Apps Uncovered 18 April 2014

(Selected by Bob Weil)

This week’s Apps Uncovered includes an amazing array of talent, and new contributors divide the field with regulars – always a delightful state of affairs for Nicki and me as curators of iPhoneographyCentral! We never cease to be amazed at the creative abilities shown by our contributors.

The first image by Smuta2006 (Vadim) conveys with poignance the ongoing rape of state sovereignty being perpetrated on Ukraine by Russia – with total impunity as the world looks on. Let us hope that in this time of renewal (Easter, spring, etc.), our world leaders can find the courage to come to the support of a fledgling democracy in time of need – all without firing a shot. The final image by juta.jazz takes up the same topic from a different and very valid perspective – it is clear that there’s no “perfecting” man, and that war will always be the easy option to resolve conflict, sad as that may be.

In between these two images, I was particularly taken by the two pieces by Diana Nicolette Jeon. Both are in reference to her mother’s deteriorating state of health, and attempt to express her state of mind in coming to terms with her mother’s condition, and the gifts the daughter has received from the mother. These two images are especially moving when taken in context, as you can see from the backstories.

The remaining images cover everything from street impressions to surreal renderings, from stunning landscapes to intimate portraits. Thank you all for contributing to our Flickr group!

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.)


Freedom is not for slaves (Stay United for Ukraine) by Vadim (Smuta2006)

Apps Used: PureShot for iPhone, Snapseed, ShockMyPic, Jazz, DistressedFX, PhotoForge2, Leonardo for iOS

Backstory: I can’t say much about this image. In times of foreign invasion, the future of my country seems very uncertain. I think, the sky without colors can symbolize it. I believe that there is a historical chance for all of us in Ukraine to make a “civilizational choice” and return Ukraine to Europe.

and so it goes, and so it goes, and so will you soon I suppose.

and so it goes, and so it goes, and so will you soon I suppose by Diana Nicolette Jeon

Apps used: I used a heck of a lot of apps on iPhone 5 and iPad Mini Retina. Some included are VSCO Cam, Procreate, Tangled FX, Mystic, Mextures, MonoVu , Image Blender, Photoshop Touch.

Backstory: Within the past month, my mother was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer. It is terminal.

This has caused me to ponder quite a number of things, but one was to think about what it means to lose one’s home. Not literally, but figuratively – about what it means when you no longer have the psychological shelter of the ability to return to one’s childhood home.

A mother is also another form of shelter, of a home, as for many of us, she is the person who shielded us from all sorts of real or perceived dangers.

For this work, I used myself as a stand-in model for my mother. I photographed myself standing again a wall in a dress, and I altered it using apps on the iPhone and iPad to change the form to be less realistic. I also took a series of self-portraits of myself shortly after getting the news, to capture my emotions while they were still fresh. While my common practice is to intentionally intertwine apps seeking to obscure which was used, to use them to create something new, in this case, I wanted to subtly but still identifiably use Tangled FX to show the skin of the woman as webbed – in order to visually show the ravages caused by my my mother’s illness.

This work is dedicated to my mother, Stella Kehayas Jeon. She has lived a rather remarkable life, and has always unselfishly taken care of others and shunned the limelight herself.

Saint-Paul (ouest)

Saint-Paul (ouest) by Nicolas Xanthos

Apps Used: Oggl, Snapseed, VSCOcam, Superimpose, Handy Photo

Backstory: A few weeks ago, I went to Montreal and I took the opportunity to do some urban photography for an afternoon. As I have a inclination for landscapes, I started photographing architectural spaces (streets, buildings, factories). Having the chance to be in a big city, I thought I’d also try to do some street photography.

As an amateur, I like the work of people like Anne Martine Parent or Jeanette Vazquez, who make a kind of street photography that is close to portraiture, either openly or discreetly. I think the subject of street photography should be one or more human beings in the street, in public spaces, but I also think I’m a little too shy to take portraits on the street. There is proximity, intimacy I do not readily have with others, and I do not know how to shoot.
After a little thought about it, I realized that, in this genre, I wanted to work on the relationship between relatively anonymous or body silhouettes and urban and architectural elements of the street: the street as such, walls, facades, houses, buildings, etc.
In terms of composition, the alleys appeared to me as a very interesting scene to the anonymous silhouettes: they impose symmetry, perpendicularity and contribute to point out, thereby, the loneliness of the human silhouette.

