Apple showcases local photographer's work across the globe and in Dallas
Dallas photographer Austin Mann has taken pictures all over the world. Now, people all over the world can see them.
Mann is one of 77 people whose iPhone 6 photographs have been repurposed on billboards, in bus stations and on the sides of buildings as part of an international Apple campaign. Its purpose is to show that a camera phone can take beautiful photos.
Apple did not commission any of the photos and says they are all "found" photographs.
Two of Mann's photos appear outside in Dallas: One of snow-covered trees in Colorado is on a billboard in Uptown; another of a waterfall in Iceland scales the side of a 29-story building in downtown Dallas. Those same photos are now posted across the globe: on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and in Italy, Korea, Australia, Mexico and several other countries.
As a happy coincidence, Mann has in fact traveled to many of those same locations. He has taken iPhone photos in 50 countries on six continents.
Mann took it upon himself to review iPhone cameras for the past three years. He watched tech companies scrutinize things like the battery life and the memory but believed photographers, both amateur and professional, needed more information about its camera.
"Everybody, including my grandmother, has the same camera in their pockets all the time," Mann says. "In a lot of ways, everybody's walking around with the world's most powerful camera in their pocket."
Intent upon learning what kind of capabilities the iPhone has, he purchased one three years ago and flew to Iceland that day.
Several years later, he revisited Iceland and captured the photo in September 2014 of a waterfall called Seljalandsfoss. That photo is the one displayed dramatically on the side of a building downtown.
Shooting the perfect photo was a lesson in patience, he says:
"I drove by the waterfall several times and was waiting for the light to be better," he says. "I ran up this hill -- and it's super misty and wet, so it's muddy and [there was] mist everywhere.
"I was looking at the detail at the rock above my head and I thought I might try a vertical panorama. I was ready -- I'd been doing my 'creative push-ups', I guess -- and I was able to get a cool frame and capture the texture of the rock above me."
After he took the photo, did he realize it was good enough to be on international display? Not really.
"I saw something beautiful in creation and I set out to capture it in a beautiful way that compels people to appreciate that splendor. That's all," he says. He envisioned it would land on his Instagram and "a few people might see it."
After Apple took notice, he says, "this is definitely a lot more exciting than my Instagram." (It should be noted, though: His Insta has nearly 100,000 followers and is plenty exciting on its own.)
Mann is also the founder of an artistic community and work space in the Design District called WELD. Much of his creative inspiration comes from working closely with other artists.
"We all believe we can create together to change the world," he says.
His photographs and others are on display via Apple in 70 cities in 24 countries. Peruse all the "Shot on iPhone 6" photos here.
See a video of Mann seeing his large-scale photo for the first time, or watch the time-lapse video below: