Photo Luminance ($0.99) by Elsa Mourato is a photo editing app that lets you take total control over all of the colors involved in any particular photo. Sure, we have so many apps that allow us to change colors within photos – like VSCO Cam, Afterlight, and Truefilm – by adjusting brightness and contrast or adding filters. We even have solutions for other extremes, like Camera Noir and SimplyB&W, which remove color almost entirely. That’s all fine and dandy, but if you’re someone who is looking to get down-and-dirty with individual color settings, Photo Luminance might have to be your next download.
Overall, there really isn’t much to the app. After opening it and importing a photo the standard way, you’ll find a wide variety of sliders used to adjust all sorts of aspects involving color. I’ve never seen anything this fine-grained and specific in any other app.
In Photo Luminance, you’ll be able to adjust colors in five ways: gradient map, overlay, multiply, addition, and subtraction. Unfortunately, you will have to go into the app knowing a little about the technical aspects of each one, which is something that I myself do not fully understand.
Below the mode selector are six adjustable sliders, being made up of three “dark” and three “light” RGB controls for adjusting light and dark areas within the photo. These are a little easier to grasp onto once you start to play with them, but still require some understanding to be able to use them without destroying your results.
The only unintuitive aspect of the app I encountered was trying to figure out how to actually save your resulting photo. It didn’t take long to figure out that this could be done by tapping on the edited photo itself, but still, a share button would make the feature much more obvious to the end user.
Truthfully, Photo Luminance isn’t for everyone. With so many other quick editing options available at our fingertips, you might wonder why someone would go through the trouble of manually adjusting very technical parameters within their photos. But for someone who knows exactly that they want to, say, emphasize the green grass or blue sky in a photo, Photo Luminance seems like a great option. From what I’ve seen, it also looks like the only one with a high degree of control delivered through a simple user interface.
Photo Luminance for iPhone is available on the App Store for $0.99.