A Chat with an Artist

The web is one of those things that is amazing if you sit down to think about it. Connections cross the globe via a flow of electrons, light, and waves on the world wide web. One WWW connection I made last year was an artist/designer/illustrator who lives in Sweden (a place I’ve always wanted to visit!). She dropped by this site with a few questions and I got a chance to find out what Kate England thinks about iPhoneography.

The images below were taken by Kate, and you can see more great work over at her Marmalade Moon blog.

Kate, how did you discover iPhoneography?

When I got my first iPhone, I immediately started to explore how I could use it as a creative tool and discovered how easy the iPhone made it to slip a creative layer onto your life. This was in 2008, and it was when I was using apps like CameraBag and Hipstamatic that realised the potential of this new art form.

woman with hat by Kate England

What is the best thing about iPhoneography?

It’s easy, fun and accessible. The iPhone as a creative medium, make it easy to harness your creativity on the go. This is the art form that can stretch to fit any time slot you have available and it doesn’t create a mess to be cleaned up when you’re finished.

The larger screen of the iPad helps you edit or paint your images, and the iPhone is unbeatable as a tool to capture images with. Once you’ve got the device, the apps are inexpensive. With digital art and photography, you have an endless supply of paint and film, no restocking required, and no harmful chemicals to handle.

All you really need to get started is an iPhone. No studio, no long uninterrupted blocks of time, no expensive supplies. You can get started in no time, edit your photos on your commute to and from work, or while you wait for your kids to come out of school. Through photo sharing sites like Flickr, you can easily join a global, creative conversation and show off your work for free!

snowy crossing by Kate England

Would you call this a Mobile Art Revolution?

This new genre of art, includes photography, digital art, collage and natural media. It’s full of possibilities and variations. You can work in a documentary style, fingerprint on your iPhone with natural media, or create artwork using a fusion of different techniques. This contemporary, exciting art form is still evolving, blending the boundaries between art and photography.

How does one start taking better photos with an iPhone?

It’s easy to get started, but how do you learn to become a better photographer or artist? I think one of the main things is to start weaving creativity into your days, by finding pockets of time, and converting them into creative time. Art is a practice, and when we form a creative routine for ourselves, we can’t help but build momentum. Exploration is another important aspect of creativity, playing with colour and composition, testing things out, keeping it spontaneous and fun to learn new things. No matter which apps you use, your original and unedited photo will always shine through your post-processing, so it will pay off to learn some of the basic techniques for image elements such as light and composition.

The Rhythm of Transcendence by Kate England

Do iPhoneographers end up finding their own style?

I think your style finds you, if you only keep up the momentum! iPhoneography is very novelty driven, and as a result, extremely focused on the latest apps for special effects. Your art will be more unique, if you avoid the filters and effects that are in vogue just now. Try focusing more on what kind of images you love to create, and then think about which apps will support you best in creating those images.

Thanks Kate! You do some amazing work. I’m a loyal reader of Marmalade Moon and always enjoy your photos. If I’m ever in Sweden I’ll try to get to Stockholm.

Kate EnglandKate England is an artist, illustrator and designer who loves to create bold and colourful work, mixing together digital and analogue processes. She is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Portfolio | Journal | Marmalade Moon

Transferring with transfr

Transferring photos is one of those things that is always needed. I was hoping Apple would let us easily get our shots from place to place via the iCloud, but they won’t let you get full resolution images between iOS devices. Thus, I always end up needing to use an app to transfer images.

A new app called transfr was released last month. It is a Universal app so you can run it on your iOS devices, and it also has a free program for your computer. You can send or receive from all these devices by running the app on each device, and you can transfer via bluetooth or wifi.

This video shows me using the app on my iPad and desktop to transfer photos back and forth.

This is a really great version 1.0. The interface is minimalistic on the desktop app, and is primarily just an icon in your menu bar. It’s designed for just sending and receiving, nothing more complex than that. The iOS apps have a very clean interface. Transferring was smooth, and I didn’t encounter any errors.

The closest competitor to this is Photo Transfer App (PTA), which is the one I’ve always used in the past. The GUI of PTA on iOS is a bit ‘noisy’, and the desktop portion of PTA has many more features – and is more of a full organizational program. As features increase it is often difficult to keep a streamlined interface. Fact of life.

Both of these transfer apps do a great job getting your photos from point A to point B, so choosing between them might come down to your preference for interface.

In the future I’m hoping the tranfr program for your Mac will make it to the Mac App Store (currently you download from the transfr home page). I’m also torn between wanting more in the desktop app. Having a simple ‘drop zone’ window to send photos would be nice. Right now you can only select photos, there is no drag/drop way to send photos to your iOS device from your desktop.

