounds, Superman Returns, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and others. Besides film, photography and technology, Park’s other passion is basketball. While recovering from a career-ending injury he discovered the wealth of creativity in the mobile art arena, drawing parallels between his visual FX work and the emerging medium. This discovery ultimately lead to cofounding the mobile art community IPA with his partner-in-crime, Daria Polichetti, though he continues to work with young NBA prospects, staying involved in the game.”

Daria is a “writer, illustrator and visual effects artist for the LA film industry. Polichetti received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She was born in Afghanistan, grew up in Africa, India, Thailand and Hawaii, then settled in Los Angeles where she worked as a director of photography and VFX producer for feature films. She has produced visuals for works such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Tempest, Splice, Standard Operating Procedure, Iron Man, Valkyrie, Orphan, Masterpiece Theater, Stand Up 2 Cancer, Walk the Line, Sherlock Holmes, and the now-infamous Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, which earned a 2012 Tony Award nomination for best scenic design. In addition to cutting-edge mobile art, Polichetti also has a passion for glass-plate negatives from the early 1900s and comes from a multi-disciplinary background in large-format photography, painting, writing and book-binding. She is currently working on her first illustrated novel for young adults.”

Not only are these two individuals uber-talented; they are extremely genuine, caring, nice human beings. I was so happy to meet them in person and will be forever thankful to them for including me and my art in this amazing event.

If you are anywhere near Santa Monica over the next few days I implore you to take a trip to the Santa Monica Art Studios to take a long look at this cutting-edge display. Who knows… you may find yourself walking out with a piece to hang on your own wall in support of a starving artist or two.

I was fortunate enough to have two of my own pieces sell on the second day of the show and am so happy they have found a home with someone who will appreciate them as much as I do.


Excitement Builds for the LA Mobile Arts Festival

In a mere three days, the epic LA Mobile Arts Festival will kick off at the Santa Monica Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. This is considered to be the largest brick and mortar exhibition of iPhone art ever created. There are over 600 works from some 200 artists who created that art in 30 different countries.

This show has been receiving an amazing amount of press: The Huffington Post, LA Times, CNET, LA Magazine, Good Day LA, KTLA’s Gayle Anderson and ABC News, MSNBC, Dig Magazine, Glo.com, ManJr. Digital media, Wire and MindshareLA, and WIRED Magazine have already done or are doing pieces on this show.

The founders of the festival, Daria Polichetti and Nathaniel Park, are also the founders of the popular online website iPhoneart.com. When I stumbled on their site back in January after I purchased my first iPhone, I was flabbergasted by the quality of artwork that was being created via this little rectangular piece of metal, glass and plastic.

How in the world was this possible? All on an iPhone???

Forever curious and up for any challenge, I began to purchase and experiment with a plethora of apps. Little did I know that my experimentation with the hopes of replicating something remotely similar to the fantastic art I was viewing, would ultimately rock my world.

I have been honored, amazed, absolutely blown away by the accolades and the opportunity to exhibit in galleries across the U.S. as well as outside the country during my short 8-month sojourn into the world of iPhoneography.

And now six of my pieces have landed in one of the biggest physical shows to date. I cannot even begin to describe my excitement for this event.

The LAMAF team unpacks and prepares to hang the show:

In so many ways I still feel like the quintessential virgin. I gaze longingly at some of the pieces that grace the websites created by fellow artists who have been around for several years now. I can only hope that my own art will take on that same quality of skill and depth as I move forward and continue to manipulate the pixels in hand.

And you had better believe that the iPhone5 and the iPad are both on my radar for the purchase in the coming year. I love my iPhone4, yet I can’t help but imagine the amazing possibilities this ever-changing technology will grant me in the near future.

Now it’s off to pack for a few days at the beach! And of course there will be lots of photos and video for those who can’t make this stellar event.


Showing Up for the Gig

“Eros” – Featured on The App Whisperer’s Flickr Top 10 – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

One of my favorite former instructors gave me the best piece of advice I have ever received. It was during a time when I was feeling a bit lost and frustrated about launching my career as a photographer.

She said, “Just keep showing up for the gig every single day.”

