Apps Uncovered 4 April 2014

Apps Uncovered Fri 4 April

Welcome to this week’s Apps Uncovered, our weekly feature, showcasing iPhone art and photography from around the world. Artists also share the apps they use and often the backstories too giving us a fascinating insight into the creativity and techniques used in the journey the image makes from the artist’s eye to the completed digital image we see on Flickr.

I apologise for the short post this week. I am about to spend some long overdue time with my family. My iPC partner, Bob Weil will be taking over the helm for 2 weeks so iPhoneographyCentral, including iPC will be in good hands. Meanwhile thank you to all of you who contribute your work to our Flickr group. Our top 12 iPhone artists and photographers this week (with Nicolas Xanthos stealing the top spot with his stunning, textural winter image “À un moment donné”) are: Lawrence Lazare, iJoxo, Tracy Giggs, Natali Prosvetova, Tomaso Belloni, Susan Blase, Tracy Munson, Stephanie Roberts, Mark Walton, Chad Kenesis, Phillipe Schlossberg and Anne Highfield.

Thank you, as always to everyone who submits to this group. I encourage you to click on any of the images to see more of the artist’s work on Flickr. Bob Weil will be back next week with a new gallery including artist app, technique and backstory revelations.

À un moment donné

À un moment donné by Nicolas Xanthos

Snapseed, Stackables, Superimpose, Handy Photo, Photocopier, Modern Grunge

Technically, this picture posed me two problems: framing and tones/textures.
Initially this photo was taken with the wide-angle Olloclip lens; this is a frequent choice for me, but I thought it was even more appropriate here to give the impression of vastness of the field of snow, and tiny fragility of the barn and the tree. To achieve the desired composition, I took the picture being a little farther than I would have done otherwise; I told myself that I would correct this by cropping during editing. I tried a few versions of this image with a narrower frame, but I would have lost the composition and impressions that I loved. So I kept the original framing, and the empty areas on the left and right sides of the photo which would eventually contribute to the aesthetic significance of the whole.
Tones and textures were a challenge. It was a sunless day, rendering the snow and the sky the same color (white/gray slightly bluish). In this regard, the photo does not have much charm. Usually, I like to get twilight hues, but with this photo it was impossible (snow turned blue or red, it was terrible).
My good friend Frédérique Godefroid had recently drew my attention to the app Stackables, and I must admit that I was immediately attracted by the many textures in shades of beige. For snow, when the weather is gray, it provides great results. Here, it was perfect for me: it warmed the image and also gave it a certain softness. Modern Grunge and Photocopier, by producing versions I mixed in Superimpose, helped me find the exact color I wanted; I completed this work by adding, with Snapseed, a little saturation on the roof of the barn so that it is distinct from the rest of the building while remaining within the overall tone. The texture was quite apparent, but I found that it suited the whole by giving it a painterly appearance in harmony with the image.
I finally removed some electric poles and cables with Handy Photo to increase the isolation of the barn.
Thus, the end result mixed a solitude a little sad with a kind of a little nostalgic sweetness, making this endless winter a little more bearable.

Dawn Over the Huron River on the First Day of Spring

Dawn Over the Huron River on the First Day of Spring by Lawrence Lazare

Shot on an iPhone 5s with VividHDR

Background Story: I took this photo on Nov 23rd, 2013 from my dining room window first thing in the morning. The atmospheric condition was a combination of light snow and fog caused perhaps because the ground was still warm. I was fascinated by this scene because it looked mysterious and beautiful, something i don’t often encounter in my area. I live on Lake Ontario, Canada.
Apps Used: Hipstamatic Tinto Lens and C-Type Film.



The Tailor..Kensington Market cafe..Toronto
The Tailor..Kensington Market cafe..Toronto by iJoxo 

Background Story: As i took a seat at my local cafe i noticed in front of me to the right the local tailor quietly reading his magazine. Since he was so absorbed, I decided this was the perfect time to capture his image without disturbing him. As a subject he seemed to be right out of another era; an elegant older gentleman who always dressed with great care and carried himself with dignity, a reflection of his professional position.

Apps Used: Hipstamatic JohnS Lens/Ina’s 69 film my go to formula. Snapseed to crop, convert to Blk/Wht and Tune Image to adjust contrast and brightness. To achieve the colour from ‘another era’ i used Vintique HD for the sepia effect and blurry vignette.


The Salon

The Salon by Tracy Mitchell Griggs

ProCamera, Snapseed

The photo was taken at an indoor Amish farmer market. The Amish rent out stalls and this salon is one of the non-food tenants. It’s completely open to everyone shopping and is next door to a poultry vendor 🙂 I stopped to examine some merchandise and was totally captivated by the juxtaposition of the wall posters with the contrast of the “Darth Vader” dryer helmets. I possess a sense of the absurd, and this scene called me 🙂 I mostly use ProCamera for my shots, no exception here. I converted this to B&W in Snapseed with just a bit of fine tuning. My preference for street photography is for minimal processing and my workflow here reflects that.



