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App Review

  • App Review: Fotor

    Lately, there has been so many different photo applications, but I have yet to find one that was simple and easy to use, until I stumbled across Fotor.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to edit photos. Before sending over your images to be printed onto wood, playing around with a Fotor can definitely make your image look like a professional photo. First and foremost, being a new to the app, it was fairly easy to navigate around because before continuing onto the app, Fotor would give me a quick directions on how to use a specific feature. IMG_3292IMG_3293

    Fotor gives you three different options from the starting page: editor, collage, and camera. Personally, my favorite is the editor page because not having an updated iPhone, my photos definitely needs some rendering. I'll be editing the image below!IMG_3285

    As part of the social media department, the images we post need to be great in quality. Dark and fuzzy images won't cut it. I started off with playing around by enhancing the image. Fotor gave me two options: detail and gradation, and I increased the details to +21 and gradation to +14, which enhanced the colors of my image. IMG_3297

    Fotor also has preset filter effects that allow you images to look super rad! I added the Tranquil filter, which gave my image nice, soft tones.

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    Lastly, I used the sharpen feature in the adjust section to personally go in to edit the small details. The sharpen feature sharpens all the edges on your image, which gives it a more crisp feel. I like that crisp feel because it makes your image look more high definition. Fotor also offers many other features such as adding text, frames and cool clip art, which will make your image more one of a kind!

    IMG_3299IMG_3300...and that's the finished product!

    This brings me to the end of the review, and t'was a simple and fun app to work with. I enjoyed not only the simplicity, but also how it allowed me to edit my photos without any boundaries. The only down side to the app is that some of the cool features were featured in the app, but I needed to pay for it. Also, the app froze a few times, which had me edit my image from the start. With that said, I'd give Fotor 3 logs for it's simplicity and fun features.

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    Fotor is free, which makes it worth downloading! For more information on Fotor please visit, http://www.fotor.com/

  • App Review: PicsArt

    I can’t help but notice the swarm of Tumblr images that have been sneaking their way onto my Facebook stream and Instagram feed. In lieu of the "inspirational" quote pics, telling me to “keep calm and carry on,” then “dance like no one’s watching,” I’ve decided to make my very own tumblr “inspirational” image to print as a custom wooden sign. And I’ll be doing it with the popular  photo editing app, PicsArt. From what I’ve heard, this App has received a lot of buzz for the creative freedom it allows so let’s check it out.

    From the get go, this app provides four options for the user. Edit, Capture, Collage, and Draw. I went with edit because that’s the main focus of today’s review.

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    A photo I took while road-tripping through Arizona has been sitting in my photo stream for some time now. Let’s see what I can do with it on PicsArt.

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    On the surface, the editing page seems simplistic and limited. Like many photo editing apps, an options bar sits below the page. While scrolling and clicking around I came to find that this app is anything but your average photo editing app. It’s loaded with features similar to those from Photoshop. If anything, this app is pretty much a computer image editing suite shrunk into a free photo editing app. I toyed around a bit with a few of the photoshop-like tools like curves.

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    In the tools tab you've got your basic options like adjust, enhance, resize, etc. you've also got a few unique touches like shape crop which I found pretty refreshing for a photo editing app. Here's a quick sample of the feature.

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    Next up, is the Effects tab which holds over 15 filters, pop art, color, and distortion effects. I'm usually on the hunt for more subtle filters so some of these didn't catch too much of my attention. After testing out a few samples I decided to go with the Dodger filter and topped it off with Cinerama.

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    The tabs list goes on and on with this powerful app, providing a lot of creative variety. Mask tools lay at the bottom of the photo, providing you with the option of adding impressive quality effects such as lights, bokeh and texture. Tested out a couple of filters then decided to go with a subtle bokeh mask instead.

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    I'm pretty much amazed at how PicsArt manages to somehow fit hundreds of tools and options into smooth and simple interface. A few other bells and whistles included are the shape mask tool and ability to add frames, text clipart and much more. I thought these would come in handy for my quote pic so I added a few shape masks and the text "Wanderlust"

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    And here's the final product! Looks pretty tumblr-esque if you ask me.