So I was glad to have found in the Old Montreal the alley where I took my photo. Perspective, walls and tire tracks in the snow drew attention to the center of the image and the rectangular shape of the central space was repeated in five windows and the door of the facade, which gave a strong geometrical structure to the image. In return, this structure made the silhouette of the passer-by even more lonely and fragile.

The editorial work on this photo was pretty minimal. The photo was taken with Oggl (Jane + C-Type Plate). To sharpen the detail of the snow and walls, I made a version with the HDR Scape filter of Snapseed and I mixed it with the original in Superimpose. I added a little color with VSCOCam and removed one or two small details in the windows with Handy Photo. I hesitated to remove the arrow, but I finally left it there: it seemed to me it added to the fragility of the anonymous silhouette a kind of impotence indicating a direction she had to follow.

Joy Division

Joy Division by Reece_74

Apps Used: Taken & edited with iPhone 5s using the Slo-mo feature. Apps used: Snapseed, Noir, LensLight, Photoshop Express.

Backstory: I took this last year after buying the iPhone 5s & wanted to test out the slo-mo feature. So I asked my sister to run towards me while jumping in the air. The slow motion looked great in this video, but it was at the end of this vid when my sister got right up close to the camera, I really loved the joyful expression in her face & the reflection of the sun in her sunglasses. I thought to myself, I just have to do something with this!

So I took a screenshot of the video, something that I have never tried before. Now, I find using the slo-mo feature for action shots works great. Using the 10fps burst mode works well too, but you still get some motion blur.

Step 1: I used Snapseed to crop & add some detail using the structure tool. (Something I do with almost all of my photos & edits)

Step 2: I took the cropped image into the Nori app to achieve the lighting effect I was after & to darken the background, also adding a bit more brightness to the face giving the image more contrast.

Step 3: I then used PS express to reduce noise & slightly soften the image. I find PS express has the best noise reduction feature I have used yet. It’s great for photos taken in low light where noise can be a problem. I find you can also convert lo-res photos to a higher resolution by using a slight amount of noise reduction then sharpening the image & taking a screenshot of the end result.

Even better with the ipad retina display with a screen resolution of about 2000 x 1500. It’s great after using apps that reduce the output resolution.

Step 4: I then used the LensLight app (Bright Sun effect) & placed this over the reflection of the sun in the sunglasses. Then finally I added a bokeh effect before some final adjustments in Snapseed.


Awaken by patty.larson

Apps Used: Processed with VSCOcam with p8 preset

Backstory: I think that no photography is bad or boring, if we enhance it with imagination and editing – sometimes the unlikeliest photos can give great results, like this one.

In this picture the idea was that she seems to be entering another dimension.

The applications used and helped to this effect were:
Sketch club: this application paint the sky and lengthens hair
Space paints: with this application add clouds, the floor and the hole spacing in the sky

Piano In The Old Castle

Piano in the Old Castle by Paul Moore

Apps Used: Taken and edited with an iPhone 4s PhotoToaster and Mexturtes

Backstory: This photo was taken on the same visit to the old house as last weeks shot. After I had taken that shot my daughter she continued her exploration of the room. It was like an Aladdin’s Cave to her. So many nooks and crannies to search. Then she discovered the piano. It was an antique over 100 years old and completely out of tune but she was fascinated by it.

Even though the shot is out of focus I think the lighting and the colour really help to create a particular mood. Further helped by the fact that my daughter insisted on wearing a ‘princess’ dress when she heard she was going to the castle 🙂

This shot was edited and cropped initially with PhotoToaster. I used the Retouch tool in HandyPhoto to remove some distractions. Finally I used Mextures to give it a slightly vintage feel.

Sad Panda

Sad Panda by Mel Harrison

Apps Used: Phone5s native camera, snapseed and pixlr express+

Backstory: This is my youngest son, I have 4 spanning almost 19yrs and this is a portrait of our first broken bone. I knew it would be him that would be the first to brake something. He is my adventurous child, always on the go, always taking risks.

