FortWorthography: The iPhone Photography of Kevin Buchanan
I live and work in Fort Worth, Texas. For those who don’t know, Fort Worth is 30 miles west and worlds apart from our more famous neighbor to the east, Dallas. I have lived here for 30 years and I truly believe that Fort Worth is the quiet gem of North Texas. Seriously, if Chuck Norris would have picked Fort Worth instead of Dallas for “Walker, Texas Ranger”, y’all would be sayin’ Fort Worth/Dallas like some of us prefer to say here in Tarrant County.
Fort Worth is a very cool, very cultured city and takes any opportunity to inundate you with art and beer — whenever possible at the same time. This weekend, the Near Southside neighborhood threw another one of these artistic block parties called the Spring Arts Goggle. There on Magnolia Avenue, blogger and iPhoneographer Kevin Buchanan displayed the first brick and mortar exhibit of iPhoneography prints in Fort Worth, Texas.
I’d been reading Kevin’s blog FortWorthology for years and never put two and two together that he was also the iPhoneographer who posts to Life In LoFi’s Flickr group. We walked into Creative Magma and were immediately welcomed by Kevin. It was a pleasure to meet and talk shop with him between print sales and before the rush hit.
“There’s a saying in photography: “the best camera is the one you have with you.” For me, that’s quite often the camera on my iPhone 4. Far from a mere snapshot taker, the iPhone’s camera is quite capable of creating real art, as odd as that may sound. With this exhibition, I tried to express the potential of the iPhone as an instrument of artistic expression, and to capture the world as I see it.
“I’ve just been wanting to expand my photographic work after so many years doing architecture & interiors, and the iPhone has helped tremendously by opening up some interesting creative avenues via various apps, and by virtue of it always being there,” says Kevin. “I’m working on expanding my work to include all sorts of new things – concert & event stuff, portraits and models, that sort of thing – and am bringing the iPhone to all of it, just trying to push it as far as I can.”
The images Kevin had on display ranged from the urban to the remote, spanning the state of Texas from Fort Worth and Dallas to Austin and Marfa, including a couple that had been previously selected for Life In LoFi’s Faved on Flickr. Kevin shoots with other apps, but for consistency, this exhibit only featured some of his Hipstamatic works.
I asked Kevin afterwards how people reacted to his photography, especially after they found out it was shot on an iPhone.
“A lot of disbelief from most folks â€“ a lot of people have never thought of the iPhone as a creative tool. It’s something they’ve just been using for snaps and such. I just tell them it’s all a matter of learning the capabilities and limitations of the device an bending/warping it to your needs.”
Kevin Buchanan is the creator of FortWorthology.com, which promotes urban revitalization in Fort Worth. He is also the owner of Diabolical Machines, a Fort Worth iOS software company. He works as a photographer in both digital and film and runs a daily photoblog at Tomorrowville.net.