Film Discusses Themes of Digital Darkroom Exhibit

PHOTOGRAPHERS. An original documentary film explaining the theme of the Digital Darkroom exhibit at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles might change your thinking about the role of the camera and image-editing software in photographic art.

The Digital Darkroom exhibit (which runs until May 28, 2012) is a group show that explores how 17 artists from the United States, France and the United Kingdom have manipulated digital photographs to create “altered realities.”

The 25-minute film includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with 9 photographers in the exhibit: Pierre Beteille, Joel Grimes, Bonny Pierce Lhotka, Jean-François Rauzier, Martine Roch, Brooke Shaden, Stanley Smith, Maggie Taylor, and Jerry Uelsmann. Insights are also provided by the curatorial advisor for the Digital Darkroom Exhibit: Russell Brown, a senior creative director at Adobe Systems Incorporated.

What impressed me about the film is that all of the artists seemed to start out knowing the type of image they wanted to create. It wasn’t about image manipulation simply for the sake of experimentation. Rather, they used image-editing tools to complete an image they already had in mind.

The photographers in the film regard the camera as a starting point for expressing “altered realities” and illusions that exist in their dreams and imaginations. The manipulated digital images depict surreal personal visions and merge fantasy with the real world.  Some works blur the lines between photography, painting, and illustration.

The film emphasizes that the unprecedented tools and capabilities we have today have led to “an explosion of creativity.” As Brown points out, artists now are creating the types of imagery that has never before been possible in the history of art.

But the exhibit (and the film) underscore that it’s not the technology that is creating the magic. It’s the talent behind the tools that make certain images resonate.

In addition to viewing the featured documentary about The Digital Darkroom exhibit, you can watch a 3D film about 3D photography. A 2D version of the 3D film is available for those who don’t have access to 3D glasses.


About the Annenberg Space for Photography

Online Video:  The Digital Darkroom


Annenberg Space for Photography to Display Altered Realities

The Art of Photography Show Can Help You Get Exposure

PHOTOGRAPHERS. Entries are now being accepted for the eighth annual Art of Photography Show in San Diego, California. Entering the show gives you the opportunity to have your work viewed by an acclaimed museum curator and be considered for a physical gallery exhibition that attracts tens of thousands of people.

In addition, cash awards totalling $10,000 are given to the 15 top participants.

  • First Place Award: $2,000
  • Second Place Award: $1,600
  • Third Place Award: $1,200
  • Fourth Place Award: $800
  • Honorable Mentions (11): $400

The judge for the 2012 Art of Photography Show is Julian Cox, the curator of photography and chief curator at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Images created using any form of photography will be accepted for consideration, including:

  • images shot on film
  • images shot digitally
  • images that have been unaltered
  • digitally manipulated images
  • alternative-process prints
  • mixed-media works
  • montages
  • photograms

All entries must be submitted as a digital file in the JPEG format. The entry fee is $25 for the first entry, and $10 for each additional entry. A 25% discount is available for entries submitted by February 14. The deadline for all entries is midnight PST, June 30, 2012.

If your entry is among the top 200 chosen by Julian Cox, you will be notified via e-mail on August 7 and your work will be permanently displayed on The Art of Photography website.

Gallery Exhibition Attracts Potential Buyers

From the 200 top entries, Cox will select around 100 images to be displayed is the physical gallery exhibition that will run from September 29 through November 11, 2012.

Being in the top 200 means that all artists will have earned the same level of achievement, explains Art of Photography Show founder Steven Churchill, “But the judge will curate which images fit best together in the physical gallery space.”

The Art of Photography Show in San Diego, California is viewed by tens of thousands of people, including more than 1,500 collectors, business owners, architects and designers, and high net-worth residents who attend the show’s opening gala.  All of the top images are published in the catalog that is distributed to at the opening-night gala and other events held in conjunction with the show.

“The 2011 competition surpassed all expectations, attracting entries from 72 countries,” says Churchill.  “About 30,000 people viewed the exhibit, and we are expecting an even bigger response to The Art of Photography Show in 2012.”

“Our goal is to provide as many tangible benefits as possible to the exhibiting artists,” he adds. “The cash awards, accolades, media coverage, and sales revenue that we provide to artists who are selected by our acclaimed judges are substantial.”

