Life in LoFi: iPhoneography » Reviews http://lifeinlofi.com iPhone Photo / Mobile Photography News, Showcases, Reviews Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:12:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photographer Austin Mann Takes the iPhone 6 Plus Out for a Spin http://lifeinlofi.com/2014/09/23/photographer-austin-mann-takes-iphone-6-plus-spin/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2014/09/23/photographer-austin-mann-takes-iphone-6-plus-spin/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:44:19 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=26317 Photographer Austin Mann takes the iPhone 6 out for a spin and tests all of the camera's features, including stills, color, low-light capabilities, video and more.

"Photographer Austin Mann Takes the iPhone 6 Plus Out for a Spin." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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iphone 6, iphone 6 plus, austin mann, iphoneography, mobile photography

iPhone 6 Plus test photo, courtesy of Austin Mann

Professional photographer Austin Mann, in partnership with The Verge, took the new iPhone 6 Plus out for a test drive, comparing the iPHone 6 Plus, 6, and 5S models. He tested all of the camera’s features, including stills, color, low-light capabilities, video and more. By now, we know the hardware works, but really the proof is in the pictures.

Although I made the choice to stick with my iPhone 5S for at least a few months, I’ve now kinda got a case of camera-envy since the iPhone6 Plus hit the streets. On one hand, I don’t relish the thought of trying to holster an iPad Micro into the pockets of my pants. On the other hand, the camera of the iPhone 6 Plus has some realllllly nice features that make it a compelling upgrade even for a 5S owner.

Friends of mine have been sharing some of their photos taken with the new 6 Plus and I really like the clarity and dynamic range of the new camera. And the new Phase detection auto-focus (PDAF), which improves both focus speed and accuracy seems to be everything we were sold.

The landscape of Iceland is breathtaking on its own. The iPhone 6 Plus does an impressive job of photographing this spectacular terrain. I was particularly impressed by how well the 6 Plus holds detail in shadows and extreme low light conditions.

See how the new iPhone 6 Plus camera stacks up. Call me impressed. Read all of Austin’s excellent story here.

 

iphone 6, iphone 6 plus, austin mann, iphoneography, iceland

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"Photographer Austin Mann Takes the iPhone 6 Plus Out for a Spin." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Fragment http://lifeinlofi.com/2014/01/06/photo-app-review-fragment/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2014/01/06/photo-app-review-fragment/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:53:59 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=26214 Fragment is the latest app from Pixite Apps, makers of Tangent and LoryStripes. It’s the perfect app for adding shapes and geometric patterns to your photos.

"Photo App Review: Fragment." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Fragment-App-IconFragment ($0.99) is the latest app from Pixite Apps, makers of Tangent and LoryStripes. It’s the perfect app for adding shapes and geometric patterns to your photos by cutting up the photo itself and giving you control over the fragments. From the moment I saw users on Instagram beta testing this app, I could not wait to get my hands on it to review it.

Using Fragment

When you first open Fragment, you are greeted with three main options: Photo, Camera, or Inspiration. From here you can open a photo from your camera roll, take a new photo with the camera, or view a curated feed of other users’ creations with Fragment for inspiration. You can also press the little circle in the corner to view links and info about the app as well as a basic guide to using Fragment.

Fragment-MenuFragment-Guide-1Fragment-Guide-2

Choosing the camera option brings up a very basic version of the native iOS 7 camera to take a new photo. After taking a photo, you can choose to either retake or use the photo. The photos you take with the in-app camera don’t automatically save to the iOS camera roll like in some other apps. Choosing the photo option lets you import a photo from your camera roll. You can either leave the photo how it is or crop it using seven predefined aspect ratios (1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9, and their inverse for vertical orientations).

Fragmenting

After importing the photo, you can begin fragmenting. The interface takes a few minutes to get used to, especially switching back and forth between editing the fragment and editing the photo (the circle button at the top of the screen), but it’s very simple to use once you get the hang of it.

Fragment-Interface-1

There are a total of 46 fragments – varying from simple squares, triangles, and circles to more complex, multi-dimensional figures. Below the photo are three preset controls for the position, angle, and scale of the fragment/photo. The presets include top/right/bottom/left/center (position), 45°/90°/135°/180°/225°/270°/360° (angle), and 50%/100%/200% (scale). However, you are not limited to these presets as you can move the position of the fragment/photo using one finger and adjust the angle and scale using two fingers at any time. Next to the presets is an option to randomize the fragment and effects which is great for inspiration and discovering a new perspective.

Effects

After fragmenting, you can press on the triangle at the bottom or swipe up to reveal the effect controls. Here you can choose between brightness, contrast, additive, blur, invert, and desaturate. There are also controls to reset the effects or randomize both the fragment and the effects. Underneath each effect is a number dial and a color dial. Moving the the number dial to negative numbers applies the effect to the fragment, while moving the dial to positive numbers applies the effect to the photo. The color dial allows you to choose a specific color to apply the effect to. For example, you can increase the brightness of a red or invert the color of a blue. Some effects like the blur are not affected by the color dial.

Fragment-BlurFragment-Contrast

Saving & Sharing

When you’re all done you can save it to your camera roll, refragment it, share it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or open it in another app. There are also dedicated icons to open it in Tangent or LoryStripes. Since there is no undo button, I recommend saving it to your camera roll before you refragment it, otherwise you may have to start from the beginning.

Fragment-Outcome-1Fragment-Outcome-2
Fragment-Outcome-3Fragment-Outcome-4

Conclusions

Fragment is a well-designed app with a clean interface and a nice selection of shapes and tools to make awesome creations. It’s clear the developers took their time designing Fragment’s interface and making sure it’s easy to use and bug-free. Fragment is one of those apps that’s good enough to be used by itself, but can also be used in combination with other apps in your design workflow to create some awesome results. It’s a great addition to any iPhone.

Some features I’d like to see in future versions are more effects, additional effect controls, and more fragments.

Fragment is available in the App Store for $0.99. Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

App Store link: Fragment – Pixite LLC

Fragment ($0.99) is the latest app from Pixite Apps, makers of Tangent and LoryStripes. It's the perfect app for adding shapes and geometric patterns to your photos by cutting up the photo itself and giving you control over the fragments. From the moment I saw users on Instagram beta testing…

Fragment

Toolbox
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price

Great

Clean interface, easy to use, and a great selection of fragments. Nearly endless possibilities. A great addition to any iPhone.

88

"Photo App Review: Fragment." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: AfterLight 2.0 http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/10/11/photo-app-review-afterlight-2-0/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/10/11/photo-app-review-afterlight-2-0/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 12:45:08 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25938 David Bird reviews Afterlight, a great photo editing app for both beginners and experts with image editing tools, filters, and a great selection of light leaks.

"Photo App Review: AfterLight 2.0." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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afterlight, iphoneography, light leak

AfterLight app iconThe latest update to AfterLight, released September 19th, adds a number of great features to an already great photo editor. The 2.0 update adds a new in-app purchase pack, a free filter pack of 16 new filters, separate focus and exposure control to the in-app camera, low light boost support for the iPhone 5, and a few adjustments and bug fixes.

AfterLight’s Camera

AfterLight in-app cameraAfterLight’s in-app camera is very similar to the iPhone’s camera app from iOS 6. Along the top of the screen are the options to change the flash settings (on/auto/off), turn the grid overlay on/off, and switch between the front and back camera. Along the bottom is the cancel button which takes you back to the main menu, the shutter button which takes a photo, and the timer button which allows you to set a timer (3, 7 , or 10 seconds) before the shutter automatically takes a photo.

Touching the screen with one finger sets both the focus and exposure to that spot in the scene, while touching the screen with two fingers brings up a focus box and exposure ring which can both be dragged around. Neither can be locked, so moving your device will change the focus and exposure to the spots of your new scene. When you take a photo, it automatically gets saved to the iDevices’s camera roll, so you can take multiple photos before editing them.

AfterLight’s Editing Tools

AfterLight’s simple, intuitive interface and its wide array of tools make it a great photo editor for both simple, quick edits or precise, lengthy photo editing. In AfterLight, when you select a photo from your camera roll, it gives you a fullscreen preview of the photo rather than jumping right into editing it. From this preview screen you have the option of either using the photo or going back and selecting another photo. This is a great feature for making sure you choose the exact photo you want from a collection of similar images the first time, rather than going back again and again until you get the right one. Once you have confirmed a photo to use, you can begin editing with AfterLight’s large selection of tools. At any point in the editing process you can tap and hold the photo to view the original. There is also an undo button which removes the most recent change to a photo and a revert button which removes all changes to a photo.

The adjustment tools, in order, are as follows: clarify, brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure, highlights, shadows, fade, highlight tone, mid tone, shadow tone, temperature, vignette, grain, and sharpening (which also does blurring). Each tool has a horizontal slider that can be adjusted positively or negatively to preview the changes. The changes are shown in real-time, which means the adjustments are applied to your photo as you drag the slider. It’s not a drag-and-wait guessing game. The sliders are sort of “weak” in how much they apply an adjustment to a photo. For example, cranking up the exposure tool as high as it will go will not make the photo completely white, nor will cranking it down make it completely black. For this reason, you may have to use the same tool more than once to get your desired outcome. Most of the adjustment tools are standard to all photo editors and function the same way. AfterLight’s more advanced tools are the highlight/mid/shadow tone tools. These tools allow you to add a color tint to the highlight, mid,or shadow tones by either increasing or decreasing the red, blue, or green values in the photo. Another more unique tool is the clarify tool, which gives your photo an adjustable “pop” of depth, contrast, and sharpness without overdoing it.

AfterLight-ToolsAfterLight-sliderAfterLight-highlight-toneAfterLight-clarify

AfterLight also comes with 27 original filters and 30 guest filters. They appear to have all been created from scratch using AfterLight’s own adjustment tools previously mentioned, so they aren’t your typical, overdone cross process/lomo/instant/sepia filters found in most photo editing apps. Just like the adjustment tools, you can adjust the strength of a filter with a slider, and the changes are applied in real-time. These filters are great for applying a quick edit to a photo while still having control over how strong it is.

OriginalRaven

RussMulberry

The composition tools, in order, are as follows: crop, rotate, flip (horizontally), flip (vertically), and straighten. The cropping tool offers free cropping as well as aspect ratios of the original photo, 1:1, 9:16, 1:1,618 (golden), 4:6, 5:7, 3:4, 8:10, and reverse of all of them as well. The dimensions of the image are also shown as you adjust the cropping selection. The rotate and flip tools are pretty straight forward, and the straighten tool allows you to turn the image to the left or right by 15 degrees.

In addition to adjustment tools, filters, and composition tools, AfterLight also includes an impressive 44 textures and 70 frames. The included textures are a variety of high-resolution dust scratches and light leaks. AfterLight began as one of the first apps to let you add light leaks to a photo when it was first released in November 2012, and it still remains arguably the best in the App Store with the quality of its textures and its tools to adjust them.  You can adjust a texture’s opacity with a slider, rotate them (in increments of 90 degrees), flip them, and in some cases, adjust pre-set hues (for light leaks) or invert the black and whites. The included frames are a variety of shapes as well as A-Z, 0-9, and a few symbols. One of the frames turns a portrait or landscape photo into a square photo by putting bars on both sides. This is a great feature because it eliminates the need to have an app on your iDevice solely for making a square photo for Instagram while maintaining the aspect ratio of the photo. The frame’s scale and opacity can both be adjusted using sliders and the frame’s color can be inverted from white to black. There is an Instant Film pack available for $0.99 which includes an additional 22 textures and 7 frames, and a Wallpapaer pack available for $0.99 which includes 15 hand-drawn patterns that are applied to a frame.

AfterLight-texturesAfterLight-framesAfterLight-save

When you are done editing a photo, you can choose the resolution (small, medium, maximum) – which have different pixel dimensions depending on the size of the original photo – and where you would like to save or share to which includes your camera roll, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, e-mail, postcard (via Sincerely), or other apps installed on your iDevice.

AfterLight’s Settings

While AfterLight only has a few settings, they are very convenient to access and adjust quickly since they are located on the main menu. The settings are as follows:

  1. Start the app in Camera Mode – By default this is disabled. When enabled, this opens AfterLight to the in-app camera. This is a great feature if you would like to use AfterLight as a replacement to your iDevice’s camera app.
  2. Save the EXIF and location data – When enabled, AfterLight embeds EXIF and location data when taking photos with the in-app camera (provided you granted it access to use your location in your iDevices’s Settings > Privacy > Location Services. If not, then it just saves EXIF data) and preserves EXIF and location data of existing photos in your camera roll when saving/exporting. When disabled, EXIF and location data is not embedded when taking photos with the in-app camera and is not preserved when saving/exporting.
  3. Use full resolution image – When enabled, the maximum resolution when saving/exporting is 4096×4096. When disabled, the maximum resolution when saving/exporting is 2048×2048.
  4. Auto finalize filters & textures – I honestly don’t know what this does.
  5. Low light boost – Enables low light boost on the iPhone 5 and greater.

Conclusions

AfterLight is a great photo editing app for both beginners and experts. It’s easy to quickly straighten or make simple edits to a photo before uploading it to a Facebook or Twitter, as well as great for editing a beautiful photo for Instagram or Flickr. With the 2.0 update, the developers of AfterLight continue to  prove why AfterLight has remained on the top charts in the App Store.

Some features I’d like to see in a future update would be a noise reduction tool, an in-app library, and non-destructive editing so that you could go back to edited photos and see the adjustments you’ve made and make changes.

AfterLight is available in the App Store for $0.99. Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

App Store link: Afterlight – Simon Filip

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The latest update to AfterLight, released September 19th, adds a number of great features to an already great photo editor. The 2.0 update adds a new in-app purchase pack, a free filter pack of 16 new filters, separate focus and exposure control to the in-app camera, low light boost support…

AfterLight 2.0

Toolbox
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price

Excellent

A simple and intuitive interface combined a wide array of editing tools, filters, textures, and frames, AfterLight is a must-have app for photo editing.

93

"Photo App Review: AfterLight 2.0." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Popkick – A Unique Spin on Pop Art, But… http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/17/photo-app-review-popkick-unique-spin-pop-art/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/17/photo-app-review-popkick-unique-spin-pop-art/#comments Tue, 17 Sep 2013 19:13:12 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25846 We review Popkick, a new iPhone photo app that adds pop art effects to your pics. It's a really nice effect that I like a lot and a unique spin on the classic 60s art style. When it works.

"Photo App Review: Popkick – A Unique Spin on Pop Art, But…." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad

I am always on the lookout for a great Warhol-style pop art photo app. Popkick is a new iPhone photo app that adds classic 60’s pop art effects to your pics.

I really like what it does to a photo, but the app is experiencing some growing pains. Keep reading to find out why. >>>

popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad

For most of us, Andy Warhol is synonymous with pop art. His vibrant color paintings of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, soup and other subjects are iconic. It’s a style that has been copied and mimicked for decades now.

A few photo apps have tried with varying degrees of success to re-create this look on iPhone. Most of these apps get the color palettes right. In my opinion, most of them don’t get the texture of the base image right. There’s a halftone screen texture in many of Warhol’s paintings that’s often missing from the iPhone app recreations. And most of these apps save images in low to medium resolution, making them unusable for enlargements that’s a trademark of Andy Warhol’s work. These pieces are meant to be seen big.

popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipadPopkick is the latest entry into the pop art photo app genre. It quickly and easily turns photographs into an image right out of the pop art scene of the 1960s.

The app is super easy to use. Shoot in app or import photos from your camera roll. Filters are one click easy. There are no fine tuning adjustments. Just pick a color effect that you like.

There are nine preset pop color combinations. They are all vibrant and very poppy. The colors are what you remember that the art should look like – that’s always important.

Although there are no image editing functions per se, there are five one-click booster settings that allow you to pump out the contrast of a borderline image. These were really easy to use and adjustments preview live on screen.

One of the things that I really like about Popkick’s effects is that it applies a sort of Harris Effect and a fake chromatic aberration to your photos as it processes them. I remember Warhol’s images being very sharp and contrasty, but this effect, while not historically accurate, looks really cool and really adds something unique to the pop art effect.

Tip: Very high contrast images work best. Try jacking up the contrast in another photo editor before importing your photos into Popkick for best results.

I like the look of Popkick’s effects a lot. It’s easy to cycle through the available colors until you find one that works with an image. I wish there were more color combinations and palettes to choose from. For an app like this, I don’t mind that users cannot choose custom colors. If this feature is added to a future version of the app, I hope that the palette is limited to bright, vibrant mod 60’s colors.

Popkick has some big version 1.0 problems. The app has memory problems that the developers are aware of. On an iPhone 5, I had no problems processing full resolution standard 4:3 photos. However, any time I tried to process any size square format image, the app crashed while saving. This is a huge problem, especially given the popularity of Instagram and its square format uploads. A LoFi reader shared his experience with the app on an iPhone 4S, saying that it just crashed no matter what the shape or size of the image was. So basically, your mileage may vary. I’ve contacted the developers and I’m working with them to help them fix this.

Another issue that I have with the app is misleading labeling. In the save dialog box, it says that the app supports four image sizes including “Original.” However, using the original size setting, images save at only 3.8 megapixels – about 2253 x 1700 pixels. That’s still plenty of megapixels, but it’s far from the 8 MP original resolution on an iPhone 5 or 4S. Instead, this should be labeled “High.” I’ve knocked off an extra star for this in my rating.

When the bugs are worked out, this will be a fun app. Again, it’s a really nice effect that I like a lot. It’s a unique spin on the classic 60s art style.

Popkick isn’t an everyday app, but like so many of the good niche photo apps available in the app store, it’s a great effect to have in your iPhone app toolbox. When it works.

Popkick is $2.99 in the App Store. It’s currently on sale for $0.99. Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.



App Store Link: Popkick – Pop Art Camera – Pixabi

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Popkick Gallery

popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad popkick-sample-0913-06 popkick, pop art, Warhol, iphone, ipad

 

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I am always on the lookout for a great Warhol-style pop art photo app. Popkick is a new iPhone photo app that adds classic 60's pop art effects to your pics. I really like what it does to a photo, but the app is experiencing some growing pains. Keep reading…

Popkick 1.01

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Buggy

Easy to use, Popkick adds a really cool pop art effect that I like a lot and a unique spin on the classic 60s art style. When it works - it crashes too often. Also, it definitely could use more color combinations.

60

"Photo App Review: Popkick – A Unique Spin on Pop Art, But…." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Monokrom Photo Editor Is an Interesting Take on a Black & White Photo App http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/05/photo-app-review-monokrom-photo-editor-black-white-photo-app/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/05/photo-app-review-monokrom-photo-editor-black-white-photo-app/#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:01:50 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25465 We review Monokrom, a super easy black and white conversion app. The Monokrom workflow encourages quick and easy exploration of your black-and-white conversions.

"Photo App Review: Monokrom Photo Editor Is an Interesting Take on a Black & White Photo App." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography

I cut my teeth on black-and-white film photography when I was a kid, So I have a soft spot for a good black-and-white iPhoneography app. I thought I’d seen it all until the release of Monokrom Photo Editor this summer.

There are a lot of very good things about this iPhone photo app and the developer is already working on a new update. Keep reading for my complete review. >>>

monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography

monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photographyMonokrom is a super easy black and white conversion app. Like the best black and white conversion apps, Monokrom uses a color filter method for the conversion rather than straight desaturation.

But instead of using a predetermined set of color filters, Monokrom uses your entire image as the target source for the color conversion. You move a target over areas in your image until you see a conversion that you like. Monokrom picks up that color, uses it as the filter to convert to black and white, and boom! —  instant monochrome! Basically, Monokrom gives you millions of black and white conversion filters.

Demystifying the process, developer Darren Richards says, “One of the key things the orange ‘puck’ does is to cycle through all the hues in the color wheel and uses the resulting color as a filter – changing how r,g,b values are mixed to give luminance/grayscale.”

There’s also an additional slider below the image to add a little bit of tint to your image if you prefer a cyanotype or sepia look.

The interface is simple. The app is smooth, stable, and responsive. There is one target, one slider, and no settings, yet despite this simplicity, Monokrom lets you experiment and create some very nice black and white photographs.

The Monokrom workflow encourages quick and easy exploration of your black-and-white conversions. For instance, I like a deep, rich, Ansel Adams-like sky in my outdoor photographs. Monokrom lets me move and adjust my target until I achieve quickly the precise look that I want.

While Monokrom is great for experimenting, right now it’s not so great for repeating. My only real issue this app is that there is no way to save presets so you can quickly recall a look and a conversion formula that you like. I’ve mentioned this to the developer and it’s already in the works for a future update. I still like the app now, but this will be a really nice photo app when that feature is implemented.

Monokrom supports 8 MP resolution on an iPhone 5 and 4S. It retains all EXIF data in your images including Geotags.

Monokrom is a great photo app to have when the standard complement of filters just don’t give you the look that you’re looking for in a monochrome conversion. It’s a great tool for helping create the exact black and white tones you are looking for. It’s simple, easy and does what it does well. It’s worth a look.

Monokrom Photo Editor is $0.99. It’s a Universal app that will look great on iPhone or iPad. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

App Store Link: Monokrom Photo Editor

Monokrom Photo Gallery

monokrom-orig-0913-01 monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography monokrom-orig-0913-03 monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography monokrom-screen-0913-03 monokrom, monochrome, black & white, iPhone photography

 

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I cut my teeth on black-and-white film photography when I was a kid, So I have a soft spot for a good black-and-white iPhoneography app. I thought I'd seen it all until the release of Monokrom Photo Editor this summer. There are a lot of very good things about this…

Monokrom Photo Editor 1.2

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Very Good

Monokrom uses your entire image to help create great looking black & white photos. It's a fast and easy workflow and the app is uncluttered and stable.

85

Disclosure: Monokrom is a new advertiser on Life In LoFi, but this review has been in the works since before the ad was purchased. This sponsorship did not effect the content of this review in any way. =M=

"Photo App Review: Monokrom Photo Editor Is an Interesting Take on a Black & White Photo App." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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ProCam 3.0 for iPhone and iPad Released With New Power Features http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/04/procam-3-0-iphone-ipad-released-new-power-features/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/04/procam-3-0-iphone-ipad-released-new-power-features/#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 00:08:00 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25435 Both ProCam for iPhone and ProCam XL for iPad have an impressive set of tools that just got a little more impressive with the recent 3.0 updates.

"ProCam 3.0 for iPhone and iPad Released With New Power Features." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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ProCam, iPhone, photo, update

ProCam is the bulldog of camera replacement apps. It’s a solid app that gets the work done. Both ProCam for iPhone and ProCam XL for iPad have an impressive set of tools that just got a little more impressive with the recent 3.0 updates. Keep reading for more. >>>

The 3.0 update was released last week, but with the holiday here, I’ve been playing catch up. I should know better with a ProCam update.

The new update ads some pretty impressive advanced features to the app’s already comprehensive toolset, including useful features found in few other camera apps. The entire What’s New is at the bottom of this post. The new features that really caught my eye are the new live Exposure, Saturation, and White Balance adjustments.

The new update allows you to adjust all three variables with a live preview onscreen. You can adjust the white balance compensation on the fly between 3,500 and 9,500 Kelvin — that’s candlelight through shade modes in the app. It allows you to view and tweak the color saturation as you shoot and to compensate for the tones of the light source. You can compensate for color or desaturate images completely for in-app black & white photography.

You can also adjust the exposure up or down by 2 simulated f/stops to manually compensate for over/under exposure. The app already lets you toggle between normal and High-ISO modes on hardware that supports it. The new exposure compensation acts more like a levels adjustment in Photoshop moving the white and black points of your input levels which helps improve the midtones in between. Currently, Apple restricts any true access to the camera’s exposure APIs. This is about the best we can expect for now on iOS.

All of these three features can be done in post processing, so why do it in app? In my test images, ProCam yielded smoother histograms than performing a comparable Levels adjustment in Photoshop, which created lots of gaps in the histogram. It’s not a significant difference, but this smoothness could mean the difference between banding artifacts or not, depending on how aggressive the additional post-processing is.

See the sample histograms below. Click to enlarge. Note the differences in the histograms.

ProCam, iPhone, photo, update

Image and histogram, ProCam in-app exposure adjustment

ProCam, iPhone, photo, update

Image and histogram, exposure adjusted in Photoshop Desktop

The rest of the update is chock full o’ improvements to help the overall performance of the app.

ProCam is still not a very fast shooter. Shot-to-shot time is still about a second — about twice that of Apple Camera, ProCamera and a few of the other high-end camera replacement apps. Full-res burst mode is not significantly faster. The buffer still fills up and can freeze up the app until it cycles.

But ProCam has a lot of great power tools and features, including the new exposure tools, that make it worth a serious look if you’re considering an upgrade to a more robust camera replacement.

ProCam is normally $1.99 in the App Store. It’s currently on sale for $0.99. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.



App Store link: ProCam – Samer Azzam

Got an iPad? ProCam XL for iPad recently got a similar upgrade. Here’s the App Store link for ProCam XL, the iPad-only version: ProCam XL – Samer Azzam

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Here’s What’s New in Version 3.0 of ProCam for iPhone:

• Realtime full manual camera controls, similar to high-end DSLRs (iPhone 5 / iPod touch 5G only):

– Exposure compensation between -2 and +2, allows users to manually compensate for over/under exposure.

– White balance compensation between 3,500 and 9,500 Kelvin (candlelight – shade), allows natural color casts to be achieved regardless of the ambient light.

– Saturation adjustment between 0 and 2, allows more realistic color reproduction or artistic compositions, such as Black and White Photography.

• Completely revamped Time Lapse Mode:

– Number of frames are now unlimited.

– Time lapse sequence is now much smoother with no interruptions or dropped frames.

– Soundtracks can now be embedded in time lapse videos.

• Improved Burst Mode:

– Focus, exposure, and WB are now automatically locked at the start of the sequence to improve picture sharpness and speed up capture.

• The physical volume rocker can now be used in video. Volume + button starts/stops a recording, while volume – button turns torch ON/OFF.

• A number of bug fixes and performance related improvements.

• Updated the user guide, accessed through the INFO tab in the SET menu.

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"ProCam 3.0 for iPhone and iPad Released With New Power Features." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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The 5 Best Polaroid Apps for iPhone 2013 http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/04/best-polaroid-apps-for-iphone-2013/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/09/04/best-polaroid-apps-for-iphone-2013/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 16:41:21 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25401 Instant photos - iPhone Polaroids - are a classic Life In LoFi style -- both analog and digital. Keep reading for our list of five of the best fake Polaroid iPhone photo apps.

"The 5 Best Polaroid Apps for iPhone 2013." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone

Early in 2009, Polarize was the first fake Polaroid photo app to hit the App Store. I call them fauxlaroids. Since then, many other apps have been released and the fauxlaroids has been a popular and enduring style of iPhoneography.

Instant photos are a classic Life In LoFi style — both analog and digital. Keep reading for our list of five of the best fauxlaroid photo apps.

Instant photography was pioneered years ago way back in 1947 by Edwin land, the inventor of Polaroid. With a Land camera, each piece of film was essentially its own darkroom. For the first time in photography, users could shoot, process, and share an image all within minutes. Sound familiar?

More than any other modern style of photography, iPhoneography and mobile photography share this pedigree. On a much grander and faster scale, mobile photographers can now shoot, process, and share their images, often within seconds.

Some of the earliest popular iPhone photo apps even tried to re-create the look of the classic Polaroids. While arriving late in the game, the most iconic of these is the look of Polaroid’s SX-70 cameras and the slightly washed out T600 film. It’s that instantly recognizable, classic square format image with the textured tabbed frame that most of us expect when we think of Polaroid.

Over the years, there have been many fauxlaroid photo apps in the App Store. Some are amazing re-creations of the SX-70 experience. Others are downright hideous.

I think it’s great to shoot iPhone photography that’s a fitting homage to the original instant photography. Here are five great fake Polaroid photo apps so you can capture and share like it’s 1975.

fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone, shakeit photo

ShakeIt Photo

ShakeIt Photo is one of the remaining classic iPhoneography apps from the early days of the App Store. It’s by far the easiest fauxlaroid to use. Simply shoot or import and watch it process before your eyes. The frame textures look good. People who like ShakeIt Photo – I’m one of them – love the lush and rich colors the app creates. It’s not how the T600 film actually looks. It’s much more vibrant here. It looks like how we remember it looked. Triggering that memory is a powerful emotional connection that this simple photo app makes.

ShakeIt Photo is $1.99 in the App Store

App Store Link: ShakeItPhoto – Banana Camera Co.

fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone, polamatic

Polamatic

All five of these apps do an excellent job of re-creating the iconic SX-70 frame. Polamatic goes further by letting you add wear, use, and damage effects to the frame. Polamatic let you choose a pristine frame, a damaged and de-wrinkled frame, and everything in between. Polamatic also let you add “light leaks” that look a lot like damaged, unevenly processed prints. It’s a subtle effect and a nice touch.

Polamatic is $1.99 in the App Store

App Store Link: Polamatic™ – Dana Shakiba

fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone, instant

Instant: The Polaroid Instant Camera

Instant re-creates a pretty authentic Polaroid shooting experience on iPhone. Its tiny viewfinder is almost like shooting with the original SX-70 cameras. It has a broad range of film effects, including many styles of Polaroid stock recreations. It even has some damaged and expired film stocks. Instant lets you add roller bar streaks to your image. It can also add some great looking wear to the photo, including fingerprints, dirt, and frame texture. Instant is a far cry from the point-and-shoot simplicity of Polarize and ShakeIt Photo.

Instant: The Polaroid Instant Camera is $1.99 in the App Store

App Store Link: Instant: The Polaroid Instant Camera – ThinkTime Creations LLC

fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone, camera+, camera plus

Camera+

Got Camera+? There’s a pretty decent fauxlaroid hidden within this app. It doesn’t have a one-click instant film effect per se. If you use any one of its retro analog effects along with the Instant border that’s part of the standard gear, you can create some interesting if not entirely authentic fake Polaroid-style photos.

Camera+ is $1.99 in the App Store

App Store Link: Camera+ – tap tap tap

fake polaroid, fauxlaroid, iphone, camerabag

original CameraBag (left) and CameraBag 2’s new Instant frame (right)

Bonus: CameraBag

If you’re lucky enough to have the original CameraBag for iPhone before it was deleted, you have one of the better fake Polaroid affects available for iOS. The SX-70 style frame looks authentic. The app lets you cycle through some good-looking, washed out Polaroid effects. Somehow, this did not translate to the update CameraBag 2. In the update, effects look a little too saturated and much of the time the colors look off to me. The frame has been changed from the classic SX-70 print to a ugly, elongated, instant… thing. The original CameraBag, though, gets it right. It may not be one tap – you might want to cycle through a few iterations – but it’s one-tap easy to get a classic, retro faux-Polaroid look with CameraBag.

