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November 15, 2019

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Ohio photographer creates smartphone surrealism

Amy Leibrand, an environmental researcher by day, creates surrealistic images with her smartphone camera and editing apps. She’s now a recognized figure in the mobile photography movement. Video produced and edited by Jackie Shafer, shot by Andrew Ina, WOSU

Amy Leibrand’s foray into photography began with self-portraiture for Facebook profiles; these weren’t your average selfies.

“People had a good reaction to them, and I started getting a little more experimental with them,” said Leibrand.

She started to pursue photography seriously after getting her first smartphone in 2009. The accessibility of the technology was a draw for her. “The iPhone was just a way for me to always be able to produce something, always be able to experiment, no matter where I was, no matter what I was doing.”

"The post production for mobile photography is pretty complex with my work," said Leibrand. In addition to using tools in the field, she often combines two, three, four or five images into one.

“The post production for mobile photography is pretty complex with my work,” said Leibrand. In addition to using tools in the field, she often combines two, three, four or five images into one. Photo by Amy Leibrand.

Leibrand, an environmental researcher, is now a recognized figure in the mobile photography movement, and was featured in The New York Times for participating in the 2012 Mobile Photo Paris exhibition.

She’s started to incorporate her moody and atmospheric photography into sculptural work: interactive wooden boxes that beckon the viewer to “touch this.”

Local Beat is a weekly series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.

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