Saturday, March 30, 2013

Painting a Scene with a Cell Phone Camera

Posted by Deirdre Oakley, CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO --  I can't tell you how many times I've happened upon a scene worth photographing and thought "I wish I had my camera". But like many of us today I always have my cell phone, although I have yet to master its camera. Still, when I attempted to take pictures with it at the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference reception in Carolina, Puerto Rico last fall something interesting happened. It was a wall-to-wall crowd, the light was terrible, and the local dancers and musicians were moving fast. It would have been difficult to take decent photographs even with my 35mm. Ironically, however, what came out of my cell phone were splashes of brightly colored but blurry and grainy images, some of which looked almost like paintings. I still don't know how that happened but I guess sometimes bad cell phone photos can make for some interesting paintings.

Deirdre Oakley is the Editor of Social Shutter and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University. You can contact her at

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