Did I miss any? Share your favorite fake-Polaroid apps in the comments below!

 

A Gallery of Fauxlaroids

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"The 5 Best Polaroid Apps for iPhone 2013." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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tadaa 3D Released. Everyone Gets One Free Today! http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/30/tadaa-3d-released-free-today/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/30/tadaa-3d-released-free-today/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 07:35:13 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25323 Tadaa 3D has just been released. It's not really a LoFi iPhoneography app, but it's a really fun iPhone photo app that adds a very cool 3D effect to any flat 2D photo!

"tadaa 3D Released. Everyone Gets One Free Today!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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tadaa, 3d

We haven’t covered tadaa here on the blog. Along with its own social network that you may be seeing pop up on your iPhones, it’s a free, full-featured camera app that’s one of the best free photo apps available. Its blur feature is excellent and alone worth the download.

The same developers have just released tadaa 3D. It’s not really a LoFi iPhoneography app, but I had the chance to help beta test it and it’s a really fun iPhone photo app that adds a very cool 3D effect to any flat 2D photo! Plus, tadaa 3D is FREE today only for it’s launch.

I’ve even got video for this one! Keep reading for more info!

tadaa, 3d, iphoneography

tadaa 3D lets you create 3D illusions from any photo. This isn’t a hackneyed version of a stereoscopic Viewmaster trick. You don’t need to steal a pair of cinema 3D glassed to view the effect. tadaa 3D lets you mask out and create a foreground layer that floats above the background and moves relative to the iPhone’s motion. It’s prestidigitation, but it’s cool iPhone photo trickery that they’ve created here.

Still preview photos don’t do the effect justice. See my sample video below.

You can shoot an image in app or load any photo from your camera roll. What makes Tadaa 3D work so well is the same excellent smart mask that’s in tadaa HD, their 2D camera app. Simply paint a rough mask around your subject. tadaa 3D’s smart mask automatically detects edges. The mask tool is intelligent yet conservative in that you may have to paint over an edge a few times before it masks it completely. I prefer this approach over the sloppy masks of some other photo apps as this greatly reduces the time you’ll spend erasing unwanted parts from the mask.

The Smart Mask can be easily toggled off and on, so you can go in and clean up mask edges. With a good, high contrast edge, the mask should require minimal cleanup. The tool is that good.

The app then extracts the foreground object and blurs the background. As you move your iPhone, the subject adjusts position onscreen. Your 3D image is also uploaded to the Tadaa 3D network, where it can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter. On a desktop, the 3D effect can be moved using a cursor or trackpad. It’s a pretty slick novelty!

It doesn’t add a true, multidimensional 3D effect. And its 3D images are not saved to your camera roll. You can’t make stereoscopic 3D prints. Some users may object to having another social photo network to keep up with. To get the full effect, images are best viewed onscreen on an iOS device. Despite these limitations, I still think that tadaa 3D is a really fun photo app to play with and to share unique 3D style photos.

tadaa 3D is FREE today only. It normally runs $3.99 in the App Store. I definitely recommend grabbing it now while it’s free. I’ve had a blast with it.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.



App Store link: tadaa 3D

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"tadaa 3D Released. Everyone Gets One Free Today!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Gear Review: Muku Shuttr is One Slick Little Shutter Release for iPhone http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/29/gear-review-muku-shuttr-one-slick-little-shutter-release-iphone/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/29/gear-review-muku-shuttr-one-slick-little-shutter-release-iphone/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 05:48:01 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25304 My review of the Muku Shuttr, a remote shutter release for iPhone and Samsung mobile phone devices. There are other remote shutter release gizmos available for iPhone. I think none of them are as slick as the Shuttr.

"Gear Review: Muku Shuttr is One Slick Little Shutter Release for iPhone." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release

The Muku Shuttr is a remote shutter release for iPhone and Samsung mobile phone devices. It’s a Kickstarter project that was fully funded within days of it’s starting. We talked about the Muku Shuttr Kickstarter a while back.

It’s been a good year for iPhone Camera accessories and the Shuttr is definitely one of the highlights. The Shuttr neatly solves the age-old problem of getting into your own iPhoneography. There are other remote shutter release gizmos available for iPhone. I think none of them are as slick as the Shuttr. Keep reading for more. >>>>

The Shuttr is a new remote shutter release that works with any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It connects with your device with a Bluetooth connection. Once paired, you can prop up your iPhone, step away from it, and easily get into your own picture. It’s that simple.

On an iPhone, the Shuttr works with any camera app that supports Volume Shutter — Camera, Camera+, Hipstamatic, and others. It discreetely works as a shutter release in both still and video modes. One of the many cool things about the Shuttr is that it requires no special apps, no utilities, no hacks to work. Nice.

muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release

What you get in the Muku Shuttr kit

The device itself is made of plastic and is small, lightweight, and not much bigger than one of those supermarket loyalty keychain fobs. In fact, it’s even got a convenient eyelet allowing you to attach it to your keychain so it’s with you wherever you go. It reminds me of an old iPod shuffle and it’s built about as sturdy.

The kit comes with a rubber, suction cup, ball-shaped monopod thing that props up your phone which lets you step away to get into the picture. It’s lightweight, easy to mount, stays on long enough to get your shot, and doesn’t leave goo on your iPhone screen.

The Shuttr is quick and easy. It pairs to your iPhone like any other Bluetooth device. Even when you power off both your iPhone, the Shuttr stays connected to your phone until you pair it with another device. Re-pairing is as fast and easy as a click or two.

The Shuttr is extremely handy for self-portraits or simply to get into your own picture. You can use it every day as a remote shutter release to help minimize camera Shake for steadier, clearer shots.

The bluetooth connection on the Shuttr works with more distance than you’ll need. I tested mine out to about 60 feet and it works great. Any greater than that, and someone will steal your iPhone.

Can you use the Shuttr with wall separating you and your iPhone? Yes. I was able to trigger my shutter from at least two rooms away in the house. Don’t do that, though. It’s unethical and pervy.

There is not much not to like about the Shuttr. The eyelet is a little small and won’t fit on many keychains (including mine). There are two switches on the sides of the Shuttr – an Android/iPhone switch and a power on/off switch. I wish they were labeled. Eventually through repetition I’ll remember which ones are which. But if I handed the Shuttr to someone who doesn’t have the device, there’s a good chance this lack of labeling would cause confusion. Both are minor quibbles.

I really like the Shuttr a lot. It’s small. It’s easy to use. It solves the problem of getting in your own pictures and so much more. I think it’s one of the more essential photo accessories for iPhone and other mobile devices.

The Shuttr is available in black, white and red colors. It’s now available for pre-order from the Muku website for $39. I highly recommend this handy little device.

The Shuttr works on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with a Bluetooth connection and a camera. It also works on Samsung S4, S3, Notes 2, Notes 10.1, Nexus 4 and 7 Android devices.

Link: Muku Shuttr website

muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release muku, shuttr, muku labs, iPhone, shutter release

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"Gear Review: Muku Shuttr is One Slick Little Shutter Release for iPhone." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Leonardo – An Ambitious Photo Editor http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/19/photo-app-review-leonardo-an-ambitious-photo-editor/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/19/photo-app-review-leonardo-an-ambitious-photo-editor/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 09:30:18 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25141 Leonardo is a powerful new image editing app with many advanced features not found in other image editors. How does Leonardo stack up? It's very impressive, but....

"Photo App Review: Leonardo – An Ambitious Photo Editor." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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leonardo app, photo editor, iPhone, iPad, iphoneography

Since the earliest iPhone photo apps, iPhonegraphers have been searching for “Photoshop for the iPhone.” For a long time, not even the actual Photoshop for iOS could claim that honor. Leonardo is a powerful new image editing app with many advanced features not found in other image editors.

With the recent App Store deletion of PhotoForge2, there is definitely a big hole in the high-end iOS image editing market right now. How does Leonardo stack up? It’s very impressive, but….

Keep reading to see what I think. >>>

leonardo app, photo editor, iPhone,Leonardo is a Universal app. It’s designed to take advantage of the screen of the device it’s on, which means its tools and menus will layout differently whether it’s on an iPhone or an iPad. As this blog mainly deals in iPhoneography, for the sake of this review, I’ll be talking about Leonardo and how it works on an iPhone 5. This is important.

Leonardo is one of the more full-featured and ambitious image editors I’ve found yet for iPhone. In addition to all of the standard image editing tools, it has a lot of the high-end editing and creating tools. On paper (in pixels?), Leonardo compares favorably with desktop photo editors. The tools and features of Leonardo are very impressive and you have to dig into the app to fully appreciate what’s there. Leonardo is not a toy. It’s a powerful image editor.

leonardo app, photo editor, iPhone,

Leonardo has some of my favorite advanced tools from Photoshop for desktop, including versatile and powerful masking tools and power-user adjustment tools. Some of these tools appear scattered in other photo apps. Many of these are the tools I use on the desktop when making precision color moves, retouching, and compositing. It’s convenient to have them all in one app.

If you are familiar with the toolset of Photoshop for desktop, you’ll have an easier time finding and identifying Leonardo’s tools. If you don’t work in Photoshop or Lightroom, there’s a good chance you’ll have a more difficult time getting the hang of some of the app’s more advanced tools.

On the surface, the user interface of Leonardo is straightforward. The basic tool groups are arranged in icons at the foot of the screen. The top of the main screen contains a row of operational icons. This is a good layout that keeps the two different sets of menus separate.

Editing

All the tools you expect in an advanced image editor are here in Leonardo, as well as a bunch of well-done, useful color and grayscale presets. These presets are one-click and are stackable, but not editable beyond adjusting the intensity of each effect. You can’t use these presets as a starting point for your edits and tweak them.

The light leaks are pretty slick in that they are a combination of preset overlays but with complete control over position, rotation and scale. Moving, pinching, and rotating gives you unlimited options with the light leaks feature.

The focus of Leonardo is not so much in the one-click filters, but more in the powerful Photoshop-like image editing capabilities of the app.

You can pretty much make any basic or advanced color moves with Leonardo. All the tools you likely to need on an iOS device and many of the advanced ones from Photoshop — Curves, Histograms, Exposure, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Clarity, Blur, Vignette, Color Balance, Sharpness and many more. Tweaks and adjustments preview onscreen in real time. The app lacks an Edited/Original preview toggle. While not essential, I find such a tool is more useful than the Undo/Redo buttons.

Two of my favorite tools from Photoshop are here — Color Balance and Shadows & Highlights. Color Balance lets you make precise color moves to either correct or radically change a color. Shadows & Highlights lets you easily recover dark and light areas from an image. It restores detail in shadows and can restore some weight and detail back into blown-out highlights.

If you’ve used a Clone tool in Photoshop, you’ll feel right at home using Leonardo’s. Setting the clone source is as easy as dragging a target. Brush size and hardness are easily adjustable. It’s a great tool for removing items, glitches, or blemishes from a photo and it’s well done here.

The app has excellent selection tools — among the best available in iOS. Tools range from Magic Wand to a color range tool that’s similar to Photoshop’s Select > Color Range tool. You can brush, lasso or grab selections. It’s very comprehensive.

Layers and Masking

The app has excellent Layers and Masking features — among the best for iOS. These are full-functioned layers and masks that really give you a lot of power in making selective edits, blends and composites.

I really like Leonardo’s Layers. They are easy to use, create, move and manage. To reorder them, simply press, hold and drag in the slideaway layers menu. Visibility is easily toggled on and off and is clearly labeled. There’s a great button that quickly turns off all but the current layer, making edits and masking easier.

Implementation of Masks differs from Photoshop in some ways. All the functionality is there, but the implementation has been adapted to the menuless interface of iOS. Once you learn where all of the commands are, Masks are easy to create, add to, subtract from, invert, and remove.

I love that Leonardo’s Layers and Masks let you do some — some — edits that are non-destructive. In addition to easily (but painstakingly) be able to make creative composites and blends, you can also use duplicate layers and masks to perform very precise color moves on specific parts of your image. For instance, you can mask out a dark area of a photo, fix it with curves and Leonardo’s excellent Shadows/Highlights tool without affecting any of the well-lit parts of the photo.

Leonardo’s “Quirks”

I really like the capabilities of Leonardo. It’s a very ambitious app with an excellent toolset. Unfortunately, I found the toolset to be very frustrating in its implementation and this for me is where the app needs a lot of work.

The entire user interface seems sticky and non-responsive. Some sliders are slow to respond. Others are frustratingly sticky. For instance, any slider control that is moved to either edge of the screen in the 0 or 100 positions were difficult to grab to reposition. I’d have to try several times to “grab” them with both my finger and the more precise tip of a stylus. For me, this is very frustrating. I prefer not to fight the UI while I’m making this level of adjustments in a photo app.

Some of the Transparency sliders are buggy. For some tools, the slider opens in the 100% position but previews as 0%. Only jogging the slider slightly fixes this.

While I like the way Layers and Masks are designed and how they are supposed to work, they don’t work smoothly for me much of the time. There is no dedicated move and zoom tool, similar to Photoshop’s Hand tool. In editing mode, to move or zoom the image, you use standard iPhone gestures of a two-finger grab or the pinch and zoom gesture. Leonardo often did not recognize these gestures for me, though, and I found myself making a lot of unwanted edits to my masks when I really just wanted to pan the preview.

Once you’ve painted or selected the area you want to mask, setting the mask is not intuitive. If you watch the tutorial video, you need to select the “X” at the bottom of the screen. The is no check mark. Typically, an X means cancel your edit. This is a bit of very non-intuitive UI design. I wasted 10 minutes to try and figure this one out. Then I watched the tutorial….

The Crop tool is halfway useless. As far as I can tell, it works on the active layer only. It crops one layer at a time which is not how I expect a crop tool to work. In some ways, it’s great for trimming excess data from a layer, but that can be masked out easily. As far as I can tell, in order to crop your entire image, it must first be flattened in the Layers window, removing any further editability of the project. I suppose you could use the app’s Undo feature, but the first thing it’ll undo is the crop itself. Without a History feature, cropping in Leonardo is not intuitive. Having to flatten the image to crop it negates saving a layered file as a project.

As far as I can tell, the Straighten tool works on the active layer only as well, but here it’s a much more useful feature. Either way, having the ability to crop and straighten one layer or all simultaneously should at least be an option.

The User Interface is a little unconventional at times. For instance, the clone, paint and text tools are in the Crop menu, along with Scale, Flip & Rotate, and Straighten. These are tools I’d expect in an Edit menu. The Gaussian Blur tool is in the Adjustments menu, but the Radial Blur and Directional Blur tools are in the FX menu. These quirks aren’t enough to put me off Leonardo on their own, but combined with the stickiness of the masking tools and sliders, add to the frustration of using this app.

The Bottom Line

Leonardo is a very ambitious app. The feature set is really incredible. Especially if you’re a desktop Photoshop user, you will be amazed at the tools that are available in this app.

Leonardo supports image sizes greater than 8 MP. It not only preserves EXIF data, but lets you edit some if it. That’ll clear your iPhone of an app or two.

Where this early version of the app fails for me is the frustration of trying to work in a sticky interface. The very powerful Photoshop Touch, which I’ve seen this app compared to, may not have all of Leonardo’s features but it’s more responsive and more intuitive and that makes it more pleasant to work in.

Leonardo has a steep learning curve. There are several tutorial videos available and I recommend investing the time to view them in order to get the most from this app.

