Welcome to Prints on Wood!

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How To

  • TAKE A STAND

    Ever wondered what you're REALLY supposed to do with those little pieces of wood we send you with prints 11 x 14 and smaller?

    Stick them in the back of your print, that's what!

    For a more in depth analysis on our wooden stands, rock out to this easy to follow video!

  • Sports & Action Shots on Wood

    According to Dictionary.com, an action photograph/shot is defined as a still photograph that features the subject in motion or action. These shots are often some of the most difficult types of pictures to capture. However, action shots provide some of the best photographic moments, especially when it comes to sports - which is why they're one of the most popular types of photos taken.

    With sports and other action shots, it's important to follow some key steps in order to take the perfect photos.

    Step 1: Ensure that your camera or phone a fast shutter speed. 
    With action shots, you'll want to be shooting in Shutter Priority Mode. Slower shutter speeds work better for action shots. Remember, your shutter speed will be the key to getting the perfect photo to print on wood.

    sport_action_print_on_wood_high_quality_wood_print_photo_prints_on_wood

    Step 2: Check your lighting.
    Ensure that you have the proper ISO setting for various light conditions. This will help your photo come out looking brighter and more clear.

    Step 3: Be quick and ready.
    Things will move fast. In order to get the best photo, you'll have to be quick as lighting. However, don't forget to press down on the shutter button fully.

    sport_action_print_on_wood_high_quality_wood_print_photo_soccer_prints_on_wood

    Step 4: Take as many shots as you can possibly can.
    There's no guarantee that an action shot will be perfect - especially on the first try.  That's why you should try to take as many pictures as you can. The more shots you have, the easier it will be to find the perfect one.

    Now that you have your perfect action shot, you can make it even better by getting it printed on wood. With Prints on Wood, you're guaranteed to receive high-quality and long-lasting prints. Our prints make great gifts for the athlete in your life. They also make fantastic and thoughtful gifts for family and friends.

    sport_action_print_on_wood_high_quality_wood_print_photo

    To get your hands on some of your own, click here.

  • Landscapes Photos on Natural Wood

    It's hard to deny the beauty of a natural landscape. Photos of things like boats on the water or of sunsets on the horizon are always breathtaking and eye-catching.

    landscape_ocean_view_wood_print_prints_on_wood_custom_photo_wood_printing

    Why do people take pictures of landscapes? 
    One of the best reasons would simply be to capture a great experience or moment - whether it be from traveling, exploring, or from an everyday view. Many other people consider it a hobby to catch nature in its simplest and most extravagant form. Landscape photos usually do no contain any people, since they're often meant to portray nature as the main subject.

    What are some typical landscape subjects? 
    A great landscape photo can just be one of nature. Forests, oceans, rivers, mountains, and clouds are all great examples of the best types of things to capture. However, some subjects may require a special camera to capture the best photo. For example, underwater pictures are best taken with a waterproof camera.

    Why print a landscape photo on wood grain?
    Printing on wood is the best way to enhance the natural beauty of your photo. Once printed, the natural wood finish adds a richer, more vibrant result to the landscape. The wood grain showing through the photos gives a natural feel and adds a unique look to the portrait. It's the best way to make a good photo appear even greater. 
    nature-landscape-scenery-woodprint-high-quality-wood-print-custom-wood-print-photo-printing-on-wood-1

    Photos on wood are also great for decorating, designing, and for adding the finishing touches to your home. Everyone will be sure to appreciate the beauty of the natural portrait.

  • 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.

    IMG_3298

    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.

    RATE

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

  • 10 Worst Father's Day Gifts

    The weather is getting warmer, the sun is staying out longer, and everyone is growing more excited that summer is inching closer and closer. Just a few more weeks until we have the unofficial start of summer, Father’s Day!  The day we pay homage to one who taught us how to throw a ball, BBQ, camp in the wilderness, learn to drive, or simply be a role model of who we hope to be someday.

