Sloppy Borders
version 1.0

Rating 2 stars

Bottom line: Good edges, but a little sloppy in the implementation. Needs improvement. UPDATE: Doesn’t play well with the iPhone 4 and the new iOS. Review downgraded to 2 stars.

Sloppy Borders app for iPhoneSloppy Borders is a new app from Jayms Ramirez Photography which adds old-school, film-style edges to your photographs. The effect is based on filed out negative carriers — sometimes called “sloppy” — which add a black line around a full frame image.

Sloppy Borders is easy to use, creates good-looking edges and nice effects, but does not save at high-resolutions in the version 1.0 release I tested.

Sloppy Borders for iPhone

Super Sloppy edge from Sloppy Borders for iPhone

The user-interface of Sloppy Borders is nicely done. It’s simple and gets you to the good stuff quickly. It’s easy to use; there are no settings in the app. You can take a photo within the app or grab an image from your iPhone’s photo library. From there, you flip through previews of the 7 available edges. Apply your filter, then save or email. You can also convert from color to B&W within the app.

The edges are well rendered and for the most part seamless. They blend well with your original photo. There is no pixelization between the edge of your original and the edge effect overlay, although occasionally I noticed a 1 pixel gap in some of the frames.

In order to do its magic, Sloppy Borders crops into your image to create the seamless edge overlay. I found this crop to be minimal on the long side of the frame, but it was pretty significant on the shorter edges of the frame. Pretty big swaths of the top and bottom of portrait-oriented photos were cropped out. There is no way to move images within the frame to adjust this. Pinch and zoom is also not supported.

There are a few other issues with this initial release. The app saves at 800×600 pixels — about half a megapixel. The square Hassy frame saves even lower at 600×600. When shooting within the app, it does not save an original, unprocessed image and the image it saves is still no larger than 800×600 pixels. The app is fast enough even on my old 2G so that a setting allowing the user to choose between low-res/faster saves and high-res/slower saves would be a very welcome addition.

The Hassy frame bears little resemblance to an actual Hasselblad frame other than they’re both square. It’s missing the details of an actual Hasselblad edge such as the two triangular cutouts of the old medium format film back. With portrait-oriented photos, the square Hassy frame crops to the top of the image and just crops out the bottom. To me, it makes more sense to crop to the middle.

Another issue I had was that the two Sprocket edge effects don’t orient correctly on landscape images. They keep the left/right positioning of portrait orientation — just spread out for a wide image. Adding separate Sprocket filters for landscape images would be the quickest and easiest way to fix this detail.

Sloppy Borders is an easy way to bring classic film edges to your images without altering your photo’s colors or previously applied effects. As it is now, it works okay but it won’t do everything it could do. This is a decent app to add fun edges to photos that you’ll email or upload to Flickr or Facebook. There are a few things that need improvement with Sloppy Borders before it’s ready for more serious iPhoneography.

UPDATE 12.23.10: This app was originally reviewed on an iPhone 2G running iOS 3. It looks like the iPhone 4 and the latest versions of the iOS break this app. =M=

This could be one of the really cool photography apps when these issues are worked out.

Sloppy Borders is $0.99 USD.

Sloppy Borders - Jayms Ramirez Photography