For me, the good old fashioned black and white effect for photos was a quick and effortless way to make an ugly picture, somewhat tolerable. However, with recent advancements in camera and photo editing apps, have made an otherwise simple black and white effect into a lot more then simply applying a preset filter. Dramatic Black & White is one such app that comes built with a plethora of b&w effects that are actually quite intuitive and easy to use from the word go. Yes, the app is to the point and will not leave you caught up wondering “oooh…what does this button do?”, in case you remember Dee Dee from Cartoon Network’s Dexter.
Starting up, you will be asked whether you want to use an existing picture, or take a new one. Regardless of whichever path you choose, you will find yourself staring at something like the screenshot above, in all its black and white glory. Notice the Vignette effect? You can customize that by dragging the four white points and create a desired focus, and the inner white pointer is basically the point of focus.
You can further apply presets ranging from three kinds of filters, that are Black & White, Infrared Photo and Dramatic B/W. These filters than offer further presets that present minor changes in the degree of effect or different shades and tones of black and white. Honestly, I found noticeable differences with these filters, but there was nothing too dramatic about them; but then again, maybe it is these minor differences that tell a bad photo from a good one.
As for precise customizations, you can adjust the tone, brightness, contrast and sharpness of the image or add a grain effect to give the image a vintage look. Once you’re done playing around with the picture and have finalized your effects, simply hit the Save button to bring up a list of options. You can save the image to a camera roll, or you can upload it to Facebook as well if you want. In Settings you will find the option to set the size of the image that will be saved, from Low to High. One cool feature that one may miss out here, is the option to save the your customizations as a preset for use with more pictures in the future. Once the picture is saved, the end result is somewhat as seen below. We need new mascots, I know.
Dramatic Black & White is an iPhone/iPod touch optimized app, and can be grabbed for $0.99 from the App Store link below.