Photography Books,  Reviews

Art with an iPhone by Kat Sloma – Book Review and Competition!

“This books passes muster as a great instructional tool for the novice mobile artist – A Classic”, Joanne Carter, 2016

Recently in a cafe I was hungrily perusing ‘Art with an iPhone – A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Altered Realities’ by American Fine Art Photographer, Writer and Instructor, Kat Sloma, when a woman I knew touched me on the shoulder and asked what I was reading. I considered this question as I glanced up and around at all the other customers in the cafe and noticed that most of them were engrossed with their iPhones, possibly (hopefully) apping images. ‘It’s a book about creating art with an iPhone’, I replied. She looked surprised and then asked if she could join me. This then became the perfect way to review this book. I explained that ‘Art with an iPhone’ is a great learning platform for newcomers to this wonderful artform to develop their skills, my friend became hooked and is now a great new mobile artist!

Sloma explains, That’s not photography,” the long-time photographer commented to me, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not photography…

A few years ago, as I started to transition to my iPhone camera and apps to create images, I got that a lot. It was a bit confusing, truth be told. I knew my images did not always end up looking like what most people expected a photograph to look like, but how could it not be photography? I was still using a camera; still using all of the skills I had learned over the years to see and frame and expose images. I just took them a little further in post-processing than I used to. I didn’t try to portray reality any more.

I went through a bit of an identity crisis after hearing enough of those comments. If it’s not photography, then what is it? If I’m not a photographer, then who am I? I loved what I was doing, and I wrestled with this question for a while, coming to a simple conclusion that took me back to where I started. Yes, I am a photographer, because what I do starts with an image captured with a camera.  The starting image is crucial to my creative process. Without it, my art doesn’t exist.

I now call what I do “altered photography” because I want to signal that it’s not what people typically expect photography to look like, but I also want the people who see my work to know it started as photograph. I am proud of my art form, and the wonderful history of this fantastic medium. I believe what I (and so many others!) are doing with photographic images on mobile devices is one more step in the evolution of the photograph. We are, one image at a time, expanding the definition of photography.

But right now we are in a time of transition. Not everyone is on board with this point of view. If you ask other photographers, yourself even, “Is it photography or not?” I would expect to hear wildly different reactions”.



This book is divided into 60 sections over 128 pages. It is an A4 sized colour, softback, glossy book, published by Amherst Media (12 January, 2016). It is simply laid out with the initial sections based around hardware and other essential software elements including Power Management and Transferring Files Between Devices. In this case, Sloma explains how to make use of Cloud Connected Transfers as well as using Apple’s AirDrop service, when connection is not available.

There are useful sections on techniques, including Exposure and Focus Control and she demonstrates this example well with the use of ProCamera app.  Capturing Moving Subjects is a section that many will find useful. Again, Sloma demonstrates this technique using ProCamera with Rapid Fire for Jpegs. (Rapid Fire is only available for Jpegs here due to the time for additional data information load for TIFF format for example).

Sloma looks at many effects that can be created including Monochromatic filters, Textures, Grunge and more. All well explained for the novice to iPhone art.

The post-processing section is also a very useful area with Cut to Invert and Layers clearly and demonstrably explained.

One of my favourite sections of this book is entitled ‘Creating Possibility’ – this is what we are all striving to do. The mobile photography and art world revolves entirely around creating possibilities with a very simple and small device.

This book will help get you up to speed with creating your own Mobile Art if you are a newcomer to mobile art and it will inspire you to go on to further to develop your skills and discover more. Sloma has created a very good book here to help anyone get started creating with this medium that we are all so passionate about.

We are delighted to have three copies of ‘Art with an iPhone’ to giveaway in a competition. If you would like a chance to win one of three copies (list price $37.95), please submit your very best Art with an iPhone image via Instagram with this hashtag #theappwhisperer_artwithaniphone – we will select our top three winning images on 8 July 2016 and the books will be shipped out to the winners!

Kat Sloma – Artist Statement

For Kat Sloma, photography is meditation, expression and revelation. She finds photography a way to process what’s going on around her and a way to be in the moment. She pauses to observe details in the greater world and photographs them, and works to create the same feeling of “pause” in her photography-based art. The type of “pause” can be meditative or surprised; curious or joyful. She seeks anything that stops thought for a moment, allowing the world to be perceived in a different way.

Kat’s artwork is greatly influenced by the places she lives and explores every day. Over the last few years her photographic work has shifted from urban scenes to forest elements, reflecting a move from Milan, Italy to Corvallis, Oregon.  She has also moved along the spectrum from literal and representational to abstract, taking photographic elements out of context and recombining them into something new and different. She is currently creating new work using an iPhone camera and apps, enjoying the experience of experimenting with a new process and seeing what possibilities appear.  Her iPhone work expresses a distinct contemplative style which has received recognition in the US and internationally.

As a fine art photographer, writer and instructor, Kat believes everyone has the potential to share a unique point of view through art. She writes, teaches workshops, and speaks about iPhone and other creative aspects of photography. She is the author of Art with an iPhone: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Altered Realities available on or your local bookstore, and Digital Photography for Beginners: Understanding Exposure, Light, Composition and Using your DSLR available on Kat currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon with her husband and son.

You can see Kat’s work at

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: