Developer: The Tiffen Company
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
The Tiffen Company's Photo fx is "a piece of work," as my friend Howie likes to say. That's one of the highest compliments you're ever going to get out of Howie.
Photo 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.
Launch Photo fx and the home screen lists options for Load Photo, Take Photo and Options. The first two options are obvious. The third takes you to a screen where you can save your photo and adjust the output size (i.e. resolution) based on how much memory you have left in the iPhone/iPod touch when it comes time to save your work.
Photo fx features filters in five groups: Face fx, Outer fx, Fun fx, Classic fx and Wild fx. Within these groups are 26 filters in all. You can modify these filters in an infinite number of ways with sliders, presets and other controls. Shaking your iPhone/iPod touch on filter screens randomly brings up a filter or resets the controls. Last, you can edit in portrait of landscape modes.
For example, if you dig into the Classic fx group, you'll see four filter effects: Black and White, Old Photo, Tint and Vignette. Dig deeper into one of them, say, Tint, and you can use a slider to adjust both the color and degree of tint. Step back, and tap Black and White, and you can use a slider to adjust the image in shades of grey. Below on the menu on the same screen, you'll see an icon representing a grid. Tap that, and you'll see six preset filters for your black and white photo, which will filter reds, yellows and other colors from your image.
And that's just the beginning! The example I gave you is a fair representation of how Photo fx works using any of its filters. It's a matter of starting with an image, selecting a group, followed by a filter and then using the slider or one of the presets.
I shot a variety of test photos. The ones you see here are sepia, vignette and night vision. I'm still experimenting with Photo fx. With so many variables to try out, I'll be at this for quite a while.
I like Photo fx quite a bit. It's packed with features but intuitive to navigate and use. Besides it's just plain fun in a creative-geek way.
Tiffen has put an introductory price of $2.99 on Photo fx. It will go to $3.99, although the company doesn't say when that will happen.