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Photoshop Express App for the iPhone

I’ve just downloaded the Photoshop Express App for the iPhone. I must say that I was excited to think that I could finally do something artsy yet counter-productive (eh?) while I’m idly sitting on the bus or train. While it was downloading I was already halfway through my mental list of those people whom I wanna take a mugshot of, and give a Photoshop mustache or beard or both. But alas, all these fanciful expectations of creative freedom were just bias from the brand’s preconceived awesomeness.

From my point of view this application is more targeted at, ironically, users with very little or no photoshop experience at all. Users are given these mediocre options to edit their photo/s:

Menu 1 (Canvas): Crop, Straighten (auto-centered), Rotate (in increments of 90 degrees), Flip (mirror).
Menu 2 (Colours): Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Black & White, Contrast
Menu 3 (Filters): Sketch (watercolor & posterize gone bad), Soft Focus, Sharpen
Menu 4 (Effects): Effects (presets), Borders (literally)

But nonetheless, I was already on the bus on my way home with nothing to do but listen to Franco’s “A Mass For The End Of  Time” on repeat mode (I just love it that much), so I decided to play with Photoshop Express for the iPhone and see how I could waste time with it.

  1. A decent feature about it is that you can at least arbitrarily rotate (with ‘Straighten’) and crop the photos you want to edit. So for those who are really obessesed with nicely centered/framed pics, this feature is for you.
  2. I assume I could turn people to martians, Na’vi (Pandora inhabitants), or just someone with jaundice by playing with the Tint and Saturation tools. But then again, the filters are being applied to the entire canvas, no layers means no masking (what a drag). I guess this’ll work if you shoot somebody from a white or really dark colored background.
  3. If I was someone whose really into unicorns, rainbows & faeries; I could spend the entire trip back home faery-fying or rainbow-fying my entire Camera Roll folder. But I’m not. If you are, good for you, the people at Adobe made preset ‘Effects’ specially for you.
  4. Make decent classic black and white portraits. Which is definitely my cup of tea.

 So I open up one photo of me that my wife took a while back (Sigh… sometimes I just miss my long hair. And yes, my wife took this… and no, I’m not into camwhoring).

1. I start with cropping (Menu 1 > Crop) the pic so I could ‘frame’ it just the way I like it.
2. Then I went on to turn it into monochrome (Menu 2 > Black & White).
3. Tweaked ‘Exposure’ and ‘Contrast’ to get the lighting effect that I want (Menu 2).
4. Then aded a ‘Film Emulsion’ Border to it (Menu 4 > Borders).

5. Lastly, I sharpened it (Menu 3 > Sharpen) to make the image sharper and have a grainy effect.


You have sereval options of sharing your mugshot after editing it. You can save it to your iPhone or flaunt it to your entire social network by directly uploading to your Facebook, TwitPic or Photoshop.com account.

I think the application would’ve been phenomenally nicer if it had “Brush” and “Text” tools. Just imagine all those ‘Wild wild west’ wanted posters you could do with it, I’d make my friends and colleagues’ pictures so FUBAR. Whatchathink?

Rockstar for hire.
I help businesses create memorable branding experiences for their customers.

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