Once Upon a Time: An iPhoneography Tutorial for Altering Photos

A Guest Post by David Hayes of Clearer Reflections and The Recipe Book Project

David Hayes’ previous blog post, Do You Use Photo Apps?, introduced you to his iPhoneography Recipe Book Project for altering photos. Here he shows you step- by- step images of how to manipulate your photos using Simply B&W and Photo Toaster.

This was one of those quick shots…we were looking for something else, not really sure where it was…and drove past this structure. I had my wife stop, back up, and I grabbed a couple of shots out the car window. Sometimes these happy accidents make the best images! I used the apps Simply B&W and Photo Toaster to create the final image. (Note: While I captured this image on my iPhone4 using the native camera app, I edited it on my iPad which means the screen shots are from my iPad. There is a slight difference between the iPhone versions and the iPad version of Simply B&W…no so much with Photo Toaster.)

This is what I started with…not a bad image in itself…but not a great one either.

Opening Simply B&W, I went to my camera roll and brought up my image…

Simply B&W automatically converts your image using it’s base settings so you’ll be already to go! My first step was to click on the button on the left side of the lower tool bar. This will bring up a filter selection.

This pop-up window gives you a selection of B&W filters…along with an explanation what each is best for. Given the reds in this image, I decided to go with the green filter. (I did try out all the other filters…make sure you do this as well!) There is no need to save or click an “apply” button in this app, just move on to the next step by tapping the image. (If you’re using an iPhone to edit, Don’t hit the “Back” button at the top right…this will cause you start all over!! There isn’t a “Back” button on the iPad version.)

Clicking the center square button activates the next effects you can apply. This will bring up the controls for vignettes and borders. Clicking on the “Vignette Style” button brings up…

This control panel where I selected “black”…

…and this brings up this control panel where, using the slider bar, you can adjust how much vignette effect you’d like. Once this is done, tap on the “border” button in this screen, which will take you to…

The “border style” screen where I picked “white”. There are no further controls for the border…it’s either on or off/black or white!

Tapping on the screen above this control screen will bring up the image as it is at the moment.

Time to move to the last and final effect in this app. Clicking on the last button on the lower right (A) will bring up the controls for brightness, contrast, and grain, which I adjusted as shown.

Once again, tapping on the screen brings me to the image with all effects applied. Time to save and move on! Click on the top right button to bring up the “Send To” screen…

In this pop-up screen, you can save to your camera roll or send it to another app. Since I knew I wanted to use Photo Toaster next, I clicked on the Photo Toaster button and off it went! (Note: You should save to your camera roll first before doing this!)

After you’ve click on the “Photo Toaster” button, you’ll watch several screens flip by as your image leaves Simply B&W and moves over to Photo Toaster. When it’s all said and done…your image is in Photo Toaster’s edit screen.

Photo Toaster gives you the choice of working with global presets. (A) I prefer to adjust each filter myself but do give these presets a look. In any case, I first clicked on the “Light” button (B) and when that selection bar came up, chose “Cool” (C).

That done, I next clicked on the FX button (A) and then chose “Cross Cut” (B).

The next filters are the vignettes. (A) Since I had already added a vignette filter in Simply B&W, I chose just to leave this set at “No Vignette”.

At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to add a texture (A) but after going through them all, decided to use “Antiqued” (B).

The next button (A) brings up the choices in frames. I had already added a frame back in Simply B&W but I’m one to want to see what happens…so I went through them all…and decided that “Torn Canvas” (B) gave an interesting effect to the image.

This completes this image. Time to save! Click on (A) which will bring up “Save To” screen…and click on the “Photo Library” (B) button.

Photo Toaster will create it’s own album in your Camera Roll and save the image here if you want it to…just leave the “On” button where it’s at. If not, move this to “Off”. You will also need to click on the  “Send to Photo Album” tab at the top to save to Camera Roll.

I hope you found this tutorial interesting and helpful! Please do not be shy about leaving comments, feedback, questions, etc. I would appreciate hearing from you!

I would also like to mention the collaborative project that I host each month on my blog, Clearer Reflections. Although it is on summer hiatus until September, each month participants post their images and the “recipes” on how they created them. This is a great chance to share…and to learn from each other. I invited you to check out the details at The Recipe Book Project …and join in beginning this September!

You might also enjoy:

Digital Art Wonderland by Angi Sullins and Silas Toball






Digital Expressions by Susan Tuttle






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One Response to Once Upon a Time: An iPhoneography Tutorial for Altering Photos

  1. Seth says:

    Cool structure and a great altered image. At first glance these instructions looked complicated but your step-by-step was really helpful and makes the process easy. Thanks for all the work you put into this post Dave.