On My Radar- Eight Apps for a Desert Island with WiFi – Gerry Coe from Northern Ireland

We have another brand new section here at TheAppWhisperer called ‘On My Radar’ and this time we are asking a selection of highly talented mobile photographers and artists, which apps they would take with them on a unique desert island, that has wifi! We want to know exactly what apps are really on their radar and why. As well as eight apps, we have also allowed each artist to select a book and a luxury object on this luxury journey. Kicking us off with our ninth issue of this section, is non other than the highly talented Gerry Coe from Northern Ireland.

To read the others in this series, please go here.

“Delighted to have been asked to contribute to this column. A lot of the apps I use have already been mentioned before but it is the way that people use them to get their effects that makes the difference. As a professional photographer of over 50 years I have seen many changes and never thought I would embrace the idea of a “telephone” to take pictures! But I have embraced this new technology and just love my phone and taking pictures with it”.


So let’s start, favourite book, very hard to decide, I’m a great fan of Lord of the Rings so the omnibus edition which incorporates all the different stories.


Luxury Item

A luxury item, maybe a case of wine every so often could be floated in, oh and slip in a bottle of Rum!!!



So eight apps. Like so many others Snapseed comes high up on my list. You can do so much with this app, in fact for a lot of my processing I sometimes never need to go elsewhere. The image shown is of the Dune du Pilat near Arcachon in Bordeaux. It was processed totally in Snapseed.


Hipstamatic/Oggl is one of the first apps I ever used and it is still a big favourite, many times I import photos from my camera roll and use it to get a particular effect. This image is of the Cube Houses in Rotterdam. It was taken with the standard iPhone camera and imported into Oggl. This was one of a panel of five abstract architectural images. Got me a silver award at the BIPP fine art awards.


Retouch is great for cloning and object removal I use this quite a bit to clean up many images. I find the object removal (content aware) tool much better than Snapseed. The image of the man was taken in Mexico, he was sitting with some friends and I asked if I could take his portrait, I knew I would have trouble with the highlights but Retouch clone tool worked great. Other processing mostly in Snapseed with a bit of Dramatic B&W.


LightBrush I have started using more and more, it is a great app for retouching, you can use it for touching up small or large areas with great precision. You can use the brushes to lighten, sharpen, darken etc in specific areas and not globally applied to the whole image. Again another portrait of a guy begging on the street in Berlin. I went over and chatted to him and asked if I could take his portrait. The original image taken on the Standard camera edited to B&W in Snapseed then I used Lightbrush to lighten his eyes and also the shadows on his coat. I used sharpening and clarity on his beard as well as darkening the highlights and darkened the background some more.


SlowShutter is an app I use when I am looking to turn an image into something more arty looking. I use it quite a bit for street photography then I will combine it with one or more of my art apps to create a unique look. This image is of a rainy day in Belfast. I like umbrellas!!


Repix and other watercolour apps I use quite a bit. My only gripe with Repix is that you cannot adjust the effect, so many times I end up going into a blending app and combine with the original image to lessen the effect. This image of “Red Cafe” in Bordeaux just reminded me of the Van Gogh Yellow Cafe in Arles. So Repix was ideal for this image.

DistressedFX and Vintage Scene

I know I have listed two here but I use both of them quite often, they give me the textures and looks I like, there are many other apps I use for textures and light leaks. This image is in Berlin and is a triple exposure with just a slight bit of movement and in this case I played around with various combinations in DistressedFX.


iColorama I do not use enough at the moment but I am slowly getting to grips with it and on a desert island I will have plenty of time to experiment. It is a massive app with so many features which might seem strange at first but it is worth sticking with and watch as many tutorials on it as you can. Now this image was of a windmill in Corfu. I was very far away so used my LUMIX TZ80 with 30x zoom to get the image. Imported it into the iPhone and then processed in a slightly painterly style with nice paper texture in iColorama but also combined it with the original photo to bring back a bit of colour.

Ok so those are my eight apps but there are so many others I use to create an image. I do not like to use just one app for an effect, although for a project of B&W images I am working on at the moment I am using almost exclusively Snapseed. I like to combine apps, blending different looks and textures. People ask me how I did an image and generally I don’t remember most of the steps I took. It is a journey every time I start to work on an image and most times it is not exactly repeatable as I jump from one app to the next, saving as I go along and I may have 10,15 or 20 variations before I am happy with the final result.

Hope you enjoyed my selection.

Contact Details for Gerry Coe

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