Technical Tutorials

iPhone Photography Tutorial – Blurring, Blending, Masking, Croping and More…

We’re really enjoying our new iPhone Photography Tutorial section here at and we understand you are too, which is even better.

In this tutorial with help from Lene Basma, who we recently covered ‘A day in the life of…’ , we look at her work with post processing images of mannequins. The images are stunning but she openly admits ‘ seldom do I know where it is headed before I start, I just dive into it and see what happens’.

In this tutorial Lene started out with blurring out the background in BlurFX, she then goes to to blend, merge and create the most incredible shot. 
Read the rest of this easy to follow tutorial and see if you can too create a similarly stunning shot too.

(We have put links to the iTunes app store of every app that was used, just in case you feel inspired enough to download them).

Final Image


Copyright Image ‘It’s Ok, You Can Walk Away’ by Lene Basma

The image above is the final image, the one that we are going to show you how to recreate.

Original Image A



This is the first (A) original unedited initial image.

Original Image B


This is the second (B) original unedited inital image.

Blurring The First Time



First of all Lene opened Image A in Blur FX and selected the Median Blur Type, set to about ¾ strength.




In this particular shot Lene kind of liked the bright colors, and in order to enhance them, she opened up the Saturation Menu and pulled the saturation on the Blurred area to the max.




With the opaque brush Lene cleaned out the figure, leaving her face blurred. As Lene knew she wanted to grunge and layer this image, she wasn´t too particular when doing the cleaning.

Final Image of Blurring



The result at this stage looked like this.

Grunging The First Time



After saving the blurred image Lene opened it in ScratchCam. Lene often uses this app as part of her exploration process, just hitting the random button over and over, and then going to the edit menu to do the fine tuning when she sees something appearing that strikes her fancy.

In this first step Lene used the Scratches, Texture+Borders and Colors Combination shown in the images below.

Step 2


Step 3


Step 4



To reduce the Impact, Lene turned down the effect to about 25%.

Final Grunge



After that, the image looked like this.

Blurring The Second Time



Next, although Lene cannot explain it, she often finds herself doing additional things to her images, in this case for example, for some reason or other, Lene decided to blur it some more. For this she used the app FocalLab and the Soft Focus option

Step 2



Next, Lene starting reducing the blur as shown in the image.

Blurring The Second Time – Final Image



The image then looked like this.

Grunging the Second Time



Next Lene then opened the image in ScratchCam again. Choosing a different set of effects shown in the images below. This time Lene left the effects at full strength.

Step 2


Step 3


Final Second Stage Grunge



The final image then looked like this.

Muting the Colors and Adding Some Light



Again, this post-processing process is like a game to Lene, and then she decided to try out a different favorite app of hers, PictureShow, to see what it would do to the image. After trying out different options, I decided to go for the HalfGrey Effect.

Step 2



And then added Halation1 in the Style Menu.

Step 3



Lene now liked what she had, the colors and the feeling that the mannequin had come to life on one level or another… She looked like she was walking or turning away from something or someone.

Looking at the colors and the theme, Lene remembered a street picture she took of a woman walking with a red bag on that same day, and decided to try to blend the two images.




When Lene looked at the second image again, she saw that the woman was walking the wrong way, she wanted her to walk into the image and not out of it, so Lene opened CropSuey.

Step 2



And selected the Flip option,

Step 3



Lene flipped the second image horizontally.

Step 4



Ending up with this final photo of Image B.




Then for the last step… Lene opened Blender, tapped the first image icon and opened the Mannequin Image, tapped the second and opened the flipped image of the woman walking.

Step 2



When Tapping the image once, Lene accessed the arrange function and positioned the picture of the woman where she wanted it.

Step 3


Step 4



After confirming the use of the position, Lene tapped the image again, choosing the mask option. Using the hard Brush she masked out the woman carefully, zooming in with pinch zoom to get the accuracy she wanted.

Step 5



Finally Lene chose the Hard Light Blending Option, because it brought out the red in the bag the lady was carrying.

The Final Image


Copyright Image ‘It’s Ok, You Can Walk Away’ by Lene Basma

And then the final image was born. We hope you successfully managed to follow this tutorial, please send us your similar examples, we’d love to take a look.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: