Turn ordinary photos into extraordinary iPhoneography with textures

iPhone Photography Series

Welcome back to another installment of Lessons in iPhone Photography here at iDownloadBlog. After seeing the amazing images you have been sharing on Instagram, it is clear you are all enjoying your newly discovered creativity. In today’s lesson I hope to share a new idea to fuel your own creative adventures. Today’s lesson is a bit subjective, but I hope you learn a new idea and use it to make some of your own magic.

A fun way to add interest and mystery to your iPhone imagery is the use of textures. What are textures, you ask? In short, the idea is to take an image of the texture you might find in a burlap sack, brick wall, etc. Apply it over your original image so that only the texture can be seen and not the color. That’s pretty much the idea behind it, but it might be better just to look at an example…

I’ve found there are good ways and not so good ways to apply textures. Before we get into that, there are a variety of apps that can provide your images with texture. Right now, I dig Distressed FX. If you don’t feel like spending money, the ‘Vintage’ or ‘Grunge’ filters in Snapseed do a pretty good job. Here’s a quick look at some of the textures Distressed FX offers.

Because textures will often make your images visually busy, I try to avoid using them in scenes packed with details. Where textures really excel are scenes with minimal visual elements. My personal preference is big sky scenes. We will take a look at a few before and afters here, but feel free to explore compositions that suit your own fancy.


Pretty slick stuff. I know it’s not for everyone, but if you are looking for a fun way to turn a rather boring scene into something a bit more interesting, give some textures a try. If you do, please tag your photos with #iDBTextures and share them on Instagram. I’ll select a few of my favorites to highlight in next month’s post. Until then, get out there and make some magic!

Justin Balog is an award winning photographer and film maker. You can follow is daily creative adventures at HOSSedia.com or learn more about iPhone Photography in his iBook ‘Big World Little Lens‘. Click Here for the iPad Version. To find out more about Justin, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.