Technical Tutorials

iPhone Photography Tutorial With Catherine Restivo – Creating Stunning Art

Welcome to our iPhone photography tutorial section, today we talk to Catherine Restivo about her incredible image ‘Waiting for a Sign’. Catherine talks us through the complete process as you can read below.

We previously interviewed Catherine for our A Day In The Life section, if you missed that you can read it here. Catherine is a hugely talented iPhone photographer. Her work has been featured at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, CA; SOHO Gallery for Digital Art in NYC; First Annual iPhoneography Miami Exhibition at Artspace Gallery Miami; “iPhoneography: Updated Visual Dialogs” at the Lunch Box Gallery in Miami, FL; Mobile P1xels Show at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; she was a semi-finalist in the 2011 IPA Mobile Art Grant and has been featured in Pixels: The Art of the iPhone.

Don’t miss this awesome tutorial below…





I took a Hipstamatic shot of a chair on a sidewalk in New York City I just really liked the chair and from this shot I created Waiting for a Sign. Recently I felt that I wanted to create a small series (there will probably be one more piece in the series). I find something about the empty chair rather mysterious, open to numerous different interpretations.

In the Hipsta shot there was a taxi parked behind the chair, which detracted from the composition, but I knew I could erase the background in Juxtaposer and save the chair as a stamp (unfortunately I deleted my original Hipsta shot so I can’t show it here).

For the background I used Blender to combine two of the free textures from that our community has offered up for the taking. You can find them here. The lovely textures I chose were created by the talented Vivi Hanson Sacerdote’. 😀


Step 1




‘I then took this background into Juxtaposer and added the stamp of my chair’.

Step 2




The right leg of the chair is not visible, so I saved this photo, flipped it in FilterStorm and saved it to the camera roll’.

Step 3



Then I combined the 2 photos in Blender, masking out all but the needed right leg’.

Step 4



Staying in Blender, I brought in a photo of a dress form that I took with ProCamera’.

Step 5



and using the mask function erased what I didn’t need and blended that into the photo using the Multiply blend’.

Step 6



‘Still working within Blender, I brought in a shot of some wall graffiti and blended this into the chair, erasing what I didn’t want, using the Multiply blend again. I wanted to add some smoky shadows to the bottom of the chair/photo, so I used Blender to work in some dark texture from another photo in my camera roll’.

Step 7



Next came one of my favorite apps, Pixlromatic. I applied the frame “Colortin”, which added some nice dark shadows around the edges and a hint of red along the left side’.

Step 8



It looked a bit flat to me so I ran it through LensLight and added the Cloud Rays 2, using the slider to tone it down. A final run through Iris to add a bit of the Polarizer filter, sharpening and resizing finished off the piece’.

Final Image



Screen Show Of The Process


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— 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 - 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]


  • David

    I was blown away when I first saw this image a couple of days ago…so I’m thrilled to read/see how you did this Catherine! Thanks for sharing!!! I’m going back to reread and to take notes…can’t wait to try this out on my own!!!

  • Cat

    Great tutorial! Catherine is one of my favorite artists and you do such a fantastic job getting these interviews and tutorials together! Do you mind if I ask what app you used to make the slideshow at the end?

  • Cara Gallardo Weil

    Thanks for the tutorial… and I remember that chair… you shot it when we were together right? 🙂 Inspired piece Catherine! Love it!

  • Janine Graf

    Wow that was great Cat! I really love this series a lot and it was great to see how you created this piece . . . which is awesome!! 😀