Chromatic: commercial / lifestyle / editorial / portrait / Photography by Craig Okraska
// photography by Craig Okraska

Chromatic.us Journal

The first journal dedicated to mobile photography: Chromatic.us :: Journal of Mobile Photography.  Creator and founder, photographer Craig Okraska.

Welcome to Chromatic.us


Help Support!

Help support the cause with your donations!  When I started all of this, I had absolutely no idea how much time and effort it would take.  Little did I realize it would keep me busy for nearly the entire year.  Unfortunately I didn't record all the hours I spent creating posts/getting the word out, sending and responding to emails, gathering and organizing photos, creating layouts, researching publishing platforms, stress of taking so long, etc, etc. (it's probably best not to know the actual amount of time - facepalm). 

I feel a little dirty soliciting donations, but I'm ultimately hoping to recoup the cost that I've put into it.   

For even more of an incentive, those of you who donate $50 or more will receive a one of a kind, small-batch, "Chromatic.us :: Journal of Mobile photography" t-shirt printed by The Factory Press, one of the finest screen printers on the east coast.  You'll be the coolest kid in town : )   

Thanks for all your help : )

-Craig

UPDATE: just the shirt - $27.00 

click the HELP SUPPORT link for more details

 


click HERE to view or order your copy of Chromatic.us :: Journal of Mobile Photography

Scroll down to learn more about the project and how it came to fruition.  This grew out of a love for mobile photography and an idea of gathering great images to create a physical book - one that you can hold in your hands.  This is a zero profit experiment and solely based on the appreciation for this genre of photography.  


What is Chromatic.us?

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The first journal dedicated to mobile photography.

Chromatic.us is a celebration of mobile photography in printed form.  It's a physical manifestation of all those 0s and 1s that are otherwise limited to viewing on some digital device.  With all the amazing imagery being captured everyday, all over the world, why are only less than 1%* of them being printed and physically appreciated?  Chromatic.us is the first experimental photography journal dedicated to mobile photography and its significance.

Personally, it's a way of expressing my appreciation for something that's become an everyday ritual for the better part of two years.  This is my opportunity to give back to a community that I love, and to those who appreciate photography as much as I do.   

The first edition will be a trial of sorts, just to see the interest.  If it goes well, and I don't go broke, then we'll pursue additional issues.  As indicated earlier, this is an experiment.

* Statistic may or may not have been fabricated


Want to be a part of Chromatic.us?

See your work in print.

#Chromaticus

Starting in early 2014, I'll be collecting images via Instagram.  The first, trial edition, will be composed of 100 images by all those that submit their top 5 images with #Chromaticus.  Since I'm the only judge, I choose what's included.  If I like it, then you're in!  Once I've accepted and approved the first 100 images, the submission period ends.  The only criteria is that your image must be created on a mobile device.  That's it.  No hoops to jump through.  No payment required.  No bullshit. No catch.   

Yes, this is free for anyone interested. I'm not making any money here.

Because this is a personal venture, and because I'm probably as poor as you, I will print copies for my five favorite submissions.  Additional copies can be purchased directly from the printer.  

Photography groups, art galleries, art exhibitors, organizations, whoever - interested in donating additional copies to submitters?  Contact me! (See below)            

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Start Your Submissions  // 8 Feb 2014

Submit.......now!

Check out this little promo vid* I prepared just for this special occasion.  

 

 

 

 

 

* my video shooting/editing skills are in it's infancy - don't judge too harshly...


Submission Deadline // 31 Mar 2014

tick, tick, tick....@12am Mountain Standard Time (USA)


Update // May 2014

Images are currently being selected for the initial trial of the journal! 

The process has taken me much longer than anticipated and progress is slower than anticipated, but I'm incredibly excited to see all the wonderful images that have been submitted! There's been a great amount of interest from all over the world, including submissions from:  USA, Norway, Russia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Hawaii, Ukraine, Cambodia, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Philippines, Spain, England, Greece, India, etc.