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    This brings me to the end of the app review and I must say, PicsArt was a fun one to work with. the plethora of editing options opened up a lot of creative freedom that your basic photo app doesn't allow. It's got a smooth, simplistic interface and speedy loading time to boot! The only down side was limited number of steps you can undo while editing. With that'd I'd give PicsArt 3 logs.

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    Priced at free ninety nine, PicsArt's quite a steal and will definitely be going in my photo editing tool kit.

    For more information on PicsArt please visit, www.picsart.com

  • App Review: Snapseed

    It seems as though today, everyone has a high powered digital camera in their back pocket or purse, capable of taking stunning images at the slight tap of a finger. But if you ask me, what good is a nice phone camera without the right tools to get the most out of your photos? I've just downloaded Snapseed, one of the most popular editing apps out there. The Google-owned photo app claims to enhance your scenic landscapes and selfies in a quick and easy way, allowing you to showcase them at their fullest potential. Today, we'll put this claim to the test.

    Snapseed loads swiftly to a clean minimalist screen that features an "open photo" button which allows you to capture a picture or grab one from your photo-stream.

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    As usual, I scrolled through the archives and found something I could put to work.

    Tapping on the bottom right icon leads you to the editing options which separates the sections by tools and filters. In tools, you've got the standard controls, like Crop, Rotate, and Tune Image which we'll check out a bit.

    After hitting the Tune Image button, you're lead to back to the photo-page to begin editing.

    Fingers ready to swipe and slide, I scanned the screen, looking for the editing toolbar. Now, this usually lays below the screen or to the side. After a few seconds of experimentation, I found that this app operates with a interface completely different from that of its competitors.

     

    Swiping up and down on the photo selects the effect and swiping right to left adjust its strength. Odd chance you get confused, there's a vertical ellipses that rests in the top right corner. tapping on it leads you a number of options including Help & Feedback.

    Back to Tune Image, If you're new to the world of photo-editing or you simply don't feel like toying around with adjustments, Snapseed makes things easy for you by giving an Auto Correct button. At the swift tap of  a button, Snapseed corrects your image's contrast and color. I applied that then swiped down to see what else the tools had in store.

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    With the Tune Image tool , I tweaked the brightness a bit, decreased warmth, increased saturation, and increased the highlights. Usually, there's no way I would remember all these steps. The app comes in handy here, by showing my action history when I select the middle button in the top right.
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    The photo app takes things a step further with its Selective Adjust tool. With this feature, you can select a section of your photo to be adjusted in brightness, contrast, or saturation. You're also given the options to cut, delete, or expand the area affected. I decided to go with a simple effect here and increased the saturation of the center.

    And now for the good stuff, FILTERS. Snapseed offers 12 filters with an even wider array of options for each filter. After testing out a few filters, I went with Retrolux
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    Looking to give my photo a little bit of a kick, I added a frame which I soon realized wasn't working out. If you decide to undo an edit, as I have, you can tap the vertical ellipses menu  which holds the options "undo, redo, and revert"
    unnamed-1 I hit undo, and decided to stick with this as my final product. What a beaut! Once you've made the adjustments to your liking, you can head to back to the vertical ellipses button to share or open your photo in another app.

    Not a bad photo editing app, it has all the basic features plus a few extra, I give it 3 stars.  Definitely will work to make a beautiful custom print on wood

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    For more information on Snapseed visit: https://support.google.com/snapseed

  • App Review: Wood Camera

    APP_TITLE_51Keeping ahead of the game in the saturated world of photo apps seems like a tough task and is indeed. With new apps constantly popping up, the playing field gets pretty competitive. As many users have said, Wood Camera is one of the few apps that are able to hold its own. It’s claim to fame? A few unique features priced at a steal of $1.99. Well, I’m curious, so let’s put it to the test.

    wood app home page

    One thing I noticed right away was how fast this app is. Upon clicking the app, it opens in literally a blink, while other photo apps may take a few to load up. The opening page leads right away to the in-app photo album. The app allows you to select multiple photos to upload which i found pretty useful.

    wood camera app

    If you’d rather take the live route, you can shoot with the in-app camera. Wood Camera really steps forward from its rivals with the option to play around with filters WHILE in shooting mode. Here’s a quick example of what a live mode filtered shot would look like.

