If you wish you could have Photoshop on your iPhone, PhotoForge may be as close as you’re gonna get. It has a whole mess of tools that you’ll find in Photoshop like smudge, clone, brushes, erase, undo/redo, curves, hue/saturation, brightness/contrast, crop, and the list goes on and on and on. GhostBird Software also built in a bunch of filters so you don’t have to buy a separate app if you want to make your pics black and white, sepia, lomo, posterized, and all manner of other effects.

There’s a LOT of functionality in PhotoForge and I’ve had it on my iPhone for well over a month… but I honestly didn’t know what to do with it! Sure, it’s an awesome tool if you need to brighten up dark photos or pump up the colors on something, but for most folks a photo would have to be pretty special if you’re going to start doing that kind of thing.

What about the crappy everyday pics we all take with the iPhone camera? I know Photoshop pretty well, but without layers and marquees and the ability to import other images, this app started to seem pretty limited despite the massive arsenal of tools it provides… and if I, master of all Photoshop disasters, can’t figure out what to use PhotoForge for, how are YOU gonna use it? Well, today I finally figured out what practically everyone could do with this app on a daily basis.

In a word: DERMATOLOGY! Only the hardest of the hardcore are gonna dive into PhotoForge and painstakingly adjust curves and levels and whatnot on every photo they take, but you don’t have to be hardcore to want to get rid of that giant zit on your chin before you post a pic to Facebook.

Just like in Photoshop, Photoforge’s cloning stamp is the perfect tool for making you look like less of a freakshow. The stamp won’t move with you (meaning no “aligned” cloning), but with some carefully placed taps and appropriate brush sizing you can really make a big dent in the blemish department. Is there someone in your pic you can’t stand, and he/she has a nice big pimple that looks like it’s about to burst? Use the cloning to stamp to give that person MORE zits! It’s evil, but with PhotoForge you could do it.

Another interesting use for this app comes in its ability to erase filters back down to the original photo. Although this isn’t a compositing tool like Juxtaposer, you can do that trick where you make a photo black and white and then reapply color only to certain parts… just like Color Splash, that other app by Juxtaposer’s maker. PhotoForge may not do things exactly the way Color Splash does (I dunno since I’ve never used that app), but if you start off with a color image it’s pretty easy to pull off.

Crop is another tool you might find yourself using quite a bit, and out of the big group of filters this app is equipped with you’ll probably get the most mileage out of things like brightness/contrast, black and white, and maybe lomo if you’re into that sort of thing.

Everything else in PhotoForge is great to have around, but I think the reality is that the average person may never need or even want to adjust levels in CMYK or apply a noise reduction filter. These things have their uses in desktop graphics software, but on the iPhone they’re not really what you’d call a necessity. I’m sure photo nuts who use this app will say I’m crazy for not placing more value on all of the color correction this app can do, but I’m looking at PhotoForge from the average slob’s point of view. If you buy this app, what would you use it for every day?

Overall I think GhostBird has made an awesome photo editing tool – they really went the distance on this app. It’s not going to replace your desktop graphics program (not that any iPhone app ever could), but if you like playing with photo filters, or if you’re just looking for a way to “fix” your pics before beaming them across The Internets, then PhotoForge is definitely worth buying.

iTunes Link – PhotoForge
Version 1.81
Reviewed on iPhone 3G OS3.1

2 Responses to “PhotoForge”

  1. Krzy Says:

    I like this app
    I think I might get it; thanks

  2. Tuy Says:

    I use Photogene for photo editing on my iPhone and it’s great. Will try this one too, thanks.

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