I’m not sure that iPhone HDR has evolved enough to be its own sub-genre of iPhoneography yet, but HDR Art is a new photo app that presents a case for it.
In its initial release, HDR Art offers a ton of filters — most of them, surprisingly, are not HDR. I’ve got more info and a chance for you to win a copy after the jump. >>>
HDR Art is a pretty broad filter app, but at its core, it’s a single-image faux-HDR effect processor. It’s created by the same developers who gave us the excellent Dynamic Light which is a Dynamic Range Correction/faux-HDR hybrid app.
HDR Art has 50 one-click presets of mixed quality. There are a broad selection of effects ranging from black & white to super-saturated HDR to some interesting overlay scenic and grunge effects. Some of these effects are simply stunning. The “Summer Nights” filter instantly transforms an image into a gorgeous night scene that looks like it’s bathed in moonlight. Paradise adds an almost surreal oversaturation. The film effects — Clarity Film, Pro Film, Velvet Film and others — all do a good job of bumping up saturation and tweaking the color temperature either warmer or cooler. I like the Lomo filter; it’s not necessarily an accurate Lomo recreation, but it’s a nice, warm filter on its own. Many of the other filters do some surprisingly cool things to a well-chosen image like the “Cold Spell” filter on my urban canyon image. Very cool!
On the other hand, HDR Art has some pretty cringe-worthy filters. Many of the grunge filters are a bit too gritty for my tastes. Many of its HDR filters are all that’s wrong with iPhone HDR. Colors are way off and many are super blown out with very visible halos. Kudos to the developers though for giving these filters names like “Halo-Matix” and “Overdone”. Yes, they are.
Filters are one-click easy with the option to edit and change many parameters of each effect, including tint, vignette, halo, contrast and many other settings. Using a preset as a starting point, you can create some seriously altered color effects that can be very surreal and cool. Feeling lucky? There’s a Random button that really mixes everything up.
Of the two photo apps, I’m more likely to go for Dynamic Light, which you should probably look at regardless. For me, it’s the more practical of the two apps, and that takes into consideration the number of effect presets that both apps include. Dynamic Light is more subtle and effects seem smoother overall. I’m not a fan of super-blown-out, haloed HDR, but I’ve seen iPhoneographers put the effect to good use. For a dollar, there are plenty of filters here to make HDR Art worth a look.
HDR Art is $0.99. The app supports full 8MP native resolution on an iPhone 5 and 4S. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
HDR Art Giveaway
I’ve got a few promo codes for HDR Art to give away today. To be eligible to win a copy, simply enter using the giveaway widget below. If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll have additional chances for a free copy.
Cut-off time to enter is 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Winners will be determined by Random.org. One code per reader, please.
Winners will be notified by email, Facebook message or Twitter direct message — be sure to check your spam filter. If you enter, be sure your email info is correct or your code will go to someone else. Your email address is used for contest entry and for contacting the winning entrants only. We will not use or sell your email address for any other purpose.
(If you’re having trouble viewing the giveaway widget on a mobile device, try viewing this page in landscape mode on your iPhone.)
Big thanks to Roman Voska from MediaChance for supplying the promo codes for this giveaway.