Dramatic Still Life: An iPhoneography Tutorial

Using Photo Toaster, Laminar Pro, and TouchReTouch

A guest post by David Hayes

The last couple of weeks have found our garden filled with the blossoms of several varieties of Irises that my wife has planted over the years. To me the Siberian Irises are the most dramatic and showy of the bunch. I borrowed one of her cuttings for an afternoon for a “studio shoot” which proved to be quite productive in the number of images I was able to take away from this session. In this tutorial I’d like to share with you one of these images where I used the apps Photo Toaster, Laminar Pro, and TouchReTouch on my iPad to create a dramatic still life!


I opened the source image, as seen in this screen shot, first in Photo Toaster. The first filter I applied was from its “Light” category (A)…”Soft Light” (B).


What I like about Photo Toaster is that you don’t have to click an “Apply” button or “add another layer”…you just move on to the next filter category and it builds on top of your last automatically. So…I went next to the FX group (A) and from here I picked the “B&W Contrast” (B) filter.

iris3 Next up, the Vignette category. (A) Here, I used the “Deeper Focus” (B) selection. With the addition of this filter, my image is certainly taking on that classical Hollywood drama look!


Textures are up next (A)! From this group I decided to use “Paper” (B).


Lastly, while in Photo Toaster, I added a frame. (A) This time I went to “Brushed II” (B).  This completes what I want to do in this app, so I saved to my Camera Roll…and moved to Laminar Pro!

iris6 When you first ever open Laminar Pro, its control panel can be rather daunting! This app has so many features that it would take quite a few tutorials to cover them all! In this case, I just want to use one of its filters in the FX section. So, I clicked on the FX tab in lower left corner.


A pop-up menu comes up…and from this, I pick “Fx & Filters.”

iris8 Okay! Pick “Photo Fx” (A), move over to 3-Strip Technicolor (B), leave the Strength set to 100%, and then click on “Apply” (C) to finish. Simple as that!

iris9 Hopefully you can see the touch of color that the 3-Strip Technicolor added to the image giving it a little more depth and drama. Finished with Laminar Pro, I clicked on “Save/Share” to put this into my Camera Roll.


I can be a bit of a perfectionist with my images so when I see something that isn’t quite “right,” I want to fix it. Case in point…the area that I’ve circled where the edge of my backdrop shows just bothered me! It had to go! Fortunately there is a great app that can do just that, TouchReTouch!


Opening in TouchReTouch, I clicked on the brush icon to activate this control.

iris12I then used the size slider to adjust the size of the brush to best fit this area.


Using my fingertip (I didn’t know where my stylus was at the time) I painted in the area I wanted fixed, overlapping into the area that I wanted copied. (A) This done, I clicked on the “Start” tab (B) and let TouchReTouch do its stuff!

iris14 Corner repaired! Not perfectly…but enough so that it’s not as noticeable. (I will have to confess that I had to do this step several times until I was happy with the results. Sometimes I get lucky…. other times….not so much.)


Here’s the final version!

As always, I do hope you learned something from my iPhoneography tutorials. Please feel free to ask any questions or comments, as I do like hearing from you!

David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at clearerreflections.com.

Photo Craft_160You might also enjoy, Photo Craft by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck.

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