Extension Of The I

Extension Of The I With Carlein Van Der Beek aka ©arlein – A Mobile Photographer Oozing With Talent And Inspiration

Welcome to another new series of interviews and insights that we are running on theappwhisperer.com, we are delighted that our A Day In The Life Of Series is so popular and successful and will continue to run that, we love it.

This new section, entitled, Extension Of The I, goes deeper into the photographic aspects of mobile photography. It delves into the lives and thoughts and influences that our interviewees experience from their photography. No other mobile photography website reaches the depths and emotions of the mobile photographers as we do in this series of interviews.

We think you’re going to enjoy this, a lot. Today, we are featuring Carlein Van Der Beek aka ©arlein, the most incredible iPhone photographer. Carlein was born and raised in the Netherlands and moved to Toronto recently. Her background is painting, abstracts, and mixed media. At the art academy where she studied, Carlein was also able to take photography classes. Her world is purely visual. ‘Wherever i am, i look around me and see possible pictures. I let myself lead by my inspiration and curiosity. I don’t have a plan when i start shooting. i let myself lead by mood, colors. light, shapes. I work either “pure” so hardly reworked or i work in layers, like i build up my mixed media paintings’.

Carlein started with iPhone photography 2 years ago. Her iPhone work really got noticed in 2011 and has been featured on some sites and blogs, and she has been featured in interviews as well.  Carlein first exhibited some work in galleries in Santa Ana, Berkeley, and LA.  The big break came when she was invited to participate in Eyephoneography #2 in Madrid May 2011. Ten of her pieces where shown in Madrid with 3 other iPhone photographers (Jordi V. Pou, Matt Burrows and Stefano Giogli). The event got a lot of press coverage in El Mundo, El Pais, Playboy, and on television. That was was followed by the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival, an exhibit with Eric De Fino, Richard Koci Hernandez, Dan Cristea, Sion Fullana, Anton Kawasaki, Keith Weaver and Giacomo Por. For the festival, our work was printed on aluminum. Concurrent to that festival, Mobile eyephoneography  was launched. This involves the work of Eyephoneography #1 and #2 traveling around Spain with stops in eight major cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Sevilla to name a few).

In January 2012 Carlein was the winner of the IPA Mobile Grant Award 2011. In February 2012, Carlein was featured in Latitudes, an international Photography Festival held annually in Huelva, Spain. This was a major breakthrough where photography and  iPhone photography were shown on a museum level. Latitudes hosts works by renowned photographers, including Magnum greats such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Doisneau, just to name a few.

This month the “iPhone Fotografie” book was published by the german National Geographic in which she is featured with 30 pages, next to Richard Koci Hernandez, Carsten Peter, Damon Winter and Michael Christopher Brown.

At the moment one of her works (La Dame aux Camélias) is in Arthaus, San Francisco and was shown at the San Francisco Fine Art Fair.

So, we think that might of whetted your appetite to read more, take a look at our interview below…

We have included exif data, in as much as the app or apps that were used to create the final image. As some 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 ‘Extension Of The I’ section, just send an email to [email protected], and we’ll get it set up.

So, without further ado, let us begin…


First Things First…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘art inc.’ – Apps used – Slow Shutter Cam, Squaready,  addLib, Superimpose, King Camera


JC – How did you get started in photography?

Carlein – My background is painting, abstracts, and mixed media. At the art academy where I studied, I was also able to take photography classes. I loved it. It was analogue of course; black and white, developing your own film, the work in the dark room. I switched to digital only about 10 years ago.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘chain of thought’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, squaready, Picture Show, DXP, shakeItphoto, Photofx


JC – What draws you to the subjects you seek?

Carlein – Colours, shapes, forms and moods. Anything I come across that I find interesting or that inspires me. That ranges from movies, poems and song texts to what I see around me, including nature, people, windows, reflections, posters.. anything I can use for my layered images or diptychs.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘Cadiliac Walk’ – Apps used – cp pro, Squaready, Superimpose, King Camera


JC – Who and what are your influences?

Carlein – Too many to mention but some of my favorite photographers are Lisette Model, Sanne Sannes, Brassaí, Kertesz, Bresson, Robert Frank, Anton Corbijn.
Painters include Rothko, Tapies, Rembrandt, Emil Nolde, Constant, and Morandi. Architects, such as Calatrava, Hundertwasser, Berlage, and Rietveld.
Also music, from jazz to Motown, and from Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Mink DeVille, Frank Zappa to Philip Glass



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘fade to black’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Squaready, Superimpose, Scratchcam, Filterstorm


JC – What is it about these subjects that you want to capture/communicate and ultimately convey in your images?

