How to make cool color panel images on your iPhone

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create the color panel above, using two of my favorite iPhone apps: PictureShow and Diptic. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes once you know the technique, and you can get some really great results if you’re willing to experiment a bit.

Step 1. Choose your photo
Selecting a black & white shot from your camera roll. For the best results, try picking something that has some strong elements of linear composition. I chose this photo because I like the receding perspective of the street, as well as the subject that is facing away from the camera.

Selecting a black & white photo will usually enhance the contrast and make the final colorized photo more appealing.

Step 2. Create color versions of your photo in PictureShow
PictureShow is a fun post-processing application for adding color, effects, noise, artifacts, etc., to your photos.

After you’ve loaded your black & white photo, select at least 3 or 4 shades from the menu at the top of the screen, such as ‘BluePlastic’, ‘GreenGel’, ‘Holography’ and whatever else you think might make an interesting palette of tones to choose from. Save each of these to your camera roll. (Note: PictureShow will often load preset, random effects to your photos, so you may need to turn these off in order get just the color applied to your photo. For example, under the ‘style’ menu, I’d recommend choosing ‘no frames’).

Using PictureShow on the iPhone to colorize a black & white image.

Step 3. Load your photos in Diptic
Once you’ve saved your colorized versions, fire up Diptic and choose a template pattern that will work for your photo. This is going to depend on the composition of your photo. For example, I’ve chosen the 4-panel vertical because I want to accentuate the subject that will appear in the second position from the left. If I were to choose a 3-panel layout, the figure would get lost in the white border area we’ll be creating. Also, I chose the vertical over the horizontal because I want to break-up the strong horizontal lines of the original photo’s composition. The horizontal template was less clean and visually confusing when I tried it.

Tap each section of the template to add one of the colorized versions of your photo to the template.

Once you’ve loaded the photos, arrange them by dragging in the template panels. Tip: Be careful adjusting the size of any of your panels because it can make it very difficult to position the photos so that lines are continuous from panel to panel.

To get the rounded effect, tap the ‘effects’ button and adjust the border to the settings in this screenshot:

Save to your camera roll, and voila!

If you like this effect, you can also try this mind-bender: In Diptic, change your layout style to horizontal, and now add your freshly-saved vertical version into the four horizontal panels. Adjust by dragging, and now you have a grid-style view of your shot!


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