    Gifts for Dad seem to be the hardest to figure out, usually the toughest name on the Christmas list to mark off.  I usually end up searching the web for some good ideas outside the pair of socks or new tie requests.   What I found was not just ridiculous, it was equally as hilarious.  After audibly laughing outloud numerous times, I couldn't help but share the best of the best "Worst Father's Day Gifts".  I hope you enjoy the list as much as I did discovering it.

    10. Bar-noculars - Apparently this sort of thing has been around awhile, who knew!  Particularly appropriate if your Dad likes bird watching and drinking indiscriminately.

    barnoculars 1

    9. Flair Hair Visor - I mean, would anyone really believe thats your hair? It looks like fur cut off from your school mascot and put on a visor. Just look at how sad the guy is before the Flair Hair Visor and how happy after, if that's not convincing... Looks like it comes in a variety of hair colors to match your Dad's hair (what ever their may be left) perfectly!

    hair visor 2hair visor

    8. I Love Farting Mug - It's one thing to have the heart for the mug be a butt crack, and another to have the mug fart every time you lift it up.  It comes with 6 different fart noises and batteries so you won't miss a minute of the fun!

    i love farting mug

    7. Wiener Roasters - Why put your wieners on the grill when you can have them dangle a few inches above it?

    weiner roasters

    6. Home Urinal - For the laziest of the lazy! Why bother to put the seat up or even aim when you can extended the opening right to you.

    urnial toilet

    5. Potty Putter - Kill two birds with one stone? Might as well! Though I’m not sure too many dads will want to focus on their putt while on their toilet.

    potty_putter

    4. Spray-On Hair - Hair growth treatments are fine, but once you make it into a spray paint that's when you have crossed the line.

    spray on hair

    3. Artificial Bladder - Granted, this could be one of the greatest ideas to avoid inflated beer costs at games, but who could honestly give this to someone for Father’s Day.

    drinking bladder

    2. UroClub Gold Urination Device - This is amazing. Just amazing. In case you’re too far on the course and can’t make it the bathroom, might as well carry a club you can discretely pee through.

    urinating golf club

    1. Tandem Sweatshirt - Saving the best for last. Because being with each other all the time isn’t enough, might as well share a sweater with separate hoods and arms.

    tandem tshirt

    While some of these items in our top 10 may have some sort of use, they are all equally pretty bad ideas for a Father’s Day gift. So what do you get if the funny options don’t make the cut? Something with meaning and significance, something that can always be cherished!  Hmm... what could fit that description... oh yeah, how about a photo of your Dad and you printed on wood.  He would LOVE it, in our opinion, although we may be a bit biased.

    Our custom wood print lab allows you to select a size, thickness, and finish for the image of your choice in 4 easy steps.  Just for Dad we are offering 30% off all custom wood prints with the code “DADRULES” and free shipping for orders over $50.

    Here are a few samples of Father’s Day photos printed on wood to add a bit of inspiration in the right direction:

    Dad_and_daughter

    Shown in natural gloss finish

    Dad_walking_with_son

    Shown in natural gloss finish

    For this Father’s Day get your dad a token of something that will always be close to his heart, family. You're welcome.

  • Photo(Wood)Shop: Sharpness and Splash

    As many of you know, Prints on Wood has it’s own integrated photo manipulation program already built in under the “Create Your Own” option. In the past,  we have covered several effects including Focus, Frames, Stickers and more. This week we will talk about Sharpness and Splash.

    To begin, let's access the Image Effects Editor. This can be found on the Create Your Own page after uploading your photo. Just click on the green button with a magic icon above your image proof that reads "Add Image Effects".

    For this week’s review, I used a family photo of my nieces and nephew and I during my trip to Seattle.  Once the picture uploaded, I went straight to the Sharpness option, see icon below.

    Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 1.33.28 PM

    Once open I was shown a sort of slider apparatus which you can move left or right depending on how sharp you want your image to be. This particular image was a bit fuzzy in my opinion, so I dragged the slider to the right to make it sharper.

    Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 1.36.22 PM

    Once I was happy with my image I went on to the Splash option, which looks like a small paint bucket.

    Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 10.17.46 AM

    In Splash you are given several menu options including “Free Color”, “Smart Color”, “Eraser” and “Brush Size”.  When choosing Free Color, you are given the liberty to manipulate any area of the picture. As you can see, I colored only the background and remaining surroundings. You can adjust the brush sizes to small, medium, and large for those hard to reach spaces and can also erase for those of you who can't help but color outside the lines.

    Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 1.50.50 PM

    I hit cancel because I wanted  to try out the Smart Color this time and once again chose “Splash”. With the Smart Color option chosen you can then choose a hue on the picture to which to work with and the app will only color in that hue. I chose brown (from the spiraled tunnel around us) and went from there.

    Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 2.00.48 PM

    As you can see, by choosing a hue with the smart color option, you can make only certain tones in the photograph stand out. Pretty cool indeed!

    After toning down the image with the brown hue, the image looks just right!  Now just save the photo, pick the size, thickness and finish.  After check out a print on wood will be delivered to my door step in little over a week!

    If you decide to use any of the above options for your photo making fun, let us know!

  • App Review: Fuzel Collage

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    Have you ever wanted to make a collage of photos from your trip to the beach with friends or a fun family vacation or your favorite wedding photos BUT your not an expert at photoshop and don't want to pay someone else who is?   This week’s app review, Fuzel Collage, may just be the perfect solution!   And its not just because it has been generating a good amount of buzz on the app store. It primarily focuses on collage building, but you can also add effects, stickers, and other features to your pictures. Let’s see if lives up the hype!

    The first thing you’ll be greeted with when you open the app is an interactive page and three menu items at the bottom. The gear icon will take you to their settings page where you can rate and review the app, contact email support, etc. The bell icon on the right is simply the notifications alert icon. The icon in the middle is the one we want to focus on seeing as that’s how we are going to choose our pictures. Once you click the add button you are then taken to the photo chooser page where you can either choose an already existing photo from your camera roll or take a new one.

    photo 2

    You can select as many pictures as you’d like apparently and you’ll notice the “select” ticker on the bottom right corner tell you how many photos you have chosen. I decided to go with 4 pictures I had taken on a hike to Griffith Park.

    After this you’re taken to a collage design chooser page. Automatically the app sets you up to the “simple” template chooser but there is also an animated one that you can use to add videos in your collages, a funky category with more complex layouts, and a free form category with even more options (all of these require an in-app purchase) I personally really like the minimalist approach and usually stick with that, so I chose a layout that I liked under “simple” and hit next.

    photo 4

    After you have chosen a layout of your choice, you are greeted with the Edit page where you are given several options including layout, effects, frame, sticker, label, text, and fill.

    photo 5The first layout icon will allow you to play around with the foundation layout of your collage and change things like margins, spacing, and shadow. You can also adjust the thickness and roundness of your photos. I added some round effects to my margins and added some shadow for depth.

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    After which you can hit the customize icon on the far bottom right where you can then alter the shape of each of your pictures using the resize icon. I changed one of my picture’s shapes into a triangle as you can see.

    The next option is cut, which basically lets you cut your collage into more sections if needed. The last merge option will allow you to merge two pictures into just one photo using both the previous photo shape and the new one. I clicked apply once I was satisfied with the look of my collage and hit apply twice on the top right corner to confirm both the shape change and layout changes I had made.

    At this point in the design process, if you wanted to change photos and move their positions around you can do so by tapping on the photo and holding and moving it to the desired location.

    10

    Moving on to the effects section, this is where you can add effects to the whole collage at once or to individual photos. If you wish to add the same effect throughout, just click somewhere on the frame and all the pictures will be affected. If you want to work with specific photos at once, like I did, just click on the desired photo and you’ll notice a pink cutout line appear around the selected picture. All the effect filters are named after a geographical location to represent them, which I thought was pretty quirky. I chose Shanghai for the large picture on top, Paris for the bottom left, Santiago for the middle, and Moscow for the bottom right picture. You’ll also see that whenever you have a picture selected, a sort of transparent magic wand appears in the right middle corner of the app. This takes you to an even more in depth customization screen where you can work with lighting, color, sharpness, and vignettes. You can even flip the desired photo horizontally and vertically. All changes are made by dragging up & down, or left to right.

