iPhoneography - Creating And Editing iPhone Photography As Fine Art

5/30/2013 11:29:46 AM

Photographic opportunities arise in the unlikeliest of places and at the least expected of times, don't they? You might be sitting at a traffic light as Santa zips across the intersection on a Harley, or spot a couple going at it in a glass elevator, oblivious to the fact that their amorous coupling is seen by all. So what do you do? You got it - grab your iPhone and start shooting. Whatever it is, shoot it. Your mentality should be: shoot now, and edit later. Every moment is a photo waiting to be taken. The convenience of the iPhone means that capturing fleeting moments is easier than ever. This is true even in a movie theater, which is where I found this issue's magical moment.


While watching the previews, I sat mesmerized by the size of the actors projected on the massive movie screen. I thought it was fitting that the larger-than-life images on the screen matched the larger-than-life egos of many actors. With that idea in mind, I used Camera Plus Pro ($1.99, to grab various screen captures as the previews were running, two of which are shown here (see Images 1 and 2). After reviewing my vast array of shots, I decided that these two images would be the starting point for my preconceived final image.

Images 1 and 2

Images 1 and 2


First things first: the crop. If you've been following my column for any length of time, you know that aside from the original shot, I consider the cropping stage to be the most important part of the process. I opened the two original images in PhotoForge ($0.99, and cropped them square, knowing that I wanted the subjects' faces to eventually line up in some way (see Imag­es 3 and 4). While still in PhotoForge, I used the Levels setting to ensure I had my black and white points defined, Curves to add my usual subtle con­trast curve, and Sharp­en to, well, sharpen it just a tad.

I love Image Blender ($2.99, The next step of the process is where the magic happens, and Image Blender is the app that brings it all together. As you can see in Image 5, I first brought in the two shots I wanted to blend, but I noticed quickly that the shots weren't quite lined up the way I wanted them. Fortunately, Image Blender has a feature called Arrange (see Image 6) that lets you move the images around to create the blend you want. In order to make it the best it could be, I tried to line up the shots in such a way that the subjects' mouths would overlap. Bingo! I nailed it with the Screen blend style (one of 18 different blend styles to choose from) and then saved the image.

Once the image was blended exactly as I envisioned it, it was time to use some artistic freedom to decide how to best pres­ent the image in its final form. I decided to open the image in PhotoToaster ($1.99, and process it with the Lomo mode (see Image 7) found under the Supreme options in the app. Then I added a small vignette, and finally, the Black Strokes frame (see Image 8).

Imag­es 3 and 4

Images 5, 6, 7 and 8

Imag­es 5, 6, 7 and 8


With that last finishing touch, the image was complete (see Image 9). When I first saw it in its raw form in the theater, I wondered how it would turn out, and it ended up better than I had imagined.

My goal with iPhone photography is to inspire you to see the world differently. I enjoy the daily challenge of finding that perfect, fleeting moment and sharing it with the world. I've been at it for nearly three years, and the whole time I've committed to posting a "before" and an "after" image every single day on my Tumblr blog (

If you have any questions about iPhone photography or wish to speak to me about representing my work in your gallery, please feel free to contact me at You can also see me at this year's Macworld/iWorld 2013 event, where I'm scheduled to speak on Feb 1st at 5 p.m. Please come find me and say hi!

Images 9

Imag­es 9

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