If your iPhoneography workflow can tolerate Leonardo’s quirks, it’s a very impressive app. The tool set is comprehensive and its features are designed as best-in-class. Unfortunately, for iPhone users at least, the app seems to be experiencing some growing pains. Until at least the smoothness and responsiveness of the tools are addressed, I’ll only be using it when I need its advanced features and not as my everyday image editor.

Leonardo has the potential to be a game changer. Time will tell if it adapts to the hardware or the hardware adapts to it.

Again, this review is for iPhone only. iPad users — with a bigger screen — may have a better experience.

Leonardo is $4.99 in the App Store. It’s on sale now for a limited time for $2.99. It’s a Universal app. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

App Store link: Leonardo – Photo Editor with Layer, Selection and Mask

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Leonardo Gallery

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Since the earliest iPhone photo apps, iPhonegraphers have been searching for "Photoshop for the iPhone." For a long time, not even the actual Photoshop for iOS could claim that honor. Leonardo is a powerful new image editing app with many advanced features not found in other image editors. With the…

Leonardo 1.0.1

Toolbox
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Powerful

A very impressive app. Its tool set is comprehensive and its features are designed as best-in-class. Sticky sliders, masking issues and other quirks currently make this app frustrating to use on an iPhone.

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"Photo App Review: Leonardo – An Ambitious Photo Editor." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Belowrez is More Fun Than I Thought It Would Be. http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/15/photo-app-review-belowrez-1-01/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/15/photo-app-review-belowrez-1-01/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 21:18:20 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25066 We review Belowrez, a new app that lets you capture the look of low resolution pixel photgraphs in glorious simulated classic PC graphics modes. It's more fun than you'd think.

"Photo App Review: Belowrez is More Fun Than I Thought It Would Be.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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lowrez, VGA, iphoneography

I discovered Belowrez when it was discounted as an App Store freebie. I download all of them to find out which ones are overlooked gems waiting to be discovered and which freebie apps should be avoided.

Belowrez is an iPhone photo app that is one of the gems. It lets you capture very rough iPhoneography in the early early early digital imaging style. I mean like your parent’s 8086 desktop. It’s a little rough in its version 1.01 release, but I found it more fun than I thought it would be.

belowrez, VGA, iphoneographyThe early years of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are dark times in digital photography. Despite the fact that these really are digital lo-fi’s classic years, I rarely talk about them. Early digital images lack the smoothness and textures that early analog photography has. Visually, the images have a roughness that makes me uncomfortable.

But, it’s this pixelation and lack of color information (and image size) that makes early digital imaging unique.

Belowrez is a new app that lets you capture the look of low resolution pixel photgraphs in glorious simulated classic PC graphics modes — 4 color CGA modes, enhanced 16 color EGA, and even 256 color VGA! And with colors based on those used in video game systems like the NES and Atari 2600.

The Belowrez viewfinder shows previews in realtime letting you see what you’ll get as you shoot. You can easily adjust the pixel size — the “chunk” — by pinching onscreen as you preview. There are nine classic color palettes.

The pixelated effects of Belowrez are surprisingly quite good. They simulate a color range from 2-bit color modes to 8-bit color modes, increasing contrast and posterization. Because it’s used with the latest iPhone technology, I think it looks much better visually than I remember those old beige monitors to actually look back in the day. I mean, so I’ve heard….

I like the lofi high contrast effects Belowrez creates. They are much better than other classic VGA-style photo apps I’ve tried. Although these images pixelated low-res VGA images, photos save to camera roll at 8 MP resolution on an iPhone 5.

Belowrez needs an option to save your original image as well and I wouldn’t use it yet to shoot any important, archival photos. Belowrez is a camera-only app right now and it needs to be able to import photos from your camera roll. Points off for both.

lowrez, VGA, iphoneography

Even the shutter button is cleverly pixelated. In the past, I haven’t liked other attempts at VGA revival but I like Belowrez more than I thought I would. The simulated low-res, lo-fi effects it creates make this a great project camera or just another fun way to create different looking snapshots for Facebook and Instagram.

Belowrez takes you back to the original digital lo-fi. It’s not for everyone, but its chunky, colorful, high contrast effects make this app much more fun than you would first think.

Belowrez is normally $1.99 in the App Store, which may be a little pricey for this app right now without the ability to import images. It’s been FREE for a couple of days and will probably go back up any minute, so grab this one fast.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 6.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

App Store link: Belowrez – Pixel Camera

=M=

Belowrez Gallery

lowrez, VGA, iphoneography lowrez, VGA, iphoneography lowrez, VGA, iphoneography lowrez, VGA, iphoneography lowrez, VGA, iphoneography lowrez, VGA, iphoneography

 

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I discovered Belowrez when it was discounted as an App Store freebie. I download all of them to find out which ones are overlooked gems waiting to be discovered and which freebie apps should be avoided. Belowrez is an iPhone photo app that is one of the gems. It lets…

Belowrez 1.01

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Fun!

Belowrez takes you back to the original digital lo-fi. It’s not for everyone, but its chunky, colorful, high contrast effects make this app much more fun than I would have first thought.

70

"Photo App Review: Belowrez is More Fun Than I Thought It Would Be.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Book Review: “The Art of iPhone Photography” by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/11/review-art-of-iphone-photography-bob-weil-nicki-fitzgerald/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/11/review-art-of-iphone-photography-bob-weil-nicki-fitzgerald/#comments Sun, 11 Aug 2013 21:52:22 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24943 "The Art of iPhone Photography" is an excellent book with a broad range of tutorials and is a great choice to learn a lot of iPhone photo techniques quickly, no matter what your skill level.

"Book Review: “The Art of iPhone Photography” by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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art of iphone photography, iphoneography central, nicki fitzgerald, bob weil

The curators of our friends at iPhoneographyCentral have published a great new book that is due to ship soon. The Art of iPhone Photography by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald is an excellent book with a broad range of tutorials and is an great choice to learn a lot of iPhone photo techniques quickly, no matter what your skill level.

I’ll explain. The book’s publisher, Rocky Nook, graciously provided me with an advance copy. Keep reading for my full review. >>>

This book is the brainchild of Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald who together run iPhoneographyCentral.com, one of the first websites in the community to seriously share iPhoneography and iPhone art “recipes” and techniques. Many of iPhoneography’s top artists have shared their techniques and insights there over the years.

“The Art of iPhone Photography” features contributions from dozens of the top photographers and artists creating today. These are all A-listers — iPhoneographers and artists who regularly push the envelope of technique and processing. Most of those contributing are also working professional photographers and artists outside of the art.

The book includes excellent, very comprehensive tutorials from Jack Hollingsworth, Dan Marcolina, Sheldon Serkin, Cindy Patrick, Karen Divine, Paula Gardener/Jasharn, ©arlein, Alan Kastner, Souichi Forusho, MissPixels, Robert and Edina Herold, and many, many others. Most of these artists have been creating and sharing iPhone art for years. I really like the group approach that Bob and Nicky have taken here. It adds many different voices and viewpoints to the mix.

Recognizing that there’s a broad spectrum of iPhone art being created today, the book is divided into two parts — Photography and Illustration/Fine Art — a great approach that lets the book cover a broad range of topics while still keeping its focus.

The parts are further broken down into sections by overall artistic style, such as landscape, surreal, abstracting graphic in the fine arts section and people street and landscape in the photography section. Content flows logically.

The book begins by teaching you how to capture better photographs with Paula Gardener and Jack Hollingsworth’s excellent tutorials. Both of these professional photographers share their insights on photography – composition, lighting, technique. I’ve shot with Jack and he’s always giving great advice and techniques from his 30+ years in the business. Here he gives some gems.

Each tutorial goes into great detail, not only with techniques but with the artists’ insights and the creative process as well. Every artist is very generous not only with their techniques but also how they created the peace. This way you not only learn how but why. Like a lesson from a great instructor, you learn the theory as well as the technique.

Each tutorial spells out at its beginning what you should learn, the apps that you’ll need, and the backstory of the photo from the photographer, which is often a fascinating peek behind the scenes of the creation of these great images. At the end of each tutorial there’s a summary that wraps up what you should’ve gotten out of it.

One of the great things about this book is how quickly each tutorial gets personal. This is less like learning from a textbook and more like being tutored by an old friend.

“The Art of iPhone Photography” covers a broad range of photographic and iPhone art essentials and techniques, including lighting, focus, composition, retouching, color correcting, processing, compositing, blending, masking on iPhone, adding texture, collage and much more.

The book itself is beautiful. Its layout is clean and flows very well. It’s easy to read through or just go back and find what you need. In addition to the detailed tutorials, this book also includes galleries of images with the apps the artist used to create them with, allowing you to experiment on your own.

Each tutorial is excellent. They are all very thorough and detailed, taking you through all the steps to re-create the studies presented in the book. Tutorials are very easy-to-follow regardless of your skill level. Even the techniques for complex composited  images are extremely clear and straightforward. This book removes the mystery of many of these techniques. The combinations in which the artists use them is often simple yet brilliant.

Not only do the artists share their processes and settings, but they also share why… often, which I find helps me to learn and understand the techniques much better than mere repetition. This book is valuable because it helps to instruct “why” things are done a certain way.

The artists not only go through the basics, but they also share some of their very cool signature tips as well. It’s the details in these “signature tips ” that can really set an artists’ work apart. These are gems that a straight tutorial often doesn’t deliver and helps to add a lot of unique value to the tutorials shared here. The tutorials not only share the artists’ favorite apps, but a detailed explanation of why.

I’ve got several sample pages below. Be sure to check them out in the gallery below.

 

“The Art of iPhone Photography” Sample Pages
Click to View Gallery

art of iphone photography, iphoneography central, nicki fitzgerald, bob weil art of iphone photography, jack hollingsworth art of iphone photography, jack hollingsworth art of iphone photography, nicki fitzgerald art of iphone photography, nicki fitzgerald art of iphone photography, nicki fitzgerald art of iphone photography, nicki fitzgerald

 

Reading through the tutorials, especially the fine art tutorials, I was amazed at the creative journey many of these artists took with their images and how often times the original image or images evolved into something new and wonderful that barely resembled the finished result.

In the end it’s all about creating a piece that tells a story, captures a moment, invokes an emotion, or a combination of the three. “The Art of iPhone Photography” can expand your tool set to help you achieve this.

The Bottom Line

“The Art of iPhone Photography” is an outstanding gathering of iPhoneographers and iPhone artists, sharing their techniques and telling their stories. It’s also a revealing look at the toolbox — the apps, hardware (and in some cases natural media techniques) that the artists use regularly to create these works.

What I like about this book and how-to books in general is that you can learn a heluva lot of knowledge in a very short period of time. Having a copy of the book also gives you the flexibility to go back and review techniques that maybe didn’t stick the first time.

I really like how the tutorials are fleshed out with details and easy to follow, regardless of whether you are familiar with the concepts or not. I love the backstory from each artist which adds a more personal touch to each set of images.

This book is an excellent resource for iPhoneographers and iPhone artists of all skill levels. It covers a broad range of styles and techniques. It covers them all extremely well. It weighs in at over 300 pages and there’s a lot of information here, but it’s all well-presented and an easy read.

I like the great overall balance of tutorials presented here. But once it gets going, “The Art of iPhone Photography” is fairly heavy with image processing tutorials. If you’re looking for a volume that focuses more on photographic technique, you will love the first section of this book, but I might also recommend Misho Baranovic’s excellent “iPhone Photography: How to Shoot, Edit and Share Great Photos” which mainly focuses on the hows and whys of capturing better photos in your device.

“The Art of iPhone Photography” draws upon the years of tutorials and tips shared on iPhoneographyCentral.com, except the techniques here are explored here in much greater depth than in other media. This book takes some of the best tutorials from many of today’s top iPhone artists and expands upon the techniques used to create some of iPhone art’s iconic images.

iPhone art is constantly evolving. Even if you have other how-to books, this book will help you keep up with these latest apping techniques that the faster processors and more powerful apps allow.

Whether you are an iPhone photographer looking to hone your composition and/or processing skills, or an iPhone artist looking to learn new techniques, you will find a lot of great useful information in “The Art of iPhone Photography”.

I thought I knew a lot, but this book still left me saying “wow!” several times. This book is filled with terrific techniques and tips that anyone can learn, use and adapt to their own iPhone art. Highly recommended.

=M=


“The Art of iPhone Photography”
by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald
Paperback
Available August 28, 2013

Retail: $44.95
Available for preorder on Amazon.com for less
Preorder now

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Disclosure: We are an Amazon Associate and get a small spiff from any sales generated from the click-throughs on this page. You can help LoFi cover its expenses. If you plan to order this book, please use the link in this post. Thank you! =M=

"Book Review: “The Art of iPhone Photography” by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: vividHDR – Stunning Color for iPhone. http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/07/photo-app-review-vividhdr-stunning-color-for-iphone/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/07/photo-app-review-vividhdr-stunning-color-for-iphone/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:51:17 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24712 We review vividHDR, a true HDR app that creates stunning bright and vibrant color photos without the overprocessing and halos often associated with other iPhone HDR apps.

"Photo App Review: vividHDR – Stunning Color for iPhone.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

App Store link: vividHDR

There’s a new HDR iphone photo app called vividHDR. Its App Store description makes some pretty big claims, including accurate image alignment, ghost removal, and several HDR processing modes. It boasts images that are “stunning,” “natural,” and “accurate.”

Its developer has set very high expectations for the app, but vividHDR meets them for me and is the closest to true traditional High Dynamic Range photography that I have found on the iPhone. Keep reading for my full review.

Traditional HDR Photography

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipadIn traditional High Dynamic Range photography, multiple bracketed exposures are combined to increase the dynamic range of the photograph. The darker, underexposed image holds the highlights better while the brighter overexposed image increases shadow detail. The normally exposed middle image helps to preserve the color and overall tonal qualities of the photo. When all three exposures are combined in a program like Photoshop, the results are a much greater dynamic range and more vibrant colors than any of the single exposures alone could provide. See photographer Trey Ratcliff’s real website for excellent examples of true HDR photography. You’ll understand why so many of us were disappointed with his 100 Cameras in One app.

iPhone HDR Photography

While this process is similar to iPhone HDR apps, the end results are often vastly different. I normally don’t like iPhone HDR apps. I feel that most of the time they create an overprocessed color effect that’s more its own effect than something close to traditional High Dynamic Range photography. Colors are often distorted and unnatural. There’s often extreme halos and other artifacts throughout the image — you know the ones I’m talking about. Many iPhone HDR apps have image alignment problems that often cause ghosting. I was very pleasantly surpised to find that vividHDR doesn’t have these issues.

vividHDR for iPhone and iPad

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

This a very easy-to-use camera app. The viewfinder itself is very simple. There are just three controls — Help, HDR mode, and shutter release button. All other settings, tools, and controls fly in and out with a swipe of a finger.

vividhdr

Custom preview screen

Before you shoot, you can select from one of the four HDR shooting modes — Natural, Lively, Dramatic, or Custom. Each mode has a little more intensity. Custom HDR mode is what I recommend you use most of the time. Custom mode allows you to choose between the other three HDR modes with live previews after you capture your three exposures.

The settings menu is clean and basic. It includes toggles for a rule of thirds grid, auto preview, and Geotags. Geotag location data is turned off by default. To add this to your photographs, you’ll need to turn it on. A quick swipe and a tap will set you right up.

