Tag Archives: mobileart

Mobile Photography Awards – 2013


The Mobile Photography Awards is considered by many to be the creme de la creme or the “Academy Awards” of mobile photography competitions. Last year I was pleased to receive two Honorable Mentions in the 2nd Annual MPA’s for my iPhone pieces “Illuminati” (in Visual FX) and “Rubber Band Man” (in People/Portraits).

I woke up this morning and was thrilled to discover I have received four Honorable Mentions in the 3rd Annual Mobile Photography Awards. This time for iPhone photographs in the categories of “Performing Arts,” “Photo Journalism,” “Travel,” and “Architecture.” I feel very honored to stand next to some of the greatest mobile photographers from around the globe. The winners and honorable mentions in all categories are fantastic and the art of mobile photography seems to be morphing in leaps and bounds each year.

I was even more pleased by the fact that Ed Kashi was one of the esteemed judges. Ed is an award-winning photojournalist who I have looked up to and followed for many years.

There are still a number of “traditional” camera photographers who are naysayers when it comes to mobile photography. In my opinion, as one who has played seriously on both sides of the craft, it would benefit those individuals to open their minds a bit more and pay close attention to some of the stellar work that is coming out of the world of mobile photography. Many are competing quite well alongside traditional DSLR and film pros in all areas. Mobile photography is not going away anytime soon.

To view the winners and honorable mentions in all categories click here.

"Músicos" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved.  Honorable Mention in the Performing Arts category.

“Músicos” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved. Honorable Mention in the Performing Arts category.

"Dolls Para la Venta" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved.  Honorable Mention in the Travel category.

“Dolls Para la Venta” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved. Honorable Mention in the Travel category.

"In Praise of Blue" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved.  Honorable Mention in the Photo Journalism category.

“In Praise of Blue” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2014. All rights reserved. Honorable Mention in the Photo Journalism category.

"The Blue Room" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.  Honorable Mention in the Architecture category.

“The Blue Room” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved. Honorable Mention in the Architecture category.

Daguerreotype & Ambrotype Inspired Mirror & Glass iPrints


I first entered the world of iPhoneography after I stumbled across the iPhoneArt.com website. From the moment I opened the site I was hooked. I was blown away by the quality of art shot and edited on iPhones and iPads and displayed on IPA. I found inspiration, encouragement and friendship amongst this group of cutting edge artists. The first time I exhibited my iPhone art was at the LA Mobile Arts Festival in the Santa Monica Art Studios. It was one of the largest curated exhibits of mobile art to date, put on by the founders of iPhoneart.com, Daria Polichetti and Nate Park. The exposure for that event was global and it helped to legitimize the art form and create new opportunities for many of the artists who were on display.

Daria and Nate have decided to bring IPA to the next level and currently have a Kickstarter campaign that is very close to its goal. They have developed Ambrotype inspired iPrints that are printed directly onto glass blocks and Daguerreotype inspired iPrints that are printed directly onto mirrors or aluminum plates.

Check out the Kickstarter video and if you are moved to help them reach their goal, here is the link to the Kickstarter page.

Frozen – Macro Photography and the Ice Age

Since a recent deep freeze has engulfed much of the U.S. over the past week, I decided to take a series of abstract macros of the icy conditions with my iPhone and a Olloclip macro lens. During these severe weather changes a lot of us tend to focus on the negative impacts and inconveniences while few of us pause to consider the beauty that Mother Nature gifts us with in those fleeting moments. So here’s a slideshow of some of the smaller frozen moments that caught my eye, set to my favorite piece of classical music, Debussy’s Claire de Lune.

Black & White Mobile Photography

I have the distinct honor of being one of the Founder Artist’s for the New Era Museum, a collective of some of the best mobile artists across the globe. I am also part of the Founder’s Board, serve as the NEM website administrator, a member of the NEM Artistic Committee, and am Curator for the “NEM black&white” Photo-Action on Eyeem. On occasion I plan to post my selections for the “NEM black&white” submissions here on the blog. My intention is to share some of the amazing mobile art that is being created and to continue to support the mobile photography movement and the artists that are behind it.

Here are my selections for “NEM black&white” 01:



Here is the link to view the gallery on the New Era Museum website: NEM Black&White Gallery 01

Here are my selections for “NEM black&white” 02:



Here is the link to view the gallery on the New Era Museum website: NEM Black&White Gallery 02

If you are a mobile photographer and you would like a chance to have your black and white work featured on the New Era Museum website plus a shout-out across social media, submit your work via the Eyeem mobile app to the album “NEM black&white.” Hope to see your work there soon!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.