Sandias

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Sandias ((Watermelons) / iPhone 6 Plus / Snapseed

This is not a good photograph. I know that. But I like looking at it. Besides, I’m trying to make a point, here.

No one needs to see all those images you’ve taken just because “film” is essentially free, now, in this digital age.

But you don’t need to dump them all either. You may go through a bunch today and find a gem, something that you can really make something of.

Months later you might go through the same batch and find something totally different but as good or maybe even better.

Anyway, they all have the potential to stir your own memories, your emotions, and thereby add to the soup that is your creativity.

That’s the case with this one. I shot it with my iPhone through a dirty bus window on my way from Merida to Valladolid on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The bus was moving, I had only a split second to grab a shot. No time to mess with settings. No time to think. I just shot it. I’m glad I did.

I’m also happy that I didn’t delete it. Instead, I cleaned it up the best I could, cropped it and tweaked it a bit in Snapseed and allowed my eye and my mind to wander around in it. I remembered the refreshing taste of a cool crisp watermelon on a hot day. I wondered about the people in the image and about their day, their lives. I spotted the bicycle lying on the ground and was reminded of my beloved boyhood bike from so many years ago. I wondered about the person casting a shadow in the left foreground

It takes me back. Back to a time and a place and feelings that might otherwise have slipped away.

No, it’s not a “good” photograph, but I’m glad I have it. I hope you can see past its faults and derive some little pleasure from it, too.

 

 

The Stare

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The Stare / iPhone 4s / Snapseed

An experiment:

Are you wondering who you are as a photographer? Trying to find your own voice, your style? Try this: take a little road, trip or a walk. An hour or two. Carry only a polaroid camera.

Take the same trip with a single, long, lens. Over a period of days, try it with just your smartphone. Then with just a medium lens.

Do it again; this time with a wide angle lens only. Once more; shooting video.

You might even want to try an old super eight movie camera.

Try a couple of cameras you’re most familiar with, then a couple you’re least comfortable with.

Try the most expensive gear you can get your hands on, then the least expensive you can find.

Put them all in one folder on your computer. Leave them for a month or two.

Then go back and look through them. You just might find your true self in the process.

~

“Gosh, I would love to be a better writer, but all I have is a pencil.

Now, if only I had an IBM electric typewriter, or at least a sterling silver Mont Blanc fountain pen with gold filigree, I could write a great novel!”

Sound familiar, photographers?

Prescott, Arizona

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Short post, tonight. Long day, followed by dancing at the Sagebrush Inn. Like regular Taosenos. More tomorrow.

Chapala

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A quiet afternoon on Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico, taken with my iPhone. Or, as I prefer to call it, my iCamera, since I seldom talk on it, but am constantly taking photographs with it. It is, after all, always in my pocket or my hand, ready to freeze a moment in time.

I have been photographing for as long as I’ve been painting. I never cared for darkrooms and smelly chemicals, though. I was for a long time, a taker of photographs, but not a maker of photographs.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Ansel Adams

I used the camera mainly as a sketch book for my career as a painter.

Then the digital age came along and opened photography to me as more than just a way of gathering ideas for my paintings. I could now do the things with my photos that I had not been able to do in a darkroom. And more.

I worked my way through a number of digital cameras, and had a lot of fun. I still used the camera mainly as a sketch tool for my career as a painter. The thought of photography as a second career, however, was slowly invading my thinking.

After all, I’ve been painting full time, now, for fifty years. How could I possibly devote the majority of my time to photography? Increasingly, I began to think of myself as a painter and a photographer.

Then it dawned on me. I am an artist. Whether using a brush or a shutter. or, for that matter, a burnt stick, a pencil, or my finger. Or an app.

Oh, I still paint, but photography, that is, art made on my iPhone or my iPad, after the picture, the sketch, is taken, is increasingly more satisfying to me, somehow.

I know that some of you prefer my paintings to my photos, but I hope you will bear with me for a while. Give the photos a chance to grow on you as they have for me. They are my art, too. I’ll be sharing them here, on this blog, and on Instagram, for the foreseeable future. I don’t know when paintings will come back to the fore, or even if they will.

Meanwhile, I’m planning ways of sharing what I’ve learned, and my enthusiasm, my passion for mobile, smart phone, camera phone photography, or, as it’s most popularly known, iPhoneography.

I will be offering photo workshops and photo tours, and combining them with my love of travel.

This blog will become a way of explaining, sharing, teaching, discussing, and exposing my followers to my photography, and, specifically, the world of iPhoneography.

Wow! It’s great to be back!

I’m Back!

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Whew! I took a day off, it turned into a few days, then weeks, then months. I have been busy, though. Since my last post, I’ve traveled in Argentina, Uruguay, Panamá, and Guatemala.

When my long time favorite blogging app, Blogsy, stopped working due to changes in the iOS operating system on the iPhone and iPad making it no longer feasible for the developer to keep up, I was at a loss. I wasn’t familiar, at that point with using the WordPress software, which I found rather non-intuitive and confusing, and had started posting photographs to Instagram every day, which I found to be much easier, so I just went with it. And time slipped away.

I’ve been back in Taos since early May, and have managed to stay extremely busy. Thea and I led a six day photo tour through the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni reservations, and I’ve been photographing rodeos and Taos Pueblo and, of course, street photography like crazy.

At the same time, I’ve been working feverishly on putting together a series of new workshops and tours. I’ll be announcing them soon, and opening them for pre-registration. I hope you will stay tuned and keep an eye out here and on Instagram for the news.

I’ve also been working on a new website which has been keeping my nose firmly applied to the grindstone. It still is, in fact. More on that coming soon, as well.

If you are still signed up, and receive this post, I would really appreciate a quick “still here” message from you in the comment section below. Thank you in advance.

I’m happy to report that WordPress seems much more accessible than the last time I tried it. I will try and keep this blog going, now, as well as Instagram and the new website. I am thinking of maybe combining my old When a Painter Snaps blog with this one, and possibly moving it all to a new spot on my website, thereby making the archives of all three more readily accessible. We’ll see. Somewhere, though, I do want to get a daily blog moving again.

The image above is a self portrait taken in the mirror of a Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestler) mask display, while passing through Mexico last November.

Until tomorrow….

John

 

 

THE LION AND THE DUCK

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THE LION AND THE DUCK / Parque Unidad Latinoamericana / Palermo Viejo / Buenos Aires, Argentina / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

RED HORSE

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RED HORSE / Palermo Viejo / Buenos Aires, Argentina / iPad Air 2 / Snapseed

It’s been a while since I posted a found still life, one of my favorite things to make with a camera. I just happened to have my iPad in my hand when I glanced down and saw this accidental or unintended arrangement on the table in my Buenos Aires apartment. Like they say, the best camera is the one you have atbhand.