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SwankoLab for iPhone Review

SwankoLab for iPhone Review

Following our review of the brilliant Hispstamatic app for iPhone (read the review here) we have decided to take our nostalgic photo processing one step further with SwankoLab.

SwankoLab is a traditional darkroom but transformed into a complete digital process with everything you need to turn any image into a retro misprinted masterpiece.

SwankoLab follows all the traditional stages of darkroom processing : Agitate your print as it develops, and watch it slowly fade in under the warm glow of the safe light. Hang your print to dry while you examine the results of your latest experiment. You can even jot down your favorite chemical formulas in the included formula notebook.

Step 1 : Select the Photo

Select the photo you want to develop. This can be any photo currently stored on your iPhone (this includes those synchronised from Aperture or iPhoto.

Step 2 : Add your Chemicals

This is where things get fun, You can add a mix of chemicals from the shelve or if you are ultra daring you can double the same chemical for even greater processing.

The standard supplies include SwankoDev A19, SwankoDev H1N, Fantabra Magic Warm, Noir, Grizzle Fix, Flamoz Fixer, Zero, Vinny’s BLO4 and Vinny’s BL95 chemicals.

Step 3 : Flick the Lever, Start the Process

Simply flick the small lever that resides on the bottom left of the screen to start the developing process. Your print drops in the the chemical tray and you can witness the transformation as the chemicals do their work.

Step4 : Hang to Dry

The digital drying process is certainly quicker than the olden days. Your photo hangs with the traditional clothes peg ready to share or add to your photo library.

I ran a double dose of Noir Fixer on one of my photos (the original can be seen here).

The results are stunning. SwankoLab is great fun and playing with the different chemical combinations and storing the best in the recipe book makes this a really time killing app if you find yourself with some time on your hands.


I love it. SwankoLab is a fully fledged iPhone photo processing application all wrapped up in a fun and enjoyable workflow. From the ability to mix chemicals, giggle the photo in the mix tray through to hanging the photo out to dry SwankoLab is great fun. The bonus is the end photos are stunning from striking black and whites through to warm rich tones. I definitely must for iPhone or iPod Touch owning photo fans.


Get SwankoLab for your iPhone or iPod Touch.

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