Photographer’s Notebook: Art with an iPhone book review

Art with an iPhone:

A Photographer's Guide to Creating Altered Realities

2nd Edition

Kat Sloma

127 pages. Amherst Media, 2018.

click to enlarge Art with an iPhone - Courtesy of Amherst Media
Courtesy of Amherst Media
Art with an iPhone

This piece is three days late. I don’t have a good excuse, either. I was playing with my iPhone the whole time, and it’s all Kat Sloma’s fault. Nevermind that I've never actually met Kat Sloma. She’s a dirty temptress, and I love her for it.

OK, maybe that’s going a bit too far. I guess I wasn’t playing on my iPhone the whole time. I was still sleeping, eating, drinking coffee and writing other things. But I wanted to play on my iPhone the entire time. It may not seem like it, but this could be the biggest compliment anyone’s ever paid Kat Sloma. Sloma, author of Art with an iPhone, has written a book so compelling I can barely put my iPhone down to write this review.

Now don’t get me wrong, she’s nobody's poet her prose is perfectly ordinary. It’s what she has to say, not how she says it, that matters here. How-to books aren’t supposed to be literary masterpieces. They’re supposed to teach you how to do something. And with this, Sloma is both effective and inspiring.

It’s not often that an artist is willing to lay bare their artistic process for others. To do so takes courage and faith, but Sloma takes it all in stride. She tackles the challenges of describing good composition, pro camera apps, and photo editing for iPhone users wanting to take their photography to the next level without spending $1000 on a new camera. And she does it all using gorgeous examples from her own portfolio.

The photo editing chapters are the best part of the book. Sloma cites over 50 different photo editing apps available through the App Store, and it’s obvious that she’s tried every single one of them. Throughout the book, she lists which apps she used for each different piece of artwork, of which there are 69. Then she takes it a step further with two stellar tables listing, one, basic editing apps and two, recommended creative apps. These app tables alone make this book worth the money.

I literally can’t wait to get started using some of these apps. As in, I’ve already started using them. I have commenced a 30-day challenge to use only my iPhone to take pictures (exception: paid gigs) (editor's note: Thank you!). Sloma considers the iPhone to be a “powerful creative catalyst,” and I look forward to using it this month to catalyze some creativity of my own.

In the next issue of Photographer’s Notebook, I will share some of the photos from my month-long iPhone photography challenge. In the meantime, her are a couple photos I took at my neighbor’s New Year’s Eve party...taken with an iPhone of course. 

click to enlarge Fire Pit (apps: Slow Shutter Cam, Snapseed, Prisma). - Jennifer Ring
Jennifer Ring
Fire Pit (apps: Slow Shutter Cam, Snapseed, Prisma).

click to enlarge Neighborhood fireworks (apps: ProCamera, Snapseed, Mextures). - Jennifer Ring
Jennifer Ring
Neighborhood fireworks (apps: ProCamera, Snapseed, Mextures).

About The Author

Jennifer Ring

Jen began her storytelling journey in 2017, writing and taking photographs for Creative Loafing Tampa. Since then, she’s told the story of art in Tampa Bay through more than 200 art reviews, artist profiles, and art features. She believes that everyone can and should make art, whether they’re good at it or not...
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