Skip to Main Content

1.3

Images From My Phone

Photographer Joel Grey

On an out-of-town trip in 2007,Joel Greyfound himself in a small St. Lucie, Florida museum, filled with bizarre and eminently photographable objects. Feeling, as he had with the images that became 2003'sPictures I Had to Take, compelled to capture these provocative tableaux, but without his trusty Nikon Nikkormat by his side, Grey did the next-best thing he could-he reached for his cell phone.

Grey had never had any use for the camera function of his Nokia 133 before, and was skeptical about the capabilities of its tiny 1.3-megapixel lens. But to his surprise, the same familiar perspective he'd always had when taking photographs was still there; even without a viewfinder, he could make the kinds of pictures he had always loved to make. The limitations of the format-the inability to control the aperture stop, focus, or any of the other variables of traditional photography besides framing-proved a thrilling new challenge, which Grey likens to "collaborating with a power larger than yourself." Grey spent the next eight months shooting with his phone, and the result is1.3: Images from My Phone, a collection of slices cut from diverse visual worlds: street art and still life, advertising and architecture, shadows and reflections, natural beauty and urban grit.