These words may seem simple and not too profound to most, but there was something about that little sentence that resonated with me.

I began to make it a point to “show up for the gig” every day of the week. I would create a piece of art, take a couple of photos, enter a contest, send out my resume, write, submit my work to websites, send my portfolio to galleries; anything I thought would bring exposure to my work in the “real” world.

And you know what began to happen? I saw my work featured on a number of key websites, I was accepted into several gallery shows, I was asked to write a piece for an anthology that is being published by Seal Press, I was asked to teach a workshop on social media at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference in Mexico and most recently I signed a contract to rewrite the “Business Practices and Principles for Photographers” course at my alma mater – the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

And it just keeps on coming…

My solo show, “iPhoneography: An Obsession” opened at Gallery 1075 in West Sacramento on Thursday.

And the “Summer Photo Show” opened last night at The Lunch Box Gallery in Miami where four of my iPhone photographs are showing.

I have also been sitting on exciting news for the past few weeks but I wanted to wait until the final list came out before I wrote about it.

Several weeks ago five of my pieces were shortlisted for the cutting-edge LA Mobile Arts Festival to be held at the Santa Monica Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. I received word at the beginning of last week that not only did the five pieces make the final cut but they decided to add a sixth to the show.

The works of around 225 artists, with over 500 pieces, are being shown at the LAMAF. The show opens Saturday August 18th with an artists reception that begins at 7pm.

The LAMAF is a first of its kind mobile photography and art show. Here are just a few examples of what can be seen at this show:

• Light Impressions, an installation of 40 iPads, rigged to a re-purposed metal roof-top that was found on the beach after Hurricane Opal in the Florida Panhandle. The old/new world electronic installation includes the work of 40 iPhoneographers from 10 countries and 52 cities around the world, and will arrive at LA MAF as part of an international tour including a stop at a recent TEDx event.

• A series of Digital Daguerreotypes combining the old-world aesthetic of many contemporary mobile artists with cutting-edge print tech- nologies. These images on high-tech mirrors will recall the old daguerreotype and collotype origins of traditional photography.

• An Olde Curiosity Shoppe of mobile art, film-based and environmental installations, a showcase dedicated to those using mobile technology specifically for drawing and painting rather than photography, an exploration of today’s world of mobile apps, and a visual history placing mobile art in the evolution of photography.

The LAMAF is not to be missed!

My work was also included this week in a piece for the Huffington Post on the LA Mobile Arts Festival [“Illuminati” appears in the slideshow].



This week my work also ended up on Lenscratch with a write-up on the “Summer Photo Show” which is being held at The Lunch Box Gallery. Lenscratch is considered to be “one of the top 10 Photography-Related blogs you should be reading by Source Review, Wired.com, and InStyle Magazine.”

So whatever you are doing, whatever your goals or wishes are in life, just keep putting yourself out there and showing up for the gig.

It’s not magic nor is it some miracle formula that will bring you everything your heart desires. It is simply reward for keeping your nose to the grindstone and doing it with focused intent.


Color Me Beautiful

I had the pure joy of shooting a recent Color Run in Sacramento. I had heard about these crazy 5k runs where participants are covered along the route with a cornstarch powder that contains natural coloring. By the time they reach the finish line, the runners look like they were dipped in a rainbow tie-dye vat.

Honestly, I have never had such a fun time shooting anything as I did shooting this event. It was a colorful free-for-all that left everyone: photojournalists, participants and passive observers alike with a giant smile on their faces.

If you catch wind of a Color Run near you, I highly suggest you sign up now. It is a wonderful opportunity to throw off all the weight of the world and get back in touch with your inner-child.

Here is a little piece I put together with photos and video, all completely shot and edited on my iPhone.


Summer Photo Show

I am so very pleased to have four of my iPhone pieces chosen to be in the “Summer Photo Show” at The Lunch Box Gallery in Miami, Florida. The work of only fourteen artists was chosen to be in this show that begins August 11th and runs through October 6th. The show is a mixture of photographic styles including mixed-media, documentary and iPhoneography.

The four pieces chosen for this show are shown below.