Carlein – What I always try is to convey my moods, thoughts and emotions… though I use all kind of subjects to express myself. I am inspired as well by lyrics, books I read, poetry… movies…



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘i don’t see the world like you’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Squaready, Decim8, Halftone, Superimpose, Filterstorm, Photo fx


JC – How did you “settle” on these subjects?

Carlein – It is not so much I “settled” on them, as it is something coming from inside of me.. it is part of me.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘ambiguity’ – Apps used – Slow Shutter Cam, Pixlromatic, Superimpose, Halftone, Filterstorm


JC – Is there another area/subject that you would like to explore, if so, what and why?

Carlein – I frequently set myself “challenges” to change the way, angle, app, area or subject, so I won’t get stuck in a “one trick pony” style.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘It was you who came to my side. remarkably close for our time of life’ – Apps used – Cameramatic, Montage, Superimpose, Filterstorm


JC – Which photographers (not necessarily mobile photographers) do you most admire and why?

Carlein – All of those that I mentioned in Influences above.

Street Photography…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘jetlag’ – Apps used – cp pro, Squaready, Superimpose, King Camera


JC – Henri Cartier-Bresson is/was in many ways the Godfather of street photography, even in the 1930s he enjoyed using a small camera for discretion in order to capture people and tell a story-do you feel this way regarding mobile photography?

Carlein – I am not a street photographer in the pure sense of the word. But I do like not to have to lug around 1,5 kgs of hardware to shoot 🙂



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘la dame aux camélias’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Squaready, Superimpose, Filterstorm, Photo fx


JC – Tell us about your photographic technique do you rely on intuition or do you believe in a more formal/trained approach?

Carlein – That is difficult to answer for me, as I had a formal training. I think it is very good to have the knowledge of some technique so you know what you are doing. Or when to abandon it. 🙂



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘la peine’ – Apps used – Cameramatic, Superimpose, Filterstorm


JC – How has your photography evolved?

Carlein – For some years (so also before iPhone) I am more into layering my work. It is more like my paintings: I work layer over layer, use more than one picture, blend in the parts I want, leave out what I don’t want and build up an image.

All For One…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘nova zembla’s fata morgana’ – Apps used – Slow Shutter Cam, Squaready, ScratchCam, Superimpose, Filterstorm


JC – Many of the great photographers, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier Bresson described only shooting images for “themselves”do you see this attitude with mobile photographers?

Carlein – Always hard to speak for other people. I either paint or photograph because I simply have to. It is my way of expressing myself. In that way the work i make is mainly for myself. I know when i made it and why… the underlying thoughts and emotions. With the sharing on internet, nothing is really “to yourself” anymore. Anybody you want to see what you make, is able to see it.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘rolling in the deep’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Flowpaper, Plastic Bullet


JC – Do you take risks with photographs, push boundaries? If yes, please give examples, if no, why not, would you like to?

Carlein – I think you can only grow if you push boundaries. So, yes, I do. I experiment, try things out, set myself challenges. Think outside the box and go that one step beyond. Examples: go out shooting and restrict yourself to using only one application. Or: try shooting what is within a few meters where you are that moment. Or: take photos in an area you usually don’t shoot because you think it is either boring or doesn’t have anything appealing. Make things work for you instead waiting for opportunities or inspiration.

Favorite Image…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘speak no evil’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Plastic Bullet, Superimpose, Filterstorm, Photo fx


JC – What is your favorite picture, of your own and why?

Carlein – I don’t have a favorite picture. All my pictures have different moods and I made them for different reasons..



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘split level’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Squaready, decim8, Filterstorm, Superimpose


JC – Do you get emotionally involved with your photography?

Carlein – Emotionally in the sense that I put in my energy, emotion, mood and give it my all when I make something.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘leaving, on a jetplane’ – Apps used – Autostitch, Squaready, Monophix, Photo fx


JC – Do you have a special post-processing style?

Carlein – I don’t know if it is special, but I have a certain flow I follow. My main “signature” is the layering, my images are like photo paintings.

Tips For Post-Processing…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘spring’ – “one of the first images I made on the iPhone” – Apps used – iPhone default camera, DXP, Plastic Bullet


JC – Do you have any tips for post-processing?

Carlein – Mainly the advice to try things out. Don’t stick with what you are comfortable with. Try a new app, or a mix of several apps, and try to use the apps to the maximum: blend, clone, layer, play with the levels and settings.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘the fabulous reappearing into unknown destinies’ – Apps used – Slow Shutter Cam, Squaready, Superimpose, ScratchCam, Photofx


JC – Do you have a digital workflow system to sort your images, if so what is it?

Carlein – I sort the images I want to work with and have those in a folder (I use iTunes to make folders) I basically save all the different steps, those I save as well. The end result goes into another folder.



Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘the incredible love story’ – Apps used – Pro Camera, Shakeitphoto, Pictureshow, Photo fx, Filterstorm


JC – How do you think photography has changed over the years?

