A huge iPhoneography doodle. One of those images that you start out with an idea in mind but ends up dragging you all over the place. I subtitled it ‘bringing the crazy out to play’.

For me that is partly how I can define my style as artistic. I don’t simply set out to create a predetermined image. I may set out with a result in mind but I work in partnership with my images (just raw materials to me) and listen when they tell me I’ve taken a wrong turn.

‘Ink Blot Test’ was great fun to create. Okay some of the processes I employed may not have been required to produce the resulting iPhoneography image but each process was a stepping stone on a path that led me to create it. In my workflow notes, I will highlight which processes may have added little value although as always each iPhoneography app I put the image through is detailed.

iPhone photography apps used:

iphoneography - ink blot test

{ ink blot test }


Process and apps used

Hipstamatic ~ Initial capture (Tinto 1848 Lens and Dixie Film):

Filterstorm ~ Crop and re-size to 2,000px square:

PhotoFX Ultra ~ wide angle lens effect applied. This filter stretches the edges of the images by an amount you specify. It leaves the centre of the image unaffected. (This was completely unnecessary to achieve the finished iPhoneography image, but was part of my ‘doodle’ process). I am a fan of iPhoneography lens distortion techniques:

PhotoForge2 ~ bulge effect applied. This added a little extra bulk to the figures, especially when considered alongside the next process. As opposed to the ‘wide angle lens’ effect, its effect does impact the finished image albeit in a small way:

Filterstorm ~ A technique I often employ is to stretch the image a little. My own preferred iPhoneography method has consistently been to crop the image to landscape, capturing the areas I want included. I then disproportionately re-size the image to achieve a 1:1 aspect ratio, thereby forcing a stretch distortion:

{ image one }:

PicFX ~ Light effect. Adding any red light leak and then applying a black and white conversion is one method I employ to lighten a specific area. This process was probably not required to achieve the finished result:

{ image two }:

Superimpose ~ Image 2 applied over the top of image one under a normal blend mode with the red light leak masked to restrict it to the right wall. This iPhoneography process is the finishing touch to the previous process and so probably was not required to achieve the finished result:

Snapseed ~ convert to black and white. Using the various filters you can control the extent to which the red light leak impacts the image. Some conversion filters would largely ignore it:

Snapseed ~ center focus. At this stage I decided to completely clean the image and focus entirely on the two figures. It is only at this point that some of the processes highlighted above may have added little or no value. This absolutely doesn’t concern me though because it’s all part of the artistic iPhoneography process:

Snapseed ~ light grunge. A very powerful filter which can overpower an image. There are two choices when using this filter:

  • keep hitting the random button until something you like appears, or
  • control the entire process manually.

I tend to allow Snapseed to choose a random combination and then tweak its setting when I see an effect I like. The focus of the grunge can also be re-sized and moved as appropriate:

Camera+ ~ if you find that you need a little extra canvas there are a couple of options.

  • If it’s just a little around the edges, Camera+ frames are a great option. Unlike many iPhoneography apps they add the frame outside of the image rather than over the top of the image.
  • The alternative is to bring the image back into Filterstorm and alter the canvas size as appropriate.

For this image I chose the Camera+ wide white border:

Laminar Pro ~ bleach bypass filter applied:

ScratchCam ~ Ink blots achieved by adding a combination of ScratchCam texture and ScratchCam scratches:

Laminar Pro ~ vintage print filter applied:

Laminar Pro ~ golden filter applied:


What would I have done differently?

One thing that I think would have worked well with this iPhoneography image that I have never employed is mirroring. I could have taken the left half of the image which is the busier of the two sides and mirrored it across to the right. In fact as I type this, I’m kicking myself like a diver in the penalty area. Why not try it now? Here’s what it looks like.

diptic - mirror and filter

{ ink blot test – mirrored }


Extra process and apps used

Filterstorm ~ Crop to a 1:2 ratio capturing just the left side of the image:

Diptic ~ Using the predefined 1:1 ratio grid with borders removed, import the Filterstorm cropped image in to the left grid. Import it again in to the right grid and flip it to create the mirror effect. Diptic’s ‘Bleach Beach’ filter selected:


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  1. Chris Smith says:

    Nice image – very artistic. And thanks for adding the zoom option – works a treat.

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