We all know selective coloring photography, right? You know, those cool photos where only one area is colored, and the rest is pretty much grayscale? When done right, the effect can add a very dramatic touch to a photo and get people talking. While there are already some apps in the App Store that do just this, MacPhun is a worthy competitor, knowing MacPhun’s history of fine photography apps for iOS.
Color Splash Studio opens up to a main “menu” screen, where you can choose to snap a new photo, import from your Photo Library, or even grab an image from Facebook. Once an image is selected from a source, you can either edit the full size image or choose to do a square crop.
I especially liked the ability to import from Facebook, since you can grab any image that you have uploaded there in the past, and not just restricted to what is on your iPhone. While you can grab any image from albums you’ve created on Facebook, the app also allows you to get images from your friends, as long as they have a public album. Otherwise, you won’t have access.
The editing screen has three different modes that can be accessed from the bottom toolbar: Pan&Zoom, Color, and Grayscale. The Pan&Zoom option allows you to move the image around and zoom in (and out) of the image, which is especially useful when you need to be very precise when selectively coloring or graying out an area. This mode does not allow for editing of the image, only prep.
Most of your time will probably be spent in the Color or Grayscale editing modes. Before beginning, I’d suggest that you take a look at the tools available. There are four brush options, each one with a unique technique and appearance. These brush options can also all be tweaked with the sliders for diameter, opacity, and softness, so Color Splash Studio does offer a lot of customization while you work.
While brushing, the app provides you with a nice magnification popup of the area you’re painting over. It really helps you see exactly where your finger is, since it will most likely be obstructing your view.
Additionally, it’s not just about selectively coloring or desaturating in the app. The effects option allows you to add one of four “dramatic” effects, which will strongly alter the image and make it look better (or worse). The monochrome layer is grayscale by default, but you can also choose to have Sepia or Bluetone. This adds some nice variety in your standard selective color app, with most of the competition just offering grayscale.
The Adjust option gives users the freedom to tweak the saturation and hue of the monochrome or color layer, or just the entire image. A Mask tool is also available, though it’s hidden under the “More Tools” option.
As you're finishing up an image, it's time to share your skills! Tapping on the "Done" button will bring up nine options for sharing: Camera Roll, Send Postcard, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, email, FX Photo Studio (for more editing!), and Print. For those that are curious about the postcard option, it is done through the Sincerely service, which is also integrated into several other apps, such as Popbooth and Postagram.
For a 1.0 app, I found Color Splash Studio to be an extremely polished app and a great competitor in the selective coloring app space, along with ColorSplash and ColorBlast!. But at this point, I'm prefering MacPhun's option since it seems to offer the most customization and fine-tuning of small details. The interface of the app is also more attractive to me than the other two, personally.
If you're looking for a great app for doing selective coloring to your photos, then look no further than Color Splash Studio. Get it from the App Store for $0.99.