The rise of smart phones as image capture and processing platforms is one of the most exciting developments in contemporary photography.

The ability to capture images with a camera that is always with you as well as process the photos directly on the phone is an image making paradigm that many photographers have found to be a wonderfully refreshing new way to channel their creative muse. In addition to incredible flexibility for spontaneous creativity on the go, there is also the possibility for more fully realized fine art images that can be just as rewarding as photographs made with more traditional camera systems.

In this workshop fine art photographer, educator, and digital imaging expert Seán Duggan will cover the essentials you need to know to get the most out of the photographic possibilities of the iPhone or iPad, or similar mobile devices (this workshop will be taught from an iPhone-centric perspective but the core photographic concepts, as well as several of the apps featured in this workshop are equally applicable to Android mobile devices).

During a full week of exploration, photography, and creative discovery, we’ll travel to some wonderful locations as we search for interesting and compelling photographs. Along the way, we’ll cover some essential image making concepts such as composition, making the most of existing light, predicting the “decisive moment”, photographing in low light, and how these can be applied to camera phone photography.

We’ll review techniques for getting the best images possible and ensuring that you are capturing and saving files at the highest resolution. We’ll explore capture techniques for exposure blending, HDR, slow shutter speed captures, and multiple shots for both panorama stitching and collage work. We’ll also take a look at some essential photo apps for image processing, and developing a sound processing workflow for “app-stacking”, where an image is processed in different photo apps for specific reasons.

Our explorations will cover both basic adjustments, as well as more interpretive approaches that involve textures, re-coloring, gradients to set a mood, as well as multiple image composites and images that push the boundaries of the traditional photographic format. No matter what type of photographs you make, modern camera phones offer a fascinating and engaging way for you to explore another side of your photography.  This workshop will focus on taking your mobile photography and processing skills to the next level with an emphasis on capturing better photographs and refining both your vision and technique to create beautifully artistic images.

Some of the Key Topics to be Covered:

  • Understanding the strengths and limitations of camera phones
  • Developing a sense for scenes that work well for mobile devices
  • Creative exposure techniques
  • Creating (high dynamic range) HDR images and Panoramas
  • Using layers (yes, layers!) and layer masks for more refined control
  • Creating multiple image composites
  • Adding “special effects”, creative filters and textures
  • Moving beyond canned app effects
  • Finding and developing a personal style

Participants should bring their iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device. If you choose to download any of the apps shown in class, you can expect to pay an additional $15 to $30 on app purchases. A short list of additional suggested and useful gear will be sent before the workshop.



Seán Duggan

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, and educator with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. He is a co-author of Photoshop Masking & Compositing (2nd Edition, 2012), Real World Digital Photography (3rd Edition, 2010 / 2nd Edition, 2003), The Creative Digital Darkroom (2008), Photoshop Artistry (2006), and his Lightroom Tips & Tricks column can be seen regularly in Photoshop User magazine. Through his writing and teaching, he has been helping photographers master digital photography and digital darkroom techniques since 1996. He is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, presents online courses on photography and digital processing for, and he leads workshops and seminars at venues across the country. 

Course Dates

Jul 23 to Jul 29



Class Size