How I Did It!™ with Rad Drew,  News,  TUTORIALS

‘How I Did It’™ with Rad Drew – Creating Rich, Textured Layers with Stackables App!

It’s been so much fun creating and sharing mobile phone video tutorials in the new TheAppWhisperer section that Joanne Carter created called “How I Did It!™ with Rad A. Drew.” This will mark my third tutorial since the section launched on March 6. I’ve been overwhelmed by the comments and support for these tutorials! Thank you Joanne Carter, and thanks to all of you who make up our wonderful mobile photography community for such a warm welcome!

Today’s tutorial features the app Stackables – Layered Textures, Effects and Masks, (hereafter referred to as “Stackables” in this article) by developer Samer Azzam. Stackables is a companion app to the app  Formulas – Photo Lab Effects and Custom Frames, also by Samer Azzam, which I covered in this section recently and can be accessed here.

In this tutorial I introduce many of the tools and features of Stackables. I demonstrate how to apply textures, filters, gradients, patterns, adjustments, and formulas, and how to adjust the variables of each of these effects. You’ll learn how to save your layers of adjustments as custom formulas that can be applied from both the Stackables app and the Formulas app.



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Photography has always been synonymous with fun and magic. As a kid, it was fun to compose, fun to capture, magic to develop and process, and fun to share. It was fun to seek out photos and to engage people, and magic to travel to new lands or find the unusual in familiar places. It was magic to convey an emotion or make a point and touch others through visual imagery that I created. As an adult, photography continues to be more fun and magical than I ever dreamed! Despite changes in technology that have occurred during my lifetime, the esthetic of photography remains much the same. The creative mind of the photographer is still the most important element in a great photo. The camera doesn’t create a photograph any more than a hammer designs a building; it’s merely a tool that allows us to create our vision. Today, my camera bag holds two mirrorless cameras, an infrared camera, a point-and-shoot, and the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X. Of these tools, I credit my use of iPhones since 2010 with providing more opportunities to practice the esthetics of photography, making me a better photographer regardless of the camera I'm using. And photography has never been more fun and magical! Today, my business consists of teaching photography face-to-face and online, and leading tours for mobile and traditional photographers to photogenic locations around the world. • Visit my website ( • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel ( • Watch for my regular mobile photography column in Luminous Landscape ( • Subscribe to RadDrewPhotography Newsletter ( for news, and photography tips and tricks.