Creative Tutorials,  Technical Tutorials

iPhone Photography Tutorial – ‘How To Create A Stunning Grasses Image, Using Only PhotoToaster’

Our new mobile photography tutorial section is in full swing and we’ve received much acclaim from the mobile photography community, thanks to all. If you’ve missed our previous tutorials you can read them here. My A Day In The Life article was recently published by Joanne and if you missed that you can read it here.

When I look at an image, two thoughts always go through my mind. What is the content and how is the composition? While content is an important element, for me composition is the key to a successful image. You can have an image of an exotic location or of a beautiful model but if the composition is off…the whole image suffers. (By composition I mean such things as placement in the frame, the use of color, the use of lights and darks….that sort of thing.)

I had two goals with my image “Grasses Study #2”. The first was to put the app PhotoToaster through its paces and the second was to take an ordinary image and to make something special through it’s composition.

Read this easy to follow tutorial and see if you too can create a similarly wonderful shot. Links to apps used in this tutorial is at the end of this article.

Step 1 – The Original Image



Here is the original image in the PhotoToaster’s opening screen. (I had brought it in from my camera roll.)





I had captured the image of the grasses using the 6×6 app…I wanted to start with a squared image. What I forgot about was the fact that 6×6 had put a white border around the image, so the first thing I wanted to do was a quick crop to remove the border.


Step 2 – Cropping



The cropping done, I moved to the “Light” function and chose the “Hot” filter to liven up the image a bit.


Step 3 – FX



Moving to the “FX” function, I chose the “B&W Contrast filter to knock back all the color. (I rather do this than desaturate…this keeps the lights and darks where I like them.)


Step 4 – Vignette



Time for “Vignette”. Here I chose the “Deep Focus” filter to draw the focus more into the center of the image.


Step 5 – Scratched



Finally, I applied the “Scratched” filter in the “Surface” function.




As I knew I wanted to do more to this image, I didn’t apply a “Border” at this time.



Here’s what it looked like so far.





I saved the image at this point. With PhotoToaster, your images are saved in their album as well as into your Camera Roll.



Step 6 – Cross Cut



Not content to stop here, I decided to run the image through PhotoToaster’s filters one more time to see what “develops” (Pardon the pun….)

I reopened the image, and starting this time in the “FX” function, I applied the “Cross Cut” filter to add a little color back into the image.


Step 7 – Color Burst



This time for “Vignette” I used the “Color Burst” filter…again to add another layer of color.


Step 8 – Antique



Coming back to the “Surface” function, I decided to use the “Antiqued” filter…just ‘cause…


Step 9 – Border



Finishing up, I did add a “Border” this time, picking the “Black Strokes” filter feeling it best tied everything together. Saved this to the PhotoToaster album and my Camera Roll.


Final Image



Here is the final image, a huge improvement over the original and one that combines all the effects I wanted to achieve.



Links to apps mentioned in the article


David is Head of Technical Tutorials here at and this role adds to the many things David has done in his life…some of which he considers more significant than others. Yet, he feels all have made him the artist he is today. He’s been a cook at a truck stop, a janitor at a military base, worked in advertising, been a banker managing other people’s money, and an elementary school teacher. Trained as a photographer as an undergrad, he’s recently returned to these roots and now considers himself foremost a photographer and secondly a mixed media artist. You can find David’s work on many other popular websites including his own: