A Day In The Life Of ...

A Day In The Life Of Gerry Coe – A Traditional Professional Photographer Turned Professional iPhone Photographer With Exquisite And Spectacular Images


Welcome to our very exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com, this section is entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and we’ll be taking a look some hugely influential and interesting people in the mobile app world. Ones that we think you will love to learn more about.

This is our thirteenth installment to our new series, you can read the others here, if you have missed them so far. Kicking us off today is Gerry Coe, a professional photographer of almost 50 years, in-fact 2013 will mark that half centenary.

When Gerry left school he started working for a photographer in Belfast doing B&W wedding and portrait work and B&W has always been his major influence. He has also worked as a commercial photographer using large format cameras, been involved with Press, PR, Aerial, Fashion, Weddings, Portraits, Architecture, and covered pretty much any other job that was thrown at him.

In his early 20s he went freelance and eventually ended up running his own business. He started a small business making Copper etchings and this eventually lead to him opening up a Picture Framing business. He was still doing photography as well and as it started to build up he and his partner decided to split the two businesses and Gerry went back full-time to being a photographer and his partner took over the Framing side.

Gerry has always been very active in the art side of photography and has put on various exhibitions. He was also the first photographer to be accepted into the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts. He has now had ten photographic artworks accepted over the years.

As digital photography took off and Gerry found himself moving away from the traditional darkroom and he explored Photoshop but it wasn’t long until an iPhone came along and although pessimistic at first, after receiving a huge recommendation from his friend Dan Burkholder, Gerry decided he would take the plunge and he started to learn as much about iPhone photography as he could.

He now sees himself as a committed iPhone photographer and that feeling came to fruition last year when he and a group of friends from his camera club visited Tuscany. The first morning of the trip he got up and started to take photographs with his Nikon and 300mm zoom lens of a Farmer working in the fields, he took out his phone to check messages and took a couple of general shots using the Hipstamatic App. He thought, they look quite nice so as the day progressed he was taking pictures on his Nikon and then some more on the iPhone, then the next day he was taking more pictures on his iPhone and backing up with his Nikon. On the third day he left the Nikon behind and just took pictures on the iPhone and the same on the fourth day. He used almost exclusively on that trip Hipstamatic and he also produced a book from the trip “Travels in Tuscany with my iPhone” It was also on this trip that he took the photograph that has done so well for him.

The image “Lone Tree” started life as a B&W image and it came about when one of his more skeptical friends asked “surely you can’t get anything good of that wee camera phone, what can you do with it?” So Gerry opened that tree image and proceeded to show the different things that could be done, when he had finished he looked at the image and thought “that looks quite good I’ll keep that one”. He didn’t just keep it, he entered it into the RUA exhibition where it became the best seller and completely sold out. Gerry then decided to make a variation of that image and entered it into the BIPP Fine Art competition and he was delighted to see that it had won. This new image is in a limited edition of 65 and in two sizes and you can contact Gerry about it if you would like to learn more (details at the bottom of the page).

Gerry is just back from a trip to Paris and the only camera he took with him was a Ricoh GR1 and of course, his iPhone. He admits he only took the Ricoh just incase the iPhone broke, needless to say it didn’t and he didn’t use the Ricoh. Gerry is now in the process of editing all the images and will most probably publish another book – we can’t wait for that.

Check out the full interview below…

We have included exif data, in as much as the app or apps that were used to create the final image. As many of the images were cross processed we have listed the apps in the sequential order they were used in the editing process, we have also provided links for each app to the iTunes App Store, just incase you’re inspired enough to try them out for yourself as well as accessories used. You can find all the links at the end of this article.

(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A day in the life of …’ section, just send an email to Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up.


First Things First…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Almond Blossom Trees’ – Apps Used – Camera+, BlurFX, ScratchCam


JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?

GC – Generally when I get up I check emails etc. see what might be on Facebook and Twitter and then Breakfast. Now that I have closed my Portrait Studio in Belfast I am working from home and traveling to people houses to do portraits there. I really enjoy the new freedom from not being tied to the studio, it also means I can devote more time to my new obsession of iPhone photography.

Magic Hour…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Bangor Tree’ – Apps Used – Camera+, BlurFX, PhotoForge2, ScratchCam


JC – When is your favorite part of the day for taking photographs, do you hanker for the magic hour or shoot whenever the opportunity arises?

GC – Not normally, with using my iPhone4 to take my images it is not crucial to get the early morning light that you would want in a landscape. But I enjoy using the light to get different effects, natural flare and light beams without resorting to an app for that. Having said that I do use Flare apps to improve an image.


Photographer vs iPhone Photographer


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Bolt’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic – Chunky Lens, Big Up Film


JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhone photographer develop? (pardon the pun).


GC – This is interesting, I like all professional photographers know, You just can not get great pictures out of a wee crappy camera phone…or so I thought. I had a Nokia phone at the time and was thinking of getting a new iPhone, which I did. But being someone who has always used big professional cameras I just knew I could not get anything “decent” from the iPhone.

After a short while I started to see other peoples work on Facebook etc. and one friend in particular Dan Burkholder was turning out some beautiful work on his iPhone. So I got more interested and one day after seeing some really superb pictures by Dan I emailed him and said “What are you doing with all these great images?". His reply was very simple, “selling them Gerry”. That was my lightbulb moment.

I then started looking more seriously at what could be done. At first I was unsure what to do and I really started out using Hipstamatic, which was great, all these different effects straight out of my iPhone. Bit by bit I used different apps and got more experience with what they could do.

