MPA Exhibit - Shadow Stories

Robert Clay

There were over 1000 images submitted for consideration for the exhibit “Shadow Stories,” that was juried by an international group consisting of Sharon Reaves, USA, Dan Cristea, Canada, and Cedric Blanchon, France, who recently won the title of Mobile Artist of the Year.

The digital premiere of “Shadow Stories” took place at the SOHO ArtHouse in New York on May 20, 2014. From this collection of 75 digital images, 26 have been selected and will later this year in June on display at the Holcim Gallery, in Toronto from June 9 through the 28 of this year.

John Puah

Many of the photographs are very traditional to the classical Black & White images of the last century, proving that exceptional photography can be achieved with a mobile smartphone. 

There are a number of the 26 photographs I personal favor. Dilshad Corleon’s boxing ring image is so reminiscent of the great Arthur Fellig, also known as ‘Weegee’ and that of the late 40s and 50s when press photographers with 4X5 Graflex cameras would wait for that knock out punch. Then there is David Ingraham’s composite photograph, that with a little imagination reminds me of the Russian Reconstructivism period of the 20s and the graphic posters making use of varied angles between image and typography.

Sheldon Serkin’s image of a girl holding a very large blow-up doll of Batman is evocative of “Boy with Hand Grande” by Diane Arbus, while Colin Secitt’s night time photograph brings to mind the André Kertész or Henri Cartier-Breson. 

Robin Robertis

There is certainly nothing wrong that any these images have a similarity to the style of these photographers. It simply demonstrates that good photography is timeless.

Two other photographs I favor of these 26 are by Cara Gallardo Weil and Robin Robertis. The strong composition and the various elements comprising the shot of buildings, scaffolding and workers, keep the eye moving and when one squints at the image, the shapes take on a Mondrian like appearance. While the opposite is true for Robin Robertis’ flowing folds of fabric captured under water, appearing as if a weightless angel descends from the heavens above.

Jason Peterson


Kaily Koutsogiannis

Cara Gallardo Weil

David Ingraham

Jose Luis Barcia Fernandez

Heather Mcalister

Sheldon Serkin

Bernard Schembri

David Booker

Helen Breznik

Souichi Furusho

Erin Mcgean Cindric

Felix Lim

Brett Chenoweth

Michel Koralewski

Chris Sallquist

Rob DePaolo

Massimo Scavazzini

Scott Strazzante

Eloise Capet

Adria Ellis

Colin Sevitt

If you wish to see the 75 images from the digital review at the SOHO ArtHouse, click here.


Passport to My Neighborhood -
Trades People & Their Customers

This last Thursday, along with four other mobile photographers I gave a presentation at San Francisco’s Raykco Photo Center which hosted OpenShowSF. The curated theme of the evenings presentation was about a collection of photographs of narrative in nature and that the collection was accomplished with a smartphone.

Having just earlier in May hosted the EyeEm Global PhotoWalk in San Francisco’s Chinatown, in which I had primarily focused my iPhone on trades people and their customers. I felt I had the perfect series, even though there were plenty of other images from previous visits I could choose from. Besides all the photographs were taken with the new Hipstamatic ‘First Friday of the Month’ release of the Monti HipstaPak, which was just released the day before.

While my subject was trades people, it would still be street photography and with a more narrow and definite focus, I would need to be more intimate with my subjects, while remaining mostly invisible to my subject, as I try to get as close as possible.

An issue for many photographers who shot in Chinatown is that the Chinese do not like being photographed and are leery of government officials incognito collecting evidence of improprieties. While this proves challenging, it is not impossible to capture a few gems.

So this calls for some creative thinking and a technique I employ, is to place my iPhone 4S against the stores window, allowing me to look behind the counter and observe the trade person’s activities. That particular weekend I decided to use two of my OlloClip attachments, in particular the wide angle for greater depth and a wide scope of a small confined area. Depending on the situation encountered, I would switch between the 3-in-1 wide angle and the 2X telephoto with a polarizer, which was also added to the wide angle lens for consistency in color saturation. 

Back home, reviewing the days captures, I felt the Hipstamatic lens Sergio from the Monti HipstaPak produced too much of a yellow ochre tint. This would need to be toned down in post production to acceptable levels by desaturating the image, including selectively altering the level of the yellow, while retaining enough color to be considered a color photograph.

San Francisco Chinatown provides many opportunities for a photographer search of a long term project. One can spend days covering the alleys and side streets, including the hidden entrances that may lead one inside an apartment building or behind a building fire escape that takes one to the roof top for a different perspective. Even the space between the other building in the rear and the varied architecture, a mix of Western early 20th Century with Chinese decorative detail and trim. And let us not forget the different markets, butchers and fish mongers, and of course the very inhabitants themselves.

Over the last two years in which I have covered San Francisco Chinatown, I have slowly uncovered some of the layers, the very rhythm, the heart beat of a small section of town, only four blogs long and a handful of side streets.

There are two main streets that run parallel, Stockton and the other Grant Street, two streets that are different as night and day. Focusing primarily on Stockton Street because that is where the Chinese engage in their daily activities and when tourists are not around, it can feel like being in a foreign world of language and sounds.

The other street, Grant Street with its grand entrance gate, is strictly geared for the tourist trade with its souvenir trinkets, most of which is mass produced in China, is piled on top of one another. In the end, I prefer to focus on a culture that has carved out an existence along side other diverse and indifferent cultures in a city of multi-ethnicities.

The other four presenters that evening were; Julie Gebhardt, Bianca Tummings, Petyr Campos, and Erika Rae Langdon. If you are interested in having your work considered check out OpenShow for one in your location and what is being sought by going to their website OpenShow.

OpenShowSF website
OpenShowSF FaceBook page
Rayko Photo Center website
OlloClip website

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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