- Enjoying writing entries around my creative life in my journal.
- Experimenting with the photo app Oggl. (I'm @Kate on Oggle, if you'd like to find me there)
- Writing The Summer Edition for members of Club Marmalade Moon.
- Sharing tips, tutorials, tools, news, inspiration, gadgets and apps for mobile art and photography or iPhoneography via my Pinterest board on Mobile Art & Photography. This is where you'll find quick news bits and gems that I don't have the resources to post anywhere else.
- And finally I was interviewed by Raman (The Addicted iPhoneographer) at his fantastic blog iOS Photo Apps.
Discover the best apps and techniques to transform simple iPhone snapshots into artistic statements using the tool you already have in your pocket.
Hello Teresita, could you tell us a little about how you got started developing your own iPhoneography app?
Firstly thank you so much for this opportunity! I think starting had a lot to do with my background: I’m an avid user of Photoshop with deep knowledge in plugins. I used the program daily while working as a web designer. At the same time, I’m also an experienced graphic programmer with almost 7 years working in the mobile industry. I think that is a perfect combination for starting to create mobile art apps. It all started back when I bought my first iPad and I felt that so much was missing: there was no Photoshop, and none of these fantastic plugins I worked with. So I started developing iColorama, trying to fill the empty space.
iColorama is, of course, not the only app trying hard to fill the gap. iPhoneography is today a recognized form of art and its development is very accelerated with new apps coming every day and an increasing number of active creators.
What makes you really excited about expressing yourself creatively with your iPhone or iPad?
Well, it is important to note that I don’t consider myself an iPhoneographer. Mostly my “works of art” are reduced to show coming effects in my app. Although, I try to make these pieces as beautiful as possible. Honestly, I wish I had more time for creating my own artsy images. Having said that, I consider developing the app an act of creation in itself. The styles, the algorithms, the effect combinations follow the same process that artists follow when creating composed images and collages. Besides that, programming is also considered a form of art and programming. With Apple’s devices is a fantastic experience. Apple is the best.
How did you come up with the app name?
Many years ago I used to watch a TV program dedicated to art called Colorama so I named the app because of it. There is also a company in Sweden called Colorama that sells wallpapers, the name has nothing to do with that company.
What makes iColorama a unique tool for creative expression?
I think the diversity of effects that includes effects from simple color changes to advanced image mathematical transformations. All these effects can be combined, masked, brushed in infinite combinations. I also try to offer a user interface that is as simple as possible. I can’t say I have succeeded completely with that, but I always try to do my best.
Show us a feature in iColorama that you love.
I especially love the brushes and their algorithms. I see the brushes as localized, limited shape regions where effects are applied. The potential of brushes is huge: almost an infinite combination of shapes, colors and effects just under your finger. I’m working hard to deliver a better brush experience in coming versions. For now, I consider the brushes very experimental, but nonetheless a beautiful and powerful experiment) I love them.
I would not consider it a feature but iColorama is always in continuous evolution: users receive updates as soon as new features are introduced, usually every 3-4 weeks. This is also guaranteed in the future, without additional cost for the users.
What’s the most important element of a well designed iPhoneography app?
I think there are many important elements: But allowing the user to express himself in his own style is the most important. I want each creator to have the chance to differentiate, to create something personal and unique. The second most important is the flow experience: there should not be any kind of obstruction while users are engaged in their creative process (this includes a very simple and powerful user interface)
Which role do the users of iColorama have in the development of the app?
I have direct contact with many users and periodically receive suggestions to improve the app. I respect and value these suggestions and contact very much!
I post almost daily at the community page, featuring new effects or the best artworks by users. I read every comment and I check every piece published at Instagram with the #icolorama tag. There is a flow of inspiration coming back to me from the users' creations: very often presets and effects are directly inspired from their fantastic pieces of art.
Lately some users are starting to publish their own tutorials on their blogs, I don’t have enough words of gratitude for that, it's a service highly valued by the community and they can count on me for spreading and advertising their tutorials.
And finally the nice user reviews: The latest version of iColorama version 3.1 has only 5 star reviews in USA, 5 stars 27 times! That is probably the best way to support and encourage me to continue the app development.
What would be your advice to someone who's just starting out using iColorama?
A good start is to read the very short user guide; then search the web for tutorials and inspiration. e.g. by checking at Instagram the #icolorama tag, visit the community page at FB or just contact me directly if you need it, I’m daily available online.
What do you find to be the greatest challenges and rewards of developing your own iPhoneography app?
The greatest challenges are in the areas of performance and user interface. These are very complicated areas when going mobile; as the devices are limited in graphic power and screen size.
