Apps Uncovered 2 January 2015 – Hope, Joy and a Happy New Year!

Selected by Nicki Fitz-Gerald

Welcome to the first Apps Uncovered of 2015; a year that promises no end of breath-taking iPhone art and photography talent judging by our latest gallery of outstanding images. I chose the theme Hope & Joy and I hope you’ll find one one or both of these emotions present in each of my selected images below.

It’s been a wonderful year for iPhoneography and if I can add one more word to Hope and Joy, it will be Curiosity. I am excited by the potential of mobile art and am looking forward to new surprises from our regular pool of talent and new faces, so I encourage you to be bold and curious and wish you all a brilliant year of discovery through the lens of your iPhone in 2015! A very Happy New Year from iPhoneographyCentral and thank you all for making the weekly Apps Uncovered feature such a rich and diverse gallery of mobile art and photography.

Thanks to Cedric Blanchon for our lead image this week, as dry as ever with his humorous take on detoxing after a Christmas binge. We have some beautiful landscapes with great attention to detail from Apps Uncovered veterans Wayne Greer and David DeNagel, crisp, crashing waves caught beautifully in the gold and blue light from serial wave capture expert Andy Royston. This past year has witnessed more iPhone accessories being used in the iPhone community; Veevs uses the Olloclip Fisheye lens to great effect in her image Tate Britain and our regular contributor, “wonder with light, composition and evocative mood expert”, David DeNagel has also used lenses on both of his beautiful images “Snowflake and Dawn_Winter.” Anne Highfield’s “December River” is beautifully composed and executed, a great mix of photography with a painterly feel. I adore the curiosity caught in Angelo Merluccio’s Yellow & Red, the striking contrast of the colours, the child’s gaze in the opposite direction of the car all make for a great photo and moment caught. David Hayes “Valleys” are simply divine and the joy continues in his backstory which made me smile….as did the delights of Cat Morris’s image “Esther liked to coordinate her accessories.” Fiery Broome transforms a stray chicken feather in to a beautiful dreamy world via the brilliant Olloclip lens in her White Feather images and of course my iPC partner do not usually include our images on this feature but it was hard to ignore Bob’s image “Be not forgetful to welcome strangers…” and I thought a great quote for the New Year, beginning with an open heart. Brandon Kidwell’s striking image “All roads I travel…” is another fantastic double-exposure with a touching backstory and I love the simplicity and contours of both Andrew Lucchesi’s Ivy and Lynx1’s Ray; both making great use of economy of light and colour. Sheldon Serkin’s “Rolando” and just dragonfly’s image “Duck for cover” made me smile and were definitely in the “Joy” camp.

Mariko Klug’s solitude is another demonstration of her brilliant talent for composition, light, colour and editing skills in creating this wonderful, peaceful lakeside scene. And finally, the highly creative Angie Johnson invites us into the year with her image “Words, just words” and I, for one, will be accepting the invitation. A very Happy New Year!

STOP PRESS: TOP 5O images 2014 – COMING SOON…Bob Weil and I will be selecting our top 50 images from Apps Uncovered 2014 in the next week or so!


Need water! by Cedric Blanchon

Apps used: Camera+, Snapseed and Superimpose.
Backstory: I got the idea for this photo after the very good meal to christmas dinner, we drink always too much and ate too, I needed to put myself at green and watering my plant that me serves at brain: ) I made a first picture of me who waters my head with the application camera +( for the timer, exposure adjustment etc … )then I have the same picture but without me, I then used to superimpose deleted some of my skull, then I took a picture of the green plant that I put on the top of my head cleared with superimpose app, for me the best application layer, then i used Snapseed and Retrolux effect, I had almost the same picture that was called “overconsumption” and where they poured some milk in the head, it’s the same idea to tell our tendency ate too much and drink during the holidays of Christmas.



