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Still Slumbering (Tree Project IV) – and a quick photo app review


The old oak tree was still in its winter slumber on April 1. At least the snow was melted and there was some light–anything was better than the dismal gray that persisted throughout most of March. But, as far as photographing the tree, the shots that I took didn’t look much different than those that were taken in January, February or even March. I found the shots I took too mundane to even bother to post.

It has been a late spring; however, I suspect that I’ll probably see the first buds on this tree around the same time I did last year — towards the end of April. We’ll see how different it looks in my May photo. (You can find the entire series here.)

Even though I wasn’t satisfied with the shots I took, I wasn’t going to skip posting something for this month. Even when we don’t like our work, it can still provide an opportunity to learn something about the craft. For April’s photo I decided to have a bit of fun with a shot I took with my phone last Sunday, using an app that I found that I really like called Repix.

Repix allows you to take a photograph and apply different brushes. For this image I used the edger brush and the charcoal brush to create an outline of the oak tree. To make the other trees in the background a little less distinct, I used the silk brush. In places where I had to much of an effect with the outliner or the silk brushes, I used the bleach pen and the eraser.

Repix gives you several options when you’re finished with your image. Your edits are nondestructive; your original image is still in your camera roll unchanged. You can save the edited image to your camera roll, send it via email, post to Facebook and Twitter, or open in Instagram. The app has a handy undo function and also an erase function.

The basic Repix app is free. There are additional brushes, available as in-app purchases, that allow you to edit color, add artistic filters, or create special light effects, available for $1.99 for each set of brushes. Or, you can buy the entire collection for $4.99.

One of the drawbacks that I find with the Repix application is that it is difficult if you have a lot of detail in your photo to easily distinguish between various lines. Basically, it’s a limitation I find with using your finger to “draw” or “paint” on an image. I often found that when I went to enlarge the image I inadvertently applied the effect. This could be due to my skill level and you may not experience the same issue. Let’s just say that the UNDO button was my friend!

Another drawback, albeit a minor one, is that the Repix app does not give you the ability to add a border or frame around your image. It also does not allow you to make adjustments in the overall image, such as exposure or a presets like other apps. However, since you can open your image directly in Instagram or save to the camera roll, you can do this sort of edit in your app of choice before you post your photo. Sometimes, I think it’s better if an app doesn’t try to be all things; what Repix does, it does well.

Overall, I think that Repix is a handy little app that is a great way to creatively edit photos taken on your phone. It’s not for every picture, nor is it for everyone, but it can be a lot of fun to play with.

You can see my original photo, taken with an iPhone 5, below:


Note and other legal mumbo-jumbo since this is a review: I have not received any compensation or encouragement from Repix for either acquiring or reviewing this product. I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this application but I’m glad I did. I’m sure that I will continue to use Repix from time to time.