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Top Five Photo Apps – Photo App Lounge – AlyZen Moonshadow

Welcome to our Top Five Photo Apps – Photo App Lounge section of This is an area on our site where we ask highly accomplished mobile photographers what their top five photo apps are and why.

We recently published the Top Five Photo Apps as recommended by Yannick Brice , Cedric Blanchon, Irene Sneddon, our Columnist and Award Winning Mobile Artist Sarah Jarrett as well as Louise Fryer, Lisa Waddell, Davide Capponi, Ali Jardine, Clint Cline, Elaina Wilcox, France Freeman, Tess Gomm, Lola Mitchell, Vivi, Em Kachouro, Laetitia Harnie-Coussau and MaryJane Sarvis’ Top Five Photo Apps including accompanying images demonstrating these selections, if you missed those, please go here.

Today, we are featuring AlyZen Moonshadow’s Top Five Photo apps and they are really intriguing. AlyZen is a wonderful enchanting mobile artist based in Perth, Western Australia. Her current passion is for graphic design and in this post, AlyZen demonstrates that perfectly by creating visuals using her current favorite design apps. Over to you AlyZen… (foreword by Joanne Carter).



‘For this post, I’ll use just one example and show you what I’ve done with it.  My techniques are simple and only involve a few steps.  My favourite “graphic design” type Apps are as follows:

addLib U
addLib S
Photoshop Touch – iOS
Photoshop Touch – Android

The original image in this example is a photo of the BHP Billiton building and the Australian Stock Exchange building on St Georges Terrace, Perth, Western Australia.  They are both made of beautiful blue glass. Don’t you just love the little twinkly lights in the Stock Exchange building?  For the secondary image, I chose a photo I’d taken of a craft paper with a leafy design on it.





I took this image using my Samsung Galaxy S4 one winter’s morning.  The above image is as unedited.  Just the other day folks on the grapevine were raving about an iOS App called “Leonardo”, so out of curiosity I decided to try it out.  It just might become my favourite go-to iOS App, as it has certainly more features than PhotoShop Touch.  I might even write a review of it if I have the time.

In the App “Leonardo”, I added texture, adjusted the brightness and contrast, and then using the Screen Blend mode blended the image of the buildings with my leaves image.

After processing with the app – Leonardo (link above)



Screen blend, building and leaves image




I then used the equally awesome App “Tangent” to create 4 different versions of the image.  Just to give you an idea of what that App is capable of.










Next, I took one of the above images and ran it through another favourite App, “Phoster”.  For a long time I believed Phoster to have only a few set graphic design templates, but since then I’ve discovered more folders with additional templates, which has made me appreciate the app all over again.  Here I simply added some text in 2 different fonts, saying “Perth City” and “Australia”.

Phoster – added Text (link above)




The reason I’d created four different versions of the same image in Tangent, was so I could them all in the App “AddLib U”, which, alongside “AddLib S”, is my favourite graphic design-style App.  To use AddLib U, you simply load 1-4 images (obviously the more the merrier here) and then click the go button to generate 10 random images, a la Swiss graphic design.  The only tweaking available is before you hit the go button, where you can adjust the position and size of the images.  And once the ensuing 10 images have been generated, the only tweaking you can do is to modify or delete the text.  Here are 3 of the 10 images the App randomly generated; I have changed the text in 2 of them, and deleted the text of the third.

AddLib U with Text



AddLib U with Text No.2



AddLib U no text




Another favourite App I use is “Phonto”.  As with “Phoster”, subsequent updates meant the App got better and better.  Last time I looked at Phonto, there were new templates I’d never used before.  So, for the following image I applied a 3-coloured strip to the original Leonardo image, the one before I blended it with the leaf image.  I also added some artful dotted lines and music equalization bars at the bottom of the image.

Phonto – 3 Strip, bars and dots (link above)




Another go-to App I use is PhotoShop Touch (link above), which is very handy as it’s available on iOS and Android.  I use it mainly for blending purposes, as the Android market is sadly lacking in that department.  Here I used the “stars” effect image previously obtained via Tangent.  I created a bulge effect in the middle of the image, and added a “posterise” and “watercolour” effect and also changed the hue’.


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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]