Do You Use Photo Apps?

The Recipe Book Project: A Guest Post by David Hayes of Clearer Reflections

Photo apps. We all have them, and . . . if you’re like me . . . one is never enough! There is always one more to download. Do I have photo apps that I haven’t used but once? Yeah . . . I’ll have to admit to that; there seems to be some apps that I go to over and over while ignoring others. In any case, I am always amazed at what I can create using my apps—they’ve opened new worlds for me in photography. (I have a “classical” training in photography, and I do know my way around Photoshop, but let me tell you, these apps are something else!)

Background On the Project

I started Dave’s App Recipe Book Project back in October of 2011 as a way to not only learn more about the apps I’ve collected, but to create a framework where others could share how they use their favorite apps as well—a space for us to learn from each other. Beginning with the May, 2012 edition, I’m doing a little “re-branding,” changing the title of the project to “The Recipe Book Project” as well as introducing a new logo (which you can see above).

I have also created my i365 project where I create a new image every day—trying out different combinations of apps and sharing my “recipes” on my blog, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

How You Can Participate

If you wish to participate, create an image to share. While this image could have its beginning outside an iDevice, the building of the final image has to happen in-device—and not on a Mac or PC. After creating your app-manipulated image, post the image and how you created it on your own blog, Flickr site, Tumblr site, Twitter page, Facebook wall or other website and send me the link to your postings. These links are then listed on my blog on Project Day of each month. Project Days are usually the third Wednesday of every month, with the next one May 16, 2012.

If you have been searching for a fun way of sharing your phoneography, I hope you’ll consider sharing your images (and recipes) by participating in this project. All you have to do is send me an email with your link(s), and you’re in! (This is not a juried gallery!)

The number of participants grows each month as word of this project gets around. I’ve learned a lot from the recipes of others each time and I get to interact with each of these phoneographers—which is great! There’s always a new twist that someone has come up with on using an app, as well as apps that I’ve not heard of before. (So of course I need to go pick those up!)

A Couple of Recipes for You to Try!

I would like to share with you two “recipes” that have been contributed to the project. Try these out yourself! Use your own images and to tweak the recipes as you see fit. One of the things I learned early on is that there is a lot of duplication in what each app does…meaning that there are usually a “grunge” or “antique” filter or the like in every app. Which means that you don’t always have to use the same app that’s given in a recipe.

Holly Dean of Often Medieval In Mood created “Ephemeral World.” With her kind permission, I’ve copied/pasted her images and recipe. Here’s the link to her entire article: “Altered Image, Complete With Recipe”


Image#1: reflection of gothic window in Cirque Room


  • Open Image#1 in Photo fx
  • Choose SpecialFX > Color Looks > Cool Desaturated (Amount 100%)
  • Save

Image#2: Costume Balls, made for Cirque du Soleil


  • Open new Saved image in Iris
  • Choose Adjustments > Layers > Set Layer as Base
  • Open Library > select Image#2
  • Choose Adjustments > Layers > Blend with Base > Blend Mode: Lighten, (Opacity 100%), Use the Image Mask
  • Save


  • Turn image right way up in Camera Roll (Edit) > Save


  • Open new Saved image in picfx
  • Choose Grunge > Rough Grunge
  • Save


  • Open new Saved image in 100Camerasin1
  • Choose “looking sideways, a clever smile” (50%)
  • Save


  • Open new Saved image in Iris
  • Choose Dust ‘n’ Scratches > Grunge Frame > Rust (100%) > Apply
  • Save


Result: Altered Image "Ephemeral World"



Amy Duncan of Four Corners Design did the second recipe. As with Holly’s I have Amy’s blessing to share these with you. The title of her work is, ”The Forest Brook”.

The Forest Brook


Amy’s recipe, while not as complex as Holly’s, creates a very elegant image with a wonderful vintage feel. Here’s what Amy stated for her recipe:

“Photo taken with Retro Camera app for Android / altered with Sharpness FX under effects – PicsArt for Android.”

If you would like to read the rest of Amy’s article and see more of her images, here’s the link to: “Playing Along.”

Want More?

I also invite you to visit my blog, Clearer Reflections, where I post a new recipe every day. Sometimes these will only take a moment to make, other times . . . a bit more time. These are part of my i365 project where I’m trying to create a new image everyday using as many different apps as I can during the course of the year. Please take a look; leave comments; give feedback, suggestions, and so forth!

There is much discussion going on today about the validity of phoneography—as in, is it an “art?” And is it “photography?” I don’t get hung up with all of this; no more so than with discussions about a “serious” photographer using film vs. digital. It’s all photography, and I see great things coming! Come join in the fun!!


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10 Responses to Do You Use Photo Apps?

  1. hollydean says:

    The Recipe Book Project is awesome! So much to see, learn and be inspired by – and a motivation for creating. Thanks for including me, Dave 🙂

  2. fourcornersdesign says:

    Dave – its wonderful that you are sharing your knowledge of apps – and encouraging others to join in! I’m a newbie…but I’m learning! thanks for including my pic!

  3. Thanks Holly and Amy! I appreciate the support the two have given me from the beginning….it’s been great! And remember Holly…you’re partially to fault for my app addiction! (o:

  4. Carol says:

    Excellent article, Dave, and the two examples are great. I’m really enjoying being part of the Recipe Book group and can’t wait to tell everyone I know to check out this article. See you on May 16th.

  5. Seth says:

    I love being a part of this project Dave and look forward to the 16th. Thanks so much for hosting it and for sharing more recipes in this post.

  6. And thank you, Seth, for all of your support and encouragement! I don’t think I would have had the courage to start this up without your “push”!!

  7. Look forward to learning more. Been shooting with an iPhone 4S since October 2011. Probably have shot close to 15,000 photos. Around 1000 of them are processed and print/publish ready.