     

    wood camera app photo filter

    As per usual I’d rather put one of my stored pictures to work. So, after swiping through my Wood Camera album, it’s only suitable that I choose this gem to test out the app.

     

    wood camera app photo

    The features of this app were as direct and simple as it gets: filters, textures, and borders. This of course is besides, the general brightness, contrast and saturation controls. In the little filter tab that rests below the image, a huge array of options lay ready for use. Over 30 filters. What’s pretty neat about these is the freedom to layer multiple filters to your liking. Here, I went with the Santa Fe filter and topped it off with a bit of the Merida filter.

    wood camera app filter

    Next up is the “Texutre” tab which offers almost as much variety. of the 27 filters at my disposal I applied the raid texture and adjusted it to the fullest visibility. Pretty cool, if you’re into textures. I’m not so much but I’ll slap it on here for demonstration purposes. Let’s see how it’d show up on the wood print.

    wood camera app texture option

    Here, you’ve got the basic tilt-shift tool which intensifies one part of the photo and blurs out the rest. In the tab there’s also a vignette tool as you can see here.

    wood camera app frames

    Last but not least, we have the borders tab where you’ll find a few borders to add as the finishing touch. I’m going with a simple black film filter. If none of these catch your eye, you have the option of purchasing a frame pack.

    wood camera app frame options

    I’ve got to give this app 2 and a half logs. With the app being priced at 1.99, there was much creativity left to be desired. I can, however, see how the app is a popular one. its speedy load time and simple interface make Wood Camera a quick go to app for simple editing needs.

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    The in app camera scored some points with the option of easily changing filters while shooting. Wood Camera is a quick, straightforward app that provides you with the basic tools to create a pretty neat looking photo.

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    For more information on the Wood Camera app, please visit: http://woodcamera.com/

  • App Review: Repix

    APP_TITLE_ repix

    I always wanted to be an artist as a kid. Sadly, my artistic abilities are limited to stick figures and what you could classify as a drawing of a chicken-you just gotta squint really hard. While I may not be able to hold a paintbrush to a canvas, I do have in my hand Repix, a newly downloaded app that claims to provide users with the ability to add realistic painting effects to photos.

    Repix app review

    Unlike most photo editing apps, which begin in shooting mode, Repix opens with a preselected sample image for you to play around with.

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     The menu is pretty standard, offering tabs like shooting mode, photo selection, starters, store, and guide.

    Repix app review home page

    Under the photo selection tab,  Repix gives you the option of choosing an image from your albums, Facebook or iCloud stream. The tab, Starters, offers an album of professional photos for you to freely edit.

    repix app review starters

    Initially, I decided to capture a photo to edit but I was a bit disappointed the shooting mode’s lack of camera options. So I went this this picture to use in demonstrating the photo effects.

    repix app review photo

    13 photo effect brushes including an Eraser and Undoer run along the bottom of the editing page. Additional brushes are available for purchase if you’re looking for a bit more creative freedom.

    After many failed attempts, I came to find that the distorting tools: charcoal, geome, dotter, drips and silk are probably best used on backgrounds rather than people.

    repix app review iphone

    The Legacy tool was pretty much a bleach tool with a fancy name. it lightened and decolorized whichever part of the image I placed my finger on. I thought this would be great to use for highlighting the subject of my picture. I also added the rain drops effect, which would probably be my favorite of them all.

    repix app review frame

    A small section below the 11 brushes holds more options such as border, cropping, adjustments and filters. As with most cropping tools, the sizes were 100% customizable.  I didn't feel the need to crop my photo so I skipped on that.  Like the brushes, additional borders and frames are available to purchase. I found the free borders a little boring (square, simple square, rounded square, bulgy square). So, I went ahead bought the full border pack, only to find that Repix was holding out with shapes like sunburst, ripple and stamp.

