Apps Uncovered 12 February 2016: Surrealities

by Bob Weil

The depth of winter, confined as we often are (well, maybe not here in Southern California) to dreary days and indoor pursuits seems to be an appropriate time to contemplate the interior landscape, inner demons and fantasy worlds that seem to spring to life unbidden. This week’s Apps Uncovered presents a selection of what I found to be the most compelling surreal images for the week, representing a broad range of styles and subjects.

This week’s lead artwork, Chad Rankin’s Theories of Relativity is a splendidly surreal piece of work – haunting and thought-provoking at the same time. Like many of Chad’s pieces, this one took its theme from a bit of wordplay and double entendre.

Shel Serkin, Eliza Badolu, Stefanie L.P., susan bein, trynidada, Sandra Becker, Shel Serkin, Kathy Clay, sellin1968, lorenka campos, jun yamaguchi and Damian De Souza complete this week’s selections.

If you’d like to see your images in the running for selection to our weekly Apps Uncovered feature, be sure to list the apps you used to create your image when you upload it to the iPhoneographyCentral Flickr group. (And as an added bonus to other members who would love to learn from your successes, consider adding the “Backstory” describing the creative process that led you to capture and process the image as you did.)

Theories of Relativity

Theories of Relativity by Chad Rankin / @sirreal

Apps used and Backstory: This piece was made completely of photos I took on my iPod touch 5g. I used a combination of apps which included Juxtaposer, Snapseed, Alensky and Matter. This image was based on word play and Science.


Untitled by Eliza Badolu

Apps used: The applications used and the process of editing was quite basic, as I didn’t change that much of the origial, but in terms of tones,lights and shadows. Apps: Snapseed, PicsArt, Stackables

Backstory: This is once again a self portrait, having a delicate note and emphasis upon mood and state of being inside the frame of an ethereal moment.

There were several shots of the same position and then mixed all together in a frame, as to give the sensation of two distinct parts looking for their other halves. It is about getting complete and resizing the pieces of our every day puzzle into their right places. The romantic accent is given by the flower and the hand, that articulates all the’mute’ discourse of the photo seen as a short,unfinished poem.

Of Exodus/ exits and walls

Of Exodus / exits and walls

Apps used and Backstory: Two different images taken with slow shutter cam.

I used superimpose to layer. The walls were created with textured layers.

Stackables. For final texture.

The image of the man was taken from a tv still with slow shutter cam and held so as to obtain a double exposure.

The backstory: I was watching war and peace and loved this particular moment. the original scene was a large foyer and staircase. The subject looked really small in it. I kept thinking of a tale of two cities. But really how our perception is often times in conflict with reality..

The poppies in foreground were used to suggest how we intoxicate ourselves with fantasy and Escapism which only lead towards walls, Therefore the title.


silhouette by susan bein

Apps used: Hipstamatic, and the lens; Florence, and film; Robusta.

Backstory: Technique – I got the idea from seeing Polina Sarri’s very inspiring post on hipstography.com and further refined the technique. I took silhouettes of friends and strangers, printed them onto paper, and carried several silhouettes with me when I went out to photograph each day. I first photograph the silhouette (the order doesn’t matter), then photograph something else to fill the dark parts of the silhouette. It sometimes took several tries to line things up (you can’t see the first photo when you take the second one) and sometimes I got it right away, or got something surprising that I liked even better than my original idea.

This was an old deserted Mercedes. There are visible raccoon prints on the door.

I have a series of hundreds of these silhouette double exposures which I plan to make into a book soon.

I’ve tried to create new whimsical mythological creatures, with a nod to Arcimboldo and an eye to modern times. I’ve filled their heads with the things I found around me, at home in Portland, Oregon, and on a recent trip to Paris and New York. Each image has a bit of a puzzle in it; the mind has to do a little dance to see what is filling the head as a thing apart, and then to see it as an integrated composite, a new beast, with it’s own characteristics.

Warsaw Living from the series: Extreme Measures.      Shot and edited meticulously with an iPhone 5.                                  Instagram: trynidada

Warsaw Living from the series: Extreme Measures by Trynidada

App used: VSCOcam with c3 preset


Shaman by Sandra Becker

Apps used: iColorama, procreate, superimpose & Pixelmator on my iPad Pro using my Apple pencil.

Backstory: Everything in the world has a spirit and has wisdom to share so it is believed by many. I had of recent been reading about Shaminism and its soul and spirit concepts which sparked an idea about creating an image of a Shaman. I started working from some of my mobile images including textures that I had taken of recent along with some rights free images of wings that I googled & combined. I usually experiment with images a lot before getting what I like, going back & forth between different versions & color palettes etc. In my workflow I used a lot of iColoramas effects tool for blending the images. Most of the photos that I blended were taken with my iPhone’s camera+ app for its manual controls & tweaks.


Edward by Shel Serkin

App used: Hipstamatic

Closing her Eyes, She began to Dream

Closing her Eyes, She began to Dream by Kathy Clay

Apps used: Snapseed, IColorama and Stackables

Backstory: It was a photo of a mannequin in which I tried to add some feeling/ mood with lighting and texture.


Untitled by sellin1968

Apps used: Hipstamatic with chunky lens and blackeys supergrain film

Backstory: I was walking in the old part of my city when i noticed this ruin house.The woman’s post at the door just strike me like something odd and interesting at the same time.

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #192 - 'All sizes I The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present_ I Flickr - Photo Sharing!' - www_flickr_com_photos_lorenka_2403159

The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present by lorenka campos

Apps used: Artstudio, Imageblender, Decim8, Superimpose, Icolorama, and Snapseed.

Backstory: The inspiration for this piece is time. It is a combination and blending of many of my own photos, starting with a selfportrait.

Crazy Jake

Crazy Jake by Damian De Souza

Apps used: Native Camera, Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Image Blender.

Backstory: This image began as a self-portrait taken with Hipstamatic. In Image Blender I layered on additional elements. The empty space behind his forehead was a hole in a tree I came across in the tropics which I shot with the native camera.The eyes are from an overview photo I took of a bathroom tap after removing the caps which revealed the screws underneath.I passed it through a Vintage filter in Snapseed. His mouth is an old rusted pipe I happened upon imbedded in a rock face by the ocean.

As per usual, the image came about from playing with aspects of various photos in my Camera Roll.


twins by jun yamaguchi

Apps used: iPod touch’s camera / brushes+pictureshow+scratchcam fx+filterstorm+photoshop touch+enlight+vsco+phototoaster

Bob Weil

Bob is the co-author of The Art of iPhone Photography (with Nicki Fitz-Gerald), published by Rocky Nook photography books and supports Nicki in managing iPhoneography Central and the associated Flickr group.