Filterstorm 3 Is Live

Filterstorm 3 was released earlier today. It is a photo editing Universal app that is on sale for $1.99 through the 24th (regular price is $3.99). It can be downloaded from iTunes.

Let’s just say that for those that want a very powerful photo editor two of the top choices right now are Filterstorm 3 and PhotoForge 2. They have many overlapping features, but each has a few unique ones, and the interfaces are different.

From the official description for Filterstorm 3:

Filterstorm has been designed from the ground up to meet your iPad and iPhone photo editing needs. Using a uniquely crafted touch interface, Filterstorm allows for more intuitive editing than its desktop counterparts with a toolset designed for serious photography. A favorite of Photojournalists, Filterstorm is at home in a professional workflow, or for anyone who simply wants to get the most out of their pictures while on the road.

Filterstorm contains a suite of powerful tools including curves manipulation, color correction abilities, noise reduction, sharpening, vignetting, and black and white conversion fine-tuning. It also includes the powerful ability to apply any of the available filters by brush, color range, and gradient.

One of the new features that I really like in Filterstorm 3 is the left/right split preview pane, so you can see side by side before/after effects. You can toggle the left, right, or full preview portion. The watermarks feature is also rather slick.

Filterstorm 3 Preview Pane
Filterstorm 3 Preview Pane

Most everything feels very intuitive in Filterstorm, but I find the layers/masking feature a bit less intuitive relative to PhotoForge 2 (just my opinion). Both of these apps have a very well designed GUI. I probably need to spend a bit more time to get used to the masking in Filterstorm 3. Let’s just say I often forget to read instructions 😉

This video for the iPad version that gives you a good feel for how the app looks/feels, and the wealth of features. The iPhone version of the app is of course a bit smaller.

If you are looking for a powerful photo editor I can highly recommend Filterstorm 3 with no hesitation. I played with it this evening and am amazed at how much you can do with photos on an iOS device. Wow.

If you are even thinking about buying it you might as well grab it before the price goes up!

On the competitive side, PhotoForge 2 (which should be Universal in the next week or two) has many similar features. Photogene for iPad is very good if you are just looking for an iPad app.

For professionals or those that tend to not even use a laptop, there is a professional version of Filterstorm called Filterstorm Pro (up to version 1.3) today. It includes many bulk and organization features. That can be downloaded from iTunes.

Far more information can be found at the Filterstorm website.

Photogene for iPad Updated to v3.0

Photogene was one of the very early photo editing apps for the iPhone and iPad and it has always been one of the most useful and stable apps out there (I’ll be honest, I don’t think it has ever crashed on me). The version for the iPad was updated this morning to version 3.0.

According to the author, this update includes localized effects, collage maker, Picasa upload & more. I tried it out this morning and found the updates very nice, particularly the localized effects and the A/B toggle switch to see the effect of tweaks you make. Below are several pictures from the app. Click on them to see full size version on Flickr.

Overall, this is one of those apps that should be on your iPad. I hope their will be an iPhone update in the future 🙂

More info can be found on the Mobile Pond Home Page, and you can download Photogene for iPad on iTunes (currently $2.99).


The superb full screen curve editor.


Toggling the before/after switch (upper right) to see if I like my curve change.


Applying a regional greyscale effect.


Checking the contour of my mask.


Zoomed in on image and applying a different effect to another region.


Getting ready to check the before/after of the regional changes.




The new collage feature – maximum resolution is 2048px on the longest side.

Creating ‘Tiny Planet’ Artwork Using Several Apps

I recently posted a shot over on Flickr (Tiny Jesus 1) that used several apps to create something interesting (at least in my own private world). I’ll walk you through that process for anyone that may be interested.

The first thing is that I was taking a few shots for possible use with the Tiny Planet Photos App. One thing that helps to get interesting shots with that app is to have matches on the left and right side of the image. When the spherical filter is applied in the app the even edges allow for a smooth connection in the image.

Here was the original shot I took (using Pro HDR).

Original Shot
Original Shot

I trimmed the image a bit so that when using Tiny Planet the cross would not get chopped off on the top.

Initial Crop
Initial Crop

I used Photogene to tweak the levels a bit. Then, since there was a chuck of wire in the image near the cross (click on image above to see it clearly), I used TouchRetouch to remove the distraction (TouchRetouch is a rather amazing app!). The touched up image is shown below.

Removed wire near cross.
Removed wire near cross.

You can see that the left and right sides of the image are lined up. I then put the image through Tiny Planet and got this output.

Used Tiny Planet Photos App
Used Tiny Planet Photos App

At this point I wanted to increase the “space” above the cross, since I didn’t want that to be directly next to the edge of the image. I used one of the MANY transformations in PhotoFactory to increase the image size. That feature begins to mirror the image on every side. This image shows the control for that feature, and the other image shows the output from PhotoFactory.

Option in PhotoFactory
Option in PhotoFactory

Output from PhotoFactory
Output from PhotoFactory

I used TouchRetouch once again to get rid of the extra cross at the top.

After using TouchRetouch
After using TouchRetouch

Then I cropped the image a bit on the left/bottom to center the church with Photogene.

At this point I used ToonPaint to create a new black & white version of the image. In ToonPaint I use the Size controls with settings of L, S, and S for the three parameters. I then tweaked the Shading a bit to create this image.

Result from ToonPaint
Result from ToonPaint

At this point I fired up Image Blender (another superb app). I placed the colored image on the bottom and the B&W on the top and selected Luminosity for ink. I then tweaked the slider until I was happy with the image.

After using Image Blender
After using Image Blender

And finally, I pulled the image into Camera+ and selected the frame option, and applied an effect that I liked (I actually saved multiple versions using different effects since I liked a few of them). And after all those apps I ended up with the image I put on Flickr.

Tiny Jesus 1

Fun! I also did a version where I used PictureShow to apply some noise and filter. That one is also on Flickr.

Tiny Jesus 2

You can do a lot with a single app, but often a few are needed to get the shot you really want. Now…if only I had a bit more artistic talent. At least I’m having fun 🙂