Although you can tap to lock focus anywhere on screen, I got pretty good results from the app’s automatic focus lock. There is no exposure or white balance locks.

vividHDR is fast for a non-Apple HDR camera. On an iPhone 5, it consistently took about 5 1/2 seconds for the app to lock focus, analyze the image, and capture three bracketed exposures. It took an additional two seconds to align, process, and combine the three images. All told about eight seconds shot-to-shot time. Very impressive times for an iPhone HDR app.

Photos are saved to the apps own lightbox where they can be viewed, shared or saved to your camera roll. Again, the interface is very flat, easy to figure out, and very clean. There are very few tools here. You can check some of the image’s EXIF data. Here, you can also do a quick comparison between the original exposure and your HDR processed exposure. Pretty cool!

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

Reference: Apple Camera HDR

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

vividHDR sample, Natural mode

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

vividHDR sample, Lively mode

vividhdr, high dynamic range photography, iphone, ipad

vividHDR sample, Dramatic mode

 

The processed results of vividHDR are about the best I’ve seen in an iPhone HDR photo app. Colors are vibrant yet natural. Alignment is accurate. Images have none of the ghosting that plague nearly every other iPhone HDR photo app.

Natural processing adds color weight and brightness to the image. It brings out shadow detail and holds highlights while still maintaining bright, vibrant, natural looking colors.

Lively processing fills in even more shadows and really brightens up and saturates colors. Colors are bright and vibrant yet still hold a natural look. Skies look pretty incredible with Lively processing. The Lively processing mode in vividHDR is what I expect High Dynamic Range photography to look like.

Dramatic processing is just that. It’s the app cranked up to 11. Some colors took on an almost fluorescent look. I saw some visible color shift in the processed images that I didn’t like with Dramatic mode. My fireplace bricks are not that orange. Details sometimes looked a little oversharpened to me. With the amount of saturation and other color moves, it’s probably to be expected. Although I tend to like the surreal oversaturation of LOMO photo apps, for this use Dramatic mode is a little too bold for me and my least favorite of the three.

Sharpness comparison, detail, Apple Camera HDR

Sharpness comparison, detail, Apple Camera HDR

Sharpness comparison, detail, vividHDR

Sharpness comparison, detail, vividHDR

What amazed me about all three HDR modes was the sharpness of the images. Alignment is very precise. Unless there is actual movement in the frame, you’re not likely to notice any ghosting in the image. Also, even with Dramatic mode, the highest intensity HDR effect, there were no halos or other artifacts. Tonally, images were fairly smooth for iPhone photos. I saw less noise in all three levels of HDR than I did in my reference images shot with Apple Camera.

See my additional sample images below. All sample images in this post can be clicked and enlarged.

I noticed the app’s viewfinder has the slightly narrower aspect ratio that Apple’s iPhone 5 Camera does. That means that your actual photo will contain just a little more image on the long edges of the frame than you see in the viewfinder. Point off for this. An accurate viewfinder is very important for me in an app like this.

vividHDR is a camera-app only. Unlike some other HDR apps, it won’t import and combine previously shot images from your camera roll.

Other than the three presets, there’s no way to adjust how the three exposures are combined. The app does an outstanding job on its own and this isn’t really a problem for me. I could not find a way to access the three individual exposures. These might be important omissions for some and need to be pointed out. For me, though, these are definitely not a dealbreaker.

vividHDR saves at just under 8 MP on an iPhone 5 and 4S. There are some pixels trimmed around the edges for alignment. The app can save EXIF data, but this needs to be toggled on in the app’s settings.

vividHDR is in a class by itself when it comes to iPhone photo apps. It’s a true HDR app that creates stunning bright and vibrant color photos. In particular, I think the Natural and Lively modes are quite good. For iPhone, it’s the closest I’ve found to true traditional High Dynamic Range photography without the overprocessing and halos often associated with iPhone HDR.

I really like vividHDR. This is the bracketed exposure iPhone HDR app I’ve been waiting for.

vividhdr is $1.99 in the App Store. It’s a Universal app designed for both iPhone and iPad. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

=M=

..

More vividHDR Sample Images
Click to View Gallery

Reference: Apple Camera HDR vividHDR sample, Natural mode vividHDR sample, Lively mode vividHDR sample, Dramatic mode Reference: Apple Camera HDR vividHDR sample, Natural mode vividHDR sample, Lively mode vividHDR sample, Dramatic mode Reference: Apple Camera HDR vividHDR sample, Natural mode vividHDR sample, Lively mode vividHDR sample, Dramatic mode

Right-click to view higher-res images

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App Store link: vividHDR There's a new HDR iphone photo app called vividHDR. Its App Store description makes some pretty big claims, including accurate image alignment, ghost removal, and several HDR processing modes. It boasts images that are "stunning," "natural," and "accurate." Its developer has set very high expectations for…

vividHDR 1.0

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Stunning

vividHDR is a true HDR app that creates stunning bright and vibrant color photos without the overprocessing and halos often associated with other iPhone HDR apps.

84

Updated 08.07.13: Added bit about importing from camera roll.

"Photo App Review: vividHDR – Stunning Color for iPhone.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Landcam Updated and So Is My Review http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/05/landcam-updated-and-so-is-my-review/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/05/landcam-updated-and-so-is-my-review/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 20:55:35 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24641 The new Landcam 1.1 update is out and includes a significant improvement, as well as adding a few new minor features. Usually, I'll let my initial review sit for awhile, but the speed in which they are addressing both my public concerns and the private ones I'd mentioned to the developers before the app's release deserves credit.

"Landcam Updated and So Is My Review." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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landcam, iphone, photo app, polaroid

App Store link: Landcam

Not too long ago, I reviewed Landcam. It’s a good Instagram front-end app that felt a little incomplete when version 1.0 was introduced. Despite my less than enthusiastic review, it’s doing very well in the App Store — landing on Apple’s New & Noteworthy scroll and currently holding #21 on the Paid Apps chart (I suspect with a bullet).

The new Landcam 1.1 update is out and includes a significant improvement, as well as adding a few new minor features. Usually, I’ll let my initial review sit for awhile, but the speed in which they are addressing both my public concerns and the private ones I’d mentioned to the developers before the app’s release deserves credit.

Keep reading to see what’s new in this update and what’s in store for the app. >>>

landcam, iphone, photo app, polaroid

iPhone photo app LandcamYou can either shoot in-app for quick workflow or import images from your camera roll. Fortunately, Landcam also saves your original image to your Camera Roll at full device resolution. This is always a great feature if you later decide to go back and edit in another app. Buried in Landcam’s settings is a Double Exposure feature that you can turn on. Unfortunately, the double exposure feature only saves raw images at 1280×960 pixels, even in this update.

The most important new feature is higher resolution. Landcam now supports four times the pixels and can save at 1280 x 1280 pixels or 1.6 MP. It also keeps the EXIF data including Geotags in your image for both images shot in app or imported from your camera roll. High-res images are not turned on by default and need to be enabled in the app’s settings.

The app has 8 new sketches to doodle on your snapshots. There are also two new fonts, Baron Neue — a Humanist typeface similar to the beautiful and popular “Gotham” — and Neo Retro. An FYI, the standard font set of the app also includes “Deming”, a commercial font I paid a few bucks for last month. Not all of these are freeware or open-source fonts.

The app is now available in 2 new languages: Spanish and French. There are bug fixes and other tweaks as well.

The app’s slick, iOS 7 style interface has only been tweaked slightly. It’s still super-easy to use as it moves you through the workflow.

Few of my other issues have been fixed with the app in this update, which is more of a maintenance release. 1280 x 1280 was available in beta, but was held back from final release due to performance issues on older devices. It’s a little slow on my iPhone 5, but not annoyingly slow. Hopefully, some well-placed code optimization can fix this. More important, full resolution is promised for a future release and mentioned prominently now in the update descriptions, leading me to believe that this is now a higher priority on the wishlist.

Landcam is not “there” yet in my opinion — I still dislike the frames — although it has improved quickly and the developers have promised monthly updates. Its reception in the App Store gives them the incentive to do so. With this update, Landcam is a better companion app to Instagram, Facebook, and other photo sharing services. It’s not ready for more serious or permanent shooting yet and, in fact, that is probably not in its overall plan.

Landcam definitely carries the spirit of fun instant photography pioneered by Polaroid’s Edwin Land years ago. It’s got a development team that’s dedicated to regular improvements of the app. Landcam may never be a go-to choice for gallery-minded iPhoneographers, but for shooting and sharing snapshots, Landcam is an easy to use, slick photo app that’s getting a bit better.

Landcam is $0.99. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

=M=

..

landcam, iphone, photo app, polaroid

landcam, iphone, photo app, polaroid

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App Store link: Landcam Not too long ago, I reviewed Landcam. It's a good Instagram front-end app that felt a little incomplete when version 1.0 was introduced. Despite my less than enthusiastic review, it's doing very well in the App Store -- landing on Apple's New & Noteworthy scroll and…

Landcam 1.1

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Improved

For an Instagram companion app, there's a lot that's good here. It's pretty to look at and easy to use, but can be limiting when you actually get your hands dirty with it. This new update starts adding more, including pixels, and definitely gets this app going in the right direction. It's not a "pro" app, but good for what it is.

58

"Landcam Updated and So Is My Review." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: New Landcam is Sleek, Easy, and Low Res http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/31/photo-app-review-new-landcam-is-sleek-easy-and-low-res/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/31/photo-app-review-new-landcam-is-sleek-easy-and-low-res/#comments Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:40:25 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24405 My review of Landcam. For an Instagram front-end app, there's a lot that's good here. It's pretty to look at and easy to use, but can be limiting when you actually get your hands dirty with it. I like aspects of the app, but overall, Landcam leaves me wanting more.

"Photo App Review: New Landcam is Sleek, Easy, and Low Res." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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iPhone photo app Landcam

New square format photo app Landcam is getting some coverage on other websites — much of it glowing. I wasn’t really planning on covering it here, but I feel out of fairness there needs to be some balance to the reviews. I like aspects of the app, but overall, Landcam leaves me wanting more. As in more pixels.

Read on for my full hands-on review of this new iPhoneography app that’s now getting some buzz.

iPhone photo app Landcam

iPhone photo app LandcamThanks to the popularity of Instagram and its limited number of one-click filters, there’s a huge market for low-res, square format apps that offer filter alternatives. In that regard, Landcam fits the bill perfectly.

Landcam is an easy to use, slick-looking camera and photo app that lets you add filter effects, textures, light leaks, stickers and more.

The app is inspired by Polaroid inventor Edwin Land, whose revolutionary ideas helped push photography into the mainstream. Other than the instant digital photos, that’s where the similarities end between Landcam and a traditional fauxlaroid app.

Landcam is an easy photo app to use. Its flat, modern interface is very easy to figure out. The interface itself is color coordinated and is really nice looking. It reminded me visually of a PANTONE® swatch book. Functionally, editing flows smoothly from one stage to the next. Landcam has a good workflow.

iphone photo app landcam

There are a bunch of good looking filters that apply a number of color, brightness, and contrast moves to an image. I like that effects are slider-adjustable. Once applied, effects can be stacked. Many of the filters are subtle enough to allow you to create some interesting blend effects through stacking. All throughout the editing process a great Undo button will take you back to the beginning, one step at a time.

Although they are very usable, filters are obscurely named and along with the accompanying colors of the UI, they are actually a little misleading. Filters are identified by color swatches and are obscurely titled with great-sounding names that sound more like house paints. While I like the look of the interface, my expectation was that the Fern-colored filter would apply an overall Fern colored tint or effect to the image, when in fact it bumps contrast and adds an overall yellowish-green tint to the image. Burst, with its teal swatch, pretty much just brightens the image considerably. Filters kind of apply the color of their swatch, but not really. It’s not bad. It’s just not reliable.

There are also several great black & white filters.

Landcam has some pretty good image fixing tools made easy to use here. In addition to the basic image tweaks, Landcam also has a sharpen tool, saturation, a color temperature adjustment, orange tint and green tint fixes, as well as a good Clarity slider for quickly and easily punching up contrast and vibrance.

landcam-screen-0713-01

For adding finishing touches to your snapshots, the last editing stage lets you choose from one of several basic white frames, add text or hand-drawn “sketches”, light leaks, textures and more.

The frames are all white and all pretty basic, ranging from a basic edge to some geometric shapes that cover up a significant portion of your image. This is not necessarily my style, but the added space could be used for adding short text notes.

The text tool includes plenty of fonts to choose from. Text can be easily moved and resized with pinch gestures. Unfortunately, you are unable to edit type once its set. You have to Undo your line of text and start over. You are limited to two colors for type — white or black. This either keeps things simple or really limits what you can do. As someone who lies red and yellow type for emphasis, I find the type tool limiting compared to other options available.

Sketches are hand-drawn-style stickers that you can place and move over the image. As far as sketches go, there’s a good selection there and a broad range of places, icons and events. There’s even a Texas sticker in there. How did your state do? </bluster> Stickers can be easily moved and sized, but are limited to white only.

There’s a decent selection of light leaks and textures that can be applied, adjusted and rotated, making it easy to avoid effect repetition.

Once finished, you can save and share in app to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any app that supports Apple’s Open In… feature.

Image size is limited to 640×640 pixels. According to the developer, higher resolution is coming. Full resolution is planned “eventually.”

This is an app that is aimed squarely at Instagram users (pun intended). In that regard, Landcam might be worth a look especially for a buck. It offers far more filter options and tools than Instagram’s basic toolset in an easy to use, slick, iOS 7-style interface. Otherwise, its low resolution makes it unusable for prints, enlargements, or online viewing at large sizes.

Low-res apps have the advantage of being bandwidth-friendly. Low-res photos use much less of your data plan when sharing. If your only goal is to share your photos to Facebook or Instagram without any need to enlarge or print, many of these “bandwidth-friendly” apps will work great for you and open up many new effects possibilities beyond Instagram’s fairly tame selection.

Low resolution preferences aside, I found Landcam to be a decent photo app, but not a great one. It’s a good Instagram front-end, but I wouldn’t use it for more than that. You should be aware of its low resolution — an important point that other reviewers failed to mention in their reviews. Even Instagram saves high res images to your camera roll.

For an Instagram app, there’s a lot that’s good here. It’s pretty to look at and easy to use, although I found some features annoying for the sake of interface style. It’s got a fairly good toolset that’s definitely an improvement over Instagram’s, but many times I found it can be limiting when you actually get your hands dirty with it.

Landcam is $0.99. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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iPhone photo app Landcam

iPhone photo app Landcam

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UPDATE 01 08.01.13: Corrected developers plans for full resolution. =M=

New square format photo app Landcam is getting some coverage on other websites -- much of it glowing. I wasn't really planning on covering it here, but I feel out of fairness there needs to be some balance to the reviews. I like aspects of the app, but overall, Landcam&hellip;

Landcam 1.0

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Low Res

For an Instagram front-end app, there's a lot that's good here. It's pretty to look at and easy to use, but can be limiting when you actually get your hands dirty with it. I like aspects of the app, but overall, Landcam leaves me wanting more.

53

"Photo App Review: New Landcam is Sleek, Easy, and Low Res." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Gear Review: Hands-on with the new olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens and Polarizing Filter http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/23/gear-review-olloclip-telephoto-lens-and-circular-polarizing-filter/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/23/gear-review-olloclip-telephoto-lens-and-circular-polarizing-filter/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:16:13 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24333 The olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens for iPhone has been announced and is available for pre-order. It's the follow up to the excellent original olloclip 3-in-1 Lens attachment. For a 2X telephoto, will it be worth it? I've got an exclusive review.

