A glass bottle manipulated with the Tangled FX cell phone app.

Genie in the Bottle: The Magic of Tangled FX

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Unlimited Creative Options

My fascination with apps/filters for my iPhone 5 started with a “Creative Concepts” class I took last quarter. Our photo-a-day assignment gave us a chance to not only practice the art of discipline, but the option of using either our DSLR or our cell phones to capture photographs of our daily lives.

Being a newbie to mobile photography (I upgraded last November from my ancient three-year-old phone), I took this exercise as an opportunity to test the waters.

I didn’t realize how fun and yes, even addicting photo apps could be. I quickly realized that If I could imagine something, somewhere out there an app allowed me to do it.

Sometimes for free, sometimes for a pittance. I loved testing out combinations of filters, mixing things up between one app and another until it finally looked how I saw it in my imagination. Pretty sweet.

An image of a woman waits in a chair and looks at her cell phone enhanced by the Tangled FX app. The app interprets the image by highlighting lines to give it enhanced texture.
A red Gerbera daisy rendered in the Tangled FX style gives unique texture to the image.
An environmental scene of native ornamental grasses altered with the Tangled FX app for your phone.

Worth the Investment

Speaking of sweet, when I first read the reviews about Tangled FX I had high expectations. Really high. And two dollars later, I was not disappointed. I really like how this app surprises me with its results. It adds a whole new dimension to the capabilities of editing by adding a variety of fibers or textures to images.

If you want to see an awesome gallery, check out the Tangled FX pool on FlickR. The possibilities for enhancing your photos are endless.

I’ve included a few of my own shots here as well. You can see the range of the Tangled application includes a variety of fiber weights, thick/thin, smooth/harsh, dark/light, contrasts, fine details, swirls, brush strokes, and more. You can also fine-tune your results to get things just the way you like. Even though I work a lot in color, the setting for a b&w etching is now one of my favorites.

For those times when you want to add back the magic you saw in your original subject or when you want to make something a little more interesting, consider using the Tangled FX app for some truly different results. Like the genie in the bottle, it may surprise you.

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