When Apps Take Over: The Genesis of Moons

by Pu on August 3, 2013

Some days you are applying yourself to a specific project and everything you come up with looks invariably wrong. It’s not that your image will look bad per se, but the feeling is things are just not what you are after, and you cannot understand when and how you took a wrong turn. It’s like with trying to fix a spoiled recipe (cookery is another serious business and an art in its own right): if the dough is not rising and you cannot figure out why, it’s time to take a break and focus on something else. Gardening or knitting perhaps—good luck with these two.



Some time ago I started a series of pictures with thematic and visual affinity. At some point I got stuck and couldn’t go on, even if I was so eager to. I had been struggling with one of these pictures for a few days and I realized I was not going to complete it by trying so hard at it: whatever I was incorporating into that image looked wrong in that context. However, it turned out I kind of liked one of the items I had been hopelessly trying to fit in and I wanted to keep it as a separate work. Mixing stuff at random can produce horrible concoctions indeed, but sometimes it can also procure you little satisfactions. Had I not been trying to come up with something by aimless combination, I would have not thought of such a simple idea. What I had been trying to fit was the Moon, the natural satellite, with overlapping geometric motifs. I felt the minimal effect would have been irremediably lost if I just forced this moon into a visually and conceptually different work. There was very little photography in the moon element, and a bit too much apping.

I started with the Moon itself in Alien Sky. Then I moved on to build the various components, through Deco Sketch, Laminar, Glaze, Geló, Over, Handy Photo, assembling everything in Image Blender. Finally, I went through Mextures for softening the overall image feel and Vsco Cam for final color toning.

After the first moon, others urged me to repeat and alter the original process. Other apps I included for the other satellites are Sketch Club, Tangent, Infinicam, Viewmatic—I may be forgetting some though. The result was the following.











I wanted for once to explore the aseptic and semi-orderly side of things, the shapes and the iterations, but I also wanted to preserve the more organic qualities, the colors and feelings inherently connected with the original myths. Well, what they suggested to my imagination, at least.

I’m not lunatic (haha, no pun intended) really, and I don’t know if I’ll keep on crafting moons for the sake of it. I was looking forward to giving at least good ol’ Triton a go, but all sorts of other images got in the way in the meantime and I sort of interrupted the flow. This doesn’t mean more moons won’t be appearing sooner or later, but you know how these things go: even for random “mistakes”, once you get started, you have to be in the right state of mind.

This said, one should always keep an eye open and be open to suggestions and even blunders; especially since means and tools are all in our hands.

Janine Graf August 4, 2013 at 2:06 am

I enjoyed this very much Pu!

Pu August 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Thank you so much for reading Janine =))

Lily Sheng August 4, 2013 at 3:09 am

This is so creative! I thought OVER was a “caption” app, how did you utilize it in these photos? I don’t see any texts?!?

Pu August 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

They’re not meant to be very evident, but the number in the corner of each image is what Over was used for 😉

Lily Sheng August 5, 2013 at 12:44 am

Nice! Do you have a tutorial on how to use Over? I just got it and I’m already lost. Can you create/import custom things (fonts, graphics, etc)?

Pu August 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

In Over you can use your own fonts, but they can only be .ttf and .otf files. This means that if you try to install from .zip, .rar or other archive you won’t be able to use the font. The easiest way would be to create a folder in dropbox with all your fonts that you will be able to access on your device. If you do not have a dropbox account, you can still do it by either uploading the font to another web hosting service and dowloading it from there or, even simpler, by sending the font to your email. However, sending each font separately may be less convenient than keeping them all in a dropbox folder on your computer.

Andrea T August 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Maybe Over was used for the little numbers?

Pu August 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm


Lily Sheng August 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I think you’re right, Andrea! Love this series so much, I wonder if Appotography is on Instagram? Would love to follow!

Pu August 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

On IG I’m going by @psychopu. Thanks for stopping by and for the nice words!

Janeberlin August 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I just discovered your site today and am so excited! I didn’t realize that there are other people out there who spend time creating through “multi-app-stacking” as I call it, or “multi-media” when responding to anyone who asks me how I made something that I made.
Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that your site is great!

Pu August 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thank you for stopping by Jane, nice to meet you =) We have a Flickr group where you can share your “multi-app-stacking” if you want: http://www.flickr.com/groups/theappotography

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