Add Instant Drama and Atmosphere to Your iPhone Photographs with Simulations and Other Surreal Effects


Add Instant Drama and Atmosphere to Your iPhone Photographs with Simulations and Other Surreal Effects

By the light of the moon…

People often inquire about my “nighttime” photographs that they assume have been taken by the light of the moon made possible by a digital SLR camera, a tripod, and a slow shutter speed. I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. Most of my twilight and after dark photos were not taken with these devices at all. They are simulations created by an enchanting filter app called Camera Bag that is available both for the computer (Macs and PCs) as well as for the iPhone. This app contains a variety of filters as well as further controls that allow you to adjust strength/exposure/saturation, etc. I use the computer version for my DSLR photos and the app for my mobile images. The computer version has more extensive filters, tools, and features, but the app has just what I need when it comes to applying creative filters to my iPhone artwork


Images captured in relatively shady environments with dappled sunlight, as in this example, make for realistic-looking moonlit scenes when the ‘Night Filter’ from the Camera Bag app is applied.


Close-ups of deep-hued flora can take on a regal and mysterious appearance with an application of Camera Bag‘s ‘Night Filter.’ You can adjust an exposure setting to achieve the desired look.

Add rain, add snow!

When I wish to add some weather-related drama to my photos to spice up their emotional content, but it isn’t practical to venture outside into an actual storm, I’ll use one of my favorite “weather” apps to add some faux, but authentic-looking precipitation to my photographs. Rainy Daze and Snow Daze by Jixipix are my favorite go-tos. You can choose from a variety filters, alter size, angle and placement of the rain or snow, and even control the visibility of clouds.


Using the app Rainy Daze, I added some rain and additional clouds to a composite piece that consists of two images; one of a male figure and the backdrop photo of clouds. This particular piece is a collaboration with my artist friend Andy Alexandre @bastien_balthazar_bux on Instragram.


To enhance the atmosphere of this peaceful snowy scene, I added faux snowfall with the app Snow Daze.

Transform your imagery into surreal, otherworldly scenes

Transforming images into surreal, abstract scenes using unique, creative apps gives me hours of endless fun and countless artistic possibilities. It makes sense that I would be attracted to these types of apps, given that I love to paint abstracts in the actual brick and mortar studio, in addition to being a photographer. Of course I do have a handful of apps that I use most often for this purpose (as seen in the examples below), and to change things up and give myself more of an artistic challenge now and then, I will make many versions of one image, each with a different app. I then combine versions with Image Blender.


This photograph was altered with many apps, but the overly-sharpened, textural, monochrome effect was achieved with the app Shock My Pic.

Tangled in Tangled FX

The texture you can see in this image was created with a unique app called Tangled, which provides a plethora of interesting, surreal effects.


Can you guess what this is? It’s a closeup shot of a morning glory flower taken with a macro lens made especially for iPhone. It’s been converted to a swirling, richly-colored image with the app Tiny Planets.

Susan Tuttle

Award winning iPhoneographer and DSLR photographer from Maine, USA. She is the author of four instruction-based books (published in the US and abroad by F+W Media, North Light Books) on the subject matter of digital art with Photoshop, mobile photography and DSLR photography, and mixed-media art. Her latest book, Art of Everyday Photography: Move Toward Manual and Make Creative Photos (about DSLR photography and mobile photography) was recently released by North Light Books and has been a best-seller in its category on Amazon.

Susan currently offers two online photography courses — The Art of iPhoneography Self-Portraiturehttp://fineartgrunge.com/iphonecoursespecial/?orid=4849&opid=2 and Co-Lab: Paint, Paper and iPhoneography Magic http://www.colabartistry.com/ (co-taught with best-selling author and mixed-media artist Alena Hennessy). Susan is currently the Technical Advisor for Somerset Digital Studio Magazine. You can view more of her work, explore her blog, and find workshop details at her website SusanTuttlePhotography.com Instagram: susantuttle Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.tuttle.144

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