There's undoubtedly something striking about the style of photography that draws attention to a focal object by making the rest of the scene black and white (here's a good example). This kind of selected colorization is within reach on your iPhone if you use ColorSplash for iPhone, a relatively new image-editing app from the developer of Juxtaposer and Juxtaposer Lite, two other image editors for iPhone photos.

After you load an image, ColorSplash will turn it into a black-and-white photo--but not permanently. Your full-color image will remain in your iPhone's camera roll. You use your finger as a paintbrush in ColorSplash, and with every swipe, more of the photo's original color is revealed. Keeping control over the brush strokes was our biggest challenge. While pinching and pulling the screen to zoom in is the recommended way to paint the object you want to emphasize, this was in many cases laborious, certainly more so than it would be to choose a smaller brush size.

Although you can't cut a slimmer swath with the brush, you can choose among four brush types that include hard and soft edges and varying transparency levels. An even better feature is the masking button, the red circle on the top navigation bar that lets you see the area you're coloring in bright red. The crimson hue is a sure way to catch your mistakes, especially if the area you're working in is light or the boundaries between areas is otherwise difficult to detect.

While we didn't encounter issues with photo size, the developer's notes warn that images exceeding 1,024 pixels will be shrunk down in the app. ColorSplash can save newly tinkered images in your Camera Roll alongside the originals, and can even let you reload sessions to edit your work. If you frequently share your mobile images with others or online, ColorSplash could be a creative way to add some zing to your photo, though it's not as practical on a daily basis as a classic photo-editing app like Picoli, that will sharpen and color-correct images.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.