While there are plenty of iOS apps that add off-the-shelf special effects to images, there are far fewer products that let you edit photos properly. In this tutorial we’ll look at some of the basic features of an app that does exactly that. It’s called PhotoForge2 and is so sophisticated that it even supports layers.
Here we’ll explain how to choose a photo from your iOS device’s Camera Roll, crop it to the correct proportions, add some simple colour effects and a distressed frame, and then share the finished result via a popular social networking site such as Facebook. Note that PhotoForge2 always works on a copy of the photo so the original is safe, even if you make a hash of your edits.
Device: iPhone/iPad/iPod touch
Time required: 15 minutes
What you need
iOS 4.2 or later
PhotoForge2 app (£1.49)
Step 1: Choose a photo
Download and install the PhotoForge2 app, then tap to start. When the app loads, tap the ‘+’ icon at the top right of the screen, then open the Camera Roll and choose a photograph. Tap once to select and after a moment it’ll appear as a thumbnail on the screen (see above).
Step 2: Your editing tools
Tap the thumbnail to open it. The icons along the bottom control, from left to right, colour, visual effects, frames and cropping and layers, while the last two look after the edit history and detailed picture information. Tap the pencil/ruler button and then roll the individual settings left or right to find Crop.
Step 3: Crop the photo
Tap the Crop button. You can now grab the individual handles at each corner or edge and drag them in to frame the photo or choose a preset, such as 1x1 or 16x9. Then, using two fingers, drag the entire frame down the photo until it ‘sits’ nicely. When you’re happy, tap the tick button at the top left.
Step 4: Adding vibrance
Tap the colour control at the bottom left and use your finger to scroll through the functions. Our favourite is Vibrance, which adds a colour ‘kick’ to photos and is controlled by a slider. Choose Vibrance and then drag the Strength indicator to the right. Tap ‘x’ to reset and try a different effect, or tap the tick to continue.
Step 5: Add a frame
The FX button includes a range of popular effects such as lomo, sepia, posterise, and so on. Alternatively, tap the pencil/ruler button and this time choose Frames. Experiment with different styles until you find a good one, and then tap the tick button to confirm your choice.
Step 6: Share on Facebook
Tap the history button (the clock) and you can scroll back through your various edits and revert to any of them by tapping the thumbnail. When you’re happy with all your edits, tap the cloud button at the top right and then choose a service from the list that appears. All the web’s most popular sharing services are supported.