    I went with a simple grey wooden border then increased the vibrance to finish off, and Voila! My masterpiece.

    repix app review final photo

    But the true test of any masterpiece is to see it in real life! Check out how it looks printed on Natural Gloss Finish..

    repix app custom wood photo print

    The wood print came out perfect, I was a bit nervous printing on wood with a wood grain in the photo already, but the effect was really cool.

    This brings me to the end of the Repix App Review. In my book, it merits a 2.5

    RATE The free app does a good job of delivering some pretty cool effects, while keeping a bit of change in your pocket. The interface was simple and straightforward and its finger-painting tools were fun and easy to use.  While I liked the ability to swipe specific parts of a photo to edit, a big letdown for me was that that none the featured tools had adjustment tabs to increase or decrease an effect or filter to my liking. I definitely would have found such tabs convenient because the preset filters looked extremely heavy to me-almost teetering on the side of overkill. I would probably play with this app for a couple of weeks but it’s most likely to get tossed as my storage gets full.

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    For more information on Repix please visit: http://www.repix.it/

  • App Review: Aviary

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    We’ve all experienced “Apptimidation” at some point. Apptimidation? Yes, friends, apptimiation. That ever-so-slight feeling of uneasiness or frustration you get when realizing that the app you just downloaded is somewhat out of your handling ability. The bells and whistles are disrespectfully complex, the features are utterly confusing and you’re left feeling...incompetent. Ok maybe that's a bit dramatic but the app I'll be reviewing today seems to be totally free from any intimidating factors. Two words to describe the app's interface: smooth and simple. Let’s check out how the photo editing app, Aviary works.

    When you first download the app, it opens automatically with the option of capturing a picture or grabbing one from your photo stream. As usual, I scrolled a bit through my stream for pictures and this time, I found a photo I took of a friend! Here's what we'll be working on.

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    Aviary smoothly delivers your basic editing options such as One-tap auto enhance, color balance, cropping and alignment tools, and Sharpen/Blur. Auto enhance is pretty innovative in that it has one tap presets for effects such as Hi-Def and night. It’s even got one tap presets for Food for all the foodie instagramers. Pretty cool! To me, the enhancers were a little on the heavy handed side so I opted out of using them. Nevertheless, here’s the portrait effect applied for preview purposes.

    aviary photo editor enhance

    The app also provides frames for you to add. Some clean and modern some grungy and vintage. Now, I’m not much of a frames fanatic but just for demonstration purposes, lets slap on the grit frame.

    aviary photo editor frames grit

    And now, for the main course, the meat of this interview, we have the Filters. The tab offers a large mixture of black and white, sepia and vintage filters. These filters did a decent job in making my photo resemble a vintage print. While Aviary has 12 free filters available, what the app has in numbers, it falls a bit short in quality. Like the one tap auto enhancers, the filters could stand to be a bit more sophisticated. They are however, totally adjustable to what you see fit.

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    Where this app gets much more creative is in its supplies tab which rests at the beginning of each creative feature such as Effects, Frames, Overlays and Stickers. In this tab, there a plethora of creative features for you to download free with an adobe membership or buy for about 99 cents a pop! I decided to download the Wanderlust package which gave me 7 more filters to choose from. This clean natural filter was right up my alley so I went with it.

    aviary photo editor app effects

    New filter in hand, I moved on to the Overlays tab to see what the tab had to offer. This creative feature gets right to the point by fitting your image into a square composition. In overlays, you’ve got your basic overlay shapes like circle, Hexagon, Square etc. Again if you’re looking for a bit more creative freedom you can head over to supplies tab for more overlays to add to your photo. I kind of went on a shopping spree here. While they may not be suitable for this specific picture a lot of the overlays were pretty neat. So I'll be keeping them for more landscape pictures.