Canada geese by Wayne Greer


Apps used: Handy Photo, Snapseed and Phototoaster
Backstory: I was driving by the river , hoping to find something to shoot due to some fog we had that day. I was really just intending to shoot the river with the bridge in the background. There are always geese around , so much so , that I hardly pay them any attention. I must have startled them , because they suddenly burst into flight just as I was snapping away. I used Handy Photo to crop out a goose right on the edge of the frame. In Snapseed I adjusted saturation and warmth. To keep it soft , I didn’t sharpen. I also sometimes will darken the image while bringing up the ambience. Then in Photo Toaster , I made some final adjustments with its lighting brush

Whaa there...

Whaa there… by Andy Royston (Fort Lauderdale Sun project)


Apps used: Taken by iPhone 6 using VividHDR app.
edited further using #snapseed #ShockMyPic #ImageBlender
Backstory: Shooting waves using a HDR app means perfect timing (there’s a few seconds shutter delay, so it’s all about predicting the moment that the wave breaks) and the ability to shift the iPhone out of harms way!

I love to catch the light through the breakers just after sun-up. Fort Lauderdale’s shore is relatively shallow and the waters are warm all year round. This certainly helps, as my breakers are best shot from knee-deep in the ocean.

I generally try to shoot as low as possible using the shutter snap, though VividHDR needs a more conventional screen tap. In this case the wave wasn’t as sharply focussed as I’d like, so I use an old app – ShockMyPic to add a little bite to the darkest areas.

Most times I use this app I’ll mask the darkest areas using PhotoWizard (which saves transparent png files) then blending it all back to the original usingImageBlender.


The beautiful light in Tate Britain

The beautiful light in Tate Britain by Veevs3


Apps used: VividHDR and Stackables.
Hardware used: iPhone 6 with Olloclip Fisheye lens mounted.
Backstory: I went with friends to Tate Britain yesterday and got there early before the crowds as it was a lovely sunny day and I knew the light inside would be amazing! I took the photo with VividHDR and in colour it was lovely, but I knew the light would be more dramatic in Black and White. I also used the Olloclip Fisheye lens to take the photo, to get more of the area in the photo. I cropped it square and then opened photo in Stackables App. There are some amazing presets already loaded in the App. I used one of them and then I enhanced the photo with a few more changes with Stackables textures, colours and adjustments.



Snowflake by David DeNagel


Hardware used: Shot with an iPhone6 with a Moment Wide Angle lens mounted.
Apps used: Camera Noir, Handy Photo, VSCOcam, Stackables, Snapseed, Camera+ and Superimpose.
Backstory: The early morning light was shining into the living room, especially illuminating a Christmas Snowflake hanging in the window. In the chiaroscuro darkness of the surroundings, the snowflake was like a beacon of the season.
I shot the image with a Moment Wide Angle lens, on an iPhone 6 , mounted on a tripod. The original photo was taken with Camera Noir.
In post processing, I removed a few distractions with Handy Photo. Then I processed the image with Vscocam, b3 preset. I gave the overall photo a light texture with Stackables; then some final sharpening and tonal adjustments ,specifically to the snowflake ,with Snapseed and Camera+. Finally, I blended the adjusted file with the original in Superimpose, masking certain areas of the images to achieve the right emphasis.



Dawn_Winter by David DeNagel


Hardware used: iPhone 6 with Moment Tele lens mounted.
Apps used: Camera+, VSCOcam and Snapseed.
Backstory: It was another dawn in December. It was very cold. However, a large expanse of fog was now covering the landscape. I simply had to photograph the lake with this backdrop. The muted sun was starting its rise. By chance ,a flock of Canadian Geese was just landing in the water. Soon they would take flight when they saw me. Soon, the mystical beauty of the fog would vanish also.
I shot the image with a Moment tele lens on an iPhone 6 mounted on a tripod.
I used Camera+ for the original shot. Then I post processed in Vscocam, k2 preset. I finished the image adjustments to tonality,center focus and sharpening in Snapseed.


