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Mobile Photography & Art – My Top Five Apps by Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States

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 highly respected and talented Mobile Artist and Photographer – Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States, take a look! (foreword by Joanne Carter). To read others in this series, please go here.

All images ©Susan Detroy


“Creating art with my iPhone, iPad and apps is a wondrous discovery that began a few years ago.

I am pleased to share some of my experience.

My iPhone and iPad app preference can fluctuate based on what I am creating and enjoying. I go through phases of liking apps depending on my current work. I have a number of series I create digitally. I tend to use certain apps for each series.

I have a few favorites I cycled through this year.  I am currently creating iPhone/iPad work making an emerging series I call “River Views,” my “Portrait of a Woman” series, “Flowers I Have Known,” and “The Betsy Chronicles.”

In February 2018 I began noting what apps I am using in my creations. Previously I did not. I realize if I am going to talk about my work, it is helpful to refer to my process including knowing the apps I am using. This was a shift for me as I have been a by-the-seat-of-the-pants/in-the-flow artist, a carry over from my hard copy print transfer and mixed media art”.


I first choose Snapseed. It is a rich app and I enjoy its accessibility. The image display and the tools with symbols are clear. I do my editing on my iPad and Snapseed works nicely. The range of tools fits my needs. In particular I like blending, expansion, adjustments and retrolux. Here I share an image, “Here and Not Here” from “The Betsy Chronicles,” a series depicting the life of my sister, Betsy, who died the end of October, 2017.

Download Snapseed

top five apps


Hipstamatic is making a come back in my art. I have favorite combinations and prefer to have a straight image capture taken simultaneously. Occasionally I use the manual settings. A couple combinations I like: Jane, Kodot XGrizzled, RedEye Gel and Jimmy, Kodot XGrizzled, Cherry Shine. The image I share using Hipstamatic camera is “West on the Platform” from the “River Views” series. I started the river images in the last couple months, sharing my love of the views along the Willamette River, in particular the views from bridges and platforms.

Download Hipstamatic

Distressed FX

Distressed FX is a favorite of mine. I enjoy scrolling through the combination of filters and then being able to use the sliders for viewing options.  One image “Feather,” I happened upon at the local arboretum, Mt. Pisgah. The second image is from my “Portrait of A Woman” series, “The Eye of Sadness.” I blend creations of self-portraits and environmental locations, plants and views in nature.  I often use Snapseed, a great app for blending images.

Download Distressed FX


Glaze is an app that feels less smooth, yet full of interesting effects. And I like a number of the changes, so I continue using it. I enjoy the painterly changes on this tree full of blossoms, “Flowers I Have Known/A Cherry Tree” discovered along the Willamette river in Eugene, Oregon.

Download Glaze

Waterlogue and Painteresque

Waterlogue and Painteresque both are great for viewing image transformations. For my fifth app I pick Waterlogue for its dramatic image changes. I often use the transformed Waterlogue image as a base to then put the capture through Snapseed, DistressedFX and Glaze and well as Stackables and Mextures. This image using Waterlogue is another from the “River Views” series, “Seeing Turner,” homage to Joseph Turner and celebrating the river that runs through my city.

Download Waterlogue

Download Painteresque

Contact Details

I appreciate the opportunity to share a bit of my art making process and to thank Joanne Carter and The App Whisperer for the tremendous work and attention to mobile photography. The information and artists consistently inspire me.

Susan Detroy 2018

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