    aviary photo editor app overlays polkadots

     

    aviary photo editor app overlays

    One thing that sets Aviary a step ahead of the other basic photo editing apps is the array of cosmetic tools. Wanting that million-dollar smile? You can brighten it up with the tooth-whitening tool. You can also take care of red eye problems, and fix up pesky zits with the blemish tool. While these tools get the job done, you probably shouldn’t expect Photoshop CS6 Quality retouching. The tooth-whitening tool, however, did a great job of brightening the model’s smile without giving of off a glow in the dark grin. Check out those pearly whites!

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    I dabbled around a bit more with a few other features I generally might not need but found neat! The Draw tool was a nice touch, having a wide array off colors and brush sizes to choose from. I opted for a variation of both to show off my UH-mazing doodling skills.

    aviary photo editor app doodle

    The stickers tool was pretty fun to play with as well. You’ve got a bunch of options to choose from here. Crazy hats, silly masks and loads more.

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    I think I might have gotten a bit carried away so I decided to tone things down and take it back to my wanderlust filter, tweaked the warmth and color tool a bit, added a downloaded frame, "Delicato," and voila! a masterpiece!

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    Once your project's complete, you can share the image to mediums like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or have it printed on wood like I have here. Here's the end result printed on natural gloss finish!

    Aviary photo editor app photo on wood

    It’s easy to see why Aviary appeals to so many, its super user friendly and has a wide array of creative options. It’s simple without being boring and complex without being confusing. So, if you’ve out-grown simpler photo editing apps- brighten, saturate, add text but aren’t quite ready to graduate into professional-level functions, Aviary would be a great app for you. The cosmetics tools definitely set it apart from a number of its competitors. One thing I would have like to see is more sophisticated filters. This app however ran smoothly with no problems with bugs or crashes. With that being said I’d give this app three logs!

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    For more information on Aviary, please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-editor-by-aviary/

  • App Review: Enlight

    Enlight App review

    I've come to realize and accept that I am...an app hoarder. Dozens of photo apps sit in boredom, collecting dust until its time perform a single task, then its back to the shelf for them. With this epiphany, I've set out to find the "Does It All" photo app, that would free my phone of storage space and me from my hoarding problem. From what I've heard about the new photo app, Enlight, I think I may have found it. Only one way to find out.

    If there’s one thing that I’m always on the look out for in a new app, it’s ease of use. Telling right away by its interface, Enlight is the most user-friendly photo app I’ve downloaded so far. Yes. THE most. Why? Well, for one, most apps, set multiple screens, long menus and blazing rings of fire to jump through in order to to get to the camera roll. Enlight conveniently places your photo stream right below the editing page so scrolling through photos is a breeze. Pleased with the option to easily select a saved image, I went with a quick picture I took while on a hiking trip.

    enlight app review starting image

    If you’d rather capture a new photo than scroll through your photo library, There’s an in app camera for you to use. The in-app camera is a bit limited when it comes to functionality.  Options like exposure adjustment aren’t featured but with the ability to edit the image later, I’m not too bothered.

    Once you have your photo, you can swipe right to reveal a menu of the categories; Canvas, Image, Filters, Tools, Artistic Brushes, Text, and Finalize. Each tab expands to a multitude of options when tapped.

    Enlight App Review options

    You’ve got your basic tools like exposure, color and tone adjustments and filters. And you've got creative tools like pens, brushes, and an urban tool that adds filters that that pretty much makes your photo completely unrecognizable.

    Enlight App Review filters

    One thing that's really abound in this app is variety. In addition to providing the ability to adjust filters to your liking, the app has a number of presets for any type of tone. for instance, there's a high key black and white filter, a low contrast one and much more. I found a number of the filters to be heavily saturated but again, they are adjustable.