The winning entries in the 2011 Art of Photography Show can be viewed on The Art of Photography website.

What Makes a Photograph Art?

If you’re curious about how a top curator evaluates images submitted to The Art of Photography Show, read the transcript of the radio interview that Maureen Cavanaugh conducted on KPBS with Natasha Egan, the associate director/curator, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Egan recalls that as she went through the process, “I absolutely just went for what images stuck with me.” She says that when a certain image stayed with her longer than the others, she realized that “There’s something in that picture that is holding me to it. I want to look at it longer. I want to figure it out.” She also asked herself, “Does it grab beyond me? Is it something more viewers would also benefit from seeing?”

While she didn’t make a conscious effort to select works that would represent a variety of categories, Egan said, “There is a very large diversity of what a curator is attracted to.”


Website: The Art of Photography Show

Prospectus for Entrants

Testimonials from Artists in Previous Shows

Award Winning Entries in 2011 Art of Photography Show

Radio Interview: What Makes a Photograph Art?
Maureen Cavanaugh interviews Natasha Egan, the museum curator who judged the sixth annual Art of Photography Show.


Ring In Creative New Year with Studio b Camera Phone Event

Start the New Year with a creative bang by participating in the fourth annual camera phone photography contest sponsored by studio b. From midnight on December 31, 2011 until midnight on January 1, 2012, use the camera in your iPhone (or any other smartphone) to shoot your activities or whatever captures your fancy during the dawning of the brand-new year.

“Shoot your life, your food, your dog—anything and everything,” urges Colleen Duffley, the world-class advertising and editorial photographer who founded studio b. “The only rule is that all images must be shot with a camera phone.”

There are no fees, and you can enter as many images as you like. Identify each image with your name, the title of the shot, and where you took the shot. Send your images to by Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Some images will be selected for inclusion on studio b’s pioneering Light Impressions exhibition which showcases the work of 40 of the world’s best smartphone photographers on 40 iPads. Slideshows from contest participants are also posted on studio b’s website where they may be viewed by some of the influential editors, artists, and designers Colleen befriended during her long, globe-trotting career in photography. In addition to being featured in the online gallery, some images will be printed and displayed in studio b’s art gallery.

The goal of the event is to help show how people of all ages are using their camera-phones as instruments of creativity.

What is studio b?

Located on the picturesque Emerald Coast of Florida’s Panhandle, studio b is an inspirational learning environment for all things creative. Participatory events, seminars, classes, and lectures bring together best-of-the-best pros from around the world with knowledge-seekers of all ages and backgrounds. Studio b programs have included hands-on learning experiences in photography, art, literature, fashion, design, music, and the culinary arts.

For example, attendees have learned how to cook pieorogies, build a bamboo bike, sew, paint, and sculpt. They have experimented with clay and other mediums and techniques such as encaustics, a painting method that involves pigmented beeswax. Studio b attendees have learned about cooking from a James Beard- award-winning chef and organic olive oil grower from Italy and held Q-and-A sessions with the director of a film that won an award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The idea for studio b originated as Colleen struck up friendships with some amazingly talented people while she traveled the world shooting images of food, fashion, and homes for magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Elle Décor, Bon Appetit and commercial clients such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Neiman Marcus, and Doral Resort and Spa.

She often wished some of her other friends could have joined in these memorable experiences. So Colleen decided that the best way to make this happen was to invite some of the friends she met during photography shoots to give events at studio b.

Last October, Martie McGuire and Emily Robison from the Dixie Chicks spent a week at studio b writing music for the next CD to be released by their new band, The Courtyard Hounds.

They performed some of the new songs and mingled with a small group of music lovers who gathered at studio b for what turned out to be a fun and interactive evening.

Like other program-presenters, Emily Robinson found the “studio b experience” to be just as stimulating as the attendees did. In a letter to Colleen, Emily wrote:“For artists of any kind, finding new ways to be inspired is essential to our existence…or at least our work.” She says that after meeting Colleen on a project and learning of her other passion, Studio b, “It was clear to me how much we had in common. I, too, was at a point in my life where I was looking for that plan b…a way to be inspired, try new creative things and learn from other creative people’s work.” She says, “Studio b is a beautiful place for all of these things to come together, which is why we love being a part of the b.”