December River by Anne Highfield


Apps used: iPhone5, Snapseed, Glaze, Image Blender, Stackables, Repix
Backstory: Walking with my iPhone to the river in Chestertown, Maryland is a favorite activity, especially on snowy or foggy days. When I arrived at the Chester River on this December day, three seagulls were competing for a seat on this perch, so I waited patiently for the right posture and stillness from one of them. I must have snapped about 30 shots before capturing this one. My processing began in Snapseed, where I increased the drama slightly and cooled the tone a bit. Then, I added some blue textures in Stackables. After that, I ran the image through Glaze to give it a bit of a painterly feel, and blended that image back with the original. Finally, I added a few random effects to the sky using the ‘drips’ tool from Repix.



Yellow & Red by Angelo Merluccio


Apps used: This photo was taken with an iphone 5 and auto corrected with iOS standard photo application.
Backstory:The photo was taken while crossing a busy intersection in new york city. The innocence of the girl in the taxi is what struck my eye. In that moment you never know what to expect.


Valleys by David Hayes


Apps used: I used Perfect B&W with a touch of Snapseed to create this image.
Backstory: I’ve never met a bowl full of pears that I didn’t want to photograph…and this one was no different. Looking at the source image the shadows suggested B&W..and I’m glad I did!!

Esther liked to coordinate her accessories

Esther liked to coordinate her accessories by iCatMorris


Apps used: iColorama | Leonardo | Stackables | Snapseed.
Backstory: I’ve been collecting bits and pieces photographically over the past year and decided to put together a whimsical end of year series about “flappers” getting through/enjoying the holidays.



White Feather-Dark Texture by Firery Broome


Apps used: Captured Sat. Dec. 27 in the afternoon, with iPhone and Olloclip Macro Lens and the Pure Camera app. Edited and lightly textured in Snapseed on the iPad.
White Feather-Dark Texture for Macro Mondays Redux,
Backstory: I chose Jan. 20 2014 Theme – Feather. Thawed frost droplets on a stray feather from one of my chickens.


White Feather 2 by Firery Broome


Apps used: Captured Sat. Dec. 27 in the afternoon, with iPhone and Olloclip Macro Lens. Lightly edited and cropped square in Snapseed on the iPad.
Backstory: I chose Jan. 20 2014 Theme – Feather. Thawed frost droplets on a stray feather from one of my chickens.

Be not fearful to welcome strangers

“Be not forgetful to welcome strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” by Bob Weil


“Be not forgetful to welcome strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

– Hebrews 13:2

“So speak kind to a stranger
Cause you’ll never know
It just might be an angel come
Knockin’ at your door
Knockin’ at your door.

Ben Harper, Waiting on an Angel

Apps used: Superimpose, Photocopier, Aremac, Pixlromatic, Painteresque, Camera+
Backstory: Working at a marketing firm, I sometimes have the opportunity to be present during photo shoots that we conduct for our clients. We were shooting a “husband and wife” scene poolside in Hawaii two years ago, and while this model was waiting for the cameraman to switch lenses, she unselfconsciously performed a series of ballet moves that I captured on my iPhone 4s.

Her movements were so refined that I’ve used these three shots in various forms for several of my pieces over the last year. Sometimes I’ve tried to convey the spirit of dance, and here my goal was to present an angelic figure to underscore the words of the quote. placed her against a background pattern of lines and squares to suggest a cross. I love the first quote, and Liz Traynor suggested the second below my Flickr post for this image. Very nice addition!

I frequently apply and re-apply the same texture background to “flatten” it so that it has the quality of old paper or some other lusterless surface. This also has the effect of muting the colors while leaving the underlying textures. The blend mode I use for this is step are not my usual favorites (Multiply or Overlay) – but Difference and Exclusion (in Superimpose). For the longest time, I could never figure out why I would ever use these blend modes, but at low percentages, they can work magic.

I like adding text to my backgrounds when I think it will add something – in this case, it is meant to reinforce the age and authority of the biblical verse, and it also helps frame and bring forward the figure.

I haven’t decided whether I want to keep the raised effect (shadows on each side) – I can’t make up my mind whether they add or detract from the piece. I’ll probably remove them.

