The workflow in Diptic isn't complex; you begin by specifying one of five different layouts for your photos. After selecting the layout, each space can either be filled with a photo from your device library, or iPhone users can use their camera to shoot new ones.
Diptic uses the same touch controls that any iOS user will be familiar with in order to transform the photos within their individual frames; you can pan around the image with one finger or zoom in and out by pinching. Tapping on a photo brings up a menu for mirroring or rotating by 90 degrees. The only small disappointment is that you can not rotate images freely; you'll need to plan on fixing issues, like a slightly tilted horizon, in another app before you start Diptic.
In the Effects section, you will find sliders for making brightness, contrast, and saturation adjustments. While the developers chose to leave the heavy image processing to other apps that are more focused on editing a single image, they wisely included enough control so that you can make side-by-side adjustments to your photos in order to achieve visual consistency or create stronger contrast.
Simple controls for adjusting the thickness and color of the borders that frame the images are also included. The border can be eliminated altogether by reducing the thickness until the border disappears.
There are two export options: you can choose to save the final image to your Camera Roll, or you can email it directly from the app. The final resolution output is a respectable 1024x1024, but I wouldn't mind seeing the pixel count increased for the iPad.
There are a couple of small imperfections to keep in mind while you're working. Diptic doesn't save and restore its state on exit, and there's no way to save and load what you're working on manually. iOS 4 multitasking hasn't been included yet, either. However, Peak Systems is planning on adding session saving and multitasking in a future update.
It has been a pleasure to use Diptic over the last few weeks. It has inspired me by giving me new and creative ways to quickly and easily mix and display my photos. I've also enjoyed the compositional challenge of thinking about how each photo that I'm taking may fit together in each of the different layouts. Diptic also holds great potential for effectively telling a story through a visual narrative; I'm looking forward to giving it a try the next time inspiration strikes.
At US$1.99, it's an essential app to have if you enjoy shooting and editing photos on your iPhone or iPad. If you aren't convinced, take a peek at the Diptic Flickr group to see some of the awesome images that other people are creating.