iPhone photography full length portrait tutorial showing reflection, texture, layers, masking, blending and framing processes.

This iPhoneography workflow resulted from a visit to a local multi-story car park. Primarily I wanted to take my Olloclip (new window) for a spin.

Olloclip 4 in 1

I mentioned in my Macro tutorial that I would take a look at the other Olloclip lenses at some point. This workflow uses the Olloclip wide angle lens which is the main reason I wanted it .

On this occasion I wanted to use the Olloclip for a bit of a wide angle panoramic work from high up. Whilst at the top of the car park this puddle presented itself and as I had one of my assistants with me it seemed a shame to let it go to waste. The image was actually captured with the Olloclip attached (see workflow).

iPhone photography apps used:

circling the drain - camerabag2 - seventiescope

{ circling the drain }



Process and apps used

ProCamera7 with Olloclip attached ~ initial capture – Note the barreling of the image:

Barrel Distortion

Barreling can be corrected in post processing but for my taste on many occasions I like the dynamic impact it can add.

The top horizon especially shows the curve and as with a barrel laid on its side, the curve viewed in 2 dimensions increases the higher or lower up or down the image you go:

Filterstorm ~ very slight crop in height but also change the aspect ratio to 1:1. It’s very rare that I actually crop other than to alter ratio but on this occasion I want to clip the letters at the top away. I also take the opportunity to sharpen the image slightly:

Filterstorm Sharpening

There has been a reasonably significant migration to Filterstorm Neue. It’s got a great interface but it does still lack some of the functionality of the original Filterstorm. When used on iPad Filterstorm sharpening has controls for both amount and threshold levels . A very effective tool.

Superimpose ~ the cropped and sharpened image is imported into Superimpose as both the foreground and background image. My trademark (patent pending) fog process is applied. In this case I simply want to simplify the background and add mystery / atmosphere. I am not necessarily looking to achieve a foggy look:

The following process is adopted:

  • Apply a linear gradient mask. Select ‘filters’ tab and reduce the contrast of the foreground all the way to the left. As always save the mask for future use and then merge the layers under ‘normal’ by selecting the ‘transform’ tab. Load the saved mask, maximise it (scale to fit) repeat the reduced contrast process and merge the two layers together under ‘screen’ method:

    Screen Grab

  • The figure is now obscured so reload the saved mask and in the ‘masks’ tab select the ‘invert’ option and add the figure to the mask using a combination of appropriate tools (magic wand and brush in this case):

    Screen Grab

  • Now it is just a case of inverting the mask again, saving it and merging the layers using an appropriate blend method:

    Screen Grab

Mextures ~ my current go to iPhone photography app for texture, light and film effect overlays. Primarily I want to lighten the top of the image and add grain. To achieve this I select preset ‘Formula 2’ and edit a couple of the included layers to achieve the effect:

Oggl ~ the image is imported in to Oggl by Hipstamatic and the Jimmy Lens and Blanko C16 film combination applied:

Snapseed ~ never an edit without Snapseed! Some areas of the image feel a little highly saturated and so using the ‘selective adjust’ tool I desaturate the mysterious top half of the image by around 50pct (excluding the figure):

CameraBag 2 ~ I very rarely use a circular frame but this image really seems to suit it. I select the ‘Seventiescope’ filter from CameraBag 2:


Alternative finishing edit

I recently came across the official polaroid mobile photography app Polamatic (available on both iPhone and Android). I also processed a version of this image in that app. It’s great fun. Here are a small collection of images edited in polamatic using similar filters for consistency :


The original shot I went for

I thought I should share the image I original climbed to the top of the car park to capture. This is with ProCamera 7, sharpened a little in Filterstorm and converted to black and white in Snapseed. Note the barrel curve of the horizon caused by the Olloclip wide angle lens. I decided not to correct this as I really enjoy the dynamic element it adds:

The top of the car park is surrounded by wire mesh fence. The size of the iPhone lens even with the Olloclip attached allows freedom to find a gap without any concerns that the fence will obscure the image:

view from lucy tower car park

{ the view from Lucy Tower Street car park }


Get the iPhoneography apps / accessories mentioned in this article

  • CameraBag 2 – iPhone or HD iPad version. One of my 10 must have apps

  • Filterstorm – recommended at the time of writing rather than Filterstorm Neue

  • Mextures one of the best, I personally believe the best specialist texturing apps

  • Oggl – recommended with its parent app Hipstamatic

  • Polamatic – the official app from Polaroid

  • Snapseed created by Nik now owned by Google. The best free iPhone photography app (tell me I’m wrong!)

  • Superimpose my personal go to app for layers masking and blending processes

  • Olloclip 4 in 1 (check compatibility).



I am delighted that my iPhoneography article ‘iPhone photography tutorial – { circling the drain }’ has been republished by The App Whisperer:

View this iPhoneography workflow at The App Whisperer.

We’re delighted to publish this fabulous tutorial by Paul Brown using the wide-angle lens of the 4-in-1 Olloclip in a very creative way.

We have published several of Paul Brown’s workflows recently. Please take a look at our Paul Brown archive here. Over to you Paul

Joanne Carter


Featured as an AMPt selection

I was incredibly thankful and humbled when my friends in the mobile photography community nominated me recently for an AMPt Selections Feature. I was quite shocked when Todd from the AMPt Leadership Team contacted me to say I was one of a small number to be featured and asked that I select an image and answer a few questions. AMPt and its members are a big deal to me. Whether it’s within the community website or on social media, many of the inspirational images the members share are aspirational for me. We are all have varying levels of experience and knowledge within the community but it is open and available for all to join.


The feature can also be viewed in a little more detail at the AMPt Community website. If you visit, why not have a look around and take the opportunity to sign up.


We recently posted on Instagram and asked for your suggestions of photographers that inspire you and that are deserving of a feature. We were overwhelmed with such a great response and outpouring of support for your fellow community members, and are proud to showcase the final of three artists based on your suggestions.

We’d like to present @skipology



I hope you enjoyed my iPhone photography workflow. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again.



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  1. Indri Richardson says:

    Thank you so much for all your tutorials .. it’s absolutely brilliant! I will go through and try it.

  2. Jacob Dix says:

    Great tutorial as always. I especially enjoy how you bring out the aesthetic qualities of the original image. This is a heavy edit (with numerous apps), but it really pays off. I like the Poloroid coloured border, but the circle frame.

    My only question would be whether it is necessary to crop away the sign letters of you use the border. It might end up too off center for your liking.

    Great tutorial, Skip!

    • Paul Brown says:

      Cheers Jacob, thank you. In retrospect I could have reduced the crop a bit (I cropped bottom also to middle the figure and reflection) but I wasn’t totally sure what direction I was going to take the edit in – which also explains the number of apps. It’s a shame but to get desktop editor functionality with plugins, etc you have to use multiple apps really.

  3. iPhone photography tutorial - { circling the dr... says:

    […] iPhone photography full length portrait tutorial showing reflection, texture, layers, masking, blending and framing processes. Bonus edit with Polaroid app.  […]

  4. Cheila says:

    Just came across your site!! Great edit! thank you for breaking it down for us and telling us what app you’ve used. I’ve come across Iphoneography sites that keep their apps a secret. thank you again. I you new fan 🙂

  5. […] iPhone photography full length portrait tutorial showing reflection, texture, layers, masking, blending and framing processes. Also includes a bonus edit and small collection with the official Polaroid app.  […]

  6. […] Republished from original located here […]

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