"Gear Review: Hands-on with the new olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens and Polarizing Filter." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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olloclip, 2x, telephoto lens, iphone 5

The new olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens for iPhone has been announced and is available for pre-order. It’s the follow up to the excellent original olloclip 3-in-1 Lens kit. This new accessory adds a 2X telephoto lens and a circular polarizing filter to your iPhone all in the convenient quick-to-attach olloclip form factor.

For a 2X telephoto, is it worth it? Find out what I think in my exclusive hands-on review from an iPhoneographer’s perspective. >>>

olloclip 2x telephoto for iPhone

Reference shot. No lens or zoom.

olloclip 2x telephoto for iPhone

Taken with olloclip 2X telephoto lens. Click to enlarge.

Taken with ProCamera using 2X digital zoom

Taken with ProCamera using 2X digital zoom. Click to enlarge.

Image detail, olloclip 2X telephoto lens

Image detail, olloclip 2X telephoto lens

Image detail, ProCamera using digital zoom, no additional lens

Image detail, procamera using digital zoom, no additional lens

 

When the original Olloclip 3-in-One Lens was introduced a couple of years ago, it quickly became an insanely popular iPhone photo accessory. In a market filled with clunky magnet stick-on mounts and blurry plastic lenses, the original olloclip was and still is pretty awesome. The original olloclip is a fairly low-cost small, pocket-sized attachment that adds a wide-angle lens, a macro lens and a real fisheye lens to your iPhone. All three lenses are glass optics housed in an aluminum casing. If you don’t have one, it’s a fun accessory to have. You can read my review of the olloclip 3-in-1 lens kit here.

olloclip telephoto lensThe new olloclip 2X Telephoto + doesn’t span the gamut the way the original olloclip does, but its lens is more practical than you would think. The new olloclip is made of coated, multi-element, precision ground glass in an aluminum housing, just like its predecessor. On the back is a circular polarizing filter that can be used with the tele on its own or with the wide-angle lens from the original olloclip.

Like its predecessor, the olloclip 2X Tele fits snugly over the corner of your iPhone. There are no light leaks and because it sits so close to the lens cover, there’s no vignetting either.

2X telephoto lens

Essentially, a 2X telephoto is a fixed lens that creates the illusion that your camera is half the distance between you and your subject. It’s different than actually moving up close to your subject in many important ways — there’s a narrower field of view and a flatter depth of field. But, basically, it helps you to capture more close-in details. That’s the really basic short version.

The olloclip 2X Tele’s glass optics allow it to have sharper focus, better color and greater contrast than many other lenses on the market. The glass lens pretty much eliminates the murky, blurry look that you see in plastic telephoto lenses for iPhone.

Images captured with the lens appear, of course, shot closer in. Colors were bright and natural. Contrast was good. The lens works well with the iPhone camera’s auto-focus. It was very easy for me to lock focus and exposure, not only using the native Camera app, but third-party apps as well. In a broad range of lighting scenarios, focus and exposure were quick to lock. I like that I don’t have to worry about missing a shot with this lens. I like that a lot.

In nearly every way, the image quality of this telephoto lens is visibly sharper than a comparable 2X setting using digital zoom. In the sweet spot, there’s no added noise, no blur. The image retains its focus and is very sharp for a mobile phone camera. The olloclip telephoto lens is visibly sharper and has almost none of the operations found in the magnetic mount 2X lenses found elsewhere. Almost….

This telephoto lens has a very large field of focus, but there is a hotspot and the lens starts to lose focus near the edges of the frame. See my sample image below for the sweet spot in my olloclip telephoto lens. There is a softness near the outside of the image. Some iPhoneographers may not like that the lens doesn’t completely hold focus edge to edge.

olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens

olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens. Red area indicates edge softness

However, the overall image is still visibly sharper than any other iPhone telephoto lens I’ve tested. I have not tested the Schneider optics 2X telephoto lens, but I understand that it, too, has a soft focus around the edges of the frame. Despite this blur, this lens showed none of the chromatic aberrations produced by many of the other iPhone telephoto lenses.

Although it’s not really that powerful, a 2X telephoto lens is better than nothing. What I really like about the olloclip 2X telephoto lens — and this is where it gets really, really useful — is that it takes some of the work away from the iPhone’s digital zoom, letting it resample images less and work less harder. This lens makes the iPhone’s digital zoom a heluva lot more useful, multiplying its native field of view by a factor of two. When used in tandem with the iPhone’s digital zoom, my images were sharper and less noisy then using the iPhone zoom on its own. Close inspection of test images show that photos taken with the olloclip have none of the resampling artifacts of a digital zoom. Look at the angled lines in the CashAmerica images above for a great example. The Nolan Ryan images below are also a great example of real-world use. The olloclip is a huge improvement over any digital zoom and really helped my images to retain detail, especially at 2X-4X equivalents.

Also, I found that as I used the digital zoom along with the lens, the blurriness on the frame edges became less and less of a factor.

Of course, it’s not Leica or DSLR quality, but for an mobile phone accessory, the results are surprisingly good. It’s a very practical, pocket-sized solution that may mean the difference between getting a usable photo or getting a blurry frame full of pixelization, artifacts, and noise.

Polarizing filter

Reference shot. No polarizing filter.

Reference shot. No polarizing filter.

olloclip polarizing filter, 2X, telephoto lens

Taken using the olloclip Circular Polarizing Filter

On the other side of the olloclip is a circular polarizing filter. It’s basically two pieces of glass that, when rotated, help to filter the light coming through the lens. By adjusting it, you can capture colors that are deep and rich. It’s also great for filtering out glare from shiny objects and water.

This polarizing filter intensifies the colors in camera, Allowing you to capture greater contrast and more vibrant colors without apping.

This is one of the best polarizing filters available for iPhone,  period. The filters are made of optical quality glass instead of plastic. They’re encased in a smooth operating aluminum housing. Because it’s glass, the filter itself did not degrade the quality of the image.

You can use the polarizing filter alone. It also clips right onto the telephoto lens. There’s a plastic adapter that lets you mount it to the wide-angle lens of the original olloclip. Adjusting this filter is very smooth and easy, much smoother than some of the other options available.

The filter itself is awesome but I found the implementation of it to be clunky and probably the least satisfying of any olloclip product. Other than a microfiber sack, it comes with no case or lens cap. For me, the filter was prone to fingerprints while trying to attach it to a lens. While the plastic adapter stores safely on the filter when not in use, I can see potential for it to become easily lost. As I received a review unit, packaging may change when this is released.

These were by no means deal breakers for me. I rarely shoot with a polarizing filter — usually for special projects where I’ll have time and the ability to be mindful of my gear — but it is something to be aware of.

For some, this olloclip may be a little pricey. But I use my digital zoom on my phone often enough to where the benefits of this lens make it a very welcome addition to my iPhone’s camera bag. Despite a few flaws, I’m really happy with mine. It has a very large usable sweet spot and almost none of the operations and flaws found in many other iPhone telephoto lenses.

When I shoot, I try to get in as close as I can. But there are many times when you just can’t — sporting events, concerts, edge of a mountain, etc. That’s when a lens with a longer focal length (or equivalent) comes in very handy.

The olloclip 2X telephoto lens has glass optics, a good usable focal area, and creates bright, clear photographs. On its own, it’ll get you a good, tight photograph. When used with your iPhone’s digital zoom, it’ll help get you even closer. Like its older sibling it’s small and fits easily into my pocket. It’s already quickly become one of my most used iPhone accessories and can be the difference between capturing a memory or just capturing pixels.

The new olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens will be available for both iPhone 5 and 4/4S. It will retail for $99.99 and is available for preorder now on the olloclip website. It should be shipping before the end of the month.

The original olloclip 3-in-One Lens which includes fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lenses can be purchased for about $70 or less.

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Gallery

Click the sample images below to enlarge for detail.

Taken with the olloclip 2X Telephoto lens olloclip 2X telephoto lens for iPhone Taken with ProCamera using 2X digital zoom olloclip 2X telephoto lens for iPhone Taken with ProCamera using 4X digital zoom olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens Taken with 645 PRO Mk II digital zoom, no additional lens Telephoto lens plus additional 2X digital zoom in-app Taken with ProCamera using 4X digital zoom

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"Gear Review: Hands-on with the new olloclip 2X Telephoto Lens and Polarizing Filter." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Luminance – Non-Destructive Photo Editing For iPhone, by David Bird http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/21/photo-app-review-luminance-non-destructive-iphone-photo-editing-0713/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/21/photo-app-review-luminance-non-destructive-iphone-photo-editing-0713/#comments Sun, 21 Jul 2013 19:26:29 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23947 Life In LoFi's David Bird takes a second look at overlooked, mid-level photo editor Luminance, a simple, yet powerful photo editing app that anyone can enjoy and afford without breaking their bank.

"Photo App Review: Luminance – Non-Destructive Photo Editing For iPhone, by David Bird." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Lumiance, iPhone photo editor

Luminance
Version reviewed: 1.5.2

luminance, iPhone photo app, iPhoneographyBack in August of 2011, we reviewed the version 1.0 of Luminance for iPhone. My bottom line at the time was “I really like it. It’s a good, mid-level image editor with some great, advanced features, but it’s lacking some basic functionality to make it a great iPhoneography app.” Since its first release, the app has undergone many revisions and gotten many improvements.

I’m very pleased to add another voice here at Life In LoFi, one of the many changes we’ve been making over the summer. Our new columnist, David Bird, takes a second look for us at one of his go-to photo apps, Luminance. I’m excited to have David join our team here. He’s got a lot of excitement and curiosity for photo apps. His reviews are extremely detailed and thorough. No matter how long he decides to hang his shingle here, I’m looking forward to the dialog of having another reviewer voice here on the blog. Keep reading as David takes a second look at this overlooked photo editor. =M= >>>

Luminance is a powerful, yet simple photo editing app from Subsplash. The app debuted in August 2011, but has not received the popularity it deserves since then. Some of the highlights of the app include its own library with iCloud backup, non-destructive editing and cropping, a great selection of adjustments options, and a variety of pre-made filters that are completely customizable.

luminance, iPhone photo app, iPhoneographyWhen you first start Luminance, you are greeted with the app’s library. In the library, square thumbnails of photos are shown in a table that is four photos wide and scrolls up and down – similar to the native iPhone Photos app. This gives you a good overview of your photos while maintaining enough size to show you the details of each photo. From here you can take a new photo or choose an existing photo from your camera roll by pressing the + button. Pressing the cog button brings up the settings which allows you to manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts for sharing as well as the standard “follow us on Facebook/Twitter”, “rate us in the App Store”, and support links. The app’s library can be set to be backed up automatically to iCloud by navigating to the iOS device’s Settings apps > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage > (your device), and turning Luminance on under Backup Options.

Pressing the edit button in the library gives you the option to select one photo or multiple photos. Selecting a single photo (which can also be done by long-pressing a photo) gives you the option to share/save, copy edits, or delete. The sharing/saving options include share to Facebook, share to Twitter, save to camera roll, email the photo, or copy the photo to the clipboard – all of which ask you to choose a resolution of either original, large (1024px), medium (640px), or small (320px). The “copy edits” button copies the edits applied to a photo and allows you to paste them on other photos, and the delete button removes them from the library. When selecting multiple photos, the copy edits feature is disabled and the sharing/saving options are limited to saving to the camera roll, emailing the photos, and copying the photos to the clipboard – all of which ask you to choose a resolution. You can also delete multiple photos.

To begin editing a photo, you simply select it in the library which brings up the editing screen. The first of the four editing sections is FX. This allows you to apply any one of the 26 pre-made filters if you choose to do so. The second section is adjustments. If you chose a filter in the FX section, here is where you can edit each of the adjustments the filter applied. If not, you can begin to make adjustments to the photo from scratch. The adjustments include white balance (temperature & tint), exposure, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, tone curve (highlights, lights, shadows, and darks), colors (hue, saturation, and luminance), grain (amount and size), sepia, split toning (highlights hue and saturation & shadows hue and saturation), and vignette (amount, size and feather). Each adjustment has an on/off switch which allows you to quickly make a change to a photo or a see a before & after for a certain effect or multiple effects. You can also add multiple adjustments of the same type, change the order in which adjustments are applied, and swipe an adjustment from left-to-right to bring up the option to delete the adjustment entirely.

 

The third editing section is cropping. In this section you can rotate the photo 90 degrees (up to 3 times before you return to where you were) or crop the photo either freeform, or with an original, 1:1 (square), 1:1.618 (golden), 4:3, or 16:9 ratio. The cropping is non-destructive which means you can “uncrop” back to the original photo at any point – again, similar to the native iPhone Photos app. The fourth editing section is history which shows you a list of changes since you began editing the photo and allows you to easily undo a change. The history for each photo is saved even after returning to the library. Pressing the photo itself in the editing screen regardless of what section you’re in allows you to view the Exif data (time and date, geotag data, camera model, exposure time and f number, ISO, focal length, current cropped dimensions, and full photo dimensions) or view the image full-screen. When you are done editing you can either share or save the photo with the previously mention options or return to the library.

Luminance-crop Luminance-history Luminance-exif

Two features Luminance lacks which I would like to see in a future update are a straightening tool and the ability to save a combination of edits as your own filter. A straightening tool is almost standard for a photo editing app and is essential for fine-tuning a crooked photo. While Luminance does allow you to copy and paste edits in the library, custom filters would be an easier way to apply a custom set of adjustments to a photo.

Overall, I would recommend Luminance to both casual users and advanced iPhoneographers. Its pre-made filters look great and are perfect for beginners, while its wide selection of adjustment options and precise controls give advanced users the control they need to get just the look they desire. Between the adjustment on/off switches and the dedicated history section, undoing a change or reverting to the original image has never been easier on an iPhone. With its extremely generous price of only $0.99, Luminance is a simple, yet powerful photo editing app that anyone can enjoy and afford without breaking their bank.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Luminance - Subsplash

App Store link: Luminance – Subsplash

Luminance, iPhone photo, sample

Luminance, iPhoneography

Lumiance for iPhone

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Luminance Version reviewed: 1.5.2 Back in August of 2011, we reviewed the version 1.0 of Luminance for iPhone. My bottom line at the time was "I really like it. It’s a good, mid-level image editor with some great, advanced features, but it’s lacking some basic functionality to make it a&hellip;

Luminance 1.5.2

Toolbox
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Excellent

A simple, yet powerful photo editor for both beginners and professionals with one of the most intuitive and clean interfaces on iOS.

93

"Photo App Review: Luminance – Non-Destructive Photo Editing For iPhone, by David Bird." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: We Take A Second Look at PhotoNova 2 http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/19/photo-app-review-we-take-a-second-look-at-photonova-2/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/19/photo-app-review-we-take-a-second-look-at-photonova-2/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 16:48:07 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24179 iPhone photo app PhotoNova 2 is an interesting combination of filters and selective ways to apply them. Recent updates have really stepped PhotoNova 2 up few notches. I've reviewed this app on the blog previously. Its recent updates of make it worth a second look.

"Photo App Review: We Take A Second Look at PhotoNova 2." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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photonova 2, iphone photo app for iPhoneography

iPhone photo app PhotoNova 2 has been out for a while. The original PhotoNova has been through several versions and numerous updates. The app helps you enhance and transform photos using its many photo filters and a pretty diverse set of tools to make custom edits to your iPhoneography.