My full conversion took place on a trip to Italy, as mentioned in the introduction of this article. After Gerry had won the British Institute of Professional Photographers Fine Art category he was presented with a £1,000 cheque, that covered his trip to Italy!


New Apps…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Chains’ – Apps Used – Camera+, Photoforge2, ScratchCam, iResize, Photoforge2 (border)


JC – Do you like to download new iPhone photography apps regularly?

GC -I am getting more fussy about what I will download, some of the apps I have I am still discovering what can be done with them. Just amazing stuff. I have the iPhone 4 with 16gb and it is almost full, my contract runs out in September and I will upgrade to an iPhone 5 with 32gb.

JC – Good idea Gerry, but you might be able to get 128gb by then 😉




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Church Landscape’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Watts Lens, Alfred Infrared Film, Image reworked in Artista Oil, two versions combined with Paper texture in picfx


JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

GC – I update every time I see a new version, so I keep very much up to date.


Location, Location, Location…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Clock View’ – Camera+, PicGrunger, Outside view added in Photoforge2


JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?

GC -I don’t know if I have a particular place that I would call my favorite I just enjoy taking the pictures and I enjoy getting a totally new slant on a very ordinary scene. I am just back from a trip to Paris with the same group of friends I went to Tuscany with, and all I brought with me was my iPhone and a small compact camera as a backup. So really wherever I am is the best place at the time.


Tools Of The Trade…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Court of the Lions’ – Original image taken on a Nikon and imported into iPhone using Transfer app, Image worked in Artista Oil, two images combined


JC – Do you also use iPhone photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?

GC – I had not heard of Ephemeris when I first saw the name but some of my other friends who are very much into Landscape photography do use it or similar style products.


Favorite Apps…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Steps’ – Apps Used – Camera+, Snapseed, Instagram


JC – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhone photography apps?

GC – I use the Standard camera in the iPhone, Camera+, Hipstamatic, 6+6, 6+7 B&W apps, for after work I use Photoforge2, Filterstorm, Blur FX, PicGrunger, Scratchcam, Grungetastic, PhotoToaster, Retouch, Plastic Bullet, and others depending on what I want.




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Swings’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, JohnS lens, Inas 1969 film, Instagram


JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?

GC – I suppose I use Instagram most of the time to load images and then they are automatically loaded into Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Flickr. I am a fan of square images anyway so the square format suits me but occasionally a rectangular shot works best.


Favorite Subjects…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Titantic Building’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Salvador 84 Lens, Snapseed, Frametastic


JC – What are your favorite subjects?

GC – Everything, I’m a bit of a butterfly when it comes to subjects, I just really look for interesting images in everything around me.




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Tuscan Trees’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Tejas Lens, DreamCanvas Film


JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone every day?

GC – Not every day although it is always with me.


Top Five Tips…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Watchful’ – Original shot taken on a Nikon, Downloaded to iPhone, Apps Used – Snapseed, PicGrunger


JC – What are you top five tips for iPhone photography?

GC – Enjoy it…

Follow sites just like yours, lots of info and tutorials to help everyone.

Look at other Mobile Phone Artists work for inspiration, there are some very talented people out there.


Three books worth buying..Dan Burkholders book..iPhone Artistry and one by Dan Marcolina..iPhone Obsessed and Stephanie C Roberts..The Art of iPhoneography. All excellent.




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Jane’ – Re-photographed photo print, Apps Used – Hipstamatic – Salvador 84 lens – Inas 69 film, PhotoStudio


JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?

GC – All my images are edited on the phone and I only use the Mac to enlarge or reduce for printing or for sharpening. I use Perfect Resize for upsizing if I need to make large A3+, A2, or for Canvas Wraps.




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Leaf Abstract’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic – Salvador 84 lens – Inas69 film, Snapseed


JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

GC – No, Never was a movie man.


The Future Of iPhone Photography…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Leaf and Ice’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic – JohnS lens, Pistil Film.


JC – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?

GC – iPhoneography or Mobile photography has really made capturing every aspect of life within the reach of everyone. It still does not make people good photographers, but it makes it easy to get the holiday snaps.




Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Lone Tree 3’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Watts Lens, BlackKeys B&W film, BlurFX, PicGrunger


JC – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhone photography?

GC – Hard to say, Street photography is certainly very popular, not everyone is good at it and the ones that are, really shine. Abstract and Collage work I like.


Where In The World…?


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Phone Girl’ – Apps Used – Camera+, Photoforge2



JC – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?

GC – I think it is a worldwide thing, you only have to look at the names and places the top Artists come from.


iPhone 5…


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Policia’ – Standard camera – Apps Used – Photoforge2, Decim8.


JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?

GC – Cheaper would be nice..(not likely) a decent camera, better than 4s please, OH! and it should be able to make Phone calls.



Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Rusty Pole’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic – John s Lens – Ina’s 1969


JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

GC – I was delighted to find this site because there genuinely is a lot of info on it and Joanne is such a wonderful person (well she did agree to feature my work!)

JC – You were right the first time Gerry 😉 Thank you though for completing this interview with us. Your work is simply stunning and iPhone photography is incredible, we totally love it and we are sure our readers will too.


Complete Links To All The Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article


Copyright Image – Gerry Coe – ‘Scrabo Tower’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Chunky Lens, BlacKeys B&W Film


All apps used within images used in this article, with links to the iTunes App Store

Artista Oil


Favorite apps of Gerry Coe not including the above

Plastic Bullet


Contact details for Gerry

Gerry Coe
+44(0)7846 871704


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com