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Experimental Mobile Photography

Lesson 2 of 13

Concept vs Experimental Photography

Lisa Carney

Experimental Mobile Photography

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

2. Concept vs Experimental Photography

Lesson Info

Concept vs Experimental Photography

So, what I'd like to talk about first is the whole concept of what is conceptual photography versus experimental photography. And people have different ideas of this. And sometimes the terminology can switch around a little bit. But for this course, what we're going to look at is conceptual photography is really about the idea, right? The image that illustrates an idea. And then for experimental photography, I'm going to refer to that more as processing. Okay, so different kinds of editing and techniques kind of like wet plate photography. And I'll talk about that in just a second. So, that's going to be the definition for this course. Okay, and let's take a look at some samples of what I mean by that. So, these would be images that I consider more conceptual where they're rather can I say straightforward. Sure, they're edited. There's color toning, there's con contrast, there's black and white, there's color manipulation, but there's not a lot of manipulation of the image in terms of ...

blurring or illustration. So, this is what I would consider more concept. Style photography now, mm hmm. Would this be more concept or would this be more experimental? And for me, I think this kind of images more concept. Sure. It's torn paper and cut out paper. But it's not uh experimental processing if you will. Or editing. And I'm just saying this so we we can be on the same page when we're talking about this course. So, I would consider this more conceptual photography. Alright, now, something like wet plate photography, I would consider more processing or experimentation, als uh photography where you're actually getting textures and techniques by the way, you're processing either film or in our case, we're going to take mobile shots and process them through apps to get these kind of experimental looks. And it would be so fun. And web plate photography or that style heck fire has been around since the Civil War days. I mean it's pretty amazing. And um there's a current photographer named Sally Mann who does this beautiful, beautiful wet plate old fashioned style. You can also do Diana type these Diana types here, gorgeous. This is not selling man. Um and these are I'm trying to give you some ideas on how to, dare I say, mimic these techniques inside of your mobile device. Now, let me just take one second to clarify what I'm considering a mobile device or the process. And I really want to say that, I think this could be a very liberating conversation about devices and workflow. I find folks want to either just work in light room or just work in Photoshop or just work on their camera. And for me, I've really freed myself up to work in the whole creative cloud system. So what does that mean for me that means? I'm working on my mobile device. Okay, my phone as my camera and then perhaps I'm working on my ipad and I can take the same image for let's say from light room from the mobile device because it's in the cloud. I can take that into light room really easily on the ipad and use that and then quickly go into Photoshop on the ipad in a second. And then I'd like to continue the work flow process to be desktop. So for me it's seamless. It's 100% seamless. I will go from my phone to my IPad to my desktop without even thinking about it. And I'd like to invite you to free yourself up to think of your workflow. Is that open? Like you don't have to only do it on your phone or you don't only have to do it on your ipad or you don't only have to do it on your desktop. The whole thing is open to you And these programs are getting so sophisticated. I mean it's absolutely amazing what you can do any more on these devices. So in the course of this class I'm going to keep that that whole workflow open and I will be bringing around from all of those. And I hope you will join me in that process. Now when I talk a little bit more about experimental looks or experimental photography and for me that's really more painterly perhaps adding textures. Again, this is not wet plate look. These are actually sketches or sketch looks that you do and I'm going to show you how you can mimic these looks on your mobile device

Class Description


  • Understand techniques used in visual storytelling for conceptual and experimental photography.
  • Capture using different apps on your iPhone.
  • Work seamlessly across mobile platforms: iPhone to iPad to desktop.
  • Use a number of 3rd party apps to apply incredible looks to your images


Experimental Photography goes mobile. Turn your mobile images into amazing art…right on your mobile device. Come explore the possibilities with Lisa Carney as she guides you through the third-party apps development process and shows you how to shoot to create fantastic works of art straight from your mobile device.

Is it image capture, illustration...or a magical melding of the two?

Let loose. Expand your thinking of what the photograph can be.


  • Beginner and intermediate photographers


Lightroom Mobile
Photoshop Mobile iPhone, iPad, and desktop.
This class is taught on an iPhone. However, most/all of the apps work on Android systems as well.


Lisa Carney is a high-end retoucher who has spent over two decades working with the most dynamic players in the print, motion picture, and television industries.

Besides being a regular presenter at the Adobe MAX conference, her teaching roster runs the gamut from beginners to professional retouchers and includes universities, design studios, movie studios, corporations, and private students.

Lisa has worked with all major movie studios and many television networks including Disney, Buena Vista, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Sony, Universal, Newline, Columbia, MGM, ABC Television, ESPN, TNT, CNN, CBS, CW, Warner Brothers, and Sony.

Advertising credits include Burger King, Baskin-Robbins, Lowes, Jordana Cosmetics, Strategic Perceptions, Mattel, Chrysler, Mercedes, Mazda and Best Buy.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Pattern Textures

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Charles Smith

Good course. A lot of good tips and ticks. I thought there would be more on using different props to create different effects....A little disappointed that Mextures and PaintCan is only available on iPhone not on Android.....

Michael Branch

This class really helped open my eyes to the potential of mobile photography. Now I know some new apps and ways of using my existing apps to take my mobile photography in a fun, new and more artistic direction.


Oh Lisa, what would we do without you? You are one of the main reasons I keep coming back to Creative Live. If anyone is relatively new to either mobile photography or Photoshop - push through the zones where you feel a bit lost. One of the absolute joys of Lisa's teaching is that she addresses all levels of students in one go - there is always something as an instant takeaway, and always more to sink in on future viewings.