As a photographer and designer, I'm always on the lookout for new photo editing apps, that allow me to quickly and creatively enhance whatever story I'm telling at the moment. I have a few staples which I will always probably use (maybe a future blog post, stay tuned) but most recently I found this lovely little app A COLOR STORY.
The first thing that drew my attention were the colors and design of everything from the layout, demo, logo, etc. I'm a total glutton for color and man, this one got me good!
As mentioned, the design is brilliant, from the bright and punchy app icon / logo to the vibrant yet clean splash screen. Those elements alone tell a precise "story" of what to expect with the app itself. As with any successful product, your first impression should emulate your product's features and experience.
Personally, I thought the UI of this app was very well put together. From the splash page to the Save + Post page, it had a logical and simple flow. It offers a lot of options in the way of arbitrary cropping, mirror flip, overlay effects like flare & bokeh, light leaks + color fog, filter packs and more. It also offers your basic tools such as clarity, contrast, exposure, etc. (more of which I'll expand on it the next section.) Each option is laid out well with simple and recognizable icons for those familiar with editing. I do have to say that I think the smartest and probably most under-rated option that they give you (on ALL filter, tools and effects screens) is the step forward + step backwards options. For every time you tap those little curved arrows it allows you to undo or redo an alteration in the order that it was done. Very much so like your history panel in Photoshop.
Filters + Features
We've taken a look at quite a few details already, the foundation of the app - UI and design, or as I like to consider them "the cake", but let's be honest we all LIVE for "the icing" - filters and features! In the sample below (one of my photos of my daughter - click image to lightbox) I show you a small example of what you can expect in your editing process.
With this picture I wanted to punch up those amazing colors and brighten the overall image. Out of the 10, yes TEN available filter packs, I decided to go with the "Cotton Candy" filter under the "Boho" filter pack. Each filter has a slide adjuster for intensity and you can also stack filters to make your own custom look. What's even more rad is that if you decide to make your own custom look you can save your steps, just like an action or preset to use again on later edits. The only screen that I did not include was the "EFFECTS" screen as i did not use one in this quick edit, but it does offer options such as Flare & Bokeh, Light Leaks and Color Fog.
Now let's chat about hands down my favorite option that this app offers, CURVES! But this isn't just your basic curve, nay nay, this thing is fully intuitive! It allows for full RGB spectrum and tonal adjustments...BANANAS! One of those features that makes you go "damn......now that's nice"! And obviously if I give you my favorite option I have to also balance it with giving you my least favorite or "room for improvement" option which would be Blur. While not an option I use heavily or super often in my editing, I was still hoping for more of a tilt-shift like blur tool that would allow me to choose from things like parallel or radial blur with centering and scalability options. Maybe something we'll see in the way of an update in the future? Regardless, it's lack of an expansive blur tool does not diminish my love for this app!
Who doesn't love a FREE app, am I right?! A COLOR STORY is free to download and you can then choose in app which filter packs or effects packs you'd like to purchase within a range of .99¢ to $1.99 OR (which is the option I chose) you can purchase all current packs for a limited time for just $7.99! If you do a large portion of your daily editing on your iPhone, on the go, in between meetings, work, etc. like I do then the cost of $7.99 for a well rounded and fresh photo editing app is a no brainer...SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
Overall, this app gets a gold star in my book. Less than a month old and it managed to grab my attention, warrant a full purchase and even garner a review. I feel that they, even straight out of the gate, have little that would need to be improved upon in the future. I can tell, as a consumer, photographer and designer, that a lot of thought and time was put into this app and I would highly recommend that you check it out as well. You won't be disappointed!