Let me start off by saying the website for Camera Noir is so nicely designed and built, it has me wanting to purchase the app just for this reason.
I hardly take black and white pictures. For post-processing, I don’t apply much B&W filters to them also. However, black and white photos evoke a special feeling within me and takes me back in time. The same picture layered with B&W filter always makes it appear more dramatic and emotional. While I like browsing through black and white photography, applying them to my own pictures is another story.
These days, it’s hard to throw a stone at the app store without hitting another camera filtering apps that promise to deliver [insert features]. Revolutionary they are not, but in terms of innovation they are merely layering things on top of one another. Still, I have the feeling once you get into the rabbit hole, it’s hard to see the light. The search for the newer camera app never ends.
I’m guilty of belonging to such niche. As I take a look into my photography folder, it’s inevitable that some apps are relegated to nothing more than an icon in the folder. They are hardly opened, let alone use to its full potential. Humans have limited attention span. and much of my time is devoted to look for the next interesting-looking app than actively using the existing ones at my disposal. I suspect the main reason is because there is no one compelling app for all my wants. They are all tools for various occasions.
This post gives me an opportunity to explore and evaluate the apps lying dormant in the folder. Most are probably collecting dust, hardly touched after the novelty value has wore off. Looking through them reminds me of the abundance tools I have at my hands to perform the same task. Sure, they produce different effects, and from a interactivity and user interface’s point of view, they can be very differentiated. However, this doesn’t mask the fact that I always turn to the same two apps when I need to edit and have some funs applying effects to them.
The Quick Rundown
Instagram: Use most often, mainly to keep up with people I follow and post things I deem worthy for others to see
Big Lens: Used once, maybe twice at most. Never touched it since
Snapseed: Hardly use it. Its features are impressive but it’s a little complicated for me
KitCam: I like the effects and frames in KitCam. Before I stumble upon VSCO, it’s probably the most used app for photo filtering
Camera+: I use it more as a tool to crop and edit photos than using it to take pictures. Nothing much to say about this popular app except it’s really good at what it’s supposed to do
VSCO: The most used app in the collection. The simple and clean interface, and the effects it produce to be so film-like is like a dream come true for me
Mextures: The new kid on the block. I got it a day before VSCO got updated and I haven’t really explore it since. From the surface, the effects and layering are definitely interesting and worth trying it out in depth
When I read about the release of Camera Noir, I wasn’t really keen in the app. It generally receives positive feedback and we can tell the design process has been well thought through. I don’t have to buy the app to appreciate the design details and the meticulous craft behind the work. The idea behind the website is cool and this website, rather than the app itself, is what sets it apart from its peers. It shows what it looks like in real time to apply the filter into your screen as you are about to take the picture.
P.S.: The sea inspired logo and symbol is another bonus. Maybe I’m just finding reason to like an app I have little use for. Still, it’s quite a nifty little website that is wonderfully thought out for the purpose of its existence.
Camera Noir is available at the app store, for $1.99.