MPA winners tutorials – Cold silence by Mariko Klug

The annual Mobile Photography Awards (MPA) has been attracting the cream of the iPhoneography crop for a few years now. Dan Berman, MPA’s founder has worked tirelessly to give iPhone artists and photographers the platform they deserve with this exciting competition that not only awards fantastic prizes but also gives winners a chance to have their work exhibited around the world.

Over the next few months, iPhoneographyCentral will be featuring tutorials from Mobile Photography Award winners to gain an insight into these artists creative minds and learn a few techniques along the way. Our first tutorial comes from one of my personal favourite iPhone artists Mariko Klug.

I’ve been enjoying Mariko Klug’s stunning images for a couple of years now and it was no surprise to me that her incredibly beautiful work Mr Green claimed the top prize in the Mobile Photography Awards Macro & Details category. Mariko not only has an amazing talent for composing an a wonderful image, she is also a perfectionist when it comes to editing her photos bringing out a magical beauty using colour and light with just a handful of apps. I am delighted that Mariko is sharing her work, background story and techniques in the tutorial below.

Over to Mariko…

I am a passionate iPhone photographer based in Erding, Southern Germany. My photography journey started in 2011 when I got my first iPhone, an iPhone 4, and coincidentally came across artworks and photos taken with iPhone in social networks. Since then I have become addicted and am always out taking photos of landscapes and nature, currently using an iPhone 6s. I have participated in various photography competitions, some of them with success. This year I was honoured to receive first place in the Macro & Details category at the Mobile Photography Awards.

This photo was taken in a nearby park on a snowy and foggy day. I was there to walk my dog and was admiring the beauty of winter when a swan passed by. It felt threatened by my barking dog. I like to photograph landscapes with some kind of interesting detail (could be a tiny figure, an insect or animal for example) and framed by branches. So it was the perfect moment to press the shutter button.

1. The original photo was taken with Hipstamatic, Jimmy lens/Blanko Freedom13 film/Jolly Rainbo 2X effect flash.


2. I found the effect of the lens/film/flash combination too strong, so I decided to edit in Hipstamatic. Tap on the camera roll icon, then select the image.



3. To edit the photo press the Combos/Favourites button.



I used the slider to lower the intensity of the effect, then saved it to the camera roll. 


4. For basic adjustments I use PhotoToaster. It has everything I need and is very easy to use.
First I cropped the image. I’m a fan of the ‘rule of third’ so the position of the swan had to be according to the rule. Tap on the crop tool and choose ‘Crop’.

I chose the square mode from the options at the bottom of the screen.


5. To highlight the swan I used the lighting brushes. Tap the brush icon and select the Lighting Brushes.


Use your finger to brighten (sun icon) or darken (moon icon) specific areas of an image.
To make it easier to work on the swan I zoomed the swan, brightened the white parts and darkened the eyes and beak.


6. Still in PhotoToaster I added a blur vignette for more dreaminess. There are different kinds of presets in the Vignette mode (stars icon). I chose the ‘Deep Focus’ vignette. To fine-tune the vignette tap on the slider icon.


I brightened the edges by increasing brightness and adjusted the vignette size.

7. To give this image a more winterly feeling I reduced the yellowish tone. Open the Lighting Mode and go straight to the sliders. I lowered the warmth and saved the image.



8. I like to use Picfx to add some filters. For this image I used the ‘Blue’ filter which adds a blueish vignette and brightens the center. Select the ‘Classic’ set and choose the filter ‘Blue’.


By tapping on the screen a slider will appear on the right hand side. You can use the slider to adjust the strength of the effect. I lowered the effect and saved the image.Tutorial18


9. Finally, I wanted to add some snow flakes with SnowDaze. By opening the image in SnowDaze a random snow effect will be applied. To select a snow effect, tap on the snow icon.


Tap on the square to open a selection interface that lets you choose what kind of snowflake pattern you want.

I chose No.1.

10. As I only wanted to add the snowflakes I needed to turn off all other effects which were applied randomly. By tapping the slider icon you can adjust the colour and contrast of the image.


I removed the added contrast and set the image colour to maximum to get back my original colours and left a little bit of the ‘Whiten Scene’ and ‘Clouds Strength’ effect for more softness.


11. This is the final image

Cold Silence

Cold silence by Mariko Klug


See more of Mariko’s work here:

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/marikoklug/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mariko.iPhonePhotography
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mariko_klug/
FineArtAmerica http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/mariko-klug.html


For news about the next MPA winners tutorial, please click on the yellow button below.

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Nicki Fitz-Gerald

Co-author of The Art of iPhoneographyCentral. Founder of iPhoneographyCentral.com