What was once a prerogative of media companies or photo professionals can now be an artistic endeavour of sorts for the average photo-taker to undertake. More often than not, our digital photos go through ‘mini-makeovers’ before they are published or shared publicly on our numerous personal social media accounts. Delight your loved ones or amuse your followers with your gloriously edited selfies and pictures freshly edited off your smartphones.
Be warned, one might just become bleary eyed from obsessive photo-editing after going through our awesomely apps-addictive list.
1. VSCO Cam
What used to be a paid app is now offered free for basic usage, since last year. VSCO Cam (pronounced ‘Vizco’) is one of the more prominent photo editing apps on the market, due to its impressive advanced features. Other than including a considerable number of filter choices, it also includes a set of editing tools which cater to serious photo shooters: contrast, saturation, tint, sharpness, highlight, shadows, etc. In addition, not only is VSCO Cam integrated with multiple social network platforms, it also recently formed its very own photo community – called Grid – allowing users to simply follow others’ accounts and be kept updated on their activities via a news feed.
To have a photo editing list and avoid mentioning Photoshop would be a grave offence indeed. Yes, we’re referring to you, all ye diehard photoshop purists… The version that’s customised specifically for electronic mobile devices (for both iOS and Android) would be the free Photoshop Express. The app is able to effectively touch-up on images on mobile phones. Alternatively, for iPads, there’s the Photoshop Touch (costing $10) which includes a more complete suite of photo editing functions.
Special Mention: A worthy foil to the above mentioned Photoshop apps, would be trying out the Afterlight app instead, available at $1 for both iOS and Android. It too has formidable tools for photo editing enthusiasts such as: contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows, mid-tone. Other infinitely cool tools which fulfill an ambitious checklist for the user would be: textures, light leaks, transform, straightening and a selection of frames.
3. This little light (meter) of mine!
You know a digital tool is not just something to mess around with when it is actually able to somewhat replace its traditionally physical form. Assisting to gauge the levels of light coming onto a camera’s lens, smartphone photo enthusiasts can rely on LightMeter Free (for Android) or the free Pocket Light Meter (for iOS) for getting the right setting for capturing moments at any time of the day.
This app includes a browser version, which makes for more in-depth editing as compared to its iOS and Android versions. BeFunky lets the user let loose on their creative ideas with its various effects options and collage function. The social media-savvy photographer can also upload their pictures from various outlets like Facebook, and start editing away.
5. In good company – Autodesk company’s Pixlr apps
It can be safely said that the company behind this power photo editing tool has a host of good intentions for its users. Firstly, let’s talk about its Pixlr Editor. It is a good substitute for Photoshop, having a myriad of overlapping editing functions – at zero cost. It is rewarding for one who has the patience to be prepared to painstakingly go through the various app functions for their own private use for pictures on end in the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, if one is satisfied with generally editing the overall appearance of their photos, they can go for their more user-friendly Autodesk Pixlr and Pixlr O-matic which are both equally browser-friendly and cost-free. They feature 100 effects to select from, close to 300 overlays and around 200 borders – Pixlr-ventilating yet?
If Internet memes or kitschy motivational posters inexplicably never fail to induce laugh out loud chuckles from your inner troll or hipster persona, then you should learn about this app pronto. Not only does it contain various photo editing-friendly features with its filters, lighting, colour and film effect; it also has the caption-adding feature with several attractive typography effects thrown into its bag of tricks to illicit reactions from others henceforth.
PicsArt, as its name explains, is art-ifying up your photos to create new, creative pieces. There’s something about modifying images or being ‘arty crafty’ that keeps a person of any age fascinated for stretches. The app has a Photo button for the standard fare of editing tools, while the user would be delighted with effects tools such as the cartoonizer, pastel, watercolour, and so on. The complementary Draw tool lets the closet artists lovingly draw and paint on their humble images with each digital stroke.
Another awesome photo editing app, this one offers a whole collection of functions while coolly making do without any ads or annoying paid suggestions in sight. After applying filter effects onto your photos, users can awesomely assess both their ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos simultaneously. There is even a ‘Night Enhancement’ (which gets our seal of approval for sure!) filter to improve on darker or underexposed photos.
With a well-designed user interface, PhotoWonder’s (for Android and iOS) processing speed works wonders, making it a breeze to use. In addition, it wows with rave filter choices for users who appreciate the aesthetic quality over quantity. Finally, youngsters would be sure to repeatedly wear out the collage feature which has multiple layouts; as well as the app’s old-school-cool photo booth effects.
It even has a ‘Beautify’ option to help image-conscious selfie-takers look even better. Ladies, take note.
10. LINE Camera
Available in more than 200 countries, one would be living in the retro era if one has not seen a photo filter featuring a LINE character or two on their social media feeds by now. Users would be glad to know its easy interface makes the app user-friendly and easily lovable by the masses. LINE Camera contains features from over 100 fonts, more than 30 filters, over 100 borders, to icons to over 5000 stamps.