This weeks showcase of mobile photography from the Mobiography Flickr Group looks at colour, and more specifically the colour blue. The photos featured in this weeks showcase illustrate how these photographers and artists have used the colour to great effect. From Tomaso Belloni’s vibrant urban architecture shots to Dani Salvadori’s beach inspired, distressed effect scene.

Featured photographers this week include Rosa Perry, Paul Yan, Tomaso Belloni, Dani Salvadori, Jessica D, Alex Paton, Deena Berton, Jormain Cady and Lostas Pilot.

Do you have a favourite photo from this week’s showcase? Let us know which in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. – Theodore Roethke.

Photo by Rosa Perry

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. – Theodore Roethke.‘ by Rosa Perry – “I was on a road trip and decided to take a break from driving to stroll through the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens (Pt Augusta, South Australia) which features significant areas of natural arid zone vegetation. At that time of the year, which was mid winter, there weren’t many blooms as such and to the uninitiated, the arid gardens might seem barren and lifeless but in fact the opposite is true. The light from the slowly setting sun against the blue hue of the Flinders Ranges cast a beautiful surreal blue rose colour everywhere and my eyes were drawn to a shrub where these tiny little bluish grey buds seem to unfurl in front of my eyes from their tiny rooms to embrace this beautiful light.

I took many shots and was so enraptured by this tiny wonderous thing. How something so beautiful is born from a tiny seed, how they must take in light, water and nutrients, to push through the dirt in order to begin to blossom. How deep in their roots they must keep the light to sustain them through season after season.

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.” -Theodore Roethke.

I used my iPhone 6 using Camera+ on the Macro setting. I first adjusted the colour of the image in the Camera+ settings using the colour filters Cyanotype and So Emo to enhance the blue rose tones of the image. I then brought the image into Snapseed using crop, Tune image adjustments, paying attention to ambience and contrast, then final touching up in Details and Selective adjustments.”

Into the Unknown

Photo by Paul Yan

Into the Unknown‘ by Paul Yan – “I was strolling the eastern downtown area of Beijing one afternoon when I came upon this entrance/exit of a subway station. An escalator connected the station to the ground level where a translucent blue canopy had been installed. Refracted blue light fell on the walls and ceiling inside the tunnel and rendered people on the escalator as silhouettes against a blue background when one looked up from below. The words “twilight zone” came to mind when the scene met the eyes.

After observing the environment for a while, I manually dialed in the ISO and shutter speed in the ProCamera app in my iPhone 6 Plus and got behind a man who had just gotten off the subway train and was going up on the escalator. Focused on his upper back and fired the shot.

Snapseed was used for editing: highlights and saturation were mildly boosted while shadows were slightly attenuated in the [Tune Image] module. The [Brush] module was then used to accentuate the light lines on the upper right corner and both sides of the image. Lastly, to have the blue background play the role of “the unknown”, the masking function of the [Lens Blur] module was applied to the whole image except the man himself. This step took the most time in the editing process as the demarcation between sharp and blurred areas had to be meticulously drawn to simulate the natural shallow depth-of-field of a wide open zoomed telephoto lens.”

Keep going

Photo by Tomaso Bellini

Keep going‘ by Tomaso Belloni – “I was visiting the campus of the New York University in Abu Dhabi, a beautiful place for interesting architectural photos, and I was brought into a building that had an inner yard all covered in glasses. The green tint, the blue sky with some white clouds and the yellow and white buildings around provided a very attractive palette of reflections and levels of reality. I took many photos in there, aiming at different aspects.

‘Keep going’ shows three layers, different views of the same world. It was shot with the iPhone6 default camera and processed with snapseed and Hipstamatic (Victoria lens, Love 81 film)”

Looking for the sky

Photo by Tomaso Bellini

Looking for the sky‘ by Tomaso Belloni – “‘Looking for the sky’ shows the sky, but what is real and what is a reflection seem mixed. Shot with the iPhone6 default camera and processed with snapseed and Hipstamatic (Benedict lens, Cheshire film).”

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas

Photo by Dani Salvadori

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas‘ by Dani Salvadori – “I took this image on holiday in the Monahans Sandhills State Park which is near Midland, Texas. It’s a big area of sand dunes. I wanted to capture the scale by making my husband very small against the very blue sky and yellow sand. I actually took the picture on a random Hipstamatic setting but didn’t like the result so reverted it to the raw image. I then edited it in Fotograf using the Vintage 5 setting and then in Stackables using a setting to bring out the pinks and blues. I like the result as I think it makes my husband look like a heroic explorer although he was just looking for a good place to slide down a sand dune!”


Photo by Jessica D

Snowflake‘ by Jessica D – “I was living in Chicago for the past several winters and we got a lot of snow. I grew up in California, so the snow was special and new for me and I paid attention to it and I started noticing that sometimes I could even see snowflake structure with the naked eye as they landed on my sleeve, and I started thinking about how to photograph it. I tried photographing snowflakes with several different cameras, but it actually turned out to be easiest using my iPhone, partly because the smaller sensor size makes the narrow depth of field in macro photography a bit more forgiving. I used an Olloclip Macro Pro lens attached to my iPhone 5, using the highest lens magnification of 21x. I also tried a lot of different backgrounds, and I found that fleece works well because the fibers catch the snowflakes and hold them up, so they don’t melt as fast and you can get interesting angles.

So, I would set up fleece cloth on a picnic table to catch the snowflakes as they fell, and then I took the photos handheld with natural daylight lighting (usually with a cloudy sky since it was snowing). I found a tripod wasn’t very useful because it was too hard to get the angle and distance exactly right, but bracing my arm against a solid table really helped to get a clear photo. If you’re interested, here is a behind-the-scenes photo (not from the day this exact blue snowflake photo was taken, but the same basic setup).

I also found out over the years of trying this that a lot of the snow that falls is not photogenic at all. You need certain temperature and atmospheric conditions to get good snowflakes. There’s a physics professor at CalTech who studies those conditions and has published a guide with a lot of information about different types of snowflakes at his website.

I think the processing I did on this shot was pretty minimal – mainly I cropped it and rotated it, and then also maybe increased contrast levels slightly, in the Photos app on the phone itself. I dug up the original file to show you in case you are interested in comparing, here’s the unedited photo.”


Photo by Alex Paton

Untitled‘ by Alex Paton


Photo by Dena Berton

Blue‘ by Deena Berton

Leads the way

Photo by Jormain Cady

leads the way‘ by Jormain Cady

Upside down blue

Photo by Kostats Pilot

Upside down blue‘ by Lostas Pilot

Which was your favourite?

Do you have a favourite from this weeks showcase? Let us know your thoughts on the featured photos in the comments below.

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