In the meantime, if you'd like to be part of Chromatic.us in the future, please drop me a note and let me know you're interested.  If you have any ideas or thoughts I'd love to hear your input. 

Evolution in real time. 

Cheers! Craig


Update // July 2014

Images are selected, photographers have been contacted, and pages are being compiled for the journal.  As life would have it, I've been inundated with lots of other photography projects that take priority over Chromatic.us.  I started this venture and had no idea it would take the amount of work I've already put into it...but I'm bound and determined to keep at it, albeit slow and steady.  

At the moment I'm facing somewhat of a dilemma - which printer to use.  I want to produce a quality publication, however I'm learning just how expensive quality can be. 

At this point I may offer two print versions:

  1. Cheaper version that is available via online ordering directly through the printer (which was my original goal).
  2. More expensive version, that is of superior quality, but requires a minimum short-run order process (in other words, I need to collect orders and money before they can be printed).  They require a minimum of 5 copies to even place an order.  

Dealing with money and placing orders is something I really don't want to deal with, but the quality of the product keeps luring me back. 

It would work like this: I'll give all those who've been selected the option of ordering directly through the printer; and anyone who is interested in the quality version would submit an order to me where I would in turn place a single order to the quality printer.

So, if you have any opinion, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What do you think?  Am I putting too much thought into this? 


Update // December 2014

Here we are, December 2014 and I'm still searching to find time to finish this project.  As of about 2 weeks ago, I was about 99% finished with the initial proof, but as the art gods would have it, I realized there was a glaring error in my layout.  Cosmetically the book looks great.  I'm really happy with the (almost) finished product and it's superficial presentation.  The problem lies within the printer - because of the layout and configuration, the paper choice that I originally wanted turned out to clash with our options.  Needless to say, I'm back to reorganizing the book...(ughhhh).  

However, I'm optimistic!  Don't fret my dear, patient friends!  I recently read a quote by Rick Rubin about how great things take time (or something to that effect).  In other words, why rush something if you want it to be something you are proud of.  I would rather take my time and produce something that is valued.  I want this to be something you go back to in a year, five years, ten years, twenty years and remember how cool it was to be part of this great mobile photography revolution.  So, my dear friends, be patient and you'll be rewarded with awesomeness...or something that resembles awesomeness.  

"From the beginning, all I’ve ever cared about is things being great. I never cared about when they were done. Because I also feel like I want the music to last forever. And once you release it, you can’t go back and fix it, so you really have to get it right. And that takes time."    -Rick Ruben

At this point I don't want to put a timeline on a finish date.  I will say that it will be SOON.  Soon is a relative term though, so please don't hold me too close to that promise.  What you can hold me to, however, is that it will get done.  I repeat . . . IT. WILL. GET. DONE.

If you have any thoughts or questions at this stage, hit me up via the message block below.  Cheers Friends!               


Chromatic.us is Complete!

It took almost the entire year of 2014 to pull this together, but alas, Chromatic.us is complete!  Choosing the top 100 images from over 1,100 was no easy feat.  I toiled over many, many great images, but only 100 were able to make it into the book.  Kudos to everyone who submitted.  In this day and age of fleeting digital stimulation, spending more than 10 seconds on anything is a feat in and of itself.  I wonder how many people plow right through #Chromaticus posts/tags without bothering to see what's it's all about.  Full disclosure: I am totally guilty of "liking" images and passing on to the next with no regard to what the poster has to say.  It's tough sometimes to slow down, read, and learn about what you're looking at.  But in part that's the spirit of Chromatic.us, taking the time to stop, turn off your device for one second, and look what you've created - all these great images in physical form - this book.    

The book is beautiful. 104 pages of great imagery that you created.  Now see them in print...

