Putting the MacPhun back into photo editing

Yet again, the faceless higher power that is my editor has successfully managed to wing another application my way that encompasses my favourite attributes (shiny, shiny and shiny).

This time I would be putting photo software through its paces, courtesy of MacPhun’s latest venture – the FX Photo Studio application. With over 200 filters and editing tools to play with, this photo application is sure to create competition in an already cluttered market of image-altering software.

The mobile software development team have a reputation for creating some revolutionary imagery products (including their award-winning video app, Vintage Video Maker), but with several free photography applications offering a range of different special effects, the FX Photo Studio seems quite sure of itself after promising to be a “highly anticipated image processing experience”. As it’s my review, I’ll be the judge of that, thank you very much.

The application opens up to reveal a small window asking you to drag ‘n’ drop your image, or to do the standard process of loading or importing your preferred picture. Already swayed by its unique drag ‘n’ drop feature, this method helps save time and effort – whilst giving the user the choice as to how they would want to transfer their image.

After selecting a photo of my friend’s rat (with the rat’s consent of course), the application displayed my chosen image in its original form as well as in a variety of photo styles. At first, the names of the different photo styles threw me; so it was a relief to see the Photo Styles tab offer different sections such as ‘Blur’ and ‘Vintage’ to provide a better explanation of the photography themes. However, if I really wanted to shake things up, I could choose the dice option – where the application would portray my chosen image by randomly selecting a photo style. A unique idea, especially when the user has so many different styles to choose from that it would probably be easier to leave the decisions in the capable virtual hands of the application.

Another noticeable aspect included the blacked out stars on the images, allowing me to choose certain styles as my favourite pictures. Stopping myself from making every single image a homage to my favourite bewildered longtail, I also found that after choosing a particular photo style, a menu appeared next to your image to give you the choice of altering the contrast or amount – depending on the photo style chosen.

Of course, the application comes with its obligatory set of standard features such as crop, rotate and adjust – so for amateur photographers, there is still the option to go back to basics should the advanced photo styles prove to be a photographic minefield. But for the hardcore photo fans, the FX Photo Studio provides its own Masking Studio for those who enjoy editing their images – featuring the intelligent invert option, portraying a mirror image of your photo if you want to capture your ‘best side’. I’m talking to you, the serial poser who prepares for each photo with that trademark pout.

A clean black background with the different sections clearly marked at the top and the bottom of the screen, the FX Photo Studio has definitely done its research – and especially as photo sharing is becoming rife through social networking, the application also gives users the option to share their photo to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Simple and easy to use, I enjoyed the library of effects on offer – and predict this to be a best-seller with many an avid photography fan. Already receiving rave reviews across many an online photography forum, the FX Photo Studio is available for the Mac, iPhone and iPad. The rat however, remains private property.

We tried the FX Photo Studio for Mac from MacPhun LLC which is available through iTunes at
âǬ31,99. iPhone and iPad versions are also available.