The Light Impressions Exhibit

Although studio b hosts many non-photography-related events, the camera-phone contest was the first event ever conducted by studio b. When Colleen launched it four years ago, the cameras in phones weren’t nearly as robust as they are today. Yet she could easily imagine how life-changing camera phones might one day become.

Others could see the possibilities too, because that first contest attracted more than 1,000 entries from all over the world. The first entry arrived at 6 pm U.S. Eastern time, from a photographer in Spain.

Last year, as the iPhoneography movement really started to take off, Colleen decided to take the image-sharing event to the next level. So, she created a “Light Impressions” installation, in which 13 selected works from 40 iPhoneographers play as slideshows on 40 iPads. The iPads are mounted on a piece of metal salvaged from the buildings ruined by a Gulf Coast hurricane.

“Because the images are always moving, the Light Impressions exhibit itself is always changing,” Colleen says. “No matter how many times you look at it, you see it differently.”

Some images currently displayed on Light Impressions came from studio B’s call for entries. Others were supplied by 20 artists who have already become known for their pioneering work in iPhoneography art.

“It’s remarkable to see how much the quality of camera-phone photography has improved since that first contest,” observes Colleen.

This year, the Light Impressions exhibit will be shown in: Miami, Florida; Birmingham and Florence, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin and Dallas, Texas before being transported oversees for exhibitions in London and Manchester, England; Dublin and Cork, Ireland; and points beyond.

B Inspired! Join the Community

Colleen Duffley believes creativity brings strength and confidence to everyone, which is why she is so excited that people from age 9 to 90 participate in the annual camera-phone imaging contest and other studio b. events.

You don’t have to live in Florida to be part of the studio b. community. To learn about other opportunities to participate in 2012, visit the studio b. website and sign up for their newsletter.

In the newsletter, studio b. will be announcing some international trips that will enable you to enjoy the types of amazing experiences Duffley had on some of her photography assignments.

She still loves doing photography assignments, because photography is her passion. But she also loves the assignments because they continue to bring more people in to the b.

Colleen Duffley is fully committed to helping many more artists experience opportunities they might not otherwise have. When you join the studio “b-list” to receive the newsletter and other announcements, you will have the chance to experience some “a-list” events.


PDF: How to Enter Studio b’s New Year’s Eve Camera Phone Event

About studio b.

Colleen Duffley Photography

Meet the Artists Featured in Light Impressions


Galleries and Print Providers Help Showcase iPhone Photos

The iPhone is leveling the playing field in photography, proving that creating photographic art is less about the cost and complexity of the camera and software used and more about
the eye and vision of the photographer.

Now that millions of iPhone images are shot and processed each day, expect to see more iPhone art displayed on the walls of galleries and homes. Here are some news items that substantiate the growing popularity and versatility of iPhoneography.

CanvasPop Offers Instagram Photo Prints on Canvas

CanvasPop Multi-Image Layout of Instagram photo printsThe community of iPhone photographers who use the Instagram app to enhance and share images captured on their iPhones has surpassed 12 million. So far, they have shared more than 150 million images and uploaded 1.3 million images a day.

By integrating the Instagram API on their website, CanvasPop is making it simple for Instagram
users to have their favorite shots converted into gallery-wrapped canvas
prints. Two sizes are offered: 12 x 12 inch ($29.95) or 20 x 20 inch ($59.95).


Instagram Photo Printing

Bumblejax Mounts on iPhone Prints on Acrylic, Bamboo,or Aluminum

Bumblejax Bamboo Wall Art from Hipstamatic PhotoIf you shoot with the Hipstamatic or Instagram apps on your iPhone, you can get some of your best images output for wall display through The digital-printing experts at Bumblejax can enlarge, print, and mount the iPhone-captured images in two sizes: 12 x 12 and 18 x 18 inches.The images can
be mounted (frame-free) on your choice of acrylic (plexi), aluminum, gatorboard,
or bamboo (shown here).



