Mini-review: InstaBlender - time to get arty?

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InstaBlender is, at first sight, a tool to 'blend' two photos together. And you can have great fun trying that for the first ten minutes. You then start to appreciate that blending two photographs can produce some pretty ghastly results - and you then aim for creating works of modern art instead. And - you know what - this isn't entirely a bad thing.

Costing a dollar/pound or so, InstaBlender's entry in the Windows Phone Store says:

InstaBlender is a simplistic and creative app for combining images with different blend modes on your Windows Phone.

- 15 blend filters
- use photos from your albums
- take photos directly on InstaBlender

- share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other photo sharing app installed on device
- picture hub integration 

All photos are exported in high resolution at 1200 x 1200 pixels.

Well, I wouldn't call 1.4MP exactly high resolution, but the application is still worth exploring since it's based on Nokia's Imaging SDK (now under Microsoft control) and since it has been recently updated, with new effects and tools. Here's a walkthrough:

Screenshot, InstaBlenderScreenshot, InstaBlender

As you'd expect, first pick two images that you want to try from your main phone gallery. Here, the bright garden looks like it would overwhelm the black and white portrait, to I switched it to this sea-side scene. Note that built in editing tools (courtesy of the Imaging SDK) allow for photo adjustment even before 'blending'....

Screenshot, InstaBlenderScreenshot, InstaBlender

There are a dozen blending options, i.e. different ways of combining two images at the pixel level, plus the slider lets you control how much of each image is included. Yes, the results can be a bit of a mess if you're not incredibly careful!

Screenshot, InstaBlenderScreenshot, InstaBlender

Then, once you've set up the basic blend, there are a dozen more adjustments and effects that you can apply. Here adding 'color boost' and 'paint' to create something that's very 'modern'. Think indie album cover more than photo album!

Screenshot, InstaBlenderScreenshot, InstaBlender

Let's try with a different pair of images. The idea is to use something with striking 'foreground' contrast and then something else dreamier in the 'background'. I think. Here I'm playing with the 'light' effect, applying different light patterns....

Screenshot, InstaBlenderScreenshot, InstaBlender

You can also add text, changing colour, font and position, in order to create something suitably arty - again, think promos more than photo masterpieces....

With the caveat that you're going for art and impressionism rather than usable photo combinations, InstaBlender is recommended. You can grab it in the Store here. Don't worry about the resolution limitation - for images this (artily) muddled, you won't want pixel purity at 5MP anyway - trust me!

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store