There are so many photo editing apps to choose from, it is hard to know which to install on your iPhone. Your choice is made even harder because so many of them offer similar features. Typically you can take a photograph using the iPhone's camera or load a previously taken one, crop it, apply various filters and then save it or share it. LensFlare can do all of this, but it also has some extra features that set it apart from the crowd.
I managed to download LensFlare when it went free for a short period, but even at $1.99/£1.49, it is not expensive for the range of features you get. (App prices are frequently up, down and sometimes free, so it pays to keep an eye on your favourites.)
With LensFlare you can take a photo or load a previously taken one stored on the iPhone. There are four buttons at the bottom of the screen – Effects, Edit, Layers and Filters. Tap Effects and there is a collection of interesting lens flare effects to choose from.
There are six screens of effects, two each for the Anamorphic Lens, Spherical Lens, and Elements buttons near the bottom of the screen. These all mimic the effect you can get when the camera lens is pointing into the sun. It can cause various types of streaks across the lens. Sometimes it ruins the photo, but a skilful photographer can put this to good effect to produce a great photo. You can even put a filter over the lens of pro cameras to deliberately produce lens flare effects.
Trying to create lens flare effects deliberately is very difficult. It doesn’t always work and the results are often not what you were aiming for. The LensFlare app lets you fake the effect, which is cheating, but it is fun to do. Just tap the one you want and it is added to the photo. It can then be dragged into position.
Special effects should not be over used and if every photo has a lens flare effect it can become tiresome, but when used occasionally and with the right photo, the results can be impressive.
The Edit button enables the colour and brightness of the effect to be manipulated. There is a colour disk and a slider and these are easy to use. There is also an Advanced button that has controls to adjust the scale, aspect, source and artefacts.
A small collection of filters is available and these can be used to apply a cool or warm effect, grayscale, high contrast, futuristic and so on. I wasn’t impressed by LensFlares filters and Instagram, for example, has more and better filters. However, there is a Textures button that adds to interesting effects like background spots, disc dust, raindrops, scanlines, scratches and so on.
Another great feature is that effects can be applied to layers and each layer can be a different effect with different settings. An image can therefore be built up from an original image with several effects layers.
LensFlare has an excellent range of features and they are nor the usual collection of filters that you so often get with these apps. There are some really nice lens flare effects, adjustable colour, size and intensity, multiple layers and more. This is definitely a photo editing app you should have on your iPhone.
Price: $1.99 / £1.49
Size: 75 MB
iOS: 6.0 and up
- Written by Janine Jones
- Published: 01 February 2015