In my opinion ‘rush hour’ really demonstrates the power of iPhoneography apps. A quick comparison of the first and final image demonstrates the point. This image is composed of multiple processes and effects but is not a composite in the sense of multiple iPhoneography images from me. It is a heavily processed single image but composite techniques such as blending, layering and masking have been employed.

I am really enjoying playing with an old friend of mine Hipstamatic. An absolute classic if expensive iPhoneography app because of the ongoing in app purchases. It has to be said though that with a few exceptions most of the lens and film combinations released are well worth the investment. There are risks though, sometimes you need to shoot quickly and you have the wrong lens and film combination. Whilst you can set and switch between favourite combinations quite quickly there isn’t always time.

All is not lost. Grab the shot anyway. Many Hipstamatic purists would argue against post processing a Hipsta shot. Whilst I respect and have sympathy with that view, I regard all my iPhoneography images as raw material. Even an image with a poor combination choice for the situation is salvageable.

iPhone photography apps used:

Rush Hour - iphoneography

{ rush hour }


Process and apps used

Hipstamatic ~ Initial capture (Tinto 1848 lens / W40 Film):

Not really a very inspiring iPhoneography shot due to the combination I had selected for Hipstamatic. Unfortunately a flock of birds in flight won’t wait for me to change settings. So I clicked anyway. Closer inspection showed hints of colour and detail so I set to work:

Hiptamatic - tinto / w40

PS Express ~ Boost exposure x3 (!):

Each image will have different threshold levels and it depends on the style of image you have in mind. In general I have found that PS Express will allow a x3 exposure boost before the image completely degrades:

I find this quite surprising as we are editing JPEG and not RAW files:

PS Express - exposure x3

Pro HDR ~ Merge the two versions using the apps intelligent automatic settings:

More details on this really handy process can be found in my post about iPhoneography in tricky exposure conditions (which now extends to Hipstamatic shots with a bad choice of lens and film combination):


Snapseed ~ Grunge and crop:

Snapseed - grunge / crop

Snapseed ~ 3 selective adjust points applied to the grass area. Saturation and brightness both boosted by 100pct:

Snapseed - selective adjust x3 - grass saturation / brightness +100pct

Filterstorm ~ Crop again and resize { image one }:

Filterstorm - crop / resize

PicFX ~ Burnt Film light effect added { image two(a) }:

PicFX - burnt film

PicFX ~ Flame 1 light effect added { image two(b) }:

PicFX - flame 1

Superimpose ~ Both versions a and b of image two imported with the lens flare masked away { image two }:

For more information on layering and masking in Superimpose please see my video tutorials { autumn walk } and { violin girl surreal }:

Superimpose - mask remove flare

Superimpose ~ Image one and Image two imported, layered and blended under Luminosity:

Superimpose - luminosity

100CamerasIn1 ~ ‘Falling asleep in the half-room under the roof’ filter applied at 70pct opacity:

100camerasin1 - 70pct falling asleep filter


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  1. hcg drops says:

    Superb. My thanks for doing such a good job. I will definitely come back to read more and inform my people about your writing.

  2. boxwino says:

    Hey my man, I’m enjoying your site a lot.

    One quick question: In some of your work flows you talk about using PS Express to Boost exposure (in this one you use it to Boost exposure x3 (!)…In general I have found that PS Express will allow a x3 exposure boost before the image completely degrades)…in PS express there is only a slider ranging -100 to +100 so I was wondering how that boost x3 correlates to the slider in app

    – Dustin

    • Skip says:

      Hi Dustin, thank you for the kind comment. Re PS Express it’s been totally revamped from the version I used when I did this. It seems to me to be much stronger now. Previously, I boosted to 100pct accepted and then repeated. With the updated app, I think that would be way too much. The process still applies though – boost exposure to get the underexposed area as you would like and then combine the two versions in Pro-HDR.

      I like playing with shadows and highlights too though in PS Express or Handy Photo or even adjusting a VSCOcam preset so it may be that lightening shadows is an alternative option.

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