The norm among desktop photo editing environments is for apps to provide all the editing prowess you could possibly want in one place. Many developers have tried to provide a similar service on iOS, but none has succeeded in offering accomplished basic editing tools together with a great selection of filters. In other words, you can have Photoshop Touch or VSCO Cam, but not both in one app. But Lightricks, the makers of the popular portrait enhancement app, Facetune, have made a very decent attempt to crack this problem with a new app called Enlight.
A first inspection of Enlight suggests that it draws inspiration from other successful apps in the genre. The style of the interface has the dark but minimal touch of VSCO, and the filters have the eclectic feel of Instagram’s range of styles. Some of the tools even feel like their equivalents in Photogene. Whether this is deliberate pick-and-mixing or not is a moot point — the selection works very well.
Many of the app’s best features are very obviously original, however. Among the editing options — alongside exposure, contrast, saturation and the like — there are RGB curves, brush-in Target adjustments and an impressive array of perspective correction tools. These include the Reshape tool, which provides the opportunity to apply a fish-eye look or to warp your image, while Refit allows you to cut out dull parts of the image for a tighter crop. These tools are easy to operate, fairly straightforward for a newcomer to understand, and the results are of satisfactory quality.
The range of filters provided is also impressive. Unlike most specialized filter apps, Enlight doesn’t seem to have a predefined taste, preferring instead to be a generalist. There are bolder, harsher filters for those who want them, and muted, subtler looks to match the current vogue. Equally, a range of black and white filters is available. For a truly unique look, Enlight even provides the ability to split two filters across different parts of the same image.
The creativity doesn’t stop there. Text overlays, blending, and artistic crops can all be applied, as well as some one-touch layers, such as bokeh, bubbles and snow. My favorite extra, however, is the suite of artistic conversions, which can turn your photo into anything from a renaissance masterpiece to a pencil study. In fact, this area would be a satisfactory standalone app.
Even at launch, Enlight feels like a killer app. It is stable, fairly speedy, and filled to the brim with functionality. In fact, the only criticisms I can level at it are the lack of iPad support (you can’t even download it from the App Store) and the amount of time it takes to try all the features. Except that the latter “fault” only serves to exhibit quite how complete this app is.
Enlight is currently available at the discounted launch price of $3.99 — you can check it out in the App Store here.