A Picture’s Worth…With Mel Harrison


Welcome to another new section to theappwhisperer.com, this new section is entitled ‘A Picture’s Worth…’ and it is a subsection of our Photo App Lounge column. A Picture’s Worth… is where we ask iPhone photographers that have taken or made, as the case may be, powerful iPhone art to explain the processes they took. This includes their initial thoughts as to what they wanted to create, why they wanted to create it, how they created it, including all apps used and what they wanted to convey. We also ask these incredible artists to explain their emotions and how the image projects those feelings.

This is another totally unique section to theappwhisperer.com and one that offers the unique facility for the reader/viewer to find out more about an image and also for the artist to explain the complete process and message.

Today we are talking to Mel Harrison aka mahoganyturtle, we previously interviewed Mel in our A Day In the Life series, if you missed that you can read it here. Mel has always had an artistic outlet in her life, be it drawing, soft sculpture or textile art. Mel has seen her work exhibited around the world since, including one of her macro images projected onto a wall in New Zealand. Mel has been named Artist of the day at iPhoneArt and voted as Artist for the month of March.

In this A Picture’s Worth … today, Mel talks us through her image ‘Freckles’, enjoy…

(If you would like to contribute to this section or if you have seen an image that you would like to learn more about, just email Joanne@theappwhisperer.com and we will get it all set up).


The Birth Of A Concept

‘I truly believe as photographers that we can capture the beauty in anything. Even more so as iPhoneographers! Apps let us delve into a realm where the mundane becomes interesting and the normal can become a fantasy world’.


‘When I saw this orchid speckled with what I think might have been a mould I just adored it, it was flawed yes, but it’s flaw made it all the more beautiful. It had such character and charm. It looked back at me, head cocked to one side like a cheeky freckly faced child and I just knew I had to use that “face”.

‘I co-sleep with my youngest child so 99% of the time I do my editing when he is dropping off to sleep, it is the only time I ever get to sit still. Editing photos has become a very peaceful activity, something I very much look forward to at the end of a hectic day’.



‘I decided on an aged style “portrait” for this cheeky flower and started with a texture photo of rust that I blended with a paintFX background I had prepared earlier. I juxtaposed the Orchid onto the background and added in a steam using a saved stamp from another image. I love juxtaposer in the evenings. I find the process of erasing the background is very calming, each stroke brushes away all the cares and worries of the world’.






‘The next step on the journey for this image was Vintage Scene. I started out using the random button waiting for something to jump out at me. When the speckled background appeared I just knew it was perfect! I adjusted the colour and opacity of the effect and then moved into Image blender to adjust it further’.




‘I wanted to up the grunge factor so I moved the image into photowizard and used the textures there to darken up the edges. Then I went back into Image Blender to mask out the orchid and blend down the photowizard edit’.




‘Then it was off to PaintFX. I used my “secret blend of brightness and vibrance” painting it to just the areas I wanted to highlight, then it was back to Image Blender for one more final adjustment’.


Final Image


‘This image has become one of my personal favourites, It makes me happy, I can’t wait to get it printed to display in my home’.

Video Walk-Through


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4 thoughts on “A Picture’s Worth…With Mel Harrison

  1. Mel (aka MahoganyTurtle) is an extremely accomplished and active contributor over @ http://www.MobiTog.com – where she is a valued member of the MobiTog Staff Room and helps run, among other things, various challenge and Projects for iMage sharing and discussions!

    MobiTog.com is very proud to be associated with Mel and her work and is very proud that this iMage is already displayed on THE iPhoneography Community pages… > http://www.mobitog.com/threads/freckles.7241/

    Check it out, along with Mel’s other amazing iPhoneography… 🙂

  2. Oh my, Mel! I am so impressed!! One of these days I need to sit myself down and take some time to perfect my layering and blending skills…I tend to want to finish an image in a hurry. Reading thru your process is just the inspiration I need to do this! (So much to learn…so little time!) Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Wonderful image and fantastic tutorial Mel! Love to see the thoughts/feelings behind the process. 😀

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