I’m a bit of an iPhoneography addict. I love to take pictures with my iPhone, and I have a ton of photo editing apps on my device to “perfect” them before I share them with my various social networks. Sounds like your average iPhone user, right? But hey, sometimes you don’t want to have “the perfect image,” but rather, something more artistic, grungy, or abstract. If you’re going for those results, then what’s the best way to go about it? Sure, you can look around in the App Store, or you can just download Mextures, which will do it all quickly and painlessly.
When you launch Mextures, you’re greeted with a simple interface, and there are three tabs at the bottom. Of course, on first launch, you will have a tutorial, though you can skip it at any time (and view again later). You can import an image from your Photo Library, or snap a new one directly from Mextures. Or, if you’re feeling a bit uninspired at the moment, take a look at the Inspiration tab to view user-submitted shots that have been edited with Mextures. There’s quite a lot of amazing images that you can find in here, which is sure to motivate you.
Once you import an image into Mextures, the fun begins. You will be asked to choose a “pack,” which will contain various textures or effects that you can apply to your photo. There are quite a few to choose from, including Grit & Grain, Light Leaks, Emulsion, Vintage Gradients, and more. Each of these will count as a layer. Tapping on the effects in the scrolling strip at the bottom will apply it instantly to your photo, without any rendering time (hooray). You can also adjust the strength of the effect by using the slider on the right hand side of the image. If you want to change the position of the effect, tap on the rotate button in the bottom left of the picture.
If you change your mind about the effect you want to apply, just tap on the arrow at the bottom of the screen. You can choose another pack of effects that suit your liking, or even pick from your Favorites (tap the heart on any effect to add it to Favorites).
Mextures allows users to add as many layers as they want to the image, which is done by tapping on the + button. Once you have multiple layers, you can always go back to a previous one by tapping on the layers button, and then selecting the one you want to edit.
The last step to creating a Mexture is the Blending Mode. This is accessed by tapping on the “magic wand” button, and then you can select how the photo’s effects should be blended together. You’ll find your standards here, such as Overlay, Screen, Darken, Lighten, Difference, and more.
The trick behind Mextures is the fact that there is no undo button. The reason behind this is because the app showcases new, non-linear editing tools. So instead of deleting a step, it encourages users to find the effect they want to change and switch it up to something else.
When you’re done editing your Mexture, then it’s time to share! Simply tap on the Export button and you can save to your Camera Roll, Share (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Mail), Open in another third-party app, or save the current formula (all texture and effect layers as well as blending mode) for use in the future.
The only negative to this is the fact that it forces a square crop, and I’m not sure why. I would love to be able to edit full-size images with this app, but regardless of the method you choose (import or snap), you will need to crop it into a square. I hope that the developer considers lifting this requirement in the future, as it can be a big limitation for some.
Aside from that, Mextures is a beautiful and unique photo editing app that should make its way to iPhones of photographers everywhere. You can get it in the App Store on your iPhone for $0.99.