Mobile Photography – A Picture’s Worth with Jo Sullivan


A Picture’s Worth‘… is where we ask mobile photographers that have created powerful mobile photography/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 we asked Jo Sullivan to tell us more about her image ‘Self, Conscious’ one that we included in this weeks Flickr Group Showcase. Sullivan has detailed her thoughts below, you’ll find this hugely interesting…


‘Self, Conscious’ ©Jo Sullivan

“As a relatively new artist in the realm of iPhoneography, I’ve only recently gone from simply experimenting with apps to using them to create pieces of which I’m proud. Photography and the arts have intrigued me from a young age and I’ve dabbled in many mediums, but have always returned to the camera.  I built my first pinhole camera when in 4th grade, hijacking our tiny family bath as my dark room, so found this new movement using photography as its foundation one filled with opportunities for my artistic expression.

As a ‘synesthete’, I “see” sounds, texture, scents and spans of time in a way others do not and the ‘synesthesia’ informs every choice I make while re-working a photograph.  The piece, if I’m true to it, reveals itself as I work. I must often walk away, return when it feels absolutely necessary and continue feeling my way through. There is an actual physical “click” I experience when a piece is complete. I don’t always feel it and have shared work that, regretfully, still requires gestation.

This piece, “Self, Conscious”, began as a way to distract myself from a nasty virus I was suffering.  Late into the evening I took several photos of myself, looking horrid, and began searching for a way to express what was lurking under the swollen eyes, reddened nose and haggard expression. My insomniac’s brain was both figuratively and literally feverish and I felt compelled to create something that would relieve the creative tension.

I love iColorama, so went straight there and created a brightly textured abstract canvas. This I distorted, blended and mixed onto the portrait until I was content and felt I could leave it to burble around in my brain until the next step revealed itself.  

This next step came to me the following evening.  As one who enjoys the comfort of the night, I considered the Luna moth as a fitting representation of my affair with all that is caught with the cycle of the moon. I found a lovely vintage painting of a Luna on an image search and blended it onto the face using Superimpose. Again, all was still very brightly colored, quite glossy and quite unfinished.  I took the image back into iColorama and worked in both blend and mixer modes until the image was rougher and more textured.  Once that was accomplished I chose Stackables for depth, re-lighting and heavier textures. Stackables allows for self-created formulas and I have many.  However, I decided this piece required a new formula and felt, again, that both it and I needed to rest until it felt “right” which came the following evening.

After applying the new formula, I took the piece into Aviary to finish it off with some re-lighting and kept altering it until I felt the “click” allowing me to release her into the ether”.


Apps used with links






1 thought on “Mobile Photography – A Picture’s Worth with Jo Sullivan”

  1. It may have taken over 50 years to be revealed the eyes, mind, heart and soul of Jo, but I am inspired, impressed and blessed to be able to share in the depth of her eyes, mind, heart and soul!


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