Carlein – The biggest change is of course the change from analogue to digital. That and the sharing on internet of images.

35 mm Film Days…


Copyright image – Carlein Van Der Beek – ‘the muse’ – Apps used – Pictureshow, Plastic Bullet, Genius Scan, Photo fx


JC – As a mobile photographer you’re at the cutting edge of technology, do you ever hanker for the 35mm film days?

Carlein – No, not really. I loved working with it (shooting and developing), and still love the feel of analogue. There is something in the mood and grain that is not yet found in digital photography… But, I can picture myself doing an analogue project again one day, just for the feel of it.

Apps With Links Used In The Article…


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: [email protected]


  • Speesh

    I don’t know but, I’m struggling to see these as having much to do with photography as most people would know it. Coming from an art and design background myself, I could have done most of these pictures in the good old pre-computer days, with an SLR and a screen print set-up. There’s also a distinctly wearisome same-ness about a lot of the above and not a lot of inspiration at work. They seem more planned pieces, than the result of taking a shot and then being inspired by it and working on it to get the best from it. I would even go so far as to suggest that rather than bringing the person’s creativity out, the iPhone is probably holding them back. This artist needs to break into Fine Art itself and explore other, more physical mediums.
    There, I’ve said it.

    • Joanne Carter

      Thank you for your comment Speesh but there does not ‘have’ to be a specific style to come from shooting with the iPhone. Why limit yourself? I agree some of the images are quite arty, but what’s wrong with that? You could replicate these images with a DSLR and photoshop and there’s no reason not too. Carlein’s work is exceptional and she is highly regarded in the iPhone photography world. I do not find for one minute this selection of images ‘wearisome’ in the slightest and believe me I have looked at plenty of images over the years from magazine photo editor to online editor. I also disagree that the iPhone is holding Carlein’s creativity back, far from it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course and it’s good to talk straight but I disagree with you on this one. To be honest I think it is astonishing what Carlein has produced from an iPhone and a handful of apps, totally remarkable.

    • Ernesto Diaz

      I have to say I see your point, but disagree. I don’t feel that the creativity factor is being limited by the iPhone or any mobile media for that sake. Carlein, is a fantastic photographer and an incredibly creative soul. The medium she uses is inconsequential to the out come it produces. Creativity comes from within. What ever we use to translate it…is just a tool.


      • Joanne Carter

        Thank you Ernie, yes I agree with you too. Carlein’s images are stunning and if there was ever a standard way to take a photograph or make an image what a boring world it would be.

      • carlein

        thanks so much Ernesto! i hope – regarding my work – it is the end result that counts, not the tool. i choose the iPhone and am happy i did. As you can read in the interview, i paint as well 🙂 to me it is the need to create , to express myself. And when it moves or inspires people, that makes me happy!

  • Carol

    I feel like there is so much to learn from these and have spent the last 2 hours just looking, reading-rereading etc., etc.
    I’m positively impressed!!! Her vision and morphing of them, is creative talent that one is born with and difficult to teach. The work in Cadiliac Walk, cp pro was used….would love to learn why and how it was used.
    Joanne, thanks for this follow up on her work.

    • carlein

      thank you so much Carol!! I am glad you enjoyed the interview and find inspiration in my work. The biggest compliment anybody could get!

      regarding cadillac walk: cp pro on black and white, shooting the reflection of people walking over a shiny floor. then i cropped in squaready. with superimpose i layered it with 2 other images (i use selfmade textures or use shots i took of textured surfaces) and after that tweeked the colour a bit in photofx. hope that helps!

  • *Be@te*

    I had the luck , Carlein’s work with the i-phone, from the beginning until now to see. I was never bored by her work. Each picture was worth a lot of attention… and each image triggered emotions. I do not love any of her work but I always love how she does it.

    Thank you for the interview, Joanne.

    Carlein, I wish you continued success! 🙂

    • carlein

      thank you Be@te 🙂 your comment really makes me happy. i love the fact you are critical and honest.

      i am all for everybody her/his own taste as long as we treat each other with respect

      and i am happy my work moves you and inspires you! and thank you again for your kind words!! xxx

  • Alan Kastner

    A wonderful read and valuable insight into the world of a true visionary. The fine art that Carlein creates with an iPhone is both highly inspired and a source of inspiration to many in the community. Kudos to Joanne for running this feature, and thanks to Carlein for sharing with us here.

  • Kim Martino

    I disagree with Speesh. Carlein is an excellent iPhoneographer, with a fantastic innate talent to manipulate her images. I find all of the above quite pleasing! A very informative interview- as usual, Joanne. Bravo to you both!

  • wils

    ? One of the images, ‘jetlag’, lists using an app “cp pro”. In looking through the app list at the end I can’t determine what that might be. Anyone make a guess? I do like her photo based artwork.