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The App Nerds Workshop – Experimenting

We’re delighted to publish the latest installment of Lola Mitchell’s Column, The Apps Nerds Workshop. This week Lola shares her thoughts and process and encourages us all to live out of our comfort zones, in the interest of art and photography. We are sure you will love this… over to you Lola (foreword by Joanne Carter)

About The App Nerds Workshop

The App Nerds Workshop is something very different and we are very excited about it. It is a virtual classroom, an environment for new talent to share their work, for Lola to share some of the ways she uses apps and for the not so new talent to share some secrets. Lola will sometimes assign broad themes to keep the creative juices flowing. We are hoping this will be a grand scale creative interactive classroom. This should be where sharing and creativity abound. We are hoping your mind will be tickled into creating, experimenting, daring, dreaming, making, doing.

We have set up a Flickr group where you can submit your images, we will import a slideshow that will show all submissions. Over to you Lola, (Foreword by Joanne Carter).

Links to all apps mentioned in this article are at the end for your convenience.


“Experimenting, everyone tells everyone to do that in photography but what does it mean? I think it is different for everyone. It is as wide as your imagination.

Any idea you have, crazier probably the better, try it! What can you lose? Playing around with angles is a classic but what does it mean for you. Maybe you are a contortionist and then wow. I cannot wait to see this!

In my case it means trying to keep it interesting and exciting. I love taking macros of bugs but not necessarily showing it. However you have all seen these, I use them as textures. My macros always end up being textures in my photos. It was an idea and I liked the result. I still do it. It makes me think differently sometimes about what to capture with my macro olloclip.


‘Enchanted’ ©Lola Mitchell Apps used: Scratchcam, superimpose, picture show, alien sky, blender


In this photo I used macro shots of a bee’s wings as well as drops in a spider web. The background is a photo of the ground (note the crack next to my daughter’s shoulder) and passed it through scratchcam.


Recently I started getting into something that made me cringe and very uncomfortable. Self portraits. Yes. Really!

For someone who does not even really like mirrors it is huge. And thats why I did it. It made me uncomfortable so I needed to try it. I had made a few attempts but mostly to use a photo while trying to learn new apps.

It took me being sick at home and seriously wanting to take photos to just turn the camera around. At first it was neck and hair and now slowly my eyes are making an entrance too.

I am sure at some point I will get sick and tired of seeing my face and that will end. For now while I still have the inspiration, I will keep going.

As a result I started thinking differently. I think self portraits for me, are not about having a beautiful photo of me. How boring would that be. They are more about ideas and the fact that right now I do not have a model, so I use myself.


“Spring is coming’ ©Lola Mitchell – Apps used: Hipstamatic, Picfx, Blender, Glaze, Procreate, superimpose, luminance, snapseed


Before that I would capture a beautiful moment and wanted to transform it. But the canvas was always circumstantial. Now I have started thinking before even taking the photo. It makes it much harder and very interesting. It has also changed a bit how I take action shot, believe it or not.

Now not all my experimenting results are good. I usually forget about these or sometimes they give me an idea to do something else. Much like I delete tons of my photos, I decide some of my ideas are not so good. Some sound fantastic and when done don’t look good at all. Even sometimes a little embarrassing. Cringing just thinking about some of mine. But I know that even with these I learn, even if its just don’t ever do that again.

Sometimes there are happy accidents which are kind of my favorite. It is the wow that worked in ways I did not expect.

This is a bad shot for what I was going for that I still loved. So I played around with it. I am saying playing because really just was trying out a new app. DaliCam and the combination of both gave me an idea and I went with it. I think it was a success!



‘Connected’©Lola Mitchell–Apps Used: Procreate, Dalicam, Kitcam, Snapseed, Photofx


So what I am trying to illustrate is that having fun, experimenting, getting out of your comfort zone, is what it is all about. It is about developing your skills by trying and trying and trying some more. If you do not like heavy editing, then it is about experimenting with light, angles, subject matter.

I go back and forth between heavy editing and almost no edit. Again that keeps me interested. what keeps you interested and excited?

What have you done recently that was outside of your comfort zone? Please share it and post it onto our Flickr group. We still are working out how to best feature our favorites in here. In the meantime here is a screen of the latest uploads.”


The App Nerds Flickr Group

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Join the Forum discussion on this post

Lola discovered iPhone photography shortly after getting her first iPhone a year and a half ago. Her love of photography started early, thanks to her father who was a professional photographer – Jorge Damonte. Through him, Lola learnt about other photographers and artists. He taught her the ropes and she dabbled in the darkroom. Lola explains that she always took photographs but never felt the urge to share or do anything further with them, that all changed with the iPhone. Lola’s career, pre-kids was in production of documentary television and once she had kids she kept on taking photos and the iPhone gave her an outlet for more artistic montages.


  • Jennifer

    Gorgeous images – I especially love the first two. It would be great if you could also give some detailed, step-by-step tutorials of how your images are created for those of us less fluent using multiple apps in combination.

    • Lola Mitchell

      Hi Jennifer. Thank you I am glad you like it. I might do a tutorial once in a while, but this week was about trying to empower people to trust themselves and just sit and try what comes instinctively. I think the beauty with apps is they have so much to offer. When I first sit down with a new one I first want to play with it on my own. Then it can be interesting to see what other people use it for. You will be surprised sometimes in seeing that you use it in a more interesting manner. Oh and I am not a computer person at all. And there are a few apps I still cannot figure out at all.
      I will tell you the biggest revelation for me was Image blender. Often I use a filter/app because I like what it does to just one piece of the image and then go to image blender and only keep that. That said I will have tutorials here and there. : )

  • Janine Graf

    I’ve always admired your risk taking and experimenting Lola! And kudos to you for stepping out of your comfort zone with the self-portraits! Wonderful advice Lola! xo

    • Lola Mitchell

      Thank you so so much Janine! If it helps even two people and give them ideas then I am happy.

  • MaryJane Sarvis

    Great article! Love seeing your thought processes expressed. I’m a player too. It’s the best part really! Thank you for writing this