Recent updates have really stepped PhotoNova 2 up few notches. I’ve reviewed this app on the blog previously. Its recent updates of make it worth a second look.

photonova 2, iphone photo app

photonova 2, iphone photo app for iPhoneographyPhotoNova 2 is an interesting combination of filters and selective ways to apply them. The app has always had an extensive set of colored filters to apply to your photos. There’s a broad range of filters conveniently broken down into several categories. This is a good feature that helps make it easier to navigate the menu and find the filter that you’re looking for.

Filters range from obscurely-named retro film recreations to more dramatic color and black & white filters that really change the mood of an image. I found the color palettes chosen to be well-selected and usable overall. Many of the filters add noise to the image and adds a good simulation of analog film grain. Nice. As I said in my previous review, it’s a good selection of filters. They’re not outstanding or very unique, but for a buck, there’s a good, very usable selection here. Most of the effects have basic, “everyday” frames which can be toggled on and off with a double tap. It looks to me like the frames are optimized for square format and distort a little when applied to a standard 4:3 image. They also seemed to me to be a little soft, implying that the frames are not full resolution. If your final destination is sharing to Instagram, none of this should be an issue to you.

Applying effects is one-click easy. There is no way to adjust the intensity of each effect. However, once applied, you can stack and layer more effects on top of the image. Although Instagram is also one-click easy, effect sliders have become the norm in apps such as this. This is a feature that would be a great, probably essential, addition in a future update. It’s missed in this version.

photonova 2, iphone photo app

Variable edge feather of Lasso tool

The selection tools have all improved over previous versions. You can make some pretty creative edits with the lasso and selective edits tools. If you’ve used Photoshop, the lasso tool behaves just like you to expect. A great improvement that’s been made to all of the selection tools in the app is that you can now adjust the feather of the edge of the selection. I like this feature because it allows you to soften the blend between your selection and the background. Here, it’s easy to apply and it works well. In my test, the lasso tool is now accurate and very responsive. The selective edits schools have easy to see handles which make it easy to grab and resize the selection area. The usability and accuracy of the selection tools have improved significantly since I last looked at the app and that makes PhotoNova 2 a lot nicer to use. And a lot less frustrating.

PhotoNova 2 also has a selection of Emboss, Sketch, and other channel operations-type filters. They’re also editable but again, they are one-click easy.

There’s a lot going on in PhotoNova 2 and a lot of tools to pack into the interface. There are several context-sensitive fly-out menus. This keeps the screen relevant to the operations at hand and helps reduce clutter in the user interface.

You’ll see a lot of this in the selection tools. For instance, a tap reveals the selection feather slider. Another tap gets you back to the effects screen. Yet another gets you to a navigation screen, which allows you to pinch and zoom your way for detailed editing.

PhotoNova 2 has a lot of other tools scattered throughout its interface including a good crop tool and other basic image editing Tools. It supports the full 8 MP of an iPhone 5 and 4S. It’s got great sharing options to all the major social networks, including share to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and all the apps that support Apple’s Open In… feature.

photonova, content aware, fix tool

PhotoNova 2’s Fix tool. Left: original image. Right: “Fixed” image.

Not everything is great with these recent updates of PhotoNova 2. The Fix tools still needs a bit of fixing. It’s a content-aware repair tool that is supposed to work similar to the way the excellent retouching app TouchRetouch by Adva-Soft works or the content-aware tools of Photoshop. However, for me instead of cleaning up basic objects, all it did was smear them around and leave a lot of artifacts in the image. It might be usable to fix very small blemishes in an image or to clean up other image “schmutz,” but for removing larger things like text, clouds, and people it’s very ineffective.

In my previous review of PhotoNova 2, I was very hard on it. I had seen the press the app was getting from reviewers on other websites. After I tested it myself, I thought either they actually had not looked at the app or must have been reviewing a different app than I was. Back then, a lot was broken, a lot didn’t work and a lot simply didn’t make sense about the app.

I hate to leave a bad review out there, especially when the developer has taken the time and effort to fix nearly every criticism that I made about the app in my original review. And that’s the case here with the latest updates of PhotoNova 2. PhotoNova 2 is a much improved photo app with these latest updates.

PhotoNova 2 is an interesting app with a lot of good one-click filters for iPhoneographers who want a fairly quick workflow. It also has a good set of tools for those who would like more custom editing ability. There are a lot of features here found in other apps, but it now has a good working toolset that lets you do more.

I wouldn’t say that PhotoNova 2 is a classic iPhone photo app, but it’s become a good photo app. If you like what you see here, and like what you see in the App Store previews, for a buck it’s worth a look and you’ll like what the app can do for you.

PhotoNova 2 is $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

=M=

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photonova 2, iphone photo app for iPhoneography

photonova 2, iphone photo app for iPhoneography

photonova 2, iphone photo app for iPhoneography

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iPhone photo app PhotoNova 2 has been out for a while. The original PhotoNova has been through several versions and numerous updates. The app helps you enhance and transform photos using its many photo filters and a pretty diverse set of tools to make custom edits to your iPhoneography. Recent&hellip;

PhotoNova 2 1.2.1

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Better

An interesting combination of a lot of usable filters and selective ways to apply them. Greatly improved with recent updates, but still few issues. Recent updates make it worth a second look.

70

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UPDATE 07.20.13: Reworded and clarified the bit about other reviewers. Fixed another typo. Thanks go to Susan Maxwell Schmidt for spotting that.

"Photo App Review: We Take A Second Look at PhotoNova 2." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: layrs – Not What You’re Expecting http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/18/photo-app-review-layrs-not-what-youre-expecting/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/18/photo-app-review-layrs-not-what-youre-expecting/#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 15:08:18 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24124 LoFi reviews layrs, a new layer style editing app. Not a true layers editing app, but has some good, limited effects. A lot of quirks, including a sticky masking tool that's pretty frustrating.

"Photo App Review: layrs – Not What You’re Expecting." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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layrs, layer editing for iphone photos

New photo app layrs for iPhone promises image editing in layers, but it’s not what you think. It doesn’t really work the way you expect it to.

It’s still an interesting iPhoneography app, just not a great one. Introductory priced for free and I think it’s at least worth a look.

layrs, layer editing for iphone photosPhoto editing in layers has been a staple of Photoshop for desktop since floppy discs. Several high-end photo apps on iPhone support editing in layers, but it’s been mostly a rough start.

Promising “True multi-layer photo editing is finally available on mobile devices!”, layrs is a photo app that enables you to easily separate a photo into layers and edit each layer individually. Not so fast….

I was disappointed at what layrs can not do, but after working with the app, I found what it can do to be fairly interesting.

layrs, layer editing for iphone photos

layrs does not let you create multiple mask areas and combine parts of other images like Image Blender, Filterstorm and other photo apps can do. The app limits you in that you can only select out the foreground to edit separately from the background.

The interface is clean and easy to use. It’s all right there and the tools and effects are all easy to figure out.

You can apply separate effects and adjustments to the background and foreground layers. Your options, again, are limited to 16 effects presets. Their only adjustment is more or less, and even that’s implemented a little oddly. Many of the effects presets look good, though. There are some interesting, but static, effects here that are fun to experiment with. With the limited number and aspect of them, I can see these effects getting old fairly quickly. More effects, better control, and greater variation would help this app a lot.

I like the blur effects a lot. layrs makes it easy to apply motion, focus and radial effects.

Where the app could shine is selective image editing, but again, the tools here are limited to very, very basic tools — brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpen. These will do, but even the Aviary image editing module has a much better toolbox.

All of the tools have an unusual method of application. Instead of an incremental slider, all tools are applied with intensities of 0 through 5, making precise moves impossible.

Masking is easy to do with layers but frustrating. The “Smart mask” grabs edges as you paint over the part of the image you want to select. The tool itself feels pretty “sticky.” Switching between selecting and deselecting is frustrating at first. Even after I figured it out (I think), the app would add to many times instead of subtract from. There’s no way to refine your edge selection, which was pretty rough in most cases.

layrs forces you to crop in square format. I much prefer that as an option and like the choice of standard or square frame. It saves at a passable, medium resolution of 1800×1800 pixels.

layrs is an interesting app for quickly and easily making layer-style edits on one photo and you can quickly make some cool-looking edits. The limited effects look good. I probably won’t use this app for any serious work, but getting past the frustrating mask tool, this is a good app for quickly adding some selective effects. I think there are better apps available that do this, but layrs is introductory priced at free and because of its square format, might make a good companion app for Instagram. Despite my beefs with the app, even as a free app, it’s still a lot better than many paid photo apps.

With some updates, layrs can become a much more powerful app. I like the concept of Smart Mask, but the tool needs improvement and there needs to be a way to easily refine your selections.

But I don’t really think this is what layrs is about. layrs is a good, not great, diversion. It’s an easy way to add basic selective effects to an image, but not much more.

layers is a FREE download. 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 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

 

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layrs, layer editing for iphone photos

layrs, layer editing for iphone photos

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New photo app layrs for iPhone promises image editing in layers, but it's not what you think. It doesn't really work the way you expect it to. It's still an interesting iPhoneography app, just not a great one. Introductory priced for free and I think it's at least worth a&hellip;

layrs 1.1

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Okay

Not a true layers editing app, but an interesting app with some good but limited effects, a lot of quirks and decent resolution. I wouldn't call it a great app, but it's free and that makes it work a look.

50

"Photo App Review: layrs – Not What You’re Expecting." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Over Is Updated. Adds Plenty of Free Goodies To Get NOW! http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/12/over-is-updated-adds-plenty-of-free-goodies-to-get-now/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/12/over-is-updated-adds-plenty-of-free-goodies-to-get-now/#comments Sat, 13 Jul 2013 03:49:28 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23962 Funky text app Over was just updated. It's now got a bunch of additional free fonts and artwork. What's the catch? You have to download it before Monday, July 15.

"Over Is Updated. Adds Plenty of Free Goodies To Get NOW!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Over, text app for iPhone photos, iPad photos

We recently gave away copies of Over for iPhone and iPad, a funky little app that lets you add text and artwork to your photos and share them. It’s one of the easier text overlay apps available and it’s got one of the coolest sets of fonts available in the App Store.

Over was just updated. It’s not a major update except it’s now got a bunch of additional free fonts and artwork. What’s the catch? You have to download it before Monday, July 15. After that, it’ll set you back a buck a pack. Keep reading and save a fiver. >>>

over, text overlay, iPhoneOver has a slick, easy to use interface. The app comes standard with over 30 fonts and for a buck you can unlock a lot more. The standard selection of fonts is actually very good and there’s a wide variety of traditional typefaces, scripts, hands, and fun fonts. Hidden a couple of menus deep are some typographic tools which let you set better looking type.

The new update comes with five new downloadable font and art packs. You can download them for FREE until Monday, July 15.

The new packs include a Birthday pack with 26 hand-drawn style birthday greetings, the Fresh Exchange pack with a world traveler feel, and the geometric Awesomebrosa font. The new Goon art pack has some funky hand drawn styled elements and flourishes for you to embellish your photos with digital flair. If you haven’t cracked open the app for a while, there are some other freebies to grab as well.

You’ll have to download each one, one at a time. Got to the “Add” menu. Select “Add Art.” Download. Repeat.

The rest of this update is mainly just in-app help cue improvements.

Over saves up to 4.2 MB images in square format — 2048 x 2048 pixels. It saves standard format images at 2048 x 1536 pixels or 3.1 MB.

Over doesn’t set type on a path or let you rotate lines of text, but for straightforward adding a quick note, greeting or message to an photo, it’s got one of the funkiest collection of fonts and artwork you’ll see in this type of app.

Over is usually $1.99 in the App Store. If you grab it now, it’s free as well for a very limited time. Over is a Universal app designed for both iPhone and iPad.

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over, iphoneography, ipad

"Over Is Updated. Adds Plenty of Free Goodies To Get NOW!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Tangent – Easy, Amazing Colors and Patterns http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/11/photo-app-review-tangent-easy-amazing-colors-and-patterns/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/11/photo-app-review-tangent-easy-amazing-colors-and-patterns/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:21:08 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23897 We review Tangent, an excellent app on many levels. You can use it to easily make wonderful modern creations. In a crowd of faux-retro Instagram clones, Tangent is an exciting discovery.

"Photo App Review: Tangent – Easy, Amazing Colors and Patterns." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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tangent-app-sample-0713-02

Tangent
Version reviewed: 1.0.0

2013 has been a good year for great photo apps. Tangent, by Ben Guerrette, the developer of the excellent Deco Sketch, is another outstanding photo app to add to that group. Tangent is a unique, clean, colorful modern-style app. It’s extremely easy to use, yet the colorful geometric effects you create with it are amazing.

tangent app for iPhone, screenshot

Tangent app for iPhone“Tangent provides infinite opportunities to transform your photos into amazing works of art that can be shared and enjoyed, no matter what your level of artistry. It’s an incredibly easy way to elevate your iPhone photos into a new realm of creative expression.” Yes, it does and it does so easily and elegantly.

Literally, I was delighted as I opened up Tangent and began to explore and create. Tangent gives you plenty of options to add colorful, modern, geometric shapes and patterns on top of your images. Using a variety of shapes, lines, frames, and patterns, Tangent lets you apply one-click effects or gives you the option to go deeper and create your own custom ones.

There are 15 excellent one-click effects that you can easily apply, position and share. Overlays can be easily moved, rotated, scaled and positioned. Unlike other, static overlay apps, this great feature allows you to much better position the effect to compliment the photo, rather than simply sit on top of it. The effects expand depending on the format of the photo. I really like that the effects retain their shape integrity whether or not your image is square format. The app works great with portrait, landscape or square images.

tangent-app-screen-0713-02

Tangent lets you tweak these preset effects with a number of shapes and textures, but it keeps these tools out of the way until you need them. One click of Tangent’s “Use Style” button takes you to a loaded but minimally designed toolbox where you can tweak shapes, patterns and colors. Going back and experimenting, you’ll find that there’s a lot you can do with Tangent. If it gets in the way of your photo, you can easily reposition it or change it. The “Start Fresh” button on the Main screen takes you to the same tools, but bypasses the app’s presets. From here, you add your own elements to create your own unique effects. Be careful here. Once you hit “Use Style”, there’s no going back to the main screen if you decide to make big changes. A better undo or a back button would be a good addition in a future update. As it is now, making changes at that point in the process is clunky.

For a buck, Tangent comes nicely stocked with shapes and patterns. There are two additional in-app purchases that unlock more. They’re $0.99 each. They’re not essential to using the app, but they are worth looking into. You’ll like having the larger selection of goodies in your toolbox.

For all it does, Tangent is amazingly easy to use. This easy learning curve really encourages exploration. The app is designed to take you through the process. The interface is very modern and minimal. It’ll look right at home in the upcoming makeover of iOS 7. There is no clutter in the interface and despite the fact that there are very few words onscreen, I was up and playing with this app in minutes.

Everything about Tangent is clean and focused. I love the look of the very modern effects. The color presets are chosen from some great vibrant, contemporary color palettes. And how the colors interact with your image when overlayed and blended often creates some wonderful surprises.

There are no retro analog camera effects here. There’s no image fixing toolbox. Tangent uses Apple’s “Open In” feature for easy processing in external apps.

I love this app and will be spending a lot of time with it. It has one or two quirks in this 1.0 release. Instagram is an institution in mobile photography and many of Tangent’s effects look best in square format. An option to crop your image square when importing would be a convenient addition.

Tangent lets you shoot in app or lets you import from your camera roll. You can share straight to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from the app. Tangent saves full 8 MP images on an iPhone 5 and 4S. It strips out most EXIF data including Geotags.

