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A Picture’s Worth With Karen Divine

A Picture’s Worth… is where we ask mobile photographers that have taken or made, as the case may be, powerful mobile 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.

We have published a few A Picture’s Worth articles recently, if you have missed those – please go here.

In this A Picture’s Worth today, Karen Divine talks us through her incredible images and trip below. We are so grateful to Karen for expressing her emotions so eloquently.

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 [email protected] and we will get it all set up).

Over to you Karen…(foreword by Joanne Carter).

Boats and Shadow Series

While in Fiji, I felt no need to reveal the translucent turquoise waters or the rich green mountains all around because that would be expressing the obvious. The boats moved easily, symbolically providing transport to other realms, enabling transitions to occur and I was ready to shift into something new. I was supposed to come here last summer but was detoured literally on my way to the airport to my mothers side and subsequent death. I was desperate for a week of pure relaxation, reflection and change then, and even more so now, six months later.


‘Fiji Project 3’ – ©Karen Divine


When I travel, I shoot like everyone else. I take random images, cute images, parts of things, textures, bad images and, the occasional well-composed single image just as an exercise to see if I can still do that. When I start to composite, I make an effort to use only those images I’ve taken during that adventure. It’s a challenge I give myself, see what you can create with what’s happening in that moment. In “Coming Home”, however, I brought in a few other elements of images taken elsewhere.

Without a plan or intention, the images quickly begin to pounce on top of one another, blending with a sense of playfulness and freedom, two elements imperative for the creative process. As most artists, I rely on my intuition to guide me and have managed after many years of practice to find that path at will, and when the muse is “out” I simply wait for her to return. I believe that the discipline of creating art invites one to enter into an authentic relationship with oneself and one’s process and is a guide to greater personal awareness.

I wanted to understand the shadows I saw and felt. The shadows were symbolic of all that I carried there that I didn’t want any longer… the years of difficult lessons and unnecessary activity. I wanted to exist in a new way with a new perspective… I wanted to dig beneath the obvious and touch the obscure, the portal to a new place. That is what I hoped for during this journey and that was the initial meaning I wrote for the image “Coming Home” which was the last image I created on the long flight home.


‘Coming Home’ – ©Karen Divine


The first five days home I did not feel well and thought I had a virus. I am rarely sick so I wasn’t concerned and carried on but by the end of the week I was flat out and had to be taken to the ER for such a severe case of vertigo, I could not move or eat. I had never had this before. No infection and not related to anything that we could remedy by certain postures, I was left to my couch, relying on my kids to help me get up. After two weeks remaining vertical, I remembered this image and shuttered at the thought that this was exactly how I felt. My head was so disconnected from anything around me with no signs of finding an outlet. I thought perhaps I should force myself to make another image setting the head free from this bondage. I remained inactive and unable to work for an entire month. The shift I was so looking forward to from this journey took place but not through the portal of joy and relaxation as I had anticipated.


My usual approach:

Scratchcam for textures initially

Juxtaposer for parts of images

Blender to create new colors and surprises

Photo FX again for new colors and emphasis

Snapseed mostly for selective adjustments

I reuse parts of other completed work…

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]