I had just finished knitting him the hat on his head and wanted to take a photo of him in it. His expression just captured how sad he is to have his wings clipped, to be stifled by his own body.

Spring Evening_St.Louis

Spring Evening_St.Louis by David DeNagel

Apps Used: Vivid HDR, Snapseed, Mextures

Backstory: Having Spring Fever, I decided to visit my hometown, St.Louis, about an hours drive from where I now live. St.Louis is ,invariably, visually motivating so I never regret the trip to the old neighborhoods.

This image was taken near the riverfront at Memorial Park, which is where the Arch is located. It was near sundown when I arrived. The combination of the the light , the magnolias and the twilight glow on the Arch were irresistible. Shooting handheld,I chose VividHDR to help capture more of the subjects wide dynamic range, even though the light was fading. It did a fine job. I made a few minor levels and contrast adjustments in Snapseed. However,the real magic occurred for me while working the base image through a variety of effects and textures in Mextures until I got the look I envisioned.

floral dreadlocks

floral dreadlocks by hanakai2001

Apps used: oggl contrast ImageBlender retoutch BlurFx kitcam LabelBox ScratchCam

Backstory: one day I walked with my dog around my house, and I found the blooming flower. it looked very beautiful and gorgeous! I could not help taking photos. I thought that I want to decorate my self portrait with this flower. then I chose one of high contrast portrait, I made the flower like my hair. I’m not a talkative person. I like being quiet. so I sealed my mouth with plastic tape.

Cecilton Barn

Cecilton Barn by Tracy Mitchell Griggs

Apps Used: Oggl, Snapseed, PhotoWizard

Backstory: I always revisit this barn image to try new apps/processing – I have a post modern deconstructed version in my photo stream in hot pink :-). I think this image has a timeless quality to it, though not sure how much time this particular barn has, as it sits on an abandoned property (near my home) with other abandoned structures. As an architecture and interior design journalist, the built environment is a fave subject matter for me and this interest has translated well to mobile photography. I recently became a member of Oggl, and finally am experimenting with Hipstamatic’s terrific lenses and films – Hipsta was the first app I downloaded when I started experimenting with the iPhone two years ago, but I just could not get the hang of remembering what each film/combo produced – being able to see the combos in post production has encouraged me to dig through my camera roll and re work old images – am sorry to say, I did not record the Oggl combo here, but I use Lowy, Sugar, Yoona and Blanko quite a bit – cropped in Snapseed and sharpened slightly in PhotoWizard.

Self Portrait 4.11.14 3:30 pm

Self Portrait 4.11.14 3:30 pm by Diana Nicholette Jeon

Apps Used: Shot using Selfie Cam app on iPhone 5 then processed in Mextures, Snapseed and Alt Photo.

Backstory: Within the past month, my mother was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer. It is terminal.

I took a series of self-portraits of myself shortly after getting the news, to capture my emotions while they were still fresh. While my common practice is to intentionally intertwine apps seeking to obscure which was used, to use them to create something new, in this case, I wanted to keep the earnest expression of my emotion fresh and on the surface, and not to diguise that via the app process I used. I also sought to do this while using a limited tonal range, with no real darks, in order to show effect cancer has, to dim the light of someone, so to speak. Finally, I wanted it to have a somewhat light,angelic feel in the colors, rather like a Tennyson has done in some of her work, to show the goodness in me that I received from my mother.

This work is dedicated to my mother, Stella Kehayas Jeon. She has lived a rather remarkable life, and has always unselfishly taken care of others and shunned the limelight herself.

gone with the ashes...(no for the last world war)

gone with the ashes…(no for the last world war) by juta jazz

Apps Used: Snapseed, Decim8

Backstory: My thoughts were disturbed from the news about the Ukraine political situation. All this intimidations and preparations for the war made me really sad. I felt disappointed by how humanity is still moving in the same old way- all economical and political crisis are solved with the easiest way – war. But that if we will have again a world war? It will be the last one?

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.


  1. Tracy Mitchell Griggs said:

    Thanks for inclusion again this week – been off for a week taking a break from online and photos but seeing the gallery has inspired me to maybe come out of hibernation