“Rubber Band Man” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Hitching a Ride on a Minnow to the Moon” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“I See You” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Building a New Man” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

Here is an excerpt from the official press release:

“The Lunch Box Gallery is pleased to announce for the second year its group exhibition “Summer Photo Show 2012”, featuring the photography work of fourteen artists. The showcased pieces are a result of a call for entries oriented to national and international visual artists working in all styles of photography including any mixed-media art that utilized photography as one of its forms of expression. All photographic methods, formats, types and schools were welcomed.

In this show, The Lunch Box Gallery is exhibiting works of insightful conceptual ideals materialized through exceptional craftsmanship, which are intended to represent fascinating takes and points of view in photography nowadays. The thought behind the image of the artist is very important in this show, yet as important as the final visible result. The range of photography tendencies to be found in the show is vast: from conceptual and documentary photography, to narrative photography, photo-essay, iPhoneography and photo-collage; touching on topics like obsessive-compulsive tendencies, the demystification of the “happily ever after”, performative images that play with childhood materials to reflect on how they determine us, or the mistreated young Muay Thai boxers from a Bangkok slum. They all convey on representing an individual concept and a very particular way of externalizing it.

Photographers participating in the show include:

Sarah Tortora (Connecticut), John William Keedy (New York), Noah David Bau (Boston/Bangkok), Amy Leibrand (Ohio), Miranda Maynard (North Carolina), Lissette Schaeffler (Miami), Aimee Hertog (New Jersey), Dafna Steinberg (Washington DC), Ted Oonk (The Netherlands), Luisa Mesa (Miami), Troy Colby (Kansas), Ramesh Pithiya (Washington DC), Naimar Ramirez (Puerto Rico) and Tracy Thomas (California).

The “Summer Photo Show 2012” will be opened to the public on Saturday, August 11th from 5:00 – 10pm, at 310 NW 24th. St. Miami, FL 33127 (Wynwood Art District) / Regular business hours Tuesday – Saturday 11:30-5pm or by appointment.”

So once again I am humbled and blown away by the wonderful reception my iPhoneography is receiving out in the “real” world. It is such a joyous means of expression for me and I absolutely love that others are finding pleasure in my work.


Tidbits of This and That

Just some general news and video shares today. My iPhoneography solo show is set to run August 8th through September 5th at Gallery 1075, 1075 West Capitol Ave., West Sacramento, CA. There will be an artist’s reception on Thursday, August 9th from 5-7pm and all are invited if you are anywhere near the Sacramento region! I think it will be a fun introduction to iPhoneography for our local community.

I am very honored to be included in the following video along with some of the biggest names in iPhoneography. The video was created by Knox Bronson who is the curator for the site Pixels: The Art of the iPhone.

In 2010, I was the first of two recipients of the View of Farmlands Art & Ag Project public art grant in Yolo County. With the grant I was able to visit a number of local farms and create a photographic series that is currently on tour throughout the county. National Endowment of the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman, has stated the Art & Ag Project should serve as a model for the rest of the country. I had the pleasure of performing a video interview with Mr. Landesman when he paid a visit to YoloArts to learn more about the program.

The following video highlights the Art & Ag Project and you can view one of the pieces in my series at about 7:21. I am proud to have played a part in the beginning of this wonderful program that benefits both artists and farmers.


The Scourge of the Damned

Last week in my post “Carnival of the Bizarre” I spoke about moving back towards the creation of whimsical oddities that pop into my curiously creative mind. Since that post I have found myself delving into a series that I am currently calling “The Scourge.”

I am extremely fed up with the ridiculous circus-like grandstanding of both religious groups and politicos in this country. All the finger-pointing, name calling, damning to Hell, attempts to control, “my morals are better than your morals” bullshit.

Just sick and tired of it all.

They are doing nothing more than painting a very ugly and embarrassing picture of the United States for the rest of the world’s entertainment.

So I have decided to take a little side journey into my psyche and create images based on my reactions to this building display of idiocy and will leave you to ponder your own interpretations.

