Apps Uncovered: A celebration of the artistic possibilities of the iPhone

Featuring a wonderful mix of painterly, graphic, illustrative and photographic images this week, Apps Uncovered celebrates all the wonderful artistic possibilities of the the iPhone from capture to processing. Huge thanks to Barbara Braman for our featured image this week “She Comes to Me as a Butterfly” is a touching illustration, deceptive in it’s expressive, bold colour work for the sad tale it conceals. I urge you to read Barbara’s backstory to understand the picture. 

Rounding out the rest of the group this week are the following photographers and artists: Rita Colantonio, Catherine Caddigan, Clint Cline, oola cristina, Fleur Schim, Tyler Hewitt, Maarten Oortwijn, Michael Hamments, Jean Hutter, Paul Yan and Rob Pearson-Wright.

New iPhone and iPad photo art classes coming soon.

If you’d like to learn more about creating digital collage from photos on an iPhone or iPad using apps like Procreate app and Superimpose X you might like my new iPhone art video classes launching soon…..please sign up to the newsletter for further information & launch dates: https://tinyurl.com/uxpz34e

For a chance to be featured in this weekly showcase, please remember to include your apps and backstories with your photos. Thank you, as always for submitting your amazing work.- For a chance to feature, please join our Flickr group. 

Don’t forget to “ENABLE Photo SHARING” on your images in order to be featured. Instructions for this are on our iPC Group Rules page on the iPC.

Thank you all for contributing your wonderful images and we look forward to discovering the stories and techniques behind them. If you have any questions regarding this feature, please email Nicki at nicki@iPhoneographyCentral.com

She Comes to Me as a Butterfly
She Comes to Me as a Butterfly by Barbara Braman

Apps used: Procreate.
Backstory: I made this image Last summer, not long after I was in a bad car accident where my car was totalled, I broke my ankle, and one of my collies died. I couldn’t drive, and (didn’t want to) and spent most of the summer in our backyard.

That collie, My one year old Matilda, had a mission to pull our lavender plants right out of the ground. I often chided her and tried to re-direct her energy. She never bothered any of our other plantings. While painting on my iPad outside every afternoon I noticed that the many monarch butterflies clustered around the lavender bushes. I found their presence very comforting.

The image was created in Procreate. The background layer was a photo of trees that I worked on in the app Imaengine, and then drew over in Procreate. It provides structure for the image. The woman’s dress was a photo of my own sundress edited in Imaengine and used as a clipping mask in Procreate.

Another Reason to Stay Home by Barbara Braman.

Apps used & Backstory: Taken with iP6s with Camera+ 2 app set to macro. Touched with Snapseed.
“Another Reason to Stay Home” sums up some of my feelings about having to stay home for the unknown duration of the lockdown. I find I do enjoy not feeling pressure to be out and about. Before the lockdown, I had just finished turning a bedroom into a studio, and was reveling in the space. But, as with everyone, I missed many aspects of my daily life and was worried about what the future would bring.

This image was made after loosely following Karen Divine’s series of prompts for making composite images. I have been working to add more photographic elements into my work, and have enjoyed learning from Karen’s exploration of her own process.

I created this as a true composite, using my own drawings and photos. The carpet is a photo and the curtains were recreated in Procreate with some fun use of the liquify tool. The view from the siding doors is an iPhone photo of the view outside my car window. The striped background is an iPhone photo of a small detail of lines in a print.

The figure was a part of an earlier image, which I drew. I made her a new dress using a clipping mask and a drawing of a scarf I had also made earlier.

A Mother’s Day Bouquet.
A Mother’s Day Bouquet by Rita Colantonio

A pear tree blossom.

A Pear Tree Blossom by Rita Colantonio

Apps used: Procreate
Backstory: I started with an iPhoneXS photograph of a pear tree blooming in my yard. My inspiration was celebrating spring. I wanted a graphic image so I went to Procreate. I traced over the outlines of the image, which I reduced to a low opacity on a base layer, and used those lines as a reference layer. Without brushing I filled the shapes with color. I created a “sun” on another layer and added a line design in procreate. I added overlapping color shapes on the sun and lower leaf.