Geometry of an unhurried conversation

Geometry of an unhurried conversation by Natali Prosvetova

This is my sweetest personal model, who is my niece =) Her name is Nicky. She is 11. A lot of children try to play adults, imitating them and posing in an exaggerated way which I am not fond of.
However, this child who is already 11 years old, and it is quite difficult to control the balance; to not cross the line when it becomes vulgar and provocative. However, I really like to work with her.
Here is a link on some photos from the series “Geometry of an unhurried conversation”:


Above everything else

Above everything else by Tomaso Belloni

This was a lucky shot. I seldom take pictures in this way, but I had just bought an Olloclip telephoto lens for my iPhone5 and wanted to try it. So I went out and picked a couple of flowers: a daisy and a small purple one. I did not really select them, just took two different ones, as it was just for a test. I put the flowers on a white piece of paper on the table in front of the window, mounted a tripod and tried quite a few shots of either, but did not like any of them.

I got tired and removed the extra lens. I did find the light too dull, so I opened the window and used the glass to reflect sunlight, creating an undulated illumination which I liked much more. The phone was now a bit too far from the flowers and the setup without the lens did not make much sense, but I took a few shot anyway taking both flowers in. Then I gave up. In the evening, going through the pictures on my iPad mini, I discovered that in one of the pictures the daisy was half flat on the paper and with a curious shadow partly on top of the petals, which made it look like a ghost flower next to it. I immediately loved it. I had to really crop a lot to zoom in on the daisy, so I resized it with Big Photo, applied snapseed grunge effects which I overlayed with Superimpose. I still have not succeded with the Olloclip, but I was very happy with the one lucky picture that came out by not using it.
Apps used: iPhone5 with built in camera app, Snapseed, Superimpose, Big Photo


Look Past The Bleakness

Looking Past The Bleakness by Susan Blase

This pic evolved from a simple shot I took in a nearby field full of spent wildflowers. Once I added texture and played with the focus in PhotoToaster, it took shape. To me it took on feeling of moving past the bleak winter remnants (longest on record here!), and seeing the color and light that lies ahead. I worked with the color and added a bit more texture using Mextures and Pixlromatic, two mainstays in my arsenal of apps. I thought it represented the end of winter days and titled it in hopes of brighter days ahead.

Apps used:Mextures, Pixlromatic and PhotoToaster on iPhone


Funerary finery.

Funerary finery by Tracy Munson

Back Story:
I actually bought these flowers for my Aunt’s funeral. I kind of selected them mindful of the fact that, as the next of kin, I’d be entitled to take them home after the service and I had some photography projects in mind for them. Perhaps that makes me sound like a bad person, but my Aunt would have thought it was very practical, so it’s ok. We don’t like waste in my family! When I got home after the funeral, I was too tired to set up lights and backdrops and get out the DSLR, so I just took a few shots with my iPhone 5. I took this photo using the Camera + app and the olloclip macro lens. I don’t think I edited this one much in Camera +, maybe just a bit of sharpening. I really liked the composition of this shot, with the spiral pattern in the rose. This is just one of several versions I made of it. I added the savannah texture in the Distressed fx app and saved. Next, I took the original photo into Mextures and added the Painterly effect from the grunge textures. I saved and then blended the two versions at about 50-50 in PhotoForge2, then I applied THAT to the original photo with a graduated radial filter, using Filterstorm. I really wanted to give it a bit of a dreamy, painterly effect but I didn’t want to cover up the sharpness in the centre of the photo. I frequently use graduated radial filters to apply my edit to the original photo like a vignette.

Apps Used:
Camera +, Distressed fx, Mextures, PhotoForge2, Filterstorm.


Butterflies on kite strings

Butterflies on kite strings by Stephanie Roberts

Apps used: Hipstamatic 273



Notting Hill Gate

Notting Hill Gate by Mark Walton

This shot was taken in the service alley behind a rod of shops and cafés where I don’t think the public is expected to linger.  I liked the delicate blue colour and the light mesh.  I wondered what the hole was for and I assume the mesh is to stop mice getting in.

Taken with Pure Shot on iPhone 5.  I like this app because it takes multiple exposures and you can choose the best one to keep. It does drain the battery though!



Mystify by Chad Kenesis

Apps used: Filtermania2, Filterstorm, Camera+ and Snapseed



desk by Philippe Schlossberg

No additional edit other than a shot taken directly with Oggl.


Winter River

Winter River by Anne Highfield

Apps used: iPhone with Snapseed, Distressed FX, Glaze, image Blender, Touch Retouch.
Backstory: The Chester River always manages to lure me to its side on a snowy day. Before taking this photo, I stood here for a long time marveling at the silent stillness of this river ecosystem, appreciating the life it sustains, and anticipating the return of its vibrant energy.
My editing began with the addition of some vintage and drama filters in Snapseed. I then applied some painterly effects in Glaze and blended back with the original image. A few large snowflakes in the sky became distracting, so I removed them with Touch/Retouch. Finally, I applied some additional textures and tones using Distressed FX.

Nicki Fitz-Gerald

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

One Comment;

  1. Philippe Schlossberg said:

    thank you so much to the iPC team for featuring me, and congrats to all the others … especially Natali … I love her work in a general way 😉