Here is a taste of this ever-building series:

The Exterminator

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Exterminator” – Apps used: perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, photo texture, scratchcam, vintage cam, camera+

The Undertaker

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Undertaker” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, pixlromatic, juxtaposer, scratchcam

The Negotiator

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Negotiator” – Apps used: 645 pro, juxtaposer, perfectlyclr, camera+, pixlromatic, scratchcam

The Judge

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Judge” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, pixlromatic, juxtaposer, scratchcam

Who knows how this series will evolve… I will definitely post more soon.


Carnival of the Bizarre

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Illuminati” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam


Since beginning my journey in iPhoneography my work has taken a number of iterations. But no matter how far I stray, I always find myself gravitating back to the bizarre, the whimsical, the slightly humorous oddities that make you pause and go “Hmmmmmmmm…”

I have always been intrigued with anything that exists outside the box of “normal.” Not much of a surprise since my childhood was anything close to normal; but I think my inherent sense of curiosity is what drives my attraction towards things of the bizarre nature.

Life would seem oh so boring if everything were white-bread perfect, dressed in a pinafore and a pair of Mary Jane’s.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Asphyxia” – Apps used: vintage cam, camera+, perfeclyclr, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam

When I was a kid, my imagination ran wild and I was constantly drawing up plans and building strange contraptions out of scraps of wood, springs, tin cans, rubber bands and basically any spare part I could get my hands on.

I was certain I could build a rubber band powered space machine that would launch me to the moon and even devised a plan to build an amusement park in my backyard out of cardboard and lumber. Most likely influenced by my affinity with Jules Verne, there was rarely a day when I wasn’t dreaming about my next gadget.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Tin Can Rabbit” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfectlyclr, camera+, juxtaposer, pixlromatic, scratchcam

Through some subconscious connection to my young, creative mind, the last few weeks have moved me towards a more Steampunk oriented phase of my whimsical photography. I am suddenly envisioning strange breathing apparatus, windup rabbits, mechanical x-ray eyewear and parasols that illuminate one’s path.

In ways I feel like I am creating my own Carnival of the Bizarre. Soon you might just find me standing on a street corner balancing a top hat and barking out an invitation for you to take a peek through the curtains at all the oddities I have created.

You can leave a penny in the tin cup…


Social Media, Trees & Drag Queens

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Traveler” – Apps used: slowshutter, camera+, perfectlyclr, scratchcam

This past few weeks were busy ones filled with travel. I flew to Ontario, CA last Wednesday to give a workshop on Social Media to a gathering of Arborists in Riverside. “Arborists?” you say. Why yes, even Arborists are using it. It is a great way to garner support for their local programs and to offer education on the benefits of trees to the masses.

I flew back home the same evening and turned around the next morning to give another workshop on Social Media to a group of Arborists in San Rafael. I had a great time sharing the ins and outs of Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter et.al. And in turn I learned a lot about Carbon offset and Urban Forest management plans.

On Sunday I took Amtrak into San Francisco to take photos at the San Francisco Pride parade. There was never a dull moment and I found endless photo opportunities.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “When Gypsies Dance” – Apps used: slowshutter, perfectlyclr, vintagecam, camera+, juxtaposer, scratchcam

I had fun playing with Slowshutter and captured the above image of a troupe of Gypsy dancers warming up for the parade.

And who can resist a beautiful Drag Queen?

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Fabulous” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfectlyclr, camera+, blurfx, scratchcam

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Pride” – Apps used: procamera, camera+, perfectlyclr, blurfx

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Hellooooo Kitty!” Apps used: procamera, camera+, perfectlyclr, blurfx

The three images above were featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone this week. The image below was included in the picks for Orpheum (the Black & White photos for the week) on Pixels as well.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Under the Parasol” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfectlyclr, camera+, dramaticb&w


Mobile Art Fanaticism

I fell into the world of mobile photography from a space of unbridled curiosity. I am a professional photographer by trade and have been shooting my work with DSLR cameras for many years now. All the sudden buzz around the abilities of the iPhone caused me to wonder.

In January of this year I decided it was time to dump my Motorola and upgrade to an iPhone. This was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I began to use the native iPhone camera app to take street photos and instantly loved the freedom it provided. I could whip out this little piece of metal and glass in a heartbeat, aim and shoot. Soon I found myself capturing moments I would surely have missed by the time I set everything I needed to set on my DSLR.

