Tag Archives: The App Whisperer

Honored – Best Mobile Photography and Art Images of 2013

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

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

I am honored to have my iPhone photograph “In Praise of Blue” chosen by The App Whisperer as one of the “Best Mobile Photography and Art Images of 2013.” The honored images were culled from 5,500 favorites of an original 71,000 submissions and feature some of the very best mobile photographers from around the globe.

You can view the slideshow of the amazing collection of honored images here:

http://theappwhisperer.com/2014/01/05/the-best-mobile-photography-and-art-images-of-2013-theappwhisperer/

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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!


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.


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.


An Ocean Full of Muses

In the psychological realm of dream interpretation, water is the harbinger of “emotion.” In the world of creativity, emotion is the motivator for the creation of meaningful art.

A “muse” is a person or object that provides creative inspiration to another. Whenever I wander along the shoreline, emotion makes its way to surface and I am transported into that deep creative mental space of artistic possibility.

I become embraced by an ocean full of muses.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Blue Tide” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfecly clr, wood camera, scratchcam, snapseed

As I walk in the soft sand, I find myself hypnotized by the waves lapping at the shoreline and am somehow transported to another, simpler time in life.

I breathe more deeply.

I walk a bit more slowly.

I feel embraced by this endless body of water.

I feel powerful and so peaceful at the same time.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Pathway to the Sea” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfectly clr, wood cam, scratchcam, lens light, modern grunge

From the North coast of California’s rocky formations formed over time by harsh winds and churning waves, to the white sands and azure blue waters of the Caribbean or Hawaii, I have been moved and touched by the oceans power quite often and with depth.

The ocean has been the place I have journeyed to when life became too stressful. It became my “safe place” in the midst of staring down my ugly childhood during therapy. It became my “happy place” when my son was young and I could sit for hours and watch him build castles in the sand and dodge the tide as it rolled onto shore. It has become my “creative space” in later life whenever I need to find my muse.

The following images are iPhoneography pieces I created after a recent trip to Northern California’s beautiful coast. The rocky shorelines found there are hypnotic and mysterious and have a way of conjuring mental images that at times exist outside the “norm.”

As I wandered those beautiful beaches, I found myself wondering about the people who have wandered there before me. I could of course peruse the historical photographic archives of the area in order to quell my curiosity, but why do that when I have such a vivid imagination?

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Rubber Band Man” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, perfectly clr, snapseed, wood camera, picture show, scratchcam

“Rubber Band Man” was featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone on May 19th. The pixels site can be viewed here. If you view this blog post after May 20th, you can do a search for “Tracy Thomas” and you will find the list of my images that have been featured on Pixels over the last several months.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “On Pointe” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, filter mania, picture show, scratchcam, modern grunge

“On Pointe” was chosen for Pixels: The Art of the iPhone on May 19th and was chosen as the “Pic of the Day” for Pixels this morning. You can view it here. (Again, just do a search for “Tracy Thomas” if you are reading this after May 20th).

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “An Elephant’s Kiss” – Apps used: 645 pro, juxtaposer, wood camera, scratchcam, photoforge2

“An Elephant’s Kiss” made it into The App Whisperer’s Top 10 Showcase this morning and can be seen here. This piece was also chosen as a feature on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone this morning, here (click on Previous Entries at bottom of the page if it is no longer on the first page).