A springtime fantasy.
A Springtime Fantasy by Rita Colantonio

Apps used: FotoDa, procreate, IColorama, LightBrush
Backstory: I was looking through my camera roll for a background image that lent itself to a surreal, somewhat mystical image.  I came across a blended FotoDa image that had the colors and textures I was hoping for. It also had a hint of a landscape, trees and birds that reminded me of spring. I went about choosing elements from my camera roll to build my image, such as the woman (former mannequin), young girl, blue ceramic horse, hanging swing and chair. All strategically placed to create a sense of depth and realism with attention to scale. This was done in IColorama.  Then I went to Procreate to paint in details, such as the house, the woman’s hat and some lines. I also painted more color on the woman to make her stand out and on the horse for texture. My final stop was LightBrush for shadows, highlights and definition.

Blue Latex
Blue Latex by catcad (Catherine Caddigan)

Apps used: Procreate, Native camera Iphone 8 Plus, Ipad Pro.
Backstory: This piece was inspired by the social distancing we are all trying to maintain. Some of the images came from my camera roll for before the epidemic, the blue glove was shot in a grocery store parking lot. There is a piece of an old elastic package from my mother’s sewing box, that I used to make masks. This is one of those images that exists as only one image on my camera roll. This means I arrived at the composition without the endless variations that usually accompany one of my images. I arrived at the feeling of anxiety and entrapment pretty quickly. I used various layer effects, and as always I improvised with the adjustments tool. In this you will see I used the liquify tool on the glasses, something I rarely do because I stay away from affects that are too readily identifiable with an application or a function of one. But in this case I thought it worked.

Antithesis | 14 | Gesture
Antithesis | 14 | Gesture by clix2020 (Clint Cline)

Apps used: The apps used include Hipstamatic, Formulas, Snapseed, iColorama, and Superimpose.
Backstory: This is one of an occasional series that explores the idea of antithesis by emphasizing the contrast of parallel structures or shapes or colors, or all three. For several months I’ve been exploring in a separate series the idea of congruity where opposing images within a frame each reflects a common denominator. Antithesis 14 “The Gesture” was a response to this and an effort to emphasize similar concepts expressed in shape and color and content that are quite contrary to one another. “Gesture” explores that contrast using a metaphorical gesture comprised of contrary circles and rectangular shapes with that of a human form expressing an unspoken emotion set against snippets of words that would be used to describe it. Together they form a visual contradiction that works in harmony.

Special thanks to Ali Barzegarahmadi and Unsplash for the use of his portrait image of a young woman

"finding safety"
“finding safety” by oola cristina

Backstory: Our feelings of safety are unique and dependent on what we came in with, what has happened to us and how those experiences have integrated within us. What’s around us, what has come toward us, what we’ve lost, what we have or don’t have are parts of what create the whole.

I started this image about a month ago. At that time, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was very much in the forefront of my thinking… the possibility of illness and death because of it and how best to be and feel safe in this new global reality. As the image revealed itself, it became as much about my overall feeling of safety in this world — or lack of it — and where those feelings reside in me.

Using the theme of the retablo (a devotional Catholic altarpiece or painting used in many Spanish speaking countries) opened a door into my early Catholic life weaving in memories of Japan and what it is to have been raised in a multi-cultural home. The central image of the heart and lungs represents a milagro, a folk charm and offering used for healing. On the right are my parents who have both passed away — my dad when I was 13; my mom, 7 years ago. On the left is me at 5. This image is, in part, about the memory of my parents communicating with and comforting the part of me that does not feel safe. It also serves as a prayer, an invocation, a reminder and an antidote.

Birds of a feather
Birds of a feather by Fleur Schim (fleurschim)

Apps used & Backstory: Our beaches are now open! I am happy to have another area to walk and photograph. The tide was very low, and there was plenty of space to walk on the sand. There were so many seagulls, pelicans, and other fowl. An amazing sight! I couldn’t resist capturing this congregation of birds at the waterline. I walked up to them, even though some birds dispersed, I was able to capture this lovely flock with my iphone11pro. Later, on my iPad pro, I edited in snapseed. Distressedfx has wonderful filters for color and texture. I quickly realized that this image would make a great watercolor, so I edited in Icolorama (painterly and watercolor) and blended with the original, then edited, again, in Simply Watercolor. I blended that product with the final icolorama result. Lastly, I made a few adjustments in Snapseed. I think this beauty reflects a perfect moment in time.

Pink by Fleur Schim (fleurschim)

Apps used & Backstory: I noticed this lovely vine on my daily walk. It had a gorgeous pink hue. I photographed several images with the native camera in portrait mode, and also with the shooting app camera+2. Hand held close up images are tricky. I held my breath, exhaled and liked the image with camera+2. Later, on my iPad Pro, I edited in Snapseed, tuning, to diffuse the brown fence, and glamour glow, to highlight the colors. Next, I used both the painterly and watercolor filters on Icolorama. I used imageblender with the various intermediate images. The final result is a lovely, soft, iridescent pink confection.

MIB by tahewitt (Tyler Hewitt)

Apps used: Procreate
Backstory: I work in handmade collage as well as digital collage and iPhoneography. A couple of years ago, I made a series of simple collages that basically involved tearing a bunch of old postcards in half, and putting two unrelated pieces together. That work left me with a bunch of unused torn postcard pieces that I tossed in a drawer and forgot about. A few months ago, I was looking at those leftover postcard pieces, and shot photos of a few with my iPad. That’s the right side of MIB, it’s half a postcard of a US state capitol building (can’t remember which one). The left side is a photo of graph paper, and the figures were shot from an old textbook. I assembled those three elements in Procreate, but didn’t know where to take it, so it sat for a couple months. I would open the file and work with it every once in a while, but nothing I tried seemed to work. Then, last week, after not working with it for several weeks, it all came together pretty quickly. I added the orange shapes, and it finally felt finished. Mid-century graphic design is a big influence on my work, and I think that influence is pretty evident here.
The name MIB comes from the men in black urban legends/conspiracy theories. The generic office worker figure and the government building in the postcard seemed to fit that title.

Untitled by maartenoortwijn (Maarten Oortwijn)

Apps used: This picture was created with ProCreate on my iPad pro.
Backstory: The picture started with just the Rietveld chair against a simple backdrop. But soon it evolved into something more. The weekend before I found some old family pictures and it became a picture to commemorate all the people in my mothers family who lost their lives during world war II. In the frame I painted a photo of my grandfather with his brother and sister. On the chair I painted the last photo taken of my grandfather. And at the bottom to the right I painted a passport with a J (for Jude) stamped in it.

Fried Eggs
Fried Eggs by dnhimages (Michael Hamments)

Apps used: Hipstamatic and Stackables
Backstory: Looking for ways to get the creative juices going during stay at home orders I am looking at ordinary items in a different way. Armed with an iPhone XS with Sandmarc Macro Lens I shot this close up of a double six domino tile. It just reminded me of a group of standardized fried eggs.
No post production, only minor cropping.

Our Best Selves
Our Best Selves by Jean Hutter

Apps used: Created on my iPad Pro. Apps used – Fused, iColorama, Snapseed
Backstory: I started with the image of the woman and ran it through Fused. That app randomly will combine images. I saved a few and then went into iColorama – my app of choice. I started layering images on top of the fused images adding and subtracting things until I had something I was happy with. I then went into the Snapseed app and did some post processing. Then back into iColorama for a texture or two. My inspiration was there are many versions of our selves.

Conditioned Impetus
Conditioned Impetus by cresting_wave (Paul Yan)

Apps Uncovered: Phone: iPhone XS Max
Capture app: ProCamera
Processing app: Lightroom Mobile + Snapseed
Backstory: It’s the law of cause-condition-effect that makes everything go around just like it takes water and eleven people and their rowing oars to propel this canoe forward. Everything in life happens for a reason that might be perceivable or unperceivable to us.

Image made in Okinawa, Japn. The raw file was developed into jpeg in LightRoom Mobile and then dodged and burned locally in Snapseed.

Not now Piglet, not now.
Not now Piglet, not now by Rob Pearson-Wright

Apps used: Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus with the native camera app
Snapseed & VSCO.
Apps used & Backstory: On a supply run to the shops I noticed a sad looking bear in a local shop closed during the lockdown. It reminded me of some Winnie the Pooh and Piglet memes I’d seen online. The lonely bear in the window put the image in my head of Pooh having a bit of a moment during the lockdown with his friend Piglet. Piglet hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s just worried about his friend. Pooh just needs a timeout for a while.
Edited first in Snapseed for basic tweaks and then a b&w filter from VSCO. Finally back in to Snapseed for a final polish