Apps Uncovered – Something about the Blur

Selected by Nicki Fitz-Gerald

November 27 2016

Welcome to the this week’s Apps Uncovered.

It’s been another crazy and brilliant week with the launch of my new course “Adventures in Creative Mobile Artistry.” Thank you to the hundreds of you who bought the course and have emailed such lovely comments. Of course I hoped, but really had no idea the online tutorials would be so popular and it is really is a great pleasure to share all the techniques I’ve been practising over the last few years.

If you missed the launch please click here to find out more….

One of my favourite techniques or effects in mobile photography is the application of Blur. I love experimenting with blur apps like Slow Shutter Cam, BlurFX and Bluristic (all covered in the new course). There is something so beautiful about the soft edges and painterly effects. Blurring or obscuring parts of an image can create a great sense of mystery and intrigue allowing the viewer to fill in the visual gaps and create their own story. Our lead image comes from my good friend and fellow iPhoneographer Brendan Ó Sé and his fascination with blur is equal to mine, constantly exploring it’s magical effects and alluring qualities as demonstrated in his beautifully executed blurred image Tokyo” which steals the top spot this week.

So, this week’s gallery is honouring Images that make creative and often expressive use of blur and this week’s showcase includes the following iPhone artists and photographers: Angie Lambert, francesco x, janice grinsell, Joe Al, Martin Schiele, Diana Nicholette Jeon, Firery Broome and David DeNagel.


It is a real pleasure for Bob and I to pour through the weekly gallery of your images each week. We love reading about the stories and techniques behind the images and then sharing the best of them with the world. This can take a few hours to put together, and can even longer when image-sharing is disabled on a Flickr member’s images.


Therefore, to save time, we have decided that images that have image-sharing disabled turned on in their settings will no longer qualify for possible inclusion in the weekly selections. We will also be posting this message on the Flickr group.

In order to qualify for possible inclusion, please make sure that you have image-sharing turned on in your settings. If you are concerned about your images being misused, you could upload a low resolution copy of your image which would limit usage.

How do I turn image sharing on?

Go to Your Account, tap on Privacy & Permissions, then “Who can download your images (including originals)”, then “Edit” and make a choice from the list, such as “people you follow” or “Any Flickr member.”

Making a choice from the list above will ensure we can easily link your photo from our iPC website to Flickr.

Also, sometimes we are asked to add extra information like copyright information or external websites. Please do not ask us to do this. By using the Flickr link from Flickr to our site, your image is automatically covered by the “all rights reserved” symbol and text that appear in the bottom right-hand corner of each image we post.

By posting to our iPC Flickr group, we understand that you have read the rules and would like to be included in the weekly roundup for possible inclusion in our feature “Apps Uncovered”. If you would prefer not to be included in the gallery feature, please let us know by responding to our “Congratulations Message” pasted in the comments section of the selected image.


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.)

Thank you all for sharing your wonderful images on our iPC Flickr group. Don’t forget to make sure you have photo sharing turned on in your Flickr account settings! Wishing you all a great iPhone shooting and editing week!

Thank you to everyone who submits to our weekly Flickr showcase. If you would like to be considered the weekly gallery, join our iPC Flickr group by clicking here.


Tokyo by Brendan Ó Sé


Apps used: Snapseed
Background: I have always pushed the iPhone to its limits, but in recent years the iPhone has pushed back. How? With its ever-improving image stabilisation. This has meant that the blurred images I once got with ease with the iPhone have become more and more difficult to achieve.

Not too deterred I tried, while in Tokyo last April, with an almost violent intentional camera movement to create this blurred image – one which a part of a series you can see here. The result is close to the type of images I got with the iPhone 4 and 5.There is not a lot of post-processing on this, except for minor tune image alterations on Snapseed.

Blur will save the world!

