SEATTLE – Forty square-shaped photographs neatly hang from a wall at Zeitgeist Coffee in Pioneer Square. It might seem like any other Seattle art show, but this one is a little different.
“The cool part is that all of these were done on a mobile phone, on a smart phone,” organizer Brad Puet tells a couple admiring the photos.
Most of the photographers who contributed to the exhibit have limited photography experience. They first started taking pictures with their iPhones.
“It’s in your pocket every second,” said Alan Durnwirth, who has four photos in the display. “You see something, you point and shoot.”
Most of the artists started sharing their images through Instagram, a popular program that allows people to take and edit mobile-phone pictures. Bridgette Shima even started a group called Seattle Instagrammers.
“It really opened my world to meeting different people,” Shima said. “It’s a way for me to get creative without having to spend too much time.”
With the incredible growth of smart phones, a large percentage of the population could be considered amateur photographers. Nearly 400 billion photos are taken a year. More than one billion have been uploaded to Instagram.
There’s even in international collective of mobile artists called JUXT. The art show at Zeitgeist is celebrating JUXT’s one-year anniversary.
Sarah Lovrien, an experienced professional photographer, dove into the mobile-phone photography world last year. Her phone camera is opening up a whole new world.
“I like to call it a sketch book,” she said.
While she knows some pros question the quality of such photos, Lovrien is embracing the new technology.
“It’s all about providing an accessible art form,” she said. “Digital photography used to be something where you needed a really bit camera and it was really expensive and it wasn’t something people thought they could do in their everyday lives.”
The photo exhibit at Zeitgeist Coffee runs through February 5. Seattle Instagrammers will also take part in a photo walk, which will start at Zeitgeist, on January 26th. For more information, visit www.wearejuxt.com.
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