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Mobile Photography & Art – My Top Five Apps by Gerry Coe from Northern Ireland

We are revitalising our Top Five Apps section to our Photo App Lounge column. This a section within TheAppWhisperer where we ask highly accomplished mobile photographers and artists to list their top five apps and to explain why they have selected them. Kicking us off today is accomplished mobile photographer and artist Gerry Coe from Northern Ireland.  Take a look at his Top Five Apps… (foreword by Joanne Carter)

“I have been reading a lot of what all the other people who have contributed to the Top Five Photo Apps have been using and a lot of them are not very different from what I use. So in this little article I have picked out my some of my personal favourites and a few that I use for a particular purpose. I don’t really have one style of making images but I like to experiment to see what I can get out of an image. As a professional photographer, I have covered many different genres of photography from Weddings, Commercial, Aerial, Architecture, Portraits and many more and been brought up with film cameras of all sizes and then moved over to Digital and was delighted when I no longer had to stand for hours in a darkroom producing prints, then I discovered mobile photography but as a “real” photographer I knew you could not get anything decent quality wise from my then iPhone 4 and it was my good friend Dan Burkholder who inspired me to try doing something different with my “Telephone Camera” and so I have now embraced the whole idea of mobile photography. No longer do I have a sore back or neck from carrying a big heavy DSLR ,although I still bring my Lumix GX8 with me on trips and use it for any portrait sessions I do. So here are my five Apps…”.



First off is Snapseed, like so many people this is my first port of call when I need to get an image ready for other work, many times I never actually go any further with an image as in the pictures here. The first photo was shot in Croatia when my wife and I were out for a walk and we walked out to a big hotel on the coast. I loved the shape the shadows and buildings made so a couple of quick shots and continued on with the walk. I only used Snapseed to add more contrast and to sharpen the image slightly, very simple. The other image is of tram tracks in Lisbon,  a very low angle gave the image a great 3D feel, again only Snapseed was used.




This has been my go to app to produce my “Painterly” style images. The thing I like about this app is that you can add as much stylising to the image as you wish it is not a filter as in other painterly apps that you can’t adjust but one where you can build an image. One thing I will say, I do use other painterly apps like Glaze which is brilliant but you can’t adjust the image so what I tend to do with most of those sort of apps is use a blending app to combine the original image with the new painted app. Repix has so many brushes to play with you can have a lot of fun.



This app I would use a fair amount as it has a whole range of filters as well as a few good textures and frames. A lot of my work might start off in Snapseed but I tend to move on to other apps to see if the image can be improved or just to give me an alternative look. Many times I might have 20 variations on the original image before I feel happy with it and as often as not I will go back to an image again and start all over, bit like a painter who creates a painting one day then goes back the next day and realises it was rubbish so a new canvas is required.



I’ve had this app for a long time, there have been a few updates and now you can purchase extra filters and textures to give a big range of styles. It has a separate “Birds” filter which is great but everyone can recognise the various combinations and I tend to avoid it. I take my own photos of birds and add them to my images if needed, although the picture I have supplied has the birds from the app on it. A very apt image as it was a bird wildlife centre. The actual image was started in Snapseed then I used a filter in Pixlormatic, moved over to Distressed FX for the texture Filter and the birds.


Image Blender

For combining different elements and blending them I use Image Blender a lot, you have got all the normal blending filters you find in Photoshop and you have the ability to erase parts of any images you don’t need. The image of the shadows was blended with two other textures to give me an image I was starting to like but I felt it needed a bit more so I used one of the filters from Enlight another favourite app of mine.


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