Mobile Photography and Art – A Picture’s Worth with Meri Walker

A Picture’s Worth‘… is where we ask mobile photographers that have created powerful mobile photography/art to explain the processes they took. This includes their initial thoughts as to what they wanted to create, why they wanted to create it, how they created it, including all apps used and what they wanted to convey. We also ask these incredible artists to explain their emotions and how the image projects those feelings. We have published a few A Picture’s Worth articles recently, if you have missed those – please go here.

In this A Picture’s Worth today we asked Meri Walker to tell us more about her image “It’s Nobody’s Fault”. Walker has detailed her thoughts below, we think you’ll find this invaluable…

“Recovering, slowly, from a bout of shingles, I’ve been humbled all summer by pain. And really grateful that my case has been a relatively “light” one. Any worse might have taken me right out.

Throughout the recovery process, I’ve been relying – even more than usual – on my iPhone camera and my little “pocket studio” to help me to find my way through pain and focus on what’s beautiful about life.

Even without the shingles, like many people, I live with chronic arthritic pain. I also share in a widespread sense of disappointment and sadness as symptoms of climate change escalate and deep fissures in civil society continue to widen across the globe. Sometimes it’s all I can do to simply breathe deeply in the midst of the chaos. Such was the case when I was making “It’s Nobody’s Fault.”

Listening to friends’ recent rants about their personal challenges – and their big-picture grief about climate change and social/political violence – catapulted me late one night in mid-August into a deeply meditative state. In the meditation, I saw how each of us “fuels the fire” when we stoop to blaming one another for a global system of consequences we have created together – both actively and passively. I also saw clearly that the more we continue blaming one party or another, one nation or another, one gender or another, the longer it’s going to take the human family to come together and take effective action to turn things in a different direction.

I started making “It’s Nobody’s Fault” on my iPhone6 as a way to express what I saw and felt. And to prolong the feeling of ease and relaxation that the meditation had brought me. The image started with a couple of outtakes from previous editing processes during the spring. One came from background work when I was making “We Only Get What We Give” on an original shoot using Hueless that I altered using Imaengine, Rollworld, and Reflect. The other came from from a another texture I made using Imaengine and Glaze while creating a recent birthday portrait for Brett Chenoweth.

I blended these elements in iColoramaS to give give me a wet and swirly background and then pulled a simple silhouette into Fuse which I layered over the background. Then I used iColoramaS again to composite parts of two black-and-white flower and willow images that had been on my camera roll for months. To complete the layering, I used Fuse to meld the silhouette composite with the textures from the flower/willow composite. Happy to have all the elements layering perfectly through one another, I opened them in iColoramaS to adjust tones and save a high-resolution PNG file which I touched up using HandyPhoto to remove parts of the blends that didn’t add to the composition while still enabling me to end up with a high-res PNG file.

Trying to recall all these steps and then write them up kind of makes my head hurt. And, I’m chuckling as I do it. I work mostly these days right in my iPhone6. Often, I work late at night, propped up in bed, in a kind of creative trance that – once I’m done – allows me to drift off into a deep and restful sleep. I make it a practice to log the apps I used as I finish the piece and upload it to my blog at iPhoneArtGirl.com.

This kind of mobile art-making process on the iPhone is not what everyone would want to do before they go to sleep. And, because I know there are a lot us living this way, I can’t feel too weird about it. One of the most exciting things about my life these days is that I keep learning more and more about how to express my deep, complex feelings using a smartphone!  

Like John Lennon sang, “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s all right. It’s all right. Do it wrong or do it right, it’s all right. It’s all right.”

‘It’s Nobody’s Fault’ – ©Meri Walker

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About Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of TheAppWhisperer.com. A Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Photography. Joanne is also a Columnist for Vogue Magazine and is Contributing Editor to LensCulture.