WillingnessApps used: ImageBlender (I took a photo of grass then turned it upside down and blended it over a self-portrait), Camera+ (Ansel filter), Mextures, Repix, and Over. faces-street artist

Apps used: procamera-filterstorm-picfx-RNI-stackables-union

Gypsy BluesApps used: TimerCamera, Camera+, Mextures, Image Blender, Repix, Snapseed, FocalLab, and Over
Backstory: I’ll begin with the obvious, which is I am always trolling for colorful, old suitcases. The ones with irregular proportions are an instant favorite. I love them! No excuses actually, just a mere fetish. My dear friend invites me to go along with her to a flea market on a rainy Sunday, and I accept. My reward is a day packed with joyful laughter, and loving companionship. I enjoy our time together and wish it could be more often. Just before leaving, I catch a glimpse of a stack of old you-know-whats. Whether I rush, or not doesn’t matter because it’s a given that I am going home with it. So I rush. There’s no bartering necessary because he knows as I examine the treasure that a sale is imminent. It’s a rainy day, after all. He needs to make some profit. It happens. I buy it. Weeks later, I am at home and decide to create an image. I set up my makeshift studio in the garage this time. The light is better than in the basement. I gather the iPhone, tripod, and blue suitcase. I set the TimerCamera app to fifteen bird chirps, which means that I hit the button and run to pose. By the time I hear the fifteenth bird chirp, the shutter sounds to indicate mission accomplished. This happens several times until I am happy with an image. I move the image through several apps and then lovingly share my art. If you are so lucky as to spy an unusual suitcase, gather it up. Who knows? It may inspire your inner creativity in a new and adventurous way.

a travesty of want

Apps used: Image Blender and Squareready.
When ‘wants’ don’t come true … what do we do

UntitledApps used: ProCamera; Filterstorm; Grungestic and Jazz
Backstory: I took this picture when I was driving by and saw that secluded tree at the top of the hill. That sad beauty of solitude og someone or someting looking down from above enchanted me. I stopped and took the picture with the affection of those who have to care of that image.


Apps used: Two photos blended with iColorama, blur with iColorama, Snapseed for the black&white.
Back story: In a foggy sunday morning in the vicinity of the Black Forest this photo is taken.
The cold weather and calm region made a melancholic atmosphere.While the woman was looking outside I saw her in a galance in a tiny mirror and took a photo of such a wonderful view.

Work in process

Apps used: Procreate, Mextures and Snapseed
Backstory: This image is sort of a fluke. I had some images in Procreate. One night I could not sleep. I started fooling around with combining some of the images together until I started to ʻseeʻ something happening, and then I folllowed that image with additonal photo layers and mobile painting until it was done. After exporting, I tinkered with it using Mextures and Snapseed.

Cluster - BW

Apps used: A black and white version of an image posted in early summer.

This tiny new cluster of blooms just starting to emerge from their buds was captured in late April in Fair Hill Maryland, with iPhone and Olloclip Macro Lens.Basic image corrections and square crop on the iPad in Snapseed, then into VSCO for further editing starting off with the x4 preset. The color version can be found here if you care to compare them: www.flickr.com/photos/firerybroome/27646290262


Apps used: iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8. From DNG file.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Back story: Autumn. Fog,Water. Whenever these three elements combine visually, I find an irresistible impulse to draw closer, hoping to make an image of the combination.
The area is a lake near my home. It was very early morning and more than cold enough. I walked through the short distance of brambled growth,sprinkled with weeds,thorn bushes, poison ivy and fallen trees, which was separating me my subject. The sun was rising and its disc was in a soft haze. The ambient atmosphere had gone all milky with light fog; diaphanous steamings rose and glided across the water. An old decayed dock with a single red railing ,backlit by the clouded sun, still waited there, as if in shrouded defiance to oblivion, providing the dark foreground point I wanted.

I visualized the whole scene as an autumnal poem that typified November.

Wanting the most dynamic range and latitude in post processing, I shot the image in Raw with the iPhone 7 Plus telephoto lens. I did basic development first in PhotoRaw. Because I was shooting into the sun there was some isolated flare which I removed with Handy Photo. Then I applied the m5 Preset in Vsco, to set the faded tone and mood of the piece. Finally, I did some basic image enhancement adjustments in Snapseed.

Nicki Fitz-Gerald

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



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