News,  Photo App Lounge

Mobile Photography & Art – My Top Five Apps by Rita Colantonio from Dennis, Massachusetts

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 hugely accomplished mobile photographer and artist, Rita Colantonio who originally started out as an artist, teaching art to children for many years. Colantonio discovered digital photography around the time that she retired and relatively recently found that her iPhone has led her to more creative adventures more akin to her love of artistic experimentation. Through the use of iPhone apps Colantonio confesses that “she finds herself more and more creating artistic adaptations of her photographs“.  She is now exhibiting and entering competitions with these photographs. Take a look at this! (forword by Joanne Carter)



I was originally an art educator and painter before my focus on photography and photoshop in the last ten years.  In recent years iPhoneography has allowed me to more freely express my artistic self.  I now use many apps with my iPhone 6S  but iColorama has remained my go to workhorse app. That’s where I honed my skills in iphoneography from the moment I began editing on my iPhone and then my iPad Pro. This app has freed my imagination to places I never expected.  iColorama is a powerful app with a full range of tools that artists and photographers use to edit photos, create digital montages and create artwork from scratch.  This is my all inclusive studio, allowing me to make initial adjustments and move in any direction from there.  That is not to say that I don’t move my image around to different apps while I am editing.  In iColorama I can transform images, create composites or montages, abstract my images,  apply paint and color and experiment with different styles, tones and textures. I am a story teller in my images so I create many composites.  iColorama blending and masking make this so easy with many blending modes to choose from (similar to photoshop).  I especially like the Tone/Match preset which allows you to match the color palette of your imported background or foreground to the main image.

iColorama has a definite learning curve. I call it Photoshop for IOS. But it is so worth it to achieve the control and mastery required to make impactful imagery. I like the fact that it does not degrade pixels or file size but instead increases file size when exporting as a high resolution PNG file.


‘Generations’ ©Rita Colantonio





Snapseed offers many wonderful tools, especially with the new updates. I love the basic tuning tools and I sometimes start my editing here. If I see my image moving in a more subtle, nostalgic direction Snapseed is the place for me. I will stay here for most of the editing, trying tone changes like vintage, retrolux and noir.  I am fond of glamour glow, portrait, vignette and lens blur. Snapseed is a great app if I want to stay close to my original image but change mood, tone or ambiance. I have also used Snapseed for double exposure. Works great!


‘Reflection’ ©Rita Colantonio


This is a wonderful app for texture and toning. I use this app quite a bit now because I like the nostalgic effects and color moods. This app also allows for layering textures. In addition, I will sometimes create a texture, save it and combine again with another texture.  I will usually go to this app toward the completion of my editing to set the mood that I want. So important in story telling!


‘Help with the Cairns’ ©Rita Colantonio


I have been using this app for some time and will go back here often for certain lighting effects.  Each time I surprise myself with new tones or light leaks. It has a full array of adjustment sliders for each preset and a main slider for intensity control.  Presets are customised for different styles, such as landscape, radiance, grit and grain, grunge, emulsion and vintage. It has very nice subtle grunge effects. But the light leaks is why I use this app.


‘Big Night Out’ ©Rita Colantonio


This app brings out my artist self. It is not my primary app but I like it for drawing or painting in details to my Icolorama images. I have also created art from scratch and blended with my Icolorama images. I love the variety of brushes and colours available.  A learning curve for sure but a great tool for really customised art.


‘The Gift’ ©Rita Colantonio


Contact Details for Rita Colantonio




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