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What Apps Are We Using This Month? with Catherine Caddigan

Welcome to TheAppWhisperer’s new section, “what apps are we using this month” series, where we discover which apps you are particularly enjoying. Kicking us off is non-other than Award Winning Mobile Photographer, Catherine Caddigan.

I’m Catherine Caddigan and I live in Massachusetts just outside of Boston. I earned my Master of Fine Art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I concentrated in photography and alternative imaging, including printmaking and offset printing. I worked for many years as a graphic designer, now I am concentrating on my fine art, mobile art in particular.  I have exhibited in the states and internationally.

‘Alone in my Head’ – Procreate ©Catherine Caddigan


I currently use an iPhone 13 Pro and an iPad Pro.The Apps I tend to use the most are Procreate, Snapseed, Phonto, Stakables, occasionally Image Blender, and a few others. Snapseed and Stackables are great finishing apps, but I recommend them for anyone starting out in mobile photography as a great place to get started. SnapSeed and Image Blender can take an ordinary photo and give it a finished look in many different ways.


‘Hydrangeas’ – Snapseed, Image Blender ©Catherine Caddigan


My primary recommendation and favorite app is Procreate. It is an extensive app with almost unlimited potential. I tend to begin a project by creating a blank document and importing an image from my camera roll. I choose people, including self-portraits, or simple mundane environments or elements. I also have a large library of textures in my camera roll. There are many sources online for downloading copyright free ephemera. Procreate also allows you to create your own brushes and patterns.


‘Still Life with Vase’ – Procreate ©Catherine Caddigan


‘I thought perhaps, I should leave’ – Procreate ©Catherine Caddigan


Often I begin a project by opening Procreate, choosing a canvas size and importing an image. I try to use at least 3,000 px in either direction. I manipulate my subjects by erasing, and painting, even smearing the image. Next I add layers with additional photos, elements, textures, etc. The blend capabilities found on each layer can further enhance the way my layers interact, building a cohesive image, for instance using “ multiply” can drop out a white background.  I can re-order layers by moving them up or down in the stack or merging them. Procreate has an undo feature allowing me to revert to a former state. I often save my work, giving me the option of importing my project at each stage as a layer, or even a new project.

Procreate will allow fine-tuning or special effects on each layer using the Adjustments tool, some of these are blurring, color and value corrections and cloning. The Selection tool allows amazing creative freedom, for instance by isolating elements and reintroducing them.


‘Springtime Walk’ – Procreate, Snapseed ©Catherine Caddigan


It’s all very intuitive for me and I like the “messiness”  of creating this way, arriving not at a predetermined end but a place which tells a story of the creative journey; more than the sum of the parts. I want to thank Joanne Carter and the AppWhisperer for giving me the chance to share with you on this topic, and I look forward to my fellow mobile artists’ responses because it is a group of very creative artists, I am honored to be a part of.


‘Still Life with Lemon’ – Procreate ©Catherine Caddigan


‘Clarity of Vision’ – Procreate ©Catherine Caddigan


To read other interviews in this series, please go here.

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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: [email protected]