You have a lot of photos, and you want to share them, but you don’t want to just toss them up on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram. You want to present them in a way that’s meaningful and will share not only the pictures but the feeling you had when you were taking them.
Grid Lens has got you covered. By giving you an easy way to place several images in a single frame, Grid Lens lets you tell a story with your photos. Feature-rich and heavy on customization, this app may be a new go-to for image editing.
Filling Up the Grid
There’s no signup when you open Grid Lens for the first time, but you do get a quick tutorial. There are a few different ways to take a picture here. You can tap the camera icon at the bottom, and it will snap each cell in sequence. If you’re happy with the result, tap the camera again to save. If something didn’t go to plan, tap the cell you want to change in your grid. You can either import an image into the cell or delete the cell, allowing you to snap a new shot by tapping just that one cell.
By default, Grid Lens will fill all the cells in the grid at once, taking a quick succession of snapshots. If you’d rather fill your grid up one cell at a time, switch the burst shot toggle next to the camera icon. Grid Lens will fill the grid by moving top to bottom and then left to right, so keep that in mind when lining up your shots.
In multi-lens mode, you’ll find that you’ve got more or less the same image repeated in all of your grid frames. To switch to single lens mode, tap the eye icon to the right. Your photo should now look like a single larger image with a grid superimposed over it.
Starting off, Grid Lens will give you the default grid, a stair step pattern. To choose a new grid, tap the grid icon in the menu at the bottom, and you can scroll through all the pre-built versions. To create your own grids, tap the plus sign. It took some playing around for me to get the hang of creating grids; just make sure the cell you’re tapping is the one you want to divide up, or you’re going to have a mess on your hands. If you do create a Franken-grid, it’s easy enough to delete one by tapping Edit back in the grid menu and then selecting the offender.
Tapping Options at the top will give you a few fun things to play with. You can change the color of your grid or its thickness. You can also adjust the aspect ratio of your image. If you need to get your timing just right, you can set the Grid Lens shutter’s timer here. By tapping the gear, you’ll access the auto-save function and Facebook and Flickr logins.
Browsing the Gallery
When you’ve gotten just the right grid, chosen the shooting mode you want and filled up all your frames, don’t forget to tap the camera icon to save the final grid image to your gallery. A monster will appear to be eating a thumbnail of your image while it saves; when he’s done, pop over to the gallery by tapping the icon in the lower left.
The share icon brings up the social media usual suspects, Twitter and Facebook, but you also get Instagram, too. Grid Lens provides a Flickr sharing option, and there’s a Grid Lens group pool you can stick all your photos into.
There are also a few photo filters in the gallery too, available under the spray can. Eight in all, there’s nothing that remarkable, and if you want to get Instagram-level fancy with it, you should probably just import it into Instagram. These mostly make your image sort of bluish or reddish, but the sepia and black & white will definitely have their uses.
It’s for Telling Stories
Once I downloaded Grid Lens, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, and while making grids of my six cats was certainly amusing, I didn’t feel like I was making the most of the app. Not until I threw in some random photos from a day out with friends did I get it. Grid Lens is for telling stories. It’s like a photo diary in a single image.
While you can of course use Grid Lens any way you’d like (and it will give you a great Brady Bunch-style picture of your six cats if you happen to be living large like me), Grid Lens will also give you a lot more. Whenever just one photo won’t capture the moment or the event or the day, Grid Lens will pop as many photos together as you need to tell the story.
The look and feel of Grid Lens is out of this world. It’s photo creation inside a puppet theatre. With monsters. Even if Grid Lens wasn’t a knockout (which it is), I would still be happy to spend time inside this app. It’s just a nice place to have some fun for a while — and get some nice pictures at the end, too.
The only thing Grid Lens is lacking is a stream in the app to share your image grids with other users. I absolutely don’t mind this one bit. Tacking on social networks to apps that are otherwise image utilities usually just gets in the way for me, and I don’t miss it here. I can share my photos to all my regular social networks, and if I want to see others’ images, I can visit the Flickr stream.
What Grid Lens does have is a feature-packed app for making great looking images that won’t get old soon. With so many different grids and the ability to make new ones, I don’t foresee getting tired of anything on offer here. I really can’t say enough about how highly I recommend Grid Lens. It’s fun, it’s good looking, and it helps me make impressive images, simply.