All roads I travel lead to you.  I'm always coming back to you!

All roads I travel lead to you. I’m always coming back to you! by Brandon Kidwell

Apps used: iPhone5 | Union App | VSCOCam
Backstory: This image is a simple blend of two images, blended in Union App and finished in VSCOCam. The image is representative of my thoughts on my relationship with my loving wife. Every road I’ve traveled in my life has led me to her and anywhere I go from here on out, each road will ultimately lead back to her, my heart, my home, my love.



Ivy by Andrew Lucchesi


Apps used: iPhone 6+, Contrast by Hornbeck, Filterstorm.
Backstory: I saw this ivy growing on a wall in a parking lot. I was struck by the way the leaves grew in tight clusters. I took several shots of the ivy using the Contrast By Hornbeck app. I chose to edit this shot because I liked the symmetry and texture of the leaves. Using Filterstorm, I removed some of the background leaves and cropped the image. Mother Nature did the rest!


Rolondo by Shel Serkin


Apps used: Hipstamatic & Instagram



Ray by &Lynx1


Apps used: ZebraFilm
Backstory: This shot was taken in a corridor at an art museum on a cloudy summer day. After looking at the works of art, I was able to enjoy some tranquil time to myself here. I saw a girl who was texting, but I didn’t really pay much attention to her. Suddenly, the sunlight came toward her, and I shot this one instinctively. At the time, I just thought: “Beautiful sunlight.” Looking back, I realized that my hope was that “People in the dark could see the light.” The sunlight appeared only for a moment, but I hope people will never lose their light.



Duck for cover!

Duck for cover! by just dragonfly,


Hardware & Apps used: IPhone5s with Covr photo lens mounted. Rainy Days Texture by Evelyn Flint. Superimpose and Color Lake apps.
Backstory: Depending on my mood I sometimes add a little humour to my images with a “what on earth is going on here” This is one of these images. I snapped the man with the umbrella using the Covr photo lens. The Covr is a Kickstart project that I subscribed too. It consists of a prism in an iPhone case that slides over the IPhone lens and allows a view at 90 degrees to the normal. This facilitates taking photos using the Covr photo app while holding the camera in a horizontal position. In this instance I was walking alongside of the man with the umbrella looking down at my phone. For a background texture I used Rainy Days a texture by Evelyn Flint. www.daydreamingimages.com. I assembled the mask of the man and the stock “duck” in Superimpose, at the same time tilting the man forward a little to give him a connection with the Duck. I used Color Lake to add the water and reflections. The process did not take very long and was more spontaneous than planned.



Solitude by Mariko Klug


Hardware and Apps used: iPhone 5s back camera 4.12mm f/2.2.
Apps used: Photo taken with Hipstamatic Jimmy lens, Blanko Freedom13 film. I removed a disturbing stone with TouchRetouch, cropped and desaturated with PhotoToaster. Finally I applied the Sepia Spot and Valentine filter of PicFx.

Words, just words.

Words, just words. by Angie Johnson


Apps used: Hipstamatic, Type-Writer and Image Blender.
Backstory: I’m resting and relaxing this morning before my day at work begins. This book, a life less ordinary, is wonderfully pleasant. The page with the antique typewriter is so alluring to me. As though I could actually join the page and type a note, I capture the moment with my iPhone. I then go to the Type-Writer app and type the message that I need to share. Having both images in my photo album I load each one into the Image Blender app.

I hope you find inspiration in unique places throughout your day and week, my friends. Happy Monday!

Nicki Fitz-Gerald

Co-author of The Art of iPhoneographyCentral. Founder of iPhoneographyCentral.com


  1. Anne Highfield said:

    Thank you, Nicki! This is such a diverse and compelling collection and I so enjoyed reading about each photo. Hope, joy, and curiosity are blessings for which you have made me grateful today. Much gratitude for sharing!

  2. Brandon Kidwell said:

    Thank you Nicki, I’m honored to be included here. So many inspiring works here and always great to get the backstory and processes. Congratulations to all and Happy New Year!



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