Snapcious Hones Your Photog Chops

by Whatsblem the Pro

An entry in a recent Snapcious Mission -- PHOTO: Mack Reed / Snapcious

An entry in a recent Snapcious Mission — PHOTO: Mack Reed / Snapcious

Mack Reed, a burner since 1996, is launching a free photo game for iOS called SNAPCIOUS that he says “inspires you to see the world through different eyes.”

“The challenge – ‘who can take the best picture of an idea?’ – adds meaning to the willy-nilly-photograph-anything obsession we all have with sharing photos,” Mack explains. “It inspires your creativity, and pushes you to see the world around you more intensely.”

According to Mack, the snappy new app encourages the average non-photographer Joe or Joette armed only with a phone cam to start thinking like a fine arts photographer, or a photojournalist.

“Snapcious brings out your inner photojournalist so you can do kick-ass coverage of your life. . . and it challenges you to develop your visual voice, putting your full creativity into everything you snap.”

How does it work?

“Every day, a new crowd-sourced Mission begins. It’s like a simple photo assignment, thought up by the players themselves – ‘Quality of Light,’ ‘Go Ahead and Jump,’ ‘Bad Hair Day’ – in which players snap and share their interpretation of the Mission and then everyone rates the photos.

“Top-rated photos win. As you earn more points by posting photos, rating them, adding comments and suggesting ideas for new Missions, you gradually level up and gain more insight into the art of photography.”

The game is still in its first incarnation, with a raft of incentives planned. Mack is clearly passionate about both the game and photography itself; he seems to want above all to leverage the ubiquity of camera phones to foster more and better photographers.

“When you level-up,” he tells me, “you’ll get access to a pro camera, pro editing tools, and the ability to mentor newer photographers by offering pro tips. In short, we’re building a culture around the notion that everyone secretly desires to become an award-winning photographer, and that photography is a language we can all learn to use with more beauty, finesse and meaning, if we just start communicating more effectively through what we shoot.

“We all take photos as easy as blinking. We all need to start making photos more meaningful, insightful and beautiful. Anyone can share a photo of their pet, their breakfast or their best friend. But how many of us are sharing photos that challenge the eye, that reveal something about us, that expose our inner beauty?

“That’s why we built the game – we want to give people the tools to feed their inner eye and see the world differently.”

You can check out the game at or download it for iOS.

Mack himself gives a game walkthrough in this video:

The View From Up There

by Whatsblem the Pro

Old Razorback, aka Trego Peak, shot in 2008 by Jedi Master Ratti

Old Razorback, aka Trego Peak, shot in 2008 by Jedi Master Ratti

Mark Phipps, John Phipps, Dallon Phipps, Kevin Johnson, and Meghan Johnson scaled Old Razorback (aka Trego Peak) this year to capture some poignant time-lapse video of Burning Man 2013 as viewed from approximately four miles away at an elevation of 5495 feet above sea level, or 1888 feet above the playa floor.

The climb to set up the cameras (and retrieve them after the burn) is dangerous and difficult; Old Razorback’s approaches are untrailed and not terribly stable. . . but a passion for both photography and Burning Man drove the group up the mountain to bring you a view you’d probably never see otherwise.

With a calming, chill-out soundtrack by Inspired Flight and Dusty Nix, the resulting video is a bittersweet meditation on the epic potlatch impermanence that marks Burning Man as utterly unique among festivals.

In 2012, a group with many of the same members made the grueling trek up the mountain to give us a time-lapse video of that burn.

As Jesus said to Peter while hanging on the crucifix waiting to die: “Hey, I can see your tent from here!”

Here’s the 2013 video:

Embedding has been disabled for the 2012 video, but you can still head over to YouTube to watch it.