Bumblejax Handcrafted Wall Art from Hipstamatic and Instagram Photos

Pixels & Pigment Show Opens at Renaissance Fine Art & Design Gallery

Pixels and Pigment Show at Renaissance GalleryArtists from throughout the U.S. submitted iPhone images for display in the “Pixels & Pigment” exhibition that runs from November 25 through December 30, 2010 at the Renaissance Gallery in Carmel, Indiana.

The Heartland Printworks division of Virtu Fine Art Services output many of the images for the display at a 9 x 9 inch size on Crane Museo Max Archival Fine Art paper. The matted prints are displayed in 12 x 12-inch frames.


Pixels & Pigment: 1st Annual Holiday Show of Small iPhone Works

Last Pixel Show Offers iPhoneography and Printing Workshop Dec. 2-4

One iPhone artist featured in the Pixels & Pigment Show is professional photographer Harry Sandler. To help others advance creative photography skills on the iPhone and iPad, he joined force with iPhoneographer Teri Lou Dantzler to form The Last Pixel Show.

In conjunction with the Pixels & Pigment Show at the Renaissance Gallery, Harry and Terri Lou will be presenting a three-day intermediate-level workshop on iPhone photography and printing.

The first two days of the workshop (December 2 and 3) will be devoted to iPhone/iPad capture and processing, with an emphasis on new techniques and applications. Digital asset management, the iOS5 upgrade, and the iCloud will also be covered. On December
4, you will learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop to prepare iPhone images for professional printing. Each student will receive a print to take home.


Last Pixel Show Intermediate iPhone Photography Workshop: December 2-4

Gallery Displays Works of 40 iPhoneographers on 40 iPads 

In a show entitled “Light Impressions: A Celebration of iPhone Photography,”studio b in Alys Beach, Florida displayed the works of 40 different iPhone photographers on a custom-built display that held 40 iPads.

Image of 40 iPads displaying iPhone artwork at studio b
Light Impressions exhibit shows works of 40 iPhone-ographers on 40 iPads at studio b

Each iPad2 was assigned to one of the 40 photographers, and showed 13 photos from that artist’s collection.  The images were presented in a slideshow configuration, looping at different intervals. Another iPad was used to stream the entire show online over studio b’s website.

Photographer Colleen Duffley, the founder and owner of studio b, says iPhone photography is mind-blowing and wonderful: “It’s a very pure art form—far more about the creativity than about expensive gear or intricate techniques.” While iPhone photography is still an emerging art form, she said some visitors to the “Light Impressions” show commented that they felt like they were seeing the future.


About studio b

The Artists Featured in Light Impressions

Watch Presentations from First Conference on iPhoneography

The world’s first conference and iPhone and mobile-device photography was held on October 22, 2011. The conference was named “1197” to commemorate the fact that the first camera-phone photo was taken on June 11, 1997. The conference was presented by the research and design firm Bolt Peters and Blurb, which offers a streamlined process for creating books from Instagram photos.

The conference was attended by 351 people—290 who attended the conference in person at the Mission Bay conference center and 61 who attended remotely.

The presentations included:

  • How the Camera Phone Changed the World, by Philippe Kahn, the creator of the first camera phone
  • iPhone Photography: Why Should We Care? by Jessica Zollman,
    Instagram community evangelist
  • App Stacking for Image Creation on Your Phone by Dan Marcolina, author of the book “iPhone Obsessed”
  • Shoot Now, App Questions Later by Dan Rubin, a designer, programmer, writer, and singer
  • The Camera Phone and the Pro Photographer by Lauren Lemon, one
    of Mashable’s Top 15 Instagram photographers
  • No Limits: Mobile-Reporting from Afghanistan with the Basetrack Project by Teru Kuwayama, the 2010 TED Fellow who shot iPhone photos
    of the war in Afghanistan
  • Visual Storytelling by Richard Koci Hernandez, professor of journalism at the University of California-Berkeley and Dan Cristea, product/graphic designer

All of these presentations can be viewed at the 1197 site on Vimeo.


1197 Conference

Videos of Presentations at 1197 Conference on iPhoneography and Mobile Photography


New Resources Help Photographers Become iPhone-ographers


Photographer Jack Spencer Says Follow Your Own Muse

PHOTOGRAPHERS. ARTISTS. On my Great Output blog, I published a post about a remarkable photographer, Jack Spencer, who will have a solo exhibition at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina throughout the month of March. Entitled “This Land,” the exhibition will feature precisely crafted archival pigment prints of landscapes that Spencer shot while traveling some of the back roads throughout the U.S. and Canada.  

