It’s flaming July and that means my bullet proof Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ are setting the garden alight. Not a flower I’ve tackled before, this floral texture blending iPhoneography tutorial is all about adding texture without washing away nature’s vibrant colour. I’ve restricting myself to a small selection of my favourite texture iPhone apps.


This iPhoneography workflow makes quite a lot of use of Superimpose. There is a video tutorial together with a link to more detailed screen grabs at the foot of the article.

This iPhoneography workflow demonstrates how to gain an extra 30pct resolution as part of the standard edit – something that may be appropriate for many edits. It leads me to rethink how I capture and frame still lifes. Capturing the detail as close as possible and adding canvas afterwards to frame the image correctly is a key learning point for me from this edit.

RigbyMuch like my playful puppy ‘Rigby’ in the mud, adding textures and especially grungy finishes is all about having fun and creating a mess. Unlike my playful puppy Rigby, the process of washing the mess away is not about regaining a pristine finish. Instead, I am looking for clarity and reality with a sense of painting. I want to remove the mess in a controlled way to allow the finished iPhoneography to reveal itself.

The process behind the wash is different for each image. There is no formula but there are some standard masking and blending processes I tend to employ.

iPhone photography apps used:

lucifer textured floral iPhone photography

{ lucifer }


UPDATE: Stackables app has been retired since this image was created.

There are a number of possible alternative apps. My recommendation is Mextures. Mextures and Stackables are similar in both appearance and workflow. Specifically, just like Stackables, Mextures comes supplied with multiple textures, effects and filters which can be applied in a limitless combination. The formula can then be saved for repeated application to any number of iPhone images.

View my Mextures workflows.


Process and apps used

ProCamera7 ~ initial capture:

Backlight never fails to enhance the vibrant colour of fragile petals drawing out maximum detail. The issue is silhouetting and therefore it is important to lock and freeze exposure in a slightly darker area to correctly expose the blooms and blow out the frosted window I use to provide natural light as a background:

Handy Photo ~ crop to a 1:1 ratio and rotate slightly:

The beauty of using Handy Photo to achieve this crop and rotate is that its Magic Crop adds canvas rather than cropping it. With quite a plain background this is perfect for grabbing a little extra canvas:

Typically the image would be 2448×2448 at this stage but rotated Magic Crop results in an image of 2782×2782 (an image of 7.7MP rather than 6MP which is an extra 30pct ):

Screen Grab: Magic Crop – rotate / 1:1 ratio

Handy Photo Magic Crop – Around 2 minutes long including introductions:


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Snapseed ~ having prepared the image I now need to enhance and clean it to arrive at my ‘base’ image:

The process here is to run it through the Drama Bright 2 filter increasing the saturation level back to neutral. I then go into ‘detail’ and boost both structure (50pct) and sharpening (25pct). Finally, I apply a couple of selective adjustments to wash away the darker areas of the background window by boosting brightness (100pct) and reducing contrast:

Screen Grab: Snapseed selective adjust

Snapseed ~ invariable the first layer of texture I apply is the Snapseed Grunge filter adjusted to taste:

Stackables ~ one of the heavy weights of texture blend iPhoneography, various textures are added within a single process. There is no need to record each stage as I always save the formulas for each image I create. This formula is called ‘lucifer’ and consists of 4 layers (2 textures, a filter and sharpening boosted to the maximum). The painterly look is really starting to take shape by this point:

Superimpose ~ painterly iPhoneography is all about vibrancy and clarity of colour. For my taste the green stalks are underexposed and I want to correct that:

The image from Stackables is imported as the background and the Snapseed base image is imported as the forground. The forground is roughly masked using the magic wand and color tools to pick out the underexposed green areas I would like to enhance. I then invert the mask so that only the green areas are visible:

I then carry out the following processes as described by the screengrabs:

Screen Grab: Mask – select and invert

Screen Grab: Filters – boost brightness and exposure

Screen Grab: Filters – boost green color balance

Screen Grab: Filters – maximise saturation

Screen Grab: Transform – blend layers under ‘color’ method

Modern Grunge ~ the iPhoneography is now pushed through Modern Grunge to really add some mess. This is the layer that I will unltimately wash away to give a more subtle impact:

Superimpose ~ the two versions are imported into Superimpose with the Modern Grunge version as the foreground:

I then carry out the following processes as described by the screengrabs:

Screen Grab: Mask – using the brush tool I roughly paint over to mask the subject

Screen Grab: Transform – layers blended under ‘lighten’

Note as always during a painterly iPhoneography edit the mask is saved for future use (in the next process):

Superimpose ~ the above layers are merged down and the saved mask imported as the foreground:

I then carry out the following processes as described by the screengrabs:

Screen Grab: Transform – layers blended under ‘darken’ with a transparency at around 70pct

Screen Grab: Filters – brightness boosted slightly

Using the combination of both ‘transparency’ and ‘brightness’ I can influence how the foreground impacts the image with fine control:

Superimpose ~ finally I feel I need to introduce additional vibrancy back into the star of the show, the red petals:

I therefore flatten the previous process to generate the background and import my base image as the foreground:

I carry out the following processes as described by the screengrabs:

Screen Grab: Mask – using the color selector tool I mask the petals and then invert the mask

Screen Grab: Transform – layers blended using ‘Hard Light’ with transparency adjusted to taste


Get the iPhoneography apps mentioned in this article

Apps used in this article:

  • ProCamera7 my preferred iPhone camera replacement app offering both JPEG and TIFF formats together with separate focus and exposure points along with many other features
  • Handy Photo using the very appropriately named magic crop tool to rotate the image and at the same time increase resolution by 30pct
  • Snapseed a must have free iPhoneography app (Originally by Nik now owned by Google). Used in this article to clean the image and apply grunge
  • Stackables – iPhone or iPad version. Very similar to Mextures. Gives another library of textures and overlays
  • Superimpose my personal go to app for layers masking and blending processes
  • Modern Grunge applied wonderful grunge, rips and other textures to iPhone images


Superimpose ~ Layers, masking and blending:

Note: A text version of this video together with iPhone screen grabs and descriptions of many of the functions carried out in this workflow can be viewed at my article covering Superimpose functions in more detail.



I hope you enjoyed my iPhone photography floral textured workflow. Lots of learning points for me but using Handy Photo to boost resolution by 30pct when rotating was a real eye opener. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again. Please follow my Facebook Page to keep up to date not only on my articles but also on my image a day and deals and updates on the apps I use.



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  1. Cary Gossett says:

    Excellent presentation,Paul. Thank you!

  2. Lucifer - texture blended floral iPhoneography ... says:

    […] Crocosmia 'Lucifer'. This floral texture blending iPhoneography tutorial is all about adding texture without washing away nature's vibrant colour.  […]

  3. Elaine Taylor says:

    Fantastic – so easy to follow Skip. Thanks loads 🙂

  4. Sam Sims says:

    Just came across your site and am delighted to see such beautiful work. Some of the images are quite inspiring. Thank you for sharing your techniques and knowledge.

  5. Venkat Balaji says:

    Your blog and tutorials give me tons of inspiration! Thanks so much Paul.

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