Effects Studio ($0.99) by Claude Bezeaud is a powerful and slick photo editing app for the iPhone that combines both professional and fun editing tools to create the perfect photo. It’s similar to other editing apps like VSCO Cam and Litely.
In my years with an iPhone, I’ve taken thousands of photos. Before the iPhone, I wasn’t into photography as much as I am now. I just love the entire creative process of finding the right composition, capturing it, and then editing the image to perfection to be shared with others. I’ve gone through dozens of replacement camera and photo editing apps in those years, and while my favorite is still VSCO Cam, I love finding new apps to check out. When I stumbled upon Effects Studio on the App Store, I had to check it out.
The interface for Effects Studio is as minimal as it gets. In fact, it retains basic iOS 7 aesthetics, so it looks and feels like a native iOS photo editing app, to be honest. If you didn’t know it was made by Claude Bezeaud, you would probably think that this was just something Apple included with the mobile OS. Personally, I don’t think this is a bad thing, because it looks and feels natural to use. You pick your photo from a native Photo Library view, and the editing section has a white header and toolbars, light typography, and thin iconography that’s clearly labeled. Everything in Effects Studio is laid out in an organized fashion, and it’s just intuitive to use.
Users can import images from their Photo Library or get a new capture directly from Effects Studio. The image picker looks and feels just like the Photos app, though, so there’s no learning curve.
Once you have your photo, it is time to edit. Effects Studio has a wide variety of tools to choose from in the bottom toolbar. As I mentioned earlier, this app contains both professional and fun, quirky tools to give your image some “oomph” without looking too fake. Effects Studio has your basics, including filters, adjustments, effects, blur & focus, rotate, cropping and resizing, curves, and desaturation. In addition to this pro arsenal, you have the fun things, like drawing, text, stickers, emoticons, masks, frames, and wigs (including various facial hair).
The Adjustment tool will bring up three sliders around the perimeter of the photo, where you can adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast. Things like Blur & Focus and Rotate will have sliders for you to adjust your changes as well. While the sliders work, I do wish that they were a bit more precise, because I found that it will move slightly when I lift my finger off of the screen.
I’m disappointed that Filters don’t have sliders to change their intensity. I think that whenever a photo editing app includes filters for the user, there should always be the option of adjusting how strong the filter effect is. Fortunately, though, you are able to adjust the Effects to your liking.
If you are in the mood for more fun on your photos, then you will love all of the options that Effects Studio has to offer. There are plenty of stickers, emoticons, masks, and wigs (including David Tennant’s amazing hair) to slap onto those smiling portraits for dramatic effect. In fact, there are so many that I wish the app organized the stickers into categories, because it’s currently a long, scrollable ribbon of lips, eyes, hair, mustaches, beards, noses, accessories, hats, and much more. Text can have the color and font changed, as well as alignment. All of these fun additions can be resized and rotated using the handlebar in the corner of the box.
When you finish making all of the edits you want, just tap on “Done” to exit editing mode. You can see your finished product on the screen, and then you can save the image or share it via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
In my brief time with Effects Studio, I like what I see so far. The interface is simple and clean, and it’s easy to use. However, I don’t think it will replace what I’m currently using, but it’s a fun little addition to my photo editing toolbox. I like that it comes with the basics and a lot of fun additions. However, I do want to see more precise slider bars for some functions, and the ability to adjust the strength of filters in the future. It would also be handy to have the stickers organized by category, because there’s a lot of subcategories to go through.
I recommend checking out Effects Studio if you like to have a one-stop-shop of both professional and fun effects to use on your photos. Plus, how can you resist putting David Tennant’s hair (or the other celebrity hairpieces) on yourself or your entourage?