Spencer, who resides in Nashville, TN, is a self-taught photographer whose work is included in many collections, including The Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Berkeley Museum of Art, and Elton John’s photography collection.

He regards printing as an integral part of his art, and says he “rarely allows the camera to dictate the final expression. For many works, the camera simply provides information and a starting point.”

Jack Spencer Photograph of Woodland Path, Cumberland 22
Cumberland 22, 20 x 24-in. Archival Pigment Print. ©Jack Spencer,

I wasn’t the first writer to ask him what advice he would give to other photographers and artists who may be just starting out. He told me that his own career has taken a circuitous route that has been the result of many trials and errors “that have been fascinating in and of themselves. My mistakes gave me their own rewards…my successes gave me theirs.”

So, he advises photographers and artists to “Follow your own muse. Find your own distinct voice. And don’t ask anyone’s permission to be an artist.”

“Art involves honest expression. It should be something you do—not to make money or gain fame or notoriety or attention,” says Spencer. “Too many people construct obstacles to the ‘flow’ by second guessing what others will think or whether or not it will be successful or whether or not it is weird enough to set itself apart.” He believes that type of thinking has nothing to do with art.

He advises photographers to “Look for images that ‘shimmer’—not just on the print, but through the viewfinder as well. If an artwork shimmers, it has soul.”

Jack Spencer photograph of Two Wild Horses
Two Wild Horses, Cumberland Island, 22, 20 x 24-in. Archival Pigment Print. ©Jack Spencer,

On his website, he explains why he believes artists should be infinitely curious and not be afraid to risk trying something new: “Playing it safe is for brain surgeons, not artists. Fear inhibits curiosity and creativity.”

When you visit his site, you’ll see a rich and wonderfully varied body of work.

“I do not believe that as an artist, I should repeat myself,” Spencer says.”I don’t think a writer should write the same novel over and over, or a musician should write the same song over and over. ..Our world is so vast and there is so much to explore.”

To see more of Jack Spencer’s beautiful work, visit:

To learn more about the Rebekah Jacob Gallery and its in-depth focus on modern art and photography of the American South, visit


Jack Spencer Prints To Be Shown at Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, SC

Four iPhone Photographers to Exhibit Work at Austin Gallery

PHOTOGRAPHERS. To celebrate the wide range of photography styles that can be created with different types of iPhone apps, the Studio2Gallery in Austin, Texas will exhibit the work of four i-Phone-ographers: Leon Alesi, Catherine McMillan, Carol Schiraldi, and Tina Weitz.  Entitled “Appa-ritions,” the exhibit will open Feb. 12 and run through March 5.

iPhone photo by CarolSchiraldi

The idea for the exhibit came about after four well-seasoned photographers started exploring the boundaries of iPhone photography and what types of art could be created using the iPhone camera and some of its apps.

Carol Schiraldi, the artist whose work is shown here, says, “My iPhone has put the fun of photography back into my hands.  It’s small, it’s sleek, it’s sexy.  It’s easy to operate and easy to get away with.  I love the joy of discovering new apps like Camera Bag, Plastic Bullet and Hipstamatic.  I love Shake It Polaroid and the fake Tilt-Shift app.”

She likes that the iPhone allows artistic vision to go from concept to finished product in a second or two: “No Photoshop, no darkroom, no chemicals, no expense of films and such, only that vision come to life…Never before has a camera allowed me to be so productive while freeing me from the shackles of being a technician.”

Tina Wirtz, who owns the Studio2Gallery says, “I began to use my iPhone camera to fill in for those moments I did not have my high tech equipment on hand.  As I continued to use the iPhone, a new love developed.  I discovered the apps. I had lamented the departing of Polaroid Time Zero film almost four years ago, but found the new joy of Shake It, a beautiful tribute to the contrast and color of Polaroid.  You even get the nostalgic click and whir.”

To read the artists’ statements of each four photographers and see more of their work, visit the Upcoming Events section of the Studio2Gallery website.