Experimenting with a new app for the iPhone and iPad, titled Handy Photo, which I just read about and downloaded last week. You might ask, as I did, why another photo app for the IOS-sphere? There are already about a million of them (I exaggerate, but only slightly), so what can this app offer that’s any different?
Well it does have the usual features of allowing you to adjust exposure, tone, sharpness, etc., but honestly, I feel that Snapseed, my go-to photo app, does all of that better. And it crops and offers a number of filters and frames, many of which are unique, such as the weathered wood texture I used for the above photo. But still, nothing to get too excited about.
The interface is rather unique and mostly intuitive, and there is ample built-in and easily accessed online help. Here’s the interface with the original version of my “hand” photo before editing.
But Handy Photo does have a few special tricks up it’s sleeve, and these are what caught my attention.
First, it allows you to remove (and move) objects from your photo, meaning you’re manipulating your image at the pixel level. There are some apps that do that, but they’re in the minority and some are not executed very well at all. The starting point was this photo I took a few weeks ago of my hand after working in the yard for several hours. I looked, (and felt), pretty gritty and snapped this in B&W using Camera Noir. Using Handy Photo’s “Retouch” feature, I removed that white stone to the left of my pinky finger, which I thought was distracting. I simply brushed the stone with the retouch brush, tapped it, and it was gone and nicely filled in. The “Move Me” tool works the same way, allowing you to move and/or duplicate objects, and on-screen prompts take you through these processes easily.
The other feature that makes Handy Photo stand out from the crowd is the “Magic Crop” tool. Besides the normal cropping functionality, Handy Photo actually allows you to expand your photo beyond it’s existing boundaries. Here’s what I mean:
The dark frame shows you the edges of the original image, and all I did was drag the lower right-hand corner down and rightward, beyond the original edges. The Magic Cropping tool extended my forearm and filled in the new right and bottom areas with more of the background – all pretty naturally looking to me, right down to the hair on my forearm – I guess that’s why they call it “Magic”. There are limitations to this tool though. It works with simple objects and backgrounds, and when I experimented with crowd scenes, the results were not good. But in the right circumstances, this has value.
A decent cloning tool, the ability to undo actions and to open your image in other apps are all plusses too. The iPad version is full screen and the tools are easy to execute.
So – is Handy Photo worth $2.00 and will replace it replace Snapseed in my Workflow to go? Definitely yes, and probably not, in that order, but it will be used whenever I need to drill down to the pixel level.
For you iPhoneographers out there, what’s your favorite photo app?
And thanks for visiting 2 Guys Photo.