Exposure ($1.99) by Bitpoem is a photo editing app that will help you create highly personal photos. If you don’t have enough photography apps on your iPhone or iPad yet, then Exposure is another one to consider. It is similar to other apps like VSCO Cam and Fotograf.
In my spare time, which is when I’m not writing or on my computer, I love to go out to explore my surroundings as well as photograph everything. I’m a visual person, so I enjoy capturing my memories with the camera on a daily basis. So naturally, I have a ton of camera and photo editors on my iPhone, with my favorites being VSCO Cam, Camera+, and SKRWT. However, despite these dependable apps, I like trying out new apps, so when I stumbled on Exposure in the App Store, I had to give it a try for myself.
The interface for Exposure is simple and fairly straightforward, although there is a tutorial in the beginning to help you get started (but you can skip if you want). The design is minimal and does not get in the way as you edit your photos, which is nice. Exposure also sports a dark theme to emphasize your photographs, making it easier to focus on the content, rather than the app itself. Exposure does use a different method of applying effects to your photos, but once you get the basics, it can feel natural.
There are three ways to get your images into Exposure to edit: Import from Photo Library, New Capture with Camera, or Facebook Albums. If you opt for the new capture option, Exposure brings up the native Camera view, so you can use the native manual controls in iOS 8. There is no option for a square crop in Exposure, and all images will be saved in high resolution.
When you have your image in the app, just tap on the Exposure logo at the bottom of the screen to bring up the effects menu. The effects are split up into two categories: Color and Artistic. Just select the effect you want, and then use your finger to “draw” it on to your image, or just tap on it. After the first effect, you can go back and pick another one and then draw or tap the second one on a select area. You can repeat this process with as many effects as necessary for your photo. While the image looks blurry as you apply effects, don’t worry — when you hit the “process” button, everything will become crystal clear.
Unfortunately, I found the selection tool to be sub-par, which is a bit disappointing. Even though I drew a circle or rectangle around the area I wanted to select, the app liked to apply the effect outside of that boundary. Also, tapping on an area did not work much better. For best results, you will need to outline and then fill in the area, a process that I have always found to be time-consuming and tedious. The auto-select in Exposure needs more work, as it just isn’t very accurate at this time.
Despite the qualms I have with the effect selection process, Exposure still has good results if you just want to apply one filter or are patient enough to work with multiple ones. When you tap on “Process,” you can see the high resolution image, and there are a few options available. If you need to make more changes, just tap on Edit at the top. Otherwise, you can save the image to your device, send it to Instagram or another third-party app, or share it via social networks or messages. The “New” button will discard any changes and you can work on a new photo.
After testing out Exposure, I like the concept of the app, but I think it could be executed much better. The effects are nice, but I would like to be able to adjust the intensity of them, especially for the color effects. The auto-select feature needs more work as well, because it does not seem that accurate right now. This is an app that won’t be replacing what I’m using any time soon, unless it is greatly improved.