Bored with Instagram? Tired of Hipstamatic? Then perhaps your iPhone photography hobby should enter its color-splash period. Color splash photography creates arresting images, adding a dash of color to black-and-white photos. There are a number of color-splash apps (such as ColorSplash) for iOS, and MacPhun earlier this month brought its Color Splash Studio app from the Mac to the iPhone. Here's how it works:
After installing and launching Color Splash Studio, you are given three options for selecting a photo: take a photo, load a photo from your Camera Roll or Photo Stream, or load a photo from Facebook. After you snap or select a photo, Color Splash Studio lets you crop it before loading it as a black-and-white image. You can then use your finger to color in certain sections of the photo.
There are three buttons along the bottom of the app. The Color button lets you add color and the Grayscale button does the reverse. Using both of these buttons lets you add color to an area and then gray out any wayward brush strokes. Tap the Pan & Zoom button to zero in on a section of your photo to make precise brush strokes.
There are more tools along the top of the app. Tap the Brush button to select one of four brushes, each of which you can adjust the diameter, opacity, and softness. The FX Effects button lets you add three dramatic effects (Soft, Dreamy, and Hard Light), as well as choose a sepia or bluetone instead of the default grayscale tone. The Adjust button lets you tweak the intensity and hue of the grayscale and color layers of your photo. It also offers sliders to adjust the brightness and contrast of your photo as well as vignetting. Lastly, the More Tools button gives you a few more editing options, including the capability to invert mask, which flips the color and monochrome areas of your photo.
Also along the top row of buttons is a convenient Undo button, which you can tap repeatedly to undo not just your last edit but all previous edits. When you are happy with your photo, tap Done in the upper-left corner to save or share your photo. You can save your photo to your Camera Roll, send it as as postcard using Sincerely, print or e-mail it, send it to MacPhun's own FX Photo Studio app for further editing, or share it among the usual social media suspects including Instagram.
On my tests using an iPhone 4S, I made liberal use of the Pan & Zoom button in order to color within the lines. The app is easy to use and should have you spitting out fun color-splashed photos in short order. The app would be even easier and more fun to use on the iPad, but unfortunately it's not a universal app and there is no iPad version. For a photo-editing app for the iPad that can do color splash, check out Paint FX.