Part of PadGadget’s continuing series Become An Expert With PadGadget’s iPad Photography Series.
Photogene is one of the top-rated, most popular photo editing apps available in the App Store. It’s all about improving digital photos on your iPad and having fun doing it.
This app is straightforward, with plenty of useful photo editing features, and a no lack of amusing ones. Crop, straighten, retouch, enhance, and add a ton of appealing effects to your pictures.
There are so many features in this app that there’s essentially nothing that you can’t do with it. Beyond the basic crop and straighten, you can retouch images with a Photoshop-like clone tool, fixing photo blemishes and red eyes. There are also masking overlays that let you paint on dodge, burn, blur, grayscale, and other special effects like cross-processing and pixellation.
Color adjustments include exposure, saturation, contrast, color temperature, tint, highlights, shadows, and RGB. The curve of the overall coloration can be adjusted, as can the histogram. All of these adjustments are easily done with sliders, or a single finger on the screen, and accessed from the various menus on the bottom of the screen.
There are are over 40 presets available, in categories like color, black and white, frames, and vintage. Plus you can save your own settings as well. In another menu option, you can add text bubbles to your photos, as well as other enhancements to the edges of your photos, like blurring and vignetting.
Photogene has a nicely organized default album that draws directly from the Photo Library on your iPad. From this menu, you can make photo collages using up to six photos. There are some default layouts included, but 60 more can be purchased in the app, for $1.99, which is great if you’re a fan of creating photo collages. Text bubbles can be added, and you can customize the outline color and width of each collage.
The interface in Photogene is super easy to use, but if you are new to photo editing, there’s also an in-depth tutorial system that will tell you about everything the app has to offer and how to use each tool.
When you’ve finished editing a photo, it can be exported in a wide variety of ways. Share it on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Picasa, or upload it using FTP or Dropbox.
In Photogene, you are able to view some metadata, such as color model and DPI, but this was ultimately not useful because it didn’t display relevant data like ISO, exposure, and focal length information. However, you can enter and save IPTC data when you export.
For professional photographers, Photogene also offers a “Pro” upgrade for $7.99. With this upgrade, you can add ratings to photos, add personal watermarks, control each color channel in the RGB curve separately, control JPEG export quality, and access a color picker for auto white-balance.
What I liked: I purposely took some underexposed photos with less than ideal lighting, and this app was able to turn them into very passable pictures. Photogene is really well laid out and easy to use, plus it’s a strong photo editing app. The UI works perfectly for the iPad, with a main window for the photo where all the edits happen with simple touches and touch gestures, and a bottom panel that has all of the other options you’ll need.
What I didn’t like: I wasn’t able to adjust the settings of the preset effects like sketching and stamping, and so these filters were not effective on most photos. I wasn’t thrilled with the preset filters, as I have seen much better results in that area from other photo apps that I’ve reviewed during this series. There are, of course, some editing features in Photoshop and Aperture/Lightroom that you won’t find in this app. It’s not a total replacement for a desktop or laptop editing program, but it’s absolutely suitable for amateurs, everyday photographers, and those looking for quick editing on the go.
To buy or not to buy: If you’re looking to start editing photos on your iPad, this is a great app to begin with. It has all of the features that you will need to make some solid improvements to your photos. At only $2.99, it’s a good deal, too.
- App Name: Photogene
- Version Reviewed: 3.00
- Category: Photography
- Developer: Omer Shoor
- Price: $2.99