    Enlight App review picture 2

    One of the features that causes Enlight to really break away from other apps is the “Refit” tool.  This allows the user to crop from inside the photo, bringing objects closer together without losing any detail. This may work best when you have a photo with actual subjects or focal points. I tried it on this landscape the tool simply flattened the photo.

    When you click the finalize button, there's even the option of creating a collage with photos from your stream. This is option something I haven't seen before and found pretty convenient. To finish off this app review I decided to go with a light filter, clarified the image a little and there it is, ready to be uploaded and become a wood print!

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    I'd give this app a rating of three wood logs. With a sleek, minimalistic style, Enlight allows for the photo to be the main focus sans distractions and tricks.

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    However, I found that there was one little distraction. Every tool  I clicked on to use began with a “how to” tutorial. This may just be my stubborn self-wanting to figure it out, without help or instructions. Needless to say, I buckled and found myself carefully perusing the directions for foreign tools such as “Refit.” Nevertheless, this app does get a thumbs up from me. Fairly priced at 3.99, Enlight could definitely act as a one stop shop for all your photo editing needs.

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    For more information on Enlight please visit:  http://www.enlightapp.com/

  • app review: photoblend

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    What’s better than one picture? The answer to that is two pictures, of course. Even better yet, two pictures in one. For this week’s app review, we decided to give photo blending a try with the help of Photoblender Pro, an app that lets you mix and match your photos with different overlays and even text. Lets see how it did….

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    The app itself is designed in a very simple fashion and is immediately very easy to navigate. The first screen you’ll see is that of a white canvas where you can start choosing your images. What’s helpful is that each icon will display a message that tells you where to start first. Initially, you’re prompted to select your bottom image. When you do this you’ll get several options such as camera roll, take a photo, quotes, and backgrounds. Because I usually use my own photos for app reviews, I decided to try something different and use one of their existing backgrounds, which were actually quite nice.

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    One thing you’ll notice is that the app lags a bit and is not as sensitive to touch as one might hope for, but just give it some time and little patience and it’ll be fine. I chose the image of a tree landscape as my bottom image and then went ahead and started looking for a top image. Again, you’re given the same options (overlays, quotes, camera roll, and take a photo). I chose the overlay option to see what was available and ended up choosing a geometric flower pattern to go on top of my image.

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    Once you’ve chosen both images you are then taken to the customization home page where you can make several adjustments including adding frames, filters, erase, pan and zoom and more. At this point the app will alert you about the ability to edit each layer individually at the top of the screen, with the first square and a bottom bar being the top image (overlay) and the second square with the top bar being the bottom image (trees).

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    The adjustments tab is a little tricky to work with but again, time and patience. There is also a filter option where you can choose whether or not to add a filter to both images of just one image. Once your satisfied with your image you can click the done button at the upper right hand corner, which will expand and let you share on social media, email, and save to your camera roll.

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    Once I saved it to my camera roll the next step was to upload it on the Create Your Own page to select the perfect size and finish for my print on wood.

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    I chose 6x6, 1/2" thick wood print with natural gloss finish, I really like how the wood grain shows through the light blue sky.

    In the end I would give this app an overall wood rating of two and half logs.

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    The app had decent tools and selections in overlays, backgrounds, etc, but it was slow and would often crash one me while I was working. At $2, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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    For more information on Photoblend please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photoblend-app/

  • App Review: Afterlight

    APP_TITLE_afterlight

    If you’re anything like me, you probably get a kick out of tinkering with photos on editing apps, while playing the game, “ooh, what does this button do?” Well, photo effect fanatics rejoice! Because app I’ll be reviewing today is said to be a photo-tinkerer’s dream. Ranking at number 5 in the top paid apps on iTunes, Afterlight seems to be a crowd pleaser. Curious to find out why, I downloaded the app and began dabbling around.

