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”.

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

Mobile Photography and Art – A Picture’s Worth with Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States


A Picture’s Worth‘… is where we ask mobile photographers that have created powerful mobile photography/art to explain the processes they took. This includes their initial thoughts as to what they wanted to create, why they wanted to create it, how they created it, including all apps used and what they wanted to convey. We also ask these incredible artists to explain their emotions and how the image projects those feelings. We have published a few A Picture’s Worth articles recently, if you have missed those – please go here.

In this ‘A Picture’s Worth’ today we asked Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States to tell us more about this image, featured.  Detroy has detailed her thoughts below, we think you’ll find this invaluable…

“I am pleased to share my process about using apps and creating work with my iPhone and iPad.

I started working with blended and fused apps toward the end of 2016. I am attracted to them because they work in similar ways to my layered pieces to I created before iPhone. The apps produce familiar feelings as the sensibilities I express with my hard copy work. Blending, combining images and layering are techniques I have been using since the 90’s when I worked with xerography and started doing transfers and lifts with solvents. The apps speak a language I understand.

I picked an image from my current “Self-Portraits of a Woman” series. I was propelled into the series by personal grief, politics and a long photographic history of self-reflection. The “world” seemed to impinge on me and this was how I responded.

For this column, I did my best to remember what I used, as I am impulsive creator, often unaware that it might be important to know how I made what I make. I did my best to keep track.

With “Self-Portraits of a Woman” I am committed to using blending and fusing apps. In the series I confront who I am as I age, the fears and joys of an older female in American culture. I show the inner and outer me and what I care about. The apps support combining photos of myself and the world I inhabit. I interweave nature, cityscapes or earth elements with my portrait. Sometimes I combine multiple images. When I am watching the choices for blending I move through feelings about how I look, what I feel, and what I want to communicate. I am showing my relationship to my world and how I respond to what surrounds me. I use images to convey my presence, to say here I am, I am who I am and that is how it is. In my process of proclaiming, I revel in moving the images around and going through the choices until I feel a “yes this works for me.”  

In “Birthday Portrait” I combined photographs I took on my recent birthday hike. I turned the camera on my surroundings, and myself using Blackie one of my favorite black and white camera apps. Using Blackie I like to blow out the highlights leaving a wispy image or self-portrait. The blown out highlights remind me of black and white Infrared film I used to shoot. The two photos I arranged were of myself, and another of trees with my friend in the corner. I enjoy the feeling of magnificence, larger than life me, with the trees growing on and in me. I interpret my friend as a part of my existence in nature. Using her image creates a feeling of admiration and honouring for the trees and honouring my life on the day of my birth.

I use my iPad to edit my pieces. I used Painteresque, another favorite app. I like how it brings lots of detail and texture to the image.  It seems to enliven the information. Next I chose Mextures for a muted colouring, giving it a fluid color feel. And with all apps I feel like I am playing as I move through the choices of colours and the ways I feel as I see them presented.

In this image, as in much of my multiple image work, I play with and enjoy the back and forth feeling the viewer can experience, seeing more than one image, one coming forward, then the other. There is a way some information is hidden and revealed.  This is my contemplative, joyful, and sometimes serious way of communicating.

And always, thanks for TheAppWhisperer and Joanne Carter’s enormous talent and support for the iPhone photography world. If you love this work, please support her and the site”.


Read moreMobile Photography and Art – A Picture’s Worth with Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States

error: Content is protected !!