A newly released iPhone app called AntiCrop proclaims to the be the first application that allows you to “un-crop” your photos. What that means is that the app is able to extend the edges of your photos by using an intelligent content filling tool that duplicates the background, making your picture bigger than it was before. You’re not cropping the photo – you’re “un-cropping” it. And it’s a pretty amazing trick.
So why would you need to do this? The most common use case has to do with photos that were taken on an angle – a regular occurrence among iPhone users, who snap pics sans tripod. Using the included “lossless rotate” feature in AntiCrop, you can straighten out the photo in question before applying the un-crop. After adjusting the photo’s orientation, it’s just a matter of selecting the appropriate size (e.g., 4×3, 7×5, 16×9) to fill in the background.
You may also want to use AntiCrop to extend the background of landscape shots, to make the scenic shot more attractive. For example, you could crop a photo to remove extraneous strangers mingling in your beach scene, then anti-crop the photo to produce an image of an endless and vacant seashore.
Not all photos lend themselves to un-cropping, however. It’s better to have fewer items at the edges of the photo, for example. In other words, don’t try to use AntiCrop to clone photos of people, pets or other objects. Scenes, landscapes, nature shots, sky shots, etc. work well, though.
Although there is an excessive number of photo applications on the iTunes App Store (a search for “crop” returned hundreds!), I’m increasingly impressed by the power of some of the newer apps hitting the market lately. Just last week, for example, I came across GroupShot, which lets you swap the faces of people within your pictures to create the perfect photo. But I’m beginning to wish for an all-in-one app that lets you do anything and everything to your photos, not just cropping, filters, and other edits, but that would also offer these newer, and frankly more remarkable, capabilities. After all, this “photo apps” folder of mine is filling up fast. At least with a name like “AntiCrop,” I’ll remember what this one does.