    The Afterlight homepage is simple and straightforward. It presents two buttons that offer the options to either take a picture or open one from your photo stream. I went with the in-app camera and was pleasantly surprised by my decision.

    photo 1

    The camera provides a few digital camera-like functions such as a self-timer, aperture adjustments, focus controls and ISO controls. After a few trials, I pulled, from my photo stream, a photo I took while roaming ‘round LA.

    photo 1

    The photo-editing page was just as direct as the homepage in providing options.

    Aside from the basic tools like cropping, exposure, saturation, etc., there is a wide range of editing options available. Remember when I said VSCO Cam had the largest filter selection I have ever seen? I lied. This app takes the cake, with over 40 filters, all of which are adjustable AND combinable.

    photo 3

    This app is LOADED with photo effects like quality textures, light leaks, photo layering, and text options, to mention a few. After playing around with contrast and temperature, I kept it simple with the Dallas filter and added a letter silhouette. Guess what the M stands for.

    photo 4

    I found that share page also had an array of options like creating a photo book, sharing to Instagram, or even having your photo made to a post card and shipped anywhere in the world.

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    Pretty pleased with my creation, I ended my Afterlight adventure with a sendoff to Instagram and gave them the best rating possible, 4.

    RATING

    The only test left was to see it printed on wood, which turned out beautifully on Natural Gloss finish.  The wood grain added a nice touch to the background and the file size was plenty big enough to print a large or small wood print.

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    I’ve got to say, I can see how Afterlight holds a place on the top ten paid apps on iTunes. With no glitches and lots of creative freedom, Afterlight could definitely serve as a one-stop shop for your photo-editing desires. The only thing I noticed missing was the ability to change the background color when using a silhouettes and types. This, however isn’t a pressing need for me. Though the app hosts a plethora of editing options, the interface is super easy to navigate. Without a doubt, I’ll be adding Afterlight to my photo-editing arsenal.

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    For more information on the Afterlight app, please visit:  http://afterlight.us/

  • App Review: TouchRetouch

    APP_TITLE_TouchRetouch

    Pictures are worth a thousand words and maybe even more! With so much up for interpretation in each picture, the less interference by surrounding objects or people, the better!   It's that perfect beach sunset in Maui interrupted by the old wrinkly man tanning behind you, or the amazing seafood you’re dying to post to instagram so your followers can envy your meal instead of your friend scrolling through his timeline across the table. Now as much as I would have loved to have been on a Maui beach or enjoying some scrumptious seafood (TRUST me), these two DREAM pictures would only be able to be corrected with photoshop which would require sending the picture to my email, saving it onto my computer,then once in photoshop the editing would begin (headache…..headache…..headache).

    Now, what if I told you that you could make photoshop-esque edits straight from your device with a few clicks. (Inception, right?) No, unfortunately we are not blessed with the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio or Joseph Gordon-Levitt but this is just as spectacular. This is the app that everyone’s been waiting for...the one-click photoshop for your mobile device is here! Unlike the difficult and hard to navigate program that photoshop is, TouchRetouch allows you to remove any unwanted objects or material in a picture with the touch of a finger! The old wrinkly man can finally be removed!

    Let's go back in time to the VSCO Cam app review, the image we used was a beautiful skyline partially obscured by stop lights and telephone lines, it will be the perfect test for this app.  Just in case you forgot, here it is again to refresh your memory:

    photo

    Ok, first stop is the Landing page:

    Upon opening TouchRetouch, they give you exactly what you want. They use a sleek black user interface with everything you need.They provide the options of uploading a photo from your gallery, taking a new photo, watching a tutorial for beginners, or watching an advanced tutorial. What first caught my eye was how efficient and simple the home screen was.

    They give you all the options you need without obfuscating the process for the user by giving you too much to deal with. The developers created this with the everyday user in mind and this makes the process better for everyone.

    landing page

    At the bottom of the landing page, you can share this app to any of you social networks through the “thumbs up” button or see what the developer has added to new versions with the “lightbulb” button.

    In the top right corner you can access the settings and help where you can change the settings, email the developers, or read help articles on specific issues. The landing page is very simple and efficient, providing ease of use for new users of the app.