    Once you have made all the necessary changes, you hit apply and are once again taken to the customization home page. The next icon is the frames icon. You will need to download the free pack the app comes with, by the way. Once it’s downloaded you’re given several pretty cool looking frames. Click on the desired frame and you’re once again taken to the main page.

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    The next icon is stickers, which I never really like to place in my pictures, but to each his own. You’re given the usual options: flowers, hearts, peace sign, and some sayings.12

    If by any chance you place a sticker on your collage that you are unsatisfied with and wish to erase, just drag and drop to the trashcan that will appear on the bottom.

    Next up is the label option that allows you to place different sayings and mantras onto your collage. I went ahead and chose the first option and wrote the word California.

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    The next option is text where you can chose different fonts and styles to write out whatever wordage you like. Because I had already placed a label on my photo and don’t want to clutter it up too much, I skip adding more text to mine.

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    The final option is Fill. Here you can choose to add a color to your background. You can also choose from different patterns once you download the free pack. I chose a swirly black pattern which I thought was pretty cool and was finally able to hit done.

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    From here on you can continue to edit the collage, duplicate it, or delete it. You’ll see a share button on the top right hand corner where you can then save to device, share on Instagram, Facebook, email, Twitter, and Tumblr.

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    Overall, I give this app a rating of 4 because it was very easy to use and handled my directions very well. It did not lag and did exactly what I wanted it to. Not to mention a lot of options for a free app.

    RATING

    Now let's see how it looks printed on wood...

    fuzel_app

    Bellissimo!

    _____________________

    For more information on Fuzel Collage please visit: http://www.fuzelapp.com/

  • APP REVIEW: FRAGMENT

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    You know a couple of app reviews ago when I said I was sick of Photo apps? Well guess what? I was lying. Now I'm REALLY sick of photo apps! Seriously, how many times can you repackage sepia photo filters?

    Trust me though when I say my loss is your gain. Much like my career as a Graphic Designer, when it comes to app reviews, I now consider myself an expert. Not out of some misguided sense of arrogance, but because I've made every single possible mistake along my journey that I now know what NOT to do. Does that mean every subsequent app review is going to great? Probably not. What I do know is what to look for when avoiding crapps (crappy apps).

    Does it's icon steal from the look and style of Instagrams? It's probably a crapp. Is there a list of "In-App Purchases" included in the App description? More than likely it's a crapp. Has it ever been a Starbucks Pick Of The Week? Then it's definitely crapp. Does that mean every single app that includes one or more of these outliers is automatically a crapp? Of course not. But even the most die-hard college liberal would be hard pressed to deny the fact that most stereotypes are based in truth.

    This week after searching for an app that combined a unique premise with great reviews, I found myself at the feet of Fragment. A photo editing app that features prismatic photo effects. What exactly does that mean? To put it in layman's terms, it basically makes your photos look like an indie rock album cover.

    indieIf your iTunes library resembles this collage, then you're legally required to punch yourself in the face.

    So how does Fragment work? Quite easily. From the user interface all the way down to the app's icon, Fragment has an aesthetically pleasing look and feel, capitalizing on the minimalistic trend that's popular in Graphic Design right now.

    f1

    THIS! Right here. If you're new to graphic design, or you just plain suck, do yourself a favor and study this image. If you're going to ape anyone's style, please let it be Fragment's. The single most defining aspect of great design is simplicity. On the far left we see Fragment's splash page. No company logos, no title, no sign-up page, no notification inquires, no adds, just three options. Two of which are immediately engaging.

    Tapping on the Information icon on the top right corner toggles a legend (center and right image) that efficiently describes every single aspect of Fragment. Seriously! Look at that! The whole entire premise of the app can easily fit onto the front and back side of a business card. Not to mention the presentation lends itself to an incredibly simple / easy to follow format.

    Alright, alright, enough swooning. Lets get started. While peeking through example photos featured in the Inspiration selection, it seems like Fragment works best with landscapes. Unfortunately POW is based in Riverside CA, so the only landscapes you'll find around here are piles of dirt. Luckily, I hopped on my bosses computer while he was away and rifled through his pictures, discovering a beauteous photograph taken of Lake Powell in addition to several compromising selfies.

    f2

    Once you take / upload a picture into Fragment, you're then prompted to select an aspect ratio. When cycling through the different dimensions, the areas that will be cropped out are darkened to give a better indication of where your image will cut off. You also have the ability to rotate your image as well as selecting no aspect, incase you like your photo as is. To keep with the indie record cover theme, I'll be selecting the 1:1 aspect.

    f3

    After making my selection, I can now scrub through Fragment's prismatic filter library. To do so, just swipe your finger to the right or left of the grey boxes to scroll through each option. As you can see, there's a circle at the top of the screen. When it looks like a blue donut, you can edit your image's appearance inside the filter by pinching two fingers and moving them accordingly to adjust placement, rotation, or size. When the icon above looks like two yellow circles, you can edit your filter using the same technique to make similar adjustments to your prism. Tapping on the top circle allows you to switch in between the two.

    The first three icons above the grey filter boxes are representative of these effects. Placement is represented by the 4 dots on the left, rotation/angle is represented by the speedometer / clock icon next to it, and the square within a square icon represents scaling. If at any point you are unsatisfied with your adjustment, tapping each of these icons once returns the image / filter to it's defaults size and position.

    The fourth icon, which looks like a pair of "shuffle" arrows randomizes these effects on both the filter and the image inside of it.

    f4

    After much deliberation, I finally decided on a prismatic filter that looks like a fake-ass Van Halen logo. If you look at the previous image set, you'll notice a grey triangle on the bottom center of the screen. Swiping this triangle upward pulls up Fragment's image editing effects. The effects range from Brightness, Contrast, Additive, Blur, Invert and Desaturate. Keeping with the overall simplistic theme of Fragment, these effects work exactly like they sound. Each effect is represented by a circular icon on the top row of the image effects pull-up menu.

    A liner dial rests on the 2nd row of this menu. This allows you to adjust the intensity of these image effects. Swiping to your left increases the positive value of the dial, which adjusts / applies these effects to your base image. Swiping to your right increases the negative value of the dial, in turn effecting the image inside the filter. Finally, the bottom row features a line of swatches that lets you assign a color to each selected filter.

    After playing around with these tools for a good while, I finally decided on a combination I thought would look excellent on a bright white wood print. It definitely looks like an indie album cover, all that's missing is an indie band name that's just pretentious enough for kids to pretend they've actually heard of me when I play at next year's Coachella!

    Since I've already delved into several Graphic Design tangents throughout this review, every first year design student knows that the shortest distance between you and a finished logo is a crappy amalgamation using the initials of the person / business you're designing it for. Best part is my prismatic filter already looks like one of those stupid logos! Let's see, the shape in the middle looks like a seven, the one on the outside looks like a V, and the one in the center is tilted just enough to look like an A.

    Hmmmmm.... wait! I GOT IT!

    7VAI can already hear the keyboards!

    Yes, unfortunately my old fake band, Mötley Jew, has long since retired. I now urge every POW blog reader (all two of you) to check out my new fake band, Seven Vegan Astronauts. This summer we'll be going on tour with Washed Out and Kurt Vile! That's right! Come watch me strum 3 major chords + 1 minor cord on my Telecaster for 2 hours while whimpering metaphors into a microphone over an electronic drum beat! Did I mention i'm going to have a tambourine taped to my foot the entire time?

    Now let's see how well this holds up on wood...

    7VA_1

    Here I come! Today the internet, tomorrow the Grammys! Honestly, they gave one to Macklemore so it can't be THAT hard, right? (burn)

    So was Fragment able to keep it together or shatter into a million pieces?

    RATING

    Having cycled through several different photo editing apps over the course of these reviews, one aspect that gets frustrating is the amount of backtracking that takes place. Switching through filters in most apps requires navigating in and out of several different interfaces in order to access what you need. This creates a wider margin of error until you start to memorize the rhythm of the app. From the jump, Fragment has all it's features centrally located on one single UI, and what isn't shown is still easily accessible without losing momentum.

