Floral texture blending iPhoneography tutorial restricting myself to a small selection of my favourite texture iPhone apps. As always the trick is to layer, mask and blend multiple versions of the same image to find a balance between a painterly finish and detail. Where that balance lies is very much down to individual taste and the degree of abstract style aimed for.

Using multiple apps is known as App stacking. I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using multiple apps in a single work in a recent article ‘texture blend app stacking.’

This iPhoneography work favours a portrait orientation, being a rare example (for me) of a non-square ratio image. Instagram remains my preferred sharing platform acting as a pipeline into various networks. In readiness I previously discussed options for sharing portrait and landscape images to Instagram.


Interestingly, at the time of writing this is one of my most popular images on Instagram which I find surprising. Despite the workarounds, I still do not feel that Instagram favours non-square formats.


iPhone photography apps used:

instagram non-square image - daisy

{ daisy }


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:

Snapseed ~ crop to a 10×8 portrait ratio and apply one of the Drama ‘bright’ preset filters:

Note although the next process is also Snapseed, it is important to save a relatively clean version of the image to reintroduce detail later in the workflow:

Snapseed ~ so often with my textured painterly iPhoneography the first stage is to apply the Snapseed grunge filter. I normally flick through random filters until I find one that suits the image and then apply manual adjustments. I rarely apply this filter in isolation as it has a very identifiable look:

Superimpose ~ the two Snapseed images are blended under the multiply blend method with a transparency set at 50pct. This reintroduces some detail and definition:

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 ‘Daisy’ and consists of 6 layers. The painterly look is really starting to take shape by this point:

Superimpose ~ the image from Stackables is imported as the background and the Snapseed Drama image is imported as the forground. The forground is roughly masked using the magic wand and color tools to pick out specific areas I would like to enhance. I then invert the mask and the layers are blended under ‘overlay’ at around a 50pct opacity level:

Screen Grab: Mask

Screen Grab: Transform overlay blend

Glaze ~ the iPhoneography is now pushed through Glaze to receive a very rough painterly process. This stage destroys all definition in the image but adds excellent painterly abstraction:

Superimpose ~ The previous Superimpose version is imported as the background and the Glaze version is imported as the foreground. The exposure, brightness and contrast of the foreground are adjusted using Filters to generate a high key version. This is then blended with the background under multiply at around 35pct transparency:

Screen Grab: Levels

Screen Grab: Transform multiply blend

Superimpose ~ The layers are merged down in the transform menu to create the background image and the Glaze version is once again imported as the foreground. I want to add a little more painterly abstraction to the stem especially. The mask is roughly created once again using the magic wand and color picker tools and inverted. Foregound levels are adjusted and the mask merged with the background under multiply at around 40pct:

Screen Grab: Mask

Screen Grab: Levels

Screen Grab: Transform multiply blend


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

  • 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

  • Glaze turns photographs in to paintings with a wide variety of styles

  • 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


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



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