Filterstorm by Tai Shimizu icon

Filterstorm ($3.99) by Tai Shimizu is a powerful photo editor for your iPhone that has been redesigned in the latest 3.0 update.

Upon launching Filterstorm, you’ll be greeted with a smooth and pleasant looking interface. Everything that you need is on the left hand side and is very straightforward and easy-to-use.

Filterstorm by Tai Shimizu screenshot

To start working with a photo, you can import from your Photo Library, snap a new picture, or even paste in an image you have copied on the clipboard.

The two main options you’ll probably be working with are Canvas and Filters.

The Canvas option will give you the ability to crop, rotate and flip, scale to fit, scale, straighten, add borders, and choose canvas size. The controls for these options are intuitive and simple to use.

Filters gives you plenty of options. You can adjust: brightness/contrast, curves, hue/saturation, white balance, sharpening, blur, black & white, clone, tone mapping, text, noise reduction, noise, redeye brush, color, vignette, posterize, and add exposure (phew!).

These options have a slider on the left side that will allow you to control how strong the effects are. Another great thing about Filterstorm is that when you are applying a Filter, the image is split in half–the left side is the original, and the right is with the filter added. This is great for comparing the new image to the original, and seeing what a drastic change you’re making.

Automation is an option to automatically apply a set of changes and filters to a photo. By default, you have Enhance and Disposable Camera. These options will put the current image through a series of changes that happen automatically. You will not need to do anything but sit back and watch the progress bar.

If you’re currently happy with a set of changes that you’ve made and want to save it for future use, you can even add your current workflow as an automation from this menu. It’s a great time saver if you find yourself constantly using the same settings.

What if your’e the type that needs to apply watermarks to your images for copyrights? Filterstorm has that option too, under Automations.

Filterstorm by Tai Shimizu screenshot

The fourth button gives you the option to view IPTC or EXIF information about the current image. You can also view information about Filterstorm itself.

If you’ve made a lot of changes to your photo, you can see all the changes with the versions button. This displays all the various filters and canvas options you’ve applied, and gives you a thumbnail of the image during each step.

However, if you tap on an old version, Filterstorm will take you to that version, but without a redo option. I had tapped on the original image and then all the changes I made no longer showed up in the list.

I would like to see this changed in a future update. It would be great to be able to go back a step but not lose all your progress. Apps like Photoforge 2 feature this.

The final option is Export Destinations. By default, there are Photo Library and Email already configured. However, you can add more destinations by tapping on the “+” button. Other options of exporting include FTP, Flickr, and Dropbox.

Perhaps in the future, Filterstorm can also have social sharing with Facebook and Twitter, since most other photography apps have that.

Filterstorm’s settings appear in the Export Destinations menu, and allow you to tweak some default settings. You can configure the Scale to Fit size (width and height), max size (from one to seven and a half megapixels on the iPhone 4, or up to 22 megapixels on iPad 2), JPEG quality, and confirmation before export.

If you’re a pro photographer, you should also know that Filterstorm can support some RAW formats as well, as listed in the app description.

Filterstorm is a powerful photo editing app that any iPhone photographer should pick up. The 3.0 update made it easy to use and navigate, and has plenty of useful features. Hopefully the developer can make the changes I mentioned, but it’s still a good app for what it’s worth.