    When playing with Fragment, I felt that it's developers achieved a perfect balance between form and function. When apps lean too hard either way, it feels like they skimp on one to permeate the other. They end up being an app that's high on concept, but low on quality. Fragment takes a powerful stance on photo editing and combines it with an equally powerful design, resulting in a clean, fresh app.

    When conducting research for my review, I discovered that Fragment's developers: Pixite LLC, have also created several companion apps that work in conjunction with Fragment. Each of these focus on a different aspects of photo editing. While this might be the case, Fragment (despite it's name) works and feels like a full, complete, stand-alone application. Even more so when compared to standard apps that like to hide it's best features behind a premium.

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    For more information on Fragment, please visit: http://fragmentapp.com/

  • APP REVIEW: CUT ME IN

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    When I was 21, I worked at Kinko's. One night a woman came in to ask a question I would never forget for the rest of my life. She walked up and handed me a picture of her and her ex-boyfriend sitting together on a fountain while vacationing in Italy...

    HER: Can you print this?

    ME: Sure, let me scan it real quick.

    HER: Can you take him out?

    ME: Uh... I can crop him out.

    HER: *Ugh* Then I'll lose the fountain! Can't you just put a palm tree in front of him?

    ME: Do what now?

    HER: You know, take a picture of something else and cover him up! That shouldn't take too long should it?

    Really!? A palm tree? Smack-dab in the front of a fountain? Didn't she realize how corny that picture was going to look? Not to mention the dude had his arm around her. What am I supposed to do then? Photoshop a branch around her neck? (That's some Evil Dead $#!+ ) It's not her fault though, she didn't know. With the advances in technology since then, I think about that poor sweet lady from time to time. Was she ever able to find a way to enjoy that photo without being sullied by the memory of her ex-boyfriend?

    Well Ma'am, if you're still out there, I found the PERFECT app just for you! CUT ME IN is a beginner level app that allows you to mask out an existing photo and superimpose it on top of a different image. That's right, an app that finally allows you to cover up those pesky ex-boyfriends! Unfortunately, I don't know what ever happened to that woman, so I can't fix her picture. I guess the only logical option left is to use this app for what it was truly intended for... mockery!

    CMI_0

    The base version of CUT ME IN is free. It allows you to select one of several provided stock photo backgrounds to use. First thing I noticed was that only a handful of backgrounds images were taken at an optimal viewpoint to place a photo of someone into. The rest are just awkwardly angled. I noticed CUT ME IN featured the option to upload your own photo as a background, so I opted for that. When randomly selecting a picture from my camera roll to test things out, I was immediately notified that I had to shell out 2 bucks to unlock this feature.

    *Sigh* Alright folks, if I'm going to use my own money to review this app, then I'm going to make it good! Given the nature of this app review, I'll be using two images. The first picture we'll be using is this one I took of Prints On Wood's foxy young ingénue, Alex. ;)

    CMI_1Coincidentally, this is also the same face she makes every time I walk into the room.

    After spending $2 to upload this lovely image of Alex, CUT ME IN then prompts you to either take a photo, or use an existing one on your camera roll. Since I'm positive all of you are sick of my boyish good looks by now, I went into our workshop to take a picture of POW's 2nd hottest male employee, Wesley!

    CMI_2

    To recap: Your first photo is your background image, and your second photo is going to be placed on top. Once you shoot / select your 2nd photo, CUT ME IN allows you to mask out your selection. Using your finger, you can trace the outline of the object you'd like to place into your background image. This is where things get a little messy. There's no edge detection on this tool, only a little magnifying glass that appears to show you the detail of your line (which is helpful incase you have fat fingers like me).

    CMI_3

    As you can see, I was able to get the general outline of Wes' physique, but it's a little sloppy around the corners (my clipping mask, not Wes). One caveat about CUT ME IN is that with the obvious limitations in terms of cutting out your image, none of your finished photos are going to look realistic. But we all know this app isn't about realism, it's about having fun!

