May 28, 2023

Dirk Dallas, assistant professor of graphic design and digital media, shared his photography in a feature exhibition at California Baptist University’s Lancer Plaza Gallery March 9.

The gallery displayed 20 photographs Dallas captured with his iPhone.

Students, faculty and Dallas’ friends and family browsed the gallery, discussed and partook in refreshments from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

“I actually was really surprised because I have never heard of anything coming from iPhone photography. I thought it was really cool to see the direction that this took,” Ben Esau, marketing major, said.

Dallas began taking pictures with the device in 2008. He reflects that he owned a professional camera, but he never had the camera with him when he wanted to take pictures.

“Quickly, the iPhone became my go-to camera. Back then the iPhone camera was not very good, but I was still able to capture the moment and that was what was important to me,” Dallas said.

Dallas said that he upgrades his iPhone as the camera improves with each new model. He also utilizes tools available for photography on his iPhone, such as the application Instagram.

Instagram invites users to take photos within a square format rather than the traditional landscape or portrait orientation.

All of the gallery photographs were presented in the square format.

“Looking at these [pictures] it is hard to tell that they were taken with an iPhone. It seems like they could have been done with an ordinary camera. I think this is really well-done. I’m really impressed,” Noel Bravo, senior graphic design and digital media major, said.

One close-up photo of a dandelion was taken through a macro lens that can be attached to the iPhone device. Dallas cites Photojojo and Olloclip as manufacturers of such lenses.

“I really love the color and clarity [of Dallas’ photography]. Just the colors and the composition and how he [Dallas] interacts with people and objects in the frame,” Stacey Schoellerman, junior graphic design and digital media major, said.

Schoellerman found Dallas’ gallery showing through a Facebook event.

Social media is a major outlet for Dallas to share his work. He says that his photos stayed on his phone before Twitter and Instagram became a part of his online experience.

“I share them on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and people seem to like them,” Dallas said. “That kind of drove my desire to take more, because I just really enjoy sharing what I believe is God’s beautiful creation with others. This is how I see what He’s madek and I want to share that with my friends and family.”

Dallas has entered his work in the Mobile Photography Awards competition.

“It’s trying to show that mobile photography can be serious and that beautiful images are coming from cellphones,” Dallas said.

One of his pictures was selected and will be displayed at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

“I really do see a change with photography, because now everyone is taking pictures—even people that are not ‘photographers.’ They’re taking beautiful pictures. It’s now becoming about the moment and sharing that moment with others,” Dallas said.

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