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It’s a little sad that film-based cameras have all but disappeared from the mainstream. Yes, a few die-hard art photographers still use them, but the average person probably no longer knows how to load film into a camera. People snap high-resolution well-balanced pictures using their phone’s camera, but without Photoshop-style effects, you won’t ever see the happy accidents of light leaks, distortion and other quirks of old cameras. Unless, of course, you download an app like Pixlr-o-matic.
The main purpose of this photo touchup tool is to reduce the perfection in your images and produce striking, memorable and nostalgic photographs as a result. The three modes with which you can alter your images are color balance, filters and borders. In color balance mode, you can saturate your photos in a particular hue, remove the color to make black and white shots, or fall somewhere in between. With filters, the app provides digital “scratches,” light leaks, starring and many other arty effects that bring out the magic in an ordinary scene. Finally, using the border tool, you can create a simple Polaroid-style white border or distress the edges with tears, burns, age and matting effects.
In my testing, the app was very easy to use, and the effects were quite amazing. My only complaint might be that, even with several options in each mode, the app might get old after you’ve processed several images.
Pixlr-o-matic makes sharing easy. You can save your work to the SD card of your Android device for moving or printing or select your favorite social network to broadcast your art to your friends.