    CMI_4Noice!

    After cutting out Wes from his photo, CUT ME IN now places your selection from the second picture into the background image. As indicated by the wording at the top of the screen, this portion of the user experience is referred to as the Chopstation. The placement of images and assets in the Chopstation works quite similar to POW's Image Effects Editor. To scale or rotate the size or angle of your placed image, simply pinch two opposing corners of the box and move your fingers accordingly. To delete it, just tap the black X in the top left corner of your bounding box.

    CMI_5

    The Chopstation also allows you to add to your image with the offering of several tools. A Brush tool that allows you to draw on your picture, Stickers of hats and mustaches to place onto your image, a Text tool to place words on your image, and Word Balloons containing several internet acronyms (OMG, LOL). None of the word balloons seemed to match the impending look of doom on Alex's face, so I moved Wes out of the way to draw my own with the Brush tool. After drawing my sweet word balloon, I got hit with another impending charge when I clicked on Text to add some words.

    CMI_pree

    Apparently there's 3 versions of CUT ME IN. A free version, a version that allows you to upload your own backgrounds ($2), and a Pro version that features more stock backgrounds, the ability to add text, and the ability to upload your own background images ($3).

    When I was messing with the free version, I knew I wanted to use my own pictures, but wasn't too sure about adding text, so I paid the $2 to unlock the custom background ability. When I decided to upgrade to Pro, I thought that the cost would be compounded and I would pay the $1 difference. Nope. You have to pay a total of $5 to upload your own pictures and ADD text if you go about it the wrong way.

    Well that sucks. I was having so much fun up until that point. Screw it. I'll just add text to the final image in Photoshop. Speaking of, let's see how my Frankenedsteined foto turned out.

    MLADYYES!

    Tsk tsk. Here we see another sweet kind gentlesir getting freindzoned, once again, over the prospect of a euphoric evening consisting of watching Cosmos in his mother's basement while drinking Mountain Dew and eating Cool Ranch Doritos. How typical! It's ok Wes, I bet she doesn't even know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is!

    Now for the obligatory wood print...

    CMI_6It's not the fedora on your head, but the fedora on your heart that matters.

    So in conclusion, did CUT ME IN make the cut?

    RATE

    After we all had a nice laugh about the final picture, based on all the fun that was had, I was going to give this mother a 4. Then I took into account that the final images produced by CUT ME IN are incredibly low rez. The app also offers no image editing features in terms of lighting/sharpness/color, which would greatly contribute to the overall experience. Since we still had a lot of fun, I was going to downgrade the rating to a generous 3. THEN I remembered how I was swindled out of $2 dollars to upload my own pictures and nearly strong-armed into paying another $3.

    In my opinion, it would've been less insulting and more intuitive to offer two versions of CUT ME IN. A free version, and a premium one. To pay $2 to unlock one single feature is absurd. To pay another $3 on top of that to unlock more is superfluous. A better solution would have been to bundle everything together for one cost instead of tricking unsuspecting rubes (like myself) into paying a little now, only to pay more later. Taking all of that into consideration, despite all the fun, CUT ME IN garners a solid 2.

    After spending all of $2 on a humorous second-rate app while lampooning two unsuspecting participants (I didn't tell them what these pictures were going to be used for), I've decided to clean the sour taste that CUT ME IN has left in my mouth by ending on a high note.

    Please accept this nice, normal, crush-worthy photo of Alex and Wes as atonement for my d-baggery.

    POWBABES

    Wow! Check out those beautiful blue eyes! Those full soft pink lips! That alluring yet seductive european jaw-line! Hotdamn! Wes is a STUD! Oh... and... uh... Alex is pretty cute too. But what's this?

    yuckIs it me, or did this picture just got a whole hell of a lot hotter!?

    ----------------

    For more information on CUT ME IN, please visit: http://www.applauseapps.com.au/

  • APP REVIEW: POSTALE

    post

    Tipped off by an incredibly reliable source (aka Starbucks Pick of The Week), I was introduced to the iPhone App: Postale. Given the racially insensitive undertones deeply embedded into older episodes of Looney Tunes, I naturally assumed the name of this app was meant to be said in an incredibly cartoonish italian accent, emphasized by grandiose hand gestures. (POE-STAH-LEE!) Several awkward situations later, I realized much to my chagrin that it's pronounced as "Postal".

