Exbel by Yaser Almajed icon

Exbel ($0.99) by Yaser Almajed is a photography effects app that turns your images into art. Mix your pictures together to create bizarre and beautiful images.

To get started, either take a picture of your subject from within the app or grab an image from your iPhone’s photo library. Then, mask out the object you want to remain in the picture.

Exbel by Yaser Almajed screenshot

To mask out the object, tap the paintbrush icon at the bottom of the screen. This will activate the editing tool. Then, draw around the perimeter of the object. It will automatically color in whatever is inside the perimeter. You can mask multiple objects in one project.

There is an automatic masking tool that is supposed to be able to mask out an object for you. However, the app crashed every time I tried to use it, so I don’t know how good the feature is, other than I know it doesn’t work at all right now.

After you’ve masked your object, tap the “Next” button to blend it with one of the pre-made images or one of your own. There are 15 nature images and seven cityscape images. Each one offers an interesting visual aesthetic when blended with the original object. You can also add your own image to blend with the object. You can select a picture from your iPhone’s photo library, or take another picture right within the app.

Choose your blending image and move it around on the screen to see the position it looks best in. You can zoom the image in or out to create different effects. If you zoom in, it will probably fill the entire object so that you can see a very distinct outline of what it is. If you zoom out, you can change the shape of the original object to look more like the landscape image.

For example, you could make it look like there is a bouquet of flowers growing out of someone’s head. You can then increase or decrease the transparency of both the original object and the blending image.

The next step is to adjust the contrast and brightness of the blended piece, crop it, and add a filter to change the final color output. There are 15 different tones to choose from.

There are a few problems with this app. One is that the Magic Wand automatic masking feature doesn’t work at all. Another is that the filters are not named and when you select one, it isn’t highlighted. If you want to try out different filters before going back to one you really liked, you won’t be able to tell which one it was. I would like to see the ability to add backgrounds. The objects look flat against the included stark white background. Lastly, the cropping feature doesn’t work well. It lags, and sometimes doesn’t work at all.

Exbel by Yaser Almajed screenshot

This is an extraordinary photo effects app. It is certainly different than anything I’ve ever used. It is easy to add and blend two images together to create a strangely stunning piece of art. If you are looking for a fun and simple way to turn your snapshots into digital art, this app is your ticket to ride the creativity train.