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“The Effect” of Empty Folders

“The Effect” by Craig C

As a conceptual artist and choosing photography as my current medium I am going over my writings and ideas and planning out the visual stories I want to create the rest of the year. After reviewing I realize most of my concepts are leaning towards doing photomanipulations as compared to what I call my “theatrical style” creations which are basically telling the stories live in front of the camera. Personally I prefer the later but due to my current circumstances I know that style is going to be limited to me right now. So this leads me to the other which means using images and combining them together to form my final image and to develop my story.

After reviewing my library of mobile images its evident since switching to mobile photography my stash of image folders are very empty. Doing my “theatrical style” for the past couple years meant not photographing random items as much and since that is what builds your library of images to use I need to get on the ball and start photographing anything and everything. Not knowing what might come in handy as I create photo collages I create my folders on my iPad and focus on filling them up at least to the point where I can pull and play and mixing them with my concepts.

Using a camera app that does not alter my subject and keeping it in its natural state, since I will alter them as I create my piece I use my simple and dependable camera app 6×6 and off I go. I create several folders to start filling and here are my current categories.


*I do not use stock images. Period. Like a painter I want ever stroke of the brush to come from me.

So off I go during the heat of the south to try and gather images to work with. I usually do this during the deadness of winter. I love the simple color palettes of winter and for landscapes the bareness really fits my style. However by looking at the image above titled “The Effect” it demonstrates what can happen when we change our routine. Collecting each element basically from the past week or so it offered some colors that are not my normal even if I had produced a ┬áblack & white collage, the colors affect me mentality and that affects the outcome. So maybe the summer that I normally do not care for might after all give my empty folders a fresh palate of tones that might inspire me to create different flavors and unlike the black bird on the table my actions will not be a complete disaster.


  1. Changing routine! That has to be a key element to the creative development. I have followed your work on Instagram and love the worlds you are creating. I was especially touched by the latest planet series. Some colors appearing on your stream was a pleasant surprise. Thanks for your generosity, sharing your thoughts and creative process.

    • Thanks Nathalie.

  2. Fabulous! As you know I am a bit of a ‘fan girl’ of yours. I like that you say that you don’t use “stock” images – I don’t either. One some might think that to be puritanical or precious, I don’t think so.There is a certain amount of pride that one takes in creating an image from start to finish with one’s own images. For me the apps that we have just make it more fun and less messy to do a whole spectrum of things that are connected to the “visual”.