    While most postcards feature warm greetings, historical landmarks, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex wearing a pair of sunglasses, Postale is an app that allows you to take your own photographs and transform them into custom postcards. For this review, I'll be using a picture of Prints On Wood's most favorite 8 year old boy, Dash!

    DASHI'm pretty sure that last sentence just landed this blog on some NSA watchlist.

    P1

    Right off the bat, Postale goes out of it's way to let you know it wants to keep things simple. I'm cool with that. As you can see, my options are limited to three: Create, Gallery, and Shop. Lets start with Create.

    P2

    After selecting Create, Postale prompts you to select one of it's four layouts: Portrait Side-By-Side, Vertical, Veritcal Side-By-Side, and Panoramic. Keeping with the less is more / I need to get this blog post done before I can go home theme, lets go with the Portrait Side-By-Side option. After selecting your layout, you can now select the theme of your postcard. Once again, not a huge selection of options. I selected the good 'ol fashioned red, white, & blue striped air mail theme, because y'know... 'MURCIA!

    Now that we got our orientation selected, we can "customize" our postcard. I say that loosely because it's a fancy way to say we're going to add text and a picture. Working from left to right, click Photo to insert your picture.

    P3

    Once you select the photo for your postcard, you can can apply photo filters to the image. Postale offers the typical 5-6 photo filters with fancy sounding names, but they're what you would expect from default features. They do offer some more unique filters for $1.99 a set, which don't seem to be that much different from the default filters. The color of my original photo looks cool enough already so let's move forward.

    P4

    Now to add some text, click Message. Doing so toggles your iPhones keypad so you can write your message like you would a text. The UI for the Message feature allows you to change the style, size, and color of your text. Once complete, click on Title to add more text to the top of your post card. This space is more traditionally reserved for your salutation.

    P5

    After cycling through Photo, Message, and Title, Postale allows you to add a "stamp" to your postcard. You can select from Postale's limited stamp library, add more stamps for $1-$2 per set, or upload your own photo to use in lieu of a stamp. I decided to use this sweet almost-finished picture I drew of myself for the stamp on Dash's postcard.

    P6Stud Muffin(top)

    We got our picture, our text, our greeting, and some incredibly swarthy postage. Lets see how this bad-boy looks now that it's finished.

    P7Meh. Cool I guess.

    Sarcasm aside, one neat feature about Postale is that it takes the location data from your photograph and uses the city/zipcode of your photo for use in the post office stamp. When beginning this app review, I lacked the foresight to see if any of the offered post card sizes were proportionate to any standard photo sizes. Unfortunately, they are not. I had to skew the image a bit to fit a 6 x 4 canvas to print on wood. Speaking of which, lets see how that turned out.

    P8

    Not too shabby. The red and blue look pretty cool mixed in with the wood grain. So overall, is Postale deserving of first class rates, or should it get tossed out with the junk mail?

    RATE

    Junk mail.

    At it's core, these apps are just an incredibly low budget / limited photo editor with a gimmick attached. Much like PicLab and Halftone, Postale falls into the category of an Instagram clone wrapped around a decent concept. Unfortunately it lacks quality content to make your purcase of the app itself feel worthwhile, let alone add-ons. The worst part is the paid image effects offered in Postale are incredibly similar to the ones offered in Camera 360, the only difference being they are completely free.

    Halfway through this review it hit me. Aren't traditional postcards supposed to have a full image on the back and the mailing address / written content on the back? Well, Postale can send an honest-to-goodness postcard for $2 in the US, and $3 international. While the concept of taking a picture and turning it into a postcard sounds fun, Postale for lack of a better term, comes off as boring. For an app that offers so very little, $2 with additional add-ons offered for the same amount seems a little over priced. At this point, mailing an actual store-bought postcard from wherever you might be visiting would seem more frugal and exciting.

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