Local artist captures Ohio through social mediaWritten by Casey Harper | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A dilapidated barn catches photographer Eric Shanteau’s eye. He whips his truck to the side of the road and hops out, trotting out his inspiration.
This is where it gets interesting.
While most photographers might set up a tripod and put a particular lens on their brand-new Canon, Shanteau simply reaches into his pocket and pulls out an iPhone 5.
This Maumee native’s photography features a distinctly 21st century touch. He only takes photos with his iPhone 5 through the Instagram application. The app allows you to edit the photos and then post them onto a newsfeed format similar to Facebook.
Shanteau has more than 1,200 Instagram followers and a reputation for capturing the undiscovered beauty of Northwest Ohio. Followers of his work can see anything from rusty old trucks sunk into a grassy field to a yarnbomber’s work on a bike rack in front of a historic, Downtown Toledo building.
“I can’t possibly imitate the sounds of the tall swaying pines in Oak Openings, the smell of fresh leaves burning in Tontogany and the horses roaming the open fields in Swanton,” he said. “I challenge anyone to gas up the truck, pack a lunch, pick out your favorite playlist, roll down your windows and explore what our city and the surrounding areas have to offer and capture it in photography. If I am correct, you’ll fall in love as well. Just know that I found her first.”
Shanteau said he has taken tens of thousands of photos.
“I like to get in my truck and drive all around the outskirts of Northwest Ohio listening to music and stopping to take photos of something,” Shanteau said. “I don’t even own a camera honestly. I probably use the camera on the phone more than the phone itself.”
Shanteau’s photographs are available for sale at his booth at the Maple and Main Art Fair in Sylvania June 1-2. The fair features more than 70 artists as part of a juried art show, but Executive Director for the Sylvania Community Arts Commission Jennifer Archer said Shanteau’s regional work and unique medium made him stand out.
“I love it when people in their everyday life find a way to participate in art, and I think Eric has found a great way to do that,” Archer said. “He captures so much regional landscape and scenery. To capture that and to make it into something beautiful to look at is what intrigued me.”
Shanteau and a few friends are planning a photo walk in Maumee tentatively scheduled for the end of July. Participants would walk through Maumee following a set course and stop to take pictures.
At his booth, Shanteau will sell cards featuring his photos on the cover. The Art Supply Depo sells his cards as well.
“The money is honestly not that important to me,” he said. “To be able to take a photo and have somebody else want it is an amazing concept to me, and it’s more than I could ask for.”