The process for finding a printer was a little stressful.  I knew I wanted to present a great product, but as always, money is a limiting factor.  The printer I really wanted to go with would've have been in the $100 range per book.  That's fine and all if you're producing something for yourself, but damn it, it needed to be much cheaper so everyone who wanted one could get one.  With that in mind, I decided to go with Blurb.  They are much friendlier on short-run printing and they produce a great looking product.  The paper weight is perfect, the binding is sexy, and the prints themselves turned out excellent.  My one and only complaint is the cover. I wasn't expecting the gloss.  If I could have them change one thing it would be the finish they use for their covers.  Go with a matte finish Blurb and I'll keep you in business.    

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You have to compromise on many things in life and this is just another example.  The final cost for each book worked out to be $57 US.  Now, that ain't cheap, but it's not $100 either.  Compromise.

To be honest, when I started all of this I expected the books to be no more than around $30.  Lesson number 17 learned.  As for lesson number 18, I now have to scrape up enough money to cover the cost of purchasing 5 for my top entries.  Ouch.  But hey, this was my vision and I'm sticking to it.  I'm proud of all of you who put the time and thought into your submissions so I'm going to fulfill my promise and throw that money down.  Gladly : )

There a five of you out there that get a free copy of Chromatic.us.  I've narrowed down my top 10, but I'm still mulling over them, trying to make a final decision.  Again, such a difficult proposition to impose on oneself!  Stay tuned for the winning entries!

In the meantime, you can check out the entire book by clicking here.  Let me know what you think.  What do you like? What do you hate?  What would you have done differently?  You can reach me on Instagram or through email.  I'm all ears and I care what you think.  If you like what you see, would you mind passing the word along (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, social media of choice, etc.)?  Let everyone you know you've been published in the world's first Journal of Mobile Photography.  Your work deserves to be seen. It's as simple as that.

Cheers!

-Craig


Decisions, decisions...

Oh my, decisions, decisions.  Narrowing it down to just 10 was enough of a burden, much less trying to narrow that down even more.  In no particular order, these images made the second round of culling.  How can you just pick 5? Really?

If you're interested in my decision-making process, I'll boil it down to this: if it was a great image, it made it into the book.  Of course that is extremely subjective and I had to drop a ton of really great photos, but that was the basis of my criteria.  There's no real science or protocol behind my process, it's just what spoke to me. I wish I could explain it in a little more detail, but unfortunately I'm not known for my masterful wordsmithing.  At any rate, I'll give it a try...

I suppose if you wanted to analyze my top 10 you could say I lean towards black and white.  There's just something about a grainy black and white photo that requires you to stop and investigate some hidden mystery or story.  Humans love to solve problems, so maybe that's the link.  Take the bison pic.  Knowing that bison usually hang out in large herds, why is that guy a loner?  Was he banished by his buddies? Is he lost?  Are all his friends just out of the frame?  Among other reason why I really love Aki's photo (among many other reasons) is that I've tried to take this photo.  I've actually looked for this photo on my trips to bison country, but I've only ever been able to come away with a landscape filled with herd-loving animals.  In short, I'm jealous that I didn't take this!  And that's why I love it! 

I'm also drawn to movement, patterns, and geometry.  Look at all of these photos and you'll find some essence of this. Some are more obvious than others.  Let's look at the photo of the child on the beach.  Movement - check (it's easy to imagine and even hear the waves breaking on the beach), patterns - check (all those little dots along the horizon, the rectangles formed from the sky, the water, and the beach; the squares separated by the little girl), and geometry - check (more rectangles and squares).  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, there's a story.  What's the little girl thinking?  Why is she cocking her head?  What's the relation/significance, if any, of the young boy directly behind her?  That's why I love this.  

Having walked through my process, I need to reiterate it's still that initial gut reaction that draws me in.  These descriptions are merely a way of putting into words what I'm thinking.  So, now that you have a general idea of my mindset going into this process, in no particular order, here are my top 5 choices:

Congrats to:

Congratulations friends!  You have free copy of Chromatic.us coming your way!  Send me an email with your contact info and I'll get that to you asap!

Cheers!

Craig


Any thoughts, questions, or recommendations?