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    Editing Page:

    Whether you upload or take a picture, the first step before heading to the editing screen is selecting the output resolution of the image. With 4 options: Original (3264 x 2448), High (2581 x 1936), Medium (1600 x 1200), and Low (1024 x 768), I’m going to select the highest resolution (original) to get the best quality image.

    IMG_4108

    Nothing exemplifies California better than palm trees and skies as blue as the ocean, which is why this is the perfect photo to edit.  As pretty as this picture is, it would be a lot more appealing without the ugly street signs in the way, so this will be what we remove.

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    After you have your picture present, you are provided with an array of editing tools such as the lasso, brush, and clone stamp. The lasso and brush tool allow you to remove any object in the picture. With the lasso you draw around the object and it will remove the area inside this while the brush tool requires you to draw over what you would like removed. The brush tool is generally more useful because you can select how large or small you would like the brush to be as well as be more precise.

    To start, I’ll use a brush to draw over both the stop light and the street sign using as thin of a brush as possible to make the retouch as unnoticeable as possible.

    IMG_4116

    Once I’ve drawn over what I want removed with the brush, I press the play button (hand symbol) to make the changes and voila! Just like that TouchRetouch worked its Houdini like magic and removed both the street sign and the stoplight, and we didn’t even have to pay admission! 

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    Now that our ugly street signs are gone, the last, and most detail oriented step in this editing process would be using the clone stamp.The clone stamp allows you to copy from one source to the destination location on the picture. This can be used to clone objects in your image, but more importantly can fill in the background of whatever object you have removed.

    The first step is setting your source. This is done by choosing what part of the picture you want to copy and setting that as your source. For background retouching purposes we would set another part of the background with the same color as the source. From here, you can choose between solid, smooth, and semi-transparent brushes to do your cloning. Now all you do is draw with your brush and your source will be what is drawn. I’ve realized the cloning tool is the most difficult to use and will most likely require the most time just because it calls for very precise drawing. For the image of paradise, I will use a source on the pavement for the street sign since that is what it has left revealed. The source for the stoplight would be a combination of different hues of the sky.

    Unfortunately, in the midst of my cloning process the app crashed and I now have to start all over again. This is something that I hate to see happen and that any user would hate dealing with but is understandable due to the nature of the software.

    Aside from all the cool ways you can edit your picture, the editing page has useful add-ins like an info tab in the top right corner if you need any help, a back and forward button to undo and redo any changes, and link to your photo gallery if you want to start over from scratch. 

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    Finally all of our hard work is done and we have turned an average intersection into a California paradise waiting to be explored!

    Rating: 3 logs

    RATE

    Is TouchRetouch the mobile photo editing app of the future, or is the old wrinkly man tanning a reality that will never leave?

    The combination of effective and versatile tools that accommodate the basic picture editing needs along with very few options provided make this app superb for the everyday user like you and I editing objects or blemishes out of their pictures. Whether you are perfecting an image by moving background objects, or removing things to create funny pictures TouchRetouch gives you plenty of flexibility.

    Personally, I would improve the clone stamp tool to allow you to lock onto a source. After choosing a source, my source would follow the same movement as my brush, creating a huge mess and almost doubling the amount of time it took to use the clone stamp tool.

    The app crashing in the middle of my editing was also frustrating, causing the oversized tips of my fingers to do a lot more work than they wanted retracing over what I needed to delete.

    The plus is the file size and image quality were perfect to print on wood, the wood grain in the blue sky looks even better with out the stop lights and traffic signs. (natural gloss finish)

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    Overall, TouchRetouch does an excellent job creating an efficient photo editing platform on your mobile device. Taking all this into consideration, TouchRetouch is a very effective app that almost anyone can use, warranting a rating of 3. These minor flaws can be easily fixed, and that beach on Maui can look as stunning as it was, or as you want it to be.

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    For more information on Touch Retouch please visit: http://adva-soft.com/products/touch-retouch/

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