This Old Barn: An iPhoneography Tutorial

An iPhone Photography tutorial by David Hayes

Use the apps iColorama and Photo Toaster to create a vintage look for your images.

iPhone Photography

The week before Halloween my wife, daughter, and I ventured to Shaw’s Pumpkin Farm, which is in Clermont County, Ohio, to find our “Great Pumpkin.”  As is the usual practice, I gave my opinions on which pumpkins I thought we should get. And…as is the usual practice…my wife and daughter ignored all that I said. This family ritual over with, I set out to take pictures with my iphone4!

Yes, I took pictures of pumpkins…and gourds…and corn stalks…and the cornfields surrounding the pumpkin area. Many of these I’ve used to create Halloween and fall themed images…which you can see on my website, I also grabbed some snaps of their barn. I like old barns!

Later, taking a look at what I had shot, most of my barn images didn’t impress me right away. It wasn’t until I started working with one of them that I realized I had a diamond in the rough! Let’s take a look at what I did.

Going to the app iColorama first, I brought the barn image into the app by clicking on the “Image” tab in the left hand corner. As you can see from this screen shot, this isn’t an image to write home about! Time to go to work!!

What I like about iColorama is the many different options that it offers to edit and enhance your images. I also like the fact that you can work in any order you want with their effects and build on these as you go.

Looking at my “raw” image, I knew I needed to do some cropping to tighten up the image. I went to “Form” in the control panel (A), clicked on “Crop” (B), used the selection bars to frame up the image to my liking…and then clicked on “Apply” (C) in the right top corner to put this into place.

Cropping done…and liking what I have to work with…I went to the “Tone” category (A) and then clicked on “Bleach” (B). I didn’t adjust Opacity in this image, but do make sure to always give this adjustment a try. Clicking on “Apply” (C), it moved on to the next step.

I wanted to give a sense of age and of “strangeness” to the barn so I clicked on “Presets” (A), and then on “Lomo” (B). This filter has a number of preset adjustments that you can use…so I clicked on “Presets” (C) and decided to use the “3/10” filter. (D).  Click on “Apply” (E) to move on!

Staying in “Presets” (A), went to “Textures” (B). Using “Preset” 30/31 (D) I gave the image a gray muddling look. I like what this did to the sky and how it knocked back the purple! Clicked on “Apply” (E) as always…

One last step in iColorama! Moving to “Style” (A), I used “Edges” (B) preset “1/5” (D). I clicked “Apply” (E) and deciding I had done enough in iColorama, I then clicked on Save to put what I had done to this point in my Camera Roll. Time to move on to Photo Toaster!

Bringing the image from my Camera Roll into PhotoToaster, I first went to the “Light” presets (A).  In this group of filters, I decided to use “Warm” (B) liking how this gave the image that tea-stained look.

What’s nice about PhotoToaster is that you don’t have to click anything to build on the image…as long as you’re moving to another preset, which I did.

Skipping over the “FX” and “Vignette” presets, I clicked on “Textures”(A).  There are two levels of  “Texture” presets and I went to the second level (B) and used “Rain II” (C).

Finishing off my image, I went to “Borders” (A), level 3 of these presets (B), and picked “Brushed” (C) …giving “This Old Barn” that last vintage feel!! Clicking on the “Save” button in the upper right hand corner (D), I then saved my final image to my Camera Roll.

So there you have it…my “recipe” on making “This Old Barn” I hope you found this tutorial not only helpful but also enjoyable! As always, please don’t be shy with your comments or questions. I’d love to hear from you!!

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

Photo CraftIf you like altering photographs and using them in your mixed-media art, you might also enjoy Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck.






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