Preview: Exposure: A Mobile Photography Exhibition

  • “Dead and Gone,” by Chad Cochran
  • Untitled by Chris Faytle
  • “Homeward,” by Michela Baxter
  • “Imagine the Day Away,” by Nicholas Carron
From the March 14, 2013 edition

Photographer Amy Leibrand has more than 60 photo manipulation applications on her iPhone. In fact, her phone is all she uses when creating her multilayered, otherworldly photos that are feminine and dark. She’s spent more than 20 hours manipulating some of her photos.

Leibrand is one of a fledgling community of mobile photographers, artists who make images with only mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. To showcase the community’s art, Leibrand and CS Gallery owner Daniel Colvin co-curated “Exposure: A Mobile Photography Exhibition.”

The response to the pair’s international call for artists was tremendous — they had to close it after two days because of the response. “Exposure,” up throughout March, features 300 8-inch-by-8-inch photographs by 60 artists, including England’s Sarah Jarrett, the Mobile Photography Awards’ 2013 artist of the year.

“The diversity in subject matter is tremendous, but the look is always similar — kind of vintage, grungy. There’s a muted color palette and an atmospheric look to everything,” Leibrand said.

Also evident in each, she added, is a sense of excitement and experimentation with the new craft.

“The hope is that [‘Exposure’] smashes everybody’s preconceived notions of what mobile photography is,” Leibrand said. “I think people don’t take [mobile photography] seriously until they see what can be experienced.”

Complementing the artwork will be several educational tools about mobile photography, including a timeline of major moments in the mobile photography movement since 2008 and a brochure with a step-by-step tutorial of how one artist makes her mobile photos.

Part of the fun of the form is how much it is furiously evolving. As educated as she is about mobile photography, Leibrand said there’s still a lot she’s pumped to discover.

“I learned a ton working on this show,” she said, “but I’m still super confused about how some artists did what they did. The quality of images is amazing.”

But is it art? Yes. And “Exposure” plans to prove it.