Developer: The Tiffen Company
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
The Tiffen Company’s Cool fx app is aptly named — it is cool, really cool.
Like Tiffen’s Photo fx, which I reviewed earlier this year, Cool fx is a set of digital optical filters (filters are Tiffen’s main line of business) for the iPhone and iPod touch. You use these filters to simulate the results you get with a variety of filters and lab processes when taking photographs with film.
Cool fx as an amazing variety of presets — 172 in all — to simulate a variety of color and black and white photographic looks, diffusion, motion picture film stocks and optical lab processes. Cool fx is made up of Black & White, Color, Diffusion, Grain, and Temperature preset groups.
Launch the app and select an image from your photo library. From there, you have the option of selecting from 70 different color and black and white filters, adding any of 50 different textures and applying any of 27 levels of film graininess. You can also modify color temperature—from cool to warm—using one of 18 presets.
I feel I need to gasp for air before I can continue…
Then, it’s on to cropping, rotating, vignetting and editing in landscape and portrait modes. Whew! Cool fx does a bunch of things that you’ll be able to use to push your creative limits.
Accessing each of these preset effects is a simple matter of selecting one of the icons on the bottom menu bar: Black & White, Color, Diffusion, Grain and Temperature. When you first load an image, you’ll see nine thumbnails on screen, each with a preset applied to it. Choose Color, for example, and you’ll have the option of starting work with 8mm, Black Diffusion, Bleach Cool and so on.
Tap a thumbnail and it will fill the screen. The first image you see on the left up top is from Color, with the Basic preset. On the bottom menu bar, you see icons for adjusting temperature, cropping and other functions I noted previously.
In the middle image, you'll see that I cropped it and if I had wanted, I could have used slider to brighten the image, add a vignette or go for another effect. Instead, I chose to apply the Basic Black Diffusion filter.
Then for the heck of it, I went into Black & White applied a filter called Concorde and added a vignette, which what you see in the third image on the right.
There isn’t much you can't do with this app. Compared to the many, many other filter apps I reviewed, this one is really a standout. There’s an infinite variety of options and I especially like being able to crop photos and rotate them on top of everything else.