One thing led to another and I soon found myself mesmerized by the multitude of apps and the boundless editing possibilities they provided. Some for free, others for a mere buck or two.

I have not in any way traded my professional DSLR nor my aspirations to continue my documentary work for my quirky creations on the iPhone. I simply feel I have found another grand tool to add to my arsenal and am finding great pleasure in the discoveries.

There have been several wonderful websites and communities that have encouraged my sudden blooming of mobile art fanaticism. Here are a few of my recent humble accolades and a number of sites I feel are well worth a follow:

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Blue” – Apps used: vintage cam, filter mania, picture show, snapseed

“Blue” was recently chosen by the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina to appear in the “Ways of Seeing: Phoneography” exhibit opening July 12th. This will be the fourth showing of my iPhoneography in a traditional gallery setting since I began my obsession in January, however this was quite an honor due to the gallery’s great reputation and the fact I have ancestral ties to this beautiful city. So if you are in or near the Charleston area, hop on by the gallery in July and take a gander at some wonderful work by a variety of amazing mobile artists. You can receive updates on exhibits by following @rebekahjacob on Twitter.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Deep Inside the Time Machine” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, camera+, pictureshow

“Deep Inside the Time Machine” was recently chosen by the Mobile Photography Awards for their Weekly Showcase (May 20th to June 6th). The Mobile Photography Awards is at the forefront of promoting mobile photography and helping it move to the next level in the art world. Their 2011 award winners have been on display at the Arthaus in San Francisco (the exhibit runs through the end of June) and were recently featured at the San Francisco Fine Art Fair. Both shows brought a ton of positive press and feedback. Several pieces have sold from this show and brought in over a thousand dollars each which speaks volumes to the acceptance of the medium by art collectors. Give a follow to @MobiPhotoAwards on Twitter.

Here is a news spot on the Arthaus show:

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Tenant” – Apps used: 645 pro, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pictureshow, scratchcam, modern grunge

“The Tenant” was recently chosen for The App Whisperer’s Jubilee Showcase. I adore the App Whisperer site. It is filled with invaluable information, interviews and tutorials by some outstanding mobile artists.

The individual behind The App Whisperer is founder Joanne Carter, no stranger to photography herself: “Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of TheAppWhisperer.com. A Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Technology. A contributor to National and International publications, including DPreview.com, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Professional Photographer, NikonPro, Graphix, Digital Arts, Readers Digest, Popular Photography & Imaging and Which? consumer magazine and ePhotozine.com.”

If you are not already following @TheAppWhisperer on Twitter then you are missing out on the party. There are currently over 17,000 followers.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “When Houses go to Heaven” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, filter mania, scratchcam

“When Houses Go To Heaven” was recently chosen as a favorite by the developers of the App “Scratchcam” as one of their Five faves on Flickr. This is one of my favorite go to apps for editing and I know it is also a favorite app of a plethora of other iPhone artists. This app consistently receives 5 stars and is an inexpensive $1.99 to download from the iTunes App store.

Give a follow to @ScratchCam and keep apprised on updates, contests and featured photos.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Day the Circus Came to Town” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, camera+, scratchcam

“The Day the Circus Came to Town” was recently chosen for Pixels: The Art of the iPhone. Pixels is one of my favorite sites to view fantastic art by some extraordinary iPhone artists. The online gallery is curated by Knox Bronson, who reviews one piece at a time and hand picks the pieces that will be shown.

I have been fortunate enough to have around twenty of my own quirkier pieces chosen for Pixels and was even honored with a “Pic of the Day” for “On Pointe.” (view here)

Make sure you follow Pixels on Flickr @P1xelation to be blown away by some beautiful art.

My favorite community of iPhone artists resides on the site iPhoneArt.com. Since I joined the site in January I have met the most outstanding community of artistic individuals who go out of their way to support, applaud and share their knowledge with each other.

I was blown away to receive Artist of the Day on two occasions already and am consistently honored by the feedback I have received by fellow artists on this site. I look forward to my daily visits there to peruse the incredible iPhone art and to applaud and encourage others in the community.

iPhoneArt.com and the Santa Monica Art Studios have recently joined forces to present The LA Mobile Arts Festival 2012. This is destined to be an exciting, cutting edge event that will certainly give awe to the masses. There is currently an open call for entries through July 15th at LA-MAF.com. You can also find out more by following @MobileArtFest and @iphoneartdotcom via Twitter.