You can learn more about transfr on the website, and the iOS transfr app can be downloaded from iTunes (currently $2).

Update: I talked with the developer and he said that the desktop app will be arriving in the Mac App Store in the next few weeks.


The easiest, fastest way to transfer your photos & videos between your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and your Mac.
For the Mac version, please visit http://transfrapp.com (requires OS X 10.7.3 or later)

★ Anywhere, anytime

In the train, at the bar or in the middle of the ocean, send your photos and videos over bluetooth (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad only). Back home, transfer your photos to and from your Mac over WiFi.

★ Limitless

Send a quick pic, a photo album or your latest holiday’s videos without limits. transfr has no limits on the number of photos you can send at once, and no limits on file size or video durations.

★ Slick and simple

Connect to other devices with just one tap or click. The devices automagically discover each other, and connection is established with just one tap or click.

★ Powerful

Send your photos in full resolution with all metadata preserved. transfr is the ideal tool for photo enthusiasts that don’t want their photos to be recompressed or modified during the transfer.

★ Safe and secure

Your photos and videos are transferred directly between two devices, without transiting on the cloud. No subscription cost, no storage limit and no privacy concerns!

★ Buy once for all

Buy once on your iPhone/iPad and install transfr on all your other devices. transfr is free on the Mac.

Pop & Mob, A Good Mid-Week Sale

Two apps that I enjoy are both on sale for just $0.99 in the middle of the week (or almost the middle). Popsicolor and lo-mob.

Popsicolor is a Universal app that I use whenever I want to make a nifty illustration with the watercolor look.

• Turn Your Photos Into Stylish Illustrations
• Amazing Watercolor & Ink Effects
• Yes! High Resolution Output*
• Universal App for iPhone & iPad
• Share on Instagram, Twitter, etc.
• From the creator of Percolator for iOS

NYPD, Ink.

An app that I use almost daily for my ‘shot of the day’ on my iPhone is lo-mob.

Have you ever experiment with your old analog cameras? Have you put a 35mm film in a medium format body? Have you ever tried to achieve Through The Viewfinder (TTV) photography by shooting a picture with a camera through the viewfinder of another?

Take a picture or choose one from your library, Lo-Mob will process it, and give you a preview of all its 39 filters, at once.

You’ll be able to tweak the filter you chose, altering the frame, the vignetting, the color filter or the blurring.


iPhone for Photos Every Day

Apple tends to have some of the best commercials out there. This one makes you feel good and simply states that the iPhone takes more pictures than anything else every day.

The iPhone really does seem to dominate in terms of sheer numbers of photos that get uploaded to the web. Currently the top 3 cameras on Flickr are all iPhones. Looks like the iPhone 5 is about to overtake the iPhone 4S. I’m sure the next iPhone is just around the corner, and the latest rumor is a 12 megapixel camera. Of course, megapixels is not always the most important thing, but it always sounds good in print.

Most common cameras on Flickr

Graph of most common cameras on Flickr.

Already Thursday? Time Flies. Updates Arrive!

This week is flying by. I keep wanting to do a post about this, that, or the other thing, but the real world seems to keep me far too busy. If anyone ever wants to do one (or more) guest posts, feel free to drop me a line. No need to be a professional…just someone that feels like posting about most anything. I pay a total sum of $0. 🙂

Anyway, here are a few updates from the past week that are worth noticing.

FX Photo Studio for the iPhone is free for about the next 12 hours or so. A nice photo effects app that is usually $2. It was also updated earlier today with lots of enhancements – including full resolution on iPhone 5. My iPhone 5 is purring like a kitten.

Percolator, a very unique Universal app, is on sale for $2. It’s usually $3. Several new features were added in the recent update. I really like the new Tripstamatic and Charmed settings. I wish Charmed could be even wobblier!

Brewed in Percolator

Brewed in Percolator using the new tripstamatic circles.

Popsicolor is another unique (and Universal) app that lets you create a variety of ink/watercolor effects. Several new settings have been added to this release that allow you to get a bit more artistic with the drips and intensity of the image. It’s Thursday and the entire week has been odd, but I noticed the entire description of the app in iTunes is currently in Chinese! Guess a switch got flipped somewhere. In any event, you may not be able to read the description, but it’s a great app. I’m no Picasso, but I created this flower. Perhaps I should have added some hands – then it would probably be worth more!


Created with the recently updated Popsicolor.

What a crazy day.