The biggest rewards received are the friendship with many amazing creators and the absolute joy of looking at what they are creating.
Any suggestions to others who would like to develop their own app, but don’t know where to start?
There courses available online on developing apps for iPhone. I think Stanford University has a recurring course. There is also a course of Computational Photography on Coursera that I recommend. Then there are plenty of papers and books on the subject.
All the above is worthless without the patience and perseverance that you will need to success in delivering your app. It is also important to know that writing the code is just a little part of the process: engaging your users, advertising your app and competing in the App Store is much, much harder.
Can you share any of the goals you have for iColorama during 2013?
This year started with the introduction of brushes. I will continue developing new algorithms and improving the performance and the brushes' user interface in coming versions. In the next version I will let the users define their own brushes shapes, glasses, textures, masks. I will also try to remove the gap between the iPad and the iPhone versions, especially by bringing the brushes to the last.
Finally I will put some effort in tutorials that are very necessary. I recently purchased the icolorama.com domain and I have big plans for building a tutorial site!
I thank again to you for the opportunity and I wish you very good luck with your blog and your iPhoneography teaching!
Photographer John Schabel’s series of heavily grained images capture airline passengers through the window before takeoff or on landing.
Add another dimension to your photography by capturing the moment with a photo and illustrating it with a soundscape. Snap a picture, tap to listen. Soundgramr
This clever typeface has been created from the pieces of a deconstructed camera.
Overwhelmed by all the different image sharing platforms? With Cooliris you can discover and share all in one place and selectively share with your group of close friends. Effortlessly swipe through photos in an immersive 3D media viewing space. Experience photos from your iPad or iPhone library, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, Twitter, Ren Ren, Google+, Google Drive, and Google Search.
Have you seen SKETCHNOTE ARMY? It's a worldwide community of sketchnoters.
10 Simply Subtle Grunge Textures. "Perfect for adding just a hint of texture to your designs or photos. These were made by layering several different images together in various blending layers in Photoshop to get the end result."
Google just announced that it'll be closing Google Reader on July 1st of this year. If you're looking for a replacement RSS reader Feedly promises a seamless transition, and a beautiful magazine-like interface.
Invest in growing your photography and photo-styling skills with Diane's tips: Cheap and Simple Tools for Better Blog Photography.
Photography and painting merge in Repix, an exciting, new finger painting app that lets you turn your photography into unique pieces of art that stand out from the crowd. The app is free and you can buy more brushes from within the app. Repix is is easy to use, powerful, sports a beautiful interface and is a game changer for mobile artists.
Looking for funding for your creative project? Here's how to use Kickstarter to successfully raise money for a creative project and now there's an iPhone app for Kickstarter.
Did you know that you can submit your self portrait to Artists Self Portraits in the smartphone era?
There can be beauty in lost, abandoned buildings and places. A vintage object carries its story on its sleeve. The beauty of broken Macs: photos of abandoned Apple kit found by explorers.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
Will you wear your next iPhone on your wrist? Rumours of Apple's new wearable computer device, the iWatch, has the tech world in a frenzy of sci-fi speculation. Will the iWatch fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem?
Join the International SketchCrawl™ - drawing marathons from around the world. A World Wide event where people from different corners of the world join in a day of sketching and journaling and then, thanks to the Internet, everyone shares the results on an online forum.
Is your creative work more intuitive or do you prefer to work in a more logical way, planning your project ahead of time? Follow along with Jen's creative process using multiple photo apps to see what happens when she doesn't really have a plan for her mobile art.
Would you like to showcase or sell your creative work in your very own online shop? Take a look at 6 Steps To Creating A Knockout Online Portfolio or find out how to set up shop with Squarespace Commerce.
Have you seen The Curious Camera Event? It's a "friendly competition calling on artists worldwide to embrace the unpredictability and fascination of photography using their favorite cameras. Images must be made with one of the five categories: pinhole, plastic, vintage, instant and cell phone cameras." Also introducing a workshop this spring.
Here are a some great photo tutorials: 10 Tips & Tricks For Capturing Awesome Motion Blurs and how to take great, crisp and noise-free photos in low-light conditions (without a tripod) with Cortex Camera. Find out exactly how Cortex Camera does it.
And congratulations to the Mobile Artist of the Year: Sarah Jarrett!
Looking for a fast, free and stylish way to read and share your favourite blogs and web sites? Have you seen Feedly?
Trying to catch up with email? Mailbox promises to help you reach "inbox zero". Every day. Gmail only to start with but more to come.atelier ideas.
Liquid moments. Fluid present or memory? Loving working on my new project: Magnified Moments.
Above: The vintage camera collection: an animation.