That City by the Bay

I don’t normally do crowds too well. They make me nervous and anxious and grumpy and a little twitchy to the point I want to break out and make a run for the wide open spaces. But I find I can usually tolerate a massive sea of people when walking the streets of the City by the Bay.

San Francisco is one of the few cities where I feel completely comfortable. The sounds, the sights, the smells, even the people, inspire me.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Conductor” – Apps used: 645 pro, perfeclyclr, camera+, moku hanga.

[**”The Conductor” was recently featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone.]

I worked for several years in downtown San Francisco both on the waterfront in the Embarcadero and also in the Financial District. All I wanted to do at that time was get into the city and up to my office and then rush out of the city at the end of the day. I never took the time to wander back then. It was all about work and money and putting in lots of hours and I rarely slowed down to enjoy the pulse of this beautiful place.

When I started my M.F.A. program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco my work was completely focused on nature and wildlife and all quiet, peaceful open spaces far from the noise of cities. Several years before I had broken away from all the high stress insanity that was the technology industry and gravitated myself back to my two passions: photography and spending time in nature. Little did I know at the time my journey would come full circle.

Long story short, the focus of my thesis project was a documentary series on the homeless. This series brought me back into San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Sacramento, etc. for a period of three intense years of shooting. I was reconnecting with my family history, I was reconnecting with my personal past. Instead of running from my reality, I faced it head on.

During that time I learned to move with the rhythm of the city again. I began to visit the places my own family members had walked many years past. I found a new respect and love for the streets and the people it held. I learned a lot about myself as I wandered, wore out the soles of my shoes and found myself reflected in the lives and the faces of the homeless people that I would meet.

Yet during that time, I was focused once again on my work and I rarely took a moment to just enjoy what this place had to offer.

When I was in San Francisco last week for my M.F.A. graduation, I finally took some time to do the touristy thing. I made a point of riding the cable cars whenever I made my way to an event. I had not ridden a cable car for some 30 years. The first day I hopped on board I was mesmerized and felt the broadest smile cross over my face.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Chinatown” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, pictureshow, scratchcam, modern grunge

I made my way into Chinatown where I walked at the pace of its elders. I felt a sense of balance and ease as my eyes took in all the colors and historical spaces. My nose was filled with the aroma of a Chinese bakery and a Dim Sum restaurant preparing for lunch. I listened to the rhythm of the language and heard the voices of happy children playing in a school playground. I found myself mesmerized with this place and vowed to come back soon to spend more time shooting.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Tenant” – Apps used: 645 pro, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, pictureshow, scratchcam, modern grunge.

As I continued to journey through parts of the city I had never before seen, I came across older dwellings where clothes flapped in the breeze from fire escapes and I felt myself move back in time to a simpler way of life. I imagined the history of each space and wondered about the people who had lived there.

[“The Tenant” was recently featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone and was chosen for The App Whisperer‘s Top 10 Special Jubilee Flickr Group Showcase]

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “The Race” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, picture show, scratchcam, pixlromatic, rainydaze

When riding the cable cars I was intrigued by the steep hills these train cars climbed and then crawled down. Along the way I saw a few brave souls attack those same steep hills on bicycles and even one on a skateboard. My imagination went wild and inside my mind I viewed a race down Nob Hill between a bike and a cable car so of course I had to create a piece called “The Race.”

[** “The Race” was recently featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone and made it into The App Whisperer‘s Top 10 Flickr Group Showcase]

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “I Left My Heart” – Apps used: 645 pro, perfectlyclr, juxtaposer, wood camera, pictureshow, scratchcam, modern grunge

I no longer work in San Francisco, my family members left there many decades ago and my thesis project was completed and presented last December. But I know I will head back into this wonderful city on a regular basis to photograph its people and its places. This particular city holds a piece of my heart and an important piece of my history and I still have a lot of wandering and discovering and creating left to do.