Photogene – My Favorite iPad Image App

Photogene

There is a lot of buzz about Apple’s impending announcement of the next generation of iPad. Frankly I’m still pretty thrilled with mine so they would have to bring a lot to the table to get me to upgrade (and a FaceTime camera isn’t going to be enough). That being said, I thought I would share one of my favorites apps for those of you that have an iPad or might be contemplating one in the near future.

First, let me say that one of the things I love about my iPad is how beautifully it displays photos and one way to get my photos to look their best is with the Photogene image processing app. This is by far the best image processing app I have tested, and I have gone through quite a few of them to be sure.

So what is it that I like about this app? Well, above all, I would have to say that it acts and functions just like I would expect an image processing app to. It has straight forward tabs and sliders to help locate and use all of the tools I need. And speaking of tools, these aren’t just basic sliders. There are some very professional-level tools in here that one might expect to find in a full blown software program. Here’s a few of my favorite features.

To begin editing photos, simple select one from your iPad Photo Library using the thumbnail selection page. It’s pretty straight forward but I like the ability to select between three different thumbnail sizes.

Thumbnails

Once you have selected the image that you want to process, it will open in full screen mode. This is where all of the different tools can be accessed. The editing tools can be found along the bottom of the image. Along the top bar, you will find the icons for Undo, Redo, Original, Export, Metadata, and Presets.

Tap the Crop icon and you will find a very nice, full-featured crop tool. There are ratio presets on the right side or you can simply drag the corners of the image and create your own custom crop. There is also a handy Rule of Thirds overlay to help you get things looking just right.

Another favorite feature of mine is the Adjustments tool. This is actually where I do most of my image processing within the app. When you enter this set of tools, a panel appears on the right side of the screen with different adjustment tools. They are grouped in to different sections to help keep things organized. The first drop-down is called Color Correction but it has more than just that going for it. It’s where you will adjust exposure, lighten shadows, darken highlights, and adjust saturation, contrast, and color temperature.

Adjustments

The other tabs are for sharpening, histogram, RGB, and another favorite of mine, the Curves adjustment. This tool puts a curve right on your image where you can add and move points along the curve to selectively adjust contrast and brightness. It’s simple, yet very powerful.

Curves

The retouching panel let’s you do things like fix red-eye and even clone/heal spots in your image. Just click on the offending spot and then adjust the radius of the selection circle and move the clone/heal spot to the desired location. It’s very similar to the way that the Spot Removal tool works in Lightroom.

Clone/Heal

The Vignette tool in the Enhance section works like I wish other programs would. There are inner and outer radius sliders that determine the softness of the vignette and how dark it is. Once you use it, you will wonder why other programs don’t do their vignetting the same way.

Of course there are also the special effects filters that you would expect to find in any iPad image adjustment apps and Photogene does a great job of putting them in a gallery so you can quickly get an idea of what the filter does and make your selection. Some of them have a slider adjustment that let’s you determine how much of the effect you want while others are simply applied without options.

Effects Filters

Of course if you aren’t really into fixing your own images and want to select from some cool presets, the Photogene app has you covered. Just tap on the Presets button at the top and you can select from a bunch of cool and interesting presets. You can even save your own settings as a preset for applying to future images.

Presets

Once you are done, you can access the multi-functional Export menu. This is the final feature that just won me over. Just look at all of those options in the image below. You can resize your images, send them to your favorite social spot, upload to an FTP, send them by email, or do like I did with these images and send them to Dropbox (it’s how I got the images from the iPad to my computer to write this post).

Export options

There’s even more to this great app but I think you can now see why it is the one that I use almost exclusively for all of my iPad image processing. If you want to find it for yourself, just head to the App store on your iPad and search for Photogene or click this link to find it in iTunes on your computer.

Photogene for iPad

And just in case you were wondering, it’s not free, but at $2.99, it’s certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck. There is also an in-app purchase that will let you upgrade to the Pro mode. I haven’t had a need for this more expensive version ($7.99) but if you want to apply star ratings, add personal watermarks to exported images, save your FTP settings, adjust RGB curves individually, and control JPEG export settings you might want to give it a try.

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  • Jen

    Very helpful review! I’ve been looking for a good photo app; I think you’ve convinced me. :-) Thanks!

  • http://www.mowcow.com Mr. Moo

    After an hour of pounding the friggin’ web, I find this guy Jeff writing about the ipad…What a small world.

    Last night, Alex and I also spent another full hour trying to solve this ipad riddle: I need to draw on photos 2 up on a letter size page on the ipad. I have a nice print to pdf app and a nice pdf annotation tool for the drawing, but the pictures output ends up being 1 full page per pic and its a file size hog!

    I am basically trying to emulate Windows Photo Printing Wizard printing two 4×6 photos per page, drawing on them for a work order and emailing them or printing them.

    Any ideas?

    Moo.

    • http://www.revellphotography.com jeff

      nothing comes to mind right now. That’s a pretty specialized requirement that I haven’ t heard of before now. I will do some poking around though and see if I can find anything.

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