Etchings ($0.99) by MindSea Development Inc. is a photography app that will turn your ordinary iPhone photos into gorgeous etched illustrations.
There are quite a few photo apps out there that will apply a sketch filter to your pictures, but Etchings outclasses them all with its ultra detailed, multi-lined sketches.
Etchings has a simple, easy to use layout. When you open it, you can either choose a picture from your camera roll or take a photo directly with the camera.
Unlike most of your standard sketching filters, Etchings worked well with all photos that I tried, from landscapes and macros to portraits. Lighting didn’t seem to be a problem either – it worked well with both light and dark photos.
The only caveat is that it sometimes washes out finer details, but that can be solved by changing the line thickness and the color.
Etchings has seven different line types, ranging from thin to heavy, with every size in between. Thin preserves more detail, while heavy gives a more stylized look, so you have plenty of different options for each photo.
There are also eight filters that you can apply, each with a unique look. Raven and Classic are your standard black and white options, while Beatrix, Spectrum, and Chinotto add hints of color.
Air Mail has a purple tint with a stamp background, 1854 looks like an old style photograph, and Franklin resembles a dollar bill. Those last three filters are actually quite neat, especially Franklin, as the app has a look that’s similar to the crosshatch design of American currency.
Playing around with the different line types and filters can result in some striking photos. I checked out a few on Instagram, and I was impressed with quite a few that I made myself – make sure you check them out in the gallery.
When you finish creating your etched photos, you can save them to the camera roll, email them, share them on Twitter and Facebook, or open them in one of several photo apps.
I had options to open photos from Etchings in PhotoStudio, Camera+, Photogene, Halftone, and Dropbox, but disappointingly, I couldn’t open mine in Instagram. The app description lists Instagram, so I’m not sure if this is a bug.
Photos are exported at 1200×1200 resolution, which is a bit low. The app does promise higher resolutions in the future, though, so it’s still a good app to buy. All in all, this is a high quality filter app that’s worth the $0.99 download price.
For even more apps that will turn your photos into art, check out our iPhone/iPad Photo Art App List.