Tangent is an excellent app on many levels. You can use it to make wonderful modern creations. In a crowd of faux-retro Instagram clones, Tangent is an exciting and refreshing discovery. Tangent lets users of all skill levels easily create gorgeous, unique effects. It’s an awesome and really fun photo app.

Tangent is $0.99 with additional in-app purchases. 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 6.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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tangent-app-sample-0713-01

tangent app for iPhone

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Tangent Version reviewed: 1.0.0 2013 has been a good year for great photo apps. Tangent, by Ben Guerrette, the developer of the excellent Deco Sketch, is another outstanding photo app to add to that group. Tangent is a unique, clean, colorful modern-style app. It's extremely easy to use, yet the&hellip;

Tangent 1.0.0

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Awesome!

I like it a lot. It's an excellent app for iPhone artists of all skill levels. You can use it to easily make wonderful modern creations. In a crowd of faux-retro Instagram clones, Tangent is an refreshing discovery.

95

"Photo App Review: Tangent – Easy, Amazing Colors and Patterns." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Koloid Recreates A Vintage Photo Process on your iPhone http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/08/photo-app-review-koloid-recreates-a-vintage-photo-process-on-your-iphone/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/08/photo-app-review-koloid-recreates-a-vintage-photo-process-on-your-iphone/#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2013 14:19:21 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23730 We review Koloid, a good, interesting, but not essential black & white iPhone phto app that creates unique vintage effects.

"Photo App Review: Koloid Recreates A Vintage Photo Process on your iPhone." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Koloid for iPhone photo, collodian process for iPhone and iPad

Despite its colorful Mod logo, Koloid‘s roots are firmly planted in 19th century photography. Koloid is based on the old collodion photographic process introduced in the late 1850’s. It’s a process that almost entirely replaced the daguerreotype within a relatively short time. It had a good run of over 30 years before it was largely replaced by the gelatin dry plate process.

On the iPhone, married with 21st century technology, Koloid creates some quaint, vintage black & white images with a unique antiqued texture.

Koloid for iPhone photo, collodian process for iPhone and iPad

Collodion process” is usually taken to be synonymous with the “collodion wet plate process”, a very inconvenient form which required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field.

Thank you, Wikipedia.

Koloid, collodion process, iPhone black & whiteKoloid is much easier to use than its analog predecessor. Shoot an image with the app’s vintage looking camera or import an image from your camera roll. Tilt your device to spread the “chemical liquid” and your photos slowly develop into a vintage looking black & white image.

The development process adds a lot of anomalies, including uneven processing, streaks, smears, rough edges, and even overprocessing burn if you leave the “goo” over an area of an image for too long. Omitting a part of the picture will leave it undeveloped. The app lets you adjust the amount of “developer” in the “tray” Athough I found the default setting of 15 to be quite usable in most cases. The user interface even mimics a developer tray when processing. It’s similar to SwankoLab, only with much more control.

The resulting black & whites are interesting and unique. Because of the fluid nature of the process, it’s virtually impossible to recreate the exact same effect. One of the things I like bout Koloid is that the images look old and weathered, but in a less vintage, more timeless sort of way.

I don’t like that currently there’s no way to turn off the standard frame. It is possible to turn off the date and Geotags that appear at the bottom of the image. I’d prefer to save the unframed, processed image to my camera roll and add a frame later, if needed. I hope this is a feature added soon.

Koliod also does not save your original image. If you think you’ll want to rework your photo (recommended), shoot with another camera.

Currently, it does not easily support landscape images. There isn’t really an ideal workaround, but one way to import a wide, landscape image is to rotate it 90° first while it’s saved to your camera roll. You’ll still have the asymmetric tab on the frame, though. This app is pretty much a portrait-oriented app.

The app has good sharing options built in. Images save at over 8 MP for imported images, but only 5.1 megapixels for images shot with its own camera — 1989 x 2561. Another one of the app’s quirks. One ding for that.

Overall, it’s an interesting photo app, but it has its quirks that may put you off. If you like unique black & white photography, Koloid is worth a look. Its unique process is fun and might even inspire you to learn a little about its photographic history. Its effects are unique and you might find it worth working around the app’s quirks. I think it’s an interesting effect and a fun app to play with. The developer is involved and responsive and I’d be willing to bet that many of these quirks will be fixed as the app is updated.

Koloid is $0.99 in the App Store. 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 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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koloid-sample-photo-0713-03

koloid-sample-photo-0713-02

koloid-sample-photo-0713-04

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Despite its colorful Mod logo, Koloid's roots are firmly planted in 19th century photography. Koloid is based on the old collodion photographic process introduced in the late 1850's. It's a process that almost entirely replaced the daguerreotype within a relatively short time. It had a good run of over 30&hellip;

Koloid for iPhone

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Interesting

A good, interesting, but not essential black & white app that creates unique vintage effects. I thought the UI was fun to play with. The app has its quirks, though. Needs to give more customizaton options back to the user.

70

"Photo App Review: Koloid Recreates A Vintage Photo Process on your iPhone." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo App Review: Light Leaks by ONE APPS http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/04/photo-app-review-light-leaks-by-one-apps/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/04/photo-app-review-light-leaks-by-one-apps/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 05:07:40 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23603 I like light leak apps. They're a great way to add analog-style lo-fi photo effects. There are several good ones available. New photo app Light Leaks by One Apps is not one of them.

"Photo App Review: Light Leaks by ONE APPS." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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light leaks for iPhone and iPad, mobile photography

Light Leaks by ONE APPS
Version Reviewed: 1.0

I like light leak apps. They’re a great way to add analog-style lo-fi photo effects. There are several good ones available. New photo app Light Leaks by ONE APPS is not one of them.

I dropped the two bucks so you don’t have to. Keep reading to find out why I think this app is that bad.

light leaks for iPhone and iPad, mobile photography

light-leaks-icnIn addition to its lousy, low-res output, one of the things that bothered me the most about this app is how deceptive its descriptions are throughout the app. The App Store description bills it as “a collection of more than 220 kinds of leaky filters.” Except most of those 220 filters are only available as an additional, separate in-app purchase.

The light leaks effects are fine — what you’d expect from a light leak app. Nothing special or unique. There appears to be a tool to randomize the position of the light leak overlay, but it seems to be broken. Tapping on it does absolutely nothing but frustrate.

There is a separate section for other photo effects. They range from visually interesting ones all the way to some pretty ugly filler. The app’s low resolution output really negates the usability of most of these effects.

The effect preview image only shows the middle square of the image, leaving you to guess how the effect will look on the sides or top of the image.

The app’s three output sizes are 307 x 230 pixels, 614 x 460 pixels, and 920 x 690 pixels, even though the save button says “Original Image.” Not even close.

The app comes with 40 standard light leak effects and a comparable number of completely static, non-editable image effects, but then wants to charge an additional $2.99 to unlock a lot more of these low-res effects? I don’t think so….

Anyone who’s going to want to use a light leak app isn’t going to want a lousy, broken, low res one. Light Leaks isn’t even a good low-res front end for Instagram. Save your money and avoid this app. There are much better light leak apps with effects that are just as good or better, such as Osmo Leaker, LightLeaker by Shota Nakagami, and AfterLight by Simon Filip. They’re all less expensive than Light Leaks and they work correctly. I recommend one of those instead.

Light Leaks is $1.99. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad. 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 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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light-leaks-sample-0713-01

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Light Leaks by ONE APPS Version Reviewed: 1.0 I like light leak apps. They're a great way to add analog-style lo-fi photo effects. There are several good ones available. New photo app Light Leaks by ONE APPS is not one of them. I dropped the two bucks so you don't&hellip;

Light Leaks by ONE APPS

Effects
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price/Value

Poor

A terrible app. Low res output, obstructed preview, broken tools, and deceptive descriptions make this one an app to avoid.

24

"Photo App Review: Light Leaks by ONE APPS." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Review: Mextures Is An Outstanding Texture Overlay App http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/01/review-mextures-is-an-outstanding-texture-overlay-app/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/07/01/review-mextures-is-an-outstanding-texture-overlay-app/#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 02:13:36 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23511 The LoFi review of Mextures, a recently released texture overlay app. It lets you add grit, grain, light leaks and other "schmutz" to grunge up your photos as much as you want. Or, as little, which is part of the greatness of this app.

"Review: Mextures Is An Outstanding Texture Overlay App." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Mextures, grunge textures for iPhone photography

Mextures
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Mextures is a recently released texture overlay app. It lets you add grit, grain, light leaks and other “schmutz” to grunge up your photos as much as you want. Or, as little, which is part of the greatness of this app.

Mextures for iPhone, iOS

mextures, grunge textures, iPhone, iosMost texture overlay apps are pretty an much all or nothing proposition. Once a texture is selected, there are very few options. A few texture apps have some adjustments, but for the most part, texture overlay apps are a quick and easy one or two-click process.

Mexture addresses all the limitations of other texture overlay apps, giving you a tremendous amount of control over each effect in one powerful and easy to use photo app. The possibilities truly are unlimited. About the only thing missing from Mextures is “more”.

Shoot within the app or load an image from your iPhone’s library. Unlike many photo apps that try to play nice with Instagram, you are given the option to crop square or retain the image’s original aspect ratio. This is a great option I wish more apps would offer.

The magic begins at Mexture’s home screen, where the effects are divided into seven categories — Light Leaks, more Light Leaks (actually a lot of bokeh as well), Emulsion, Grunge textures, Landscape Enhance gradients, and a selection of Vintage Gradients. The eighth slot on the screen is reserved for easy access to all of your favorite textures.

Each category has a number of textures and overlays to choose from. The quality and usability of each is overall very good. Most iPhoneographers will find nearly all of the included textures usable. Film grit, scratches, stains, colorful light leaks, grunge textures and a lot more… there is no “filler” here.

Start anywhere and add textures. Add each texture individually. Mextures lets you stack and composite multiple effects in layers, so the number of effects you can apply are limited only by what the image and your imagination will bear.

For more variation, each texture can easily be rotated in 90° increments. With the onscreen slider, you can easily adjust the transparency of each effect as it’s applied.

Anyone who’s used Photoshop should be familiar with layer blending modes and Mextures lets you apply any of the standard 17 blending modes to each effect. This is a very powerful tool that can add either subtlety or impact to a texture. It’s a powerful tool found in extremely few texture apps. It’s well done and easy to use here. Simply change the blending mode and apply a transparency.

Mextures makes changes easy with an excellent, non-destructive history feature. Decide down the line that you don’t like a particular texture? Simply go to the history panel and delete individual textures without deleting any other edits. Most apps either require you to start over or take you back to that point in the editing process.

If you like a set of edits, with a click Mextures lets you easily save it to your formulas for later one-click processing.

Stuck for inspiration? There are built-in galleries of presets created by guest photographers. They either make good one-click processing on their own or make a great starting point for your own edits.

Mextures easily shares in-app to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It also supports iOS’ “Open In…” protocol bypassing the camera roll for further editing in other apps.

Mextures supports full 8 MP resolution of the iPhone 5 and 4S and also saves in full 6 MP square format resolution. Unfortunately, it strips out most EXIF data, including Geotags.

Currently, Mextures lacks a lot of the really extreme damage that some textures apps have. I don’t consider this to be a drawback. This lets you add effects that look more organic, yet don’t overpower the original image.

There’s a lot to like about Mextures. It’s a very well-designed photo app that encourages exploration rather than leaving you frustrated due to limits or lack of options. It’s refreshing when the least-complimentary thing I can say about the app is that I wish there were even more textures to choose from.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Mextures. When I first read about it, my preconception was that it was just going to be another run-of-the-mill grunge app. Instead, it’s a great texture app that lets you be as creative, as subtle, or as heavy as you want. It doesn’t have extraneous tools, trying to be an all-in-one app. This allows it to focus on what it does well. If using textures is a part of your workflow, this is an outstanding app. Mextures might be the only texture overlay app you need.

Mextures runs $1.99. 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.

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Mextures

Mextures

mextures, polaroid, sx-70, iphone

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Mextures Version Reviewed: 1.1 Mextures is a recently released texture overlay app. It lets you add grit, grain, light leaks and other "schmutz" to grunge up your photos as much as you want. Or, as little, which is part of the greatness of this app. Most texture overlay apps are&hellip;

Mextures 1.1

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price/Value

AWESOME!

Mextures is an excellent app. It's a very versatile and well-thought out grunge and textures app with plenty of tools for endless effects.

95

"Review: Mextures Is An Outstanding Texture Overlay App." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Add Cool Text To Your Pics With Over. Maybe Even Win A Copy Today http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/26/add-cool-text-to-your-pics-with-over/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/26/add-cool-text-to-your-pics-with-over/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:59:49 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23413 There are quite a few text overlay apps available. Over is one of the slicker ones in the App Store that lets you add text and other effects to your photos. I've got a few download codes to give away this week.

"Add Cool Text To Your Pics With Over. Maybe Even Win A Copy Today." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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over, iphone, ipad

There are quite a few text overlay apps available. Over is one of the slicker ones in the App Store that lets you add text and other effects to your photos.

I’ve got a few download codes to give away this week. Keep reading for more about Over and your chance to snag a copy.

over, iphoneography, ipad

over, text overlay, iPhoneOver lets you add text and artwork to your photos and share them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr & Instagram. Create inspirational, informational or even funny images to share quickly and easily. It’s one of the easier text overlay apps available and you can quickly add and edit captions, quotes, jokes, memes, poems or anything else you can think of to a photo.

The app comes standard with over 30 fonts and for a buck you can unlock a lot more. The standard fonts are mostly Google Webfonts and other freeware fonts. Don’t be fooled by free, though. The selection of fonts is actually very good and there’s a wide variety of traditional typefaces, scripts, hands, and fun fonts. Even with the standard selection, it’s easy to set good looking type.

There are also several sets of dingbat fonts that you can use to add artwork and embellish your photos.

Both type and art are very easy to set, resize, move and edit. Simply tap to place or edit. Over gives you subtle visual cues to indicate that you’ve selected an object.

The interface is as slick as the effects – very clean, modern and easy to figure out. No retro skeumorphism here, but some great looking colors and geometry that create a simple, uncluttered interface. You can work with both standard and square format images in Over and it saves pics up to 2048×2048 pixels — that’s 4 megapixels. Lots of sharing options in app.

Over doesn’t set type on a path or let you rotate lines of text, but for straightforward adding a quick note to an image, it’s one of the fastest and easiest to use. It’s getting a lot of 4 and 5 star user ratings in the App Store and I would agree that this is a good app for what it does.

Over is $1.99. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Over Giveaway

I’ve got a bunch of download codes for Over only to give away this week. To be eligible to win a copy, simply enter the giveaway below. If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll have additional chances for a free copy. IMPORTANT: These codes are only valid with a U.S. App Store account and will not work in any other App Store. No substitutes will be given. These are some codes I snagged from the Starbucks promotion a few weeks ago. My apologies for this one, rest of the world.

Cut-off time to enter is 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight time, Saturday, June 29, 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


(If you’re having trouble viewing the giveaway widget on a mobile device, try viewing this page in landscape mode on your iPhone.)

=M=

over, iphone, screenshot

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There are quite a few text overlay apps available. Over is one of the slicker ones in the App Store that lets you add text and other effects to your photos. I've got a few download codes to give away this week. Keep reading for more about Over and your&hellip;

Over for iPhone and iPad

Effects Quality
Resolution & Image Quality
User Interface
Price / Value

Good

One of the slicker text overlay apps available, in both image quality and user interface.

70

"Add Cool Text To Your Pics With Over. Maybe Even Win A Copy Today." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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