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What Apps Are We Using This Month? with John Nieto

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 today is non-other than Multi Award Winning Mobile Artist John Nieto. His work can be considered an intersection between portraiture, conceptual, street and journalism – a crossroad on which he stresses multiple layers of time, history and motion that constitute our present. He is an artist that has impressed us so much, we offer his work for sale in our online gallery, please go here to view his current collection. This collection offers a mode of aesthetic perception and representation that emphasises the openness of the future but also underlines any conception of the present as a mere replay of the past. Nieto’s art invites viewers to probe the aesthetics of still images and to recalibrate their sense of time, his art is an event, it’s an experience to view and share

John Nieto here, currently living in San Francisco, California. I am 60 years old. I’ve been a hairdresser for 4 decades evolving into mobile photography with the introduction of smartphones, and more recently, works on canvas since the pandemic lockdowns of 2020. I used an iPhone 12 Pro Max to create the following images.

‘Movie night’ ©John Nieto

‘’Movie Night” was the 1st place winner in the 10th Annual Mobile Photo Awards in the Digital Fine Art category. With the help of the dramatic light of the projector, I used Snapseed to bring up the light blue outline of the body shape and sharpen the eyes. A vignette helped to isolate the subject and eliminate noise from the background. The triangular grid was the result of using certain effects within the DECIM8 app which added more triangle shapes than I needed so I used the Juxtaposer app to apply as a top layer and it allows you to erase any unwanted areas merging the two as you wish.

This next photo, “Return of the Guardians” was one that almost went to the trash bin. I sometimes reserve those for exercises in expanding my own creative boundaries in the hopes of breathing new life into it and, for me, that would be the case with this one. After running this through Snapseed, where I also used the negative of a second photo to double expose and get the leafy foreground, I imported it to the ProCreate app for iPad Pro. In ProCreate I scribbled the hint of a skyline, being that the entire space behind where I’m standing is the city of San Francisco. I am a fan of dramatic light and contrast and a sunset was the best place to find such light. I tend to lean toward mystical and/or paranormal content from time to time and adding the green glowing orbs as a final touch was what led to the title of this piece.

‘Return of the Guardians’ ©John Nieto

The following photo, “Belong To Oneself”, was shot on the Sausalito side of the San Francisco Bay. I was intrigued by the sense of solitude this person must embrace to embark on these cold and choppy waters with the imposing wall of the city lining the horizon. In this case, the simplicity of the moment spoke more to me than the editing process outside of basic fine-tuning, but again, I used Snapseed to vignette and contrast. The almost watercolour texture was applied using the Mextures app, an early favourite for moodiness. As a final touch, the seagull was stored from earlier shots I saved as a “stamp” in Juxtaposer. One of the things I really love about Juxtaposer, (I’m sure there are others), is the ability to isolate elements of an image and save them as “stamps” for future use and reference. Some of these appear in other works of mine to help flesh out a scene or give a better sense of the surroundings and sounds that might be part of the location’s experience.

‘Belong to oneself’ ©John Nieto

Peace, Freedom, and Indigo. Another example of using the DECIM8 app to deconstruct the scene a bit. The brightness, contrast and saturation were applied through Snapseed before the seagull was brought into the picture as a stroke of light using Juxtaposer.

‘Peace, freedom and Indigo’ ©John Nieto

“420 Portrait of Luke” was created on the unofficial national holiday here in the U.S. where producers, consumers and advocates gather to celebrate all things cannabis on April 20th each year. Juxtaposer was the perfect app for this to happen. Shot in the corner of an attic with strong light, I layered the same image on top of itself then slid it over a bit and erased the face of the new top layer.

‘420 Portrait of Luke’ ©John Nieto

My intention is to always remain open to new ideas and to share information with others that find excitement in the tools they’re using. I’ve always considered myself a futurist and one of the ways I process how I fit in the world is by exploring as much as I can given these tools available whether in its concept, execution, or cultural relevance.

Artificial Intelligence is probably the most recent, (and controversial), since my own exploration began in the Fall of 2022. Wonder app is where that all took place. All the images I’ve produced through this ai app began by using photos from my own archive to expand on an idea using the relevant prompts.

The final image I’ve chosen to share with you today is a post-apocalyptic story of survival entitled, “Turn A Blind Eye”. Based on a photo of the San Francisco skyline merged with a portrait of a close friend. These two separate images became one, again, through the Juxtaposer app. The result was absolutely magical to me after a day or two of reworking it to my satisfaction and still recognizing the outcome as photos I had recently taken. Most of the apps I’ve chosen to share today are ones I’ve used for many years now and will continue working with, as long as my vision continues to find fulfillment within them. Thank you for your time and interest and please visit me on Instagram at @john_nieto or my website: to keep up with current works or share ideas.

‘Turn a blind eye’ ©John Nieto

To read our 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]