As technology grows every day, it becomes increasingly faster and easier to capture amazing quality photos on our smartphones virtually as much photo detail as a professional camera can. However even with a good quality camera there is just no way to capture the original scene as we see it with our naked eye. Cameras have limitations such as challenging light situations which in turn can make our photos look quite dull. Even a great photographer needs a little help sometimes. This is where image editing comes in handy. In this era of social networking and online marketing whether you’re a small business owner or not, it is important for our photos to grab attention. People tend to stop and look at captivating visuals rather than a group of words and nobody would stop to look at a dull and uninteresting image on their wall would they? A little bit of enhancing makes for a huge difference and it’s so easy now for smartphone users to simply download free photo editing apps in just a few seconds. I’ve narrowed down the best of the best and here is my list of the only 4 editing apps you will ever need!
1. Photoshop Express
My all time favourite editing app would have to be Photoshop Express! It takes little to no time to make good photos look great, and great photos look incredible. The Editing window has six icons on the bottom of the screen: Looks (Filters), Crop, Corrections, Redeye, Borders and Healing Brush. There are about 23 filters, which is quite generous considering a few other editing apps. Their filters are of amazing quality, my favourites being Bueno and Dappled. Dappled makes for an incredible picture when taking pictures of the ocean or sky as it really brings out the blue. When clicking which filter you prefer a slider pops up which controls how subtle or dramatic you would like it. The Crop section is just like any other crop icon which includes a straighten slider, rotate and flip, and you able to choose between unconstrained or pre saved ratios such as square, 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 and many others. The Corrections module is where Photoshop really exceeds. With sliders controlling clarity, tint, sharpness, contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows, temperature, vibrancy and my favourite reducing noise. It clears any harshness in the photo without fading the photo and really hides your blemishes. This app is free in the app store and I would highly recommend downloading it. Here is my before and after photo using this app!
2. VSCO Cam
VSCO Cam is one of the most downloaded photo applications and that for a good reason. This app only offers 10 very high quality filters however a shopping basket icon takes you online to download extra filters, some free and some bundles ranging from $5 right up to $50. My preferred filters would have to be the A4, A5, A6 range and the HB1 and HB2 range. The Tools menu includes traditional photography edit options, such as Exposure, Contrast, Straighten, Crop, Sharpen, Saturation, Highlights, Shadows, Color Temperature, Tint and Fade. Again with sliders to control how subtle and dramatic you would like it. One different tool VSCO has to offer is the Skin Tone Icon. This icon is a nicely subtle tool that adjusted the tonality of your skin (warming or cooling it) with very natural results. One thing that VSCO Cam can do that not many photo editing apps let you do is even after you have saved your picture you can still go back and reverse a recent edit you applied. As great as this app is, it lacks a couple of tools that some may want in a photo-editing app, such as adding text or stickers or borders; however this does not bother me too much as I don’t use that feature much anyway. Here is my before and after using this app!
Whitagram is another free all-purpose editing app that I use frequently. When you first open the app you can choose between using the camera through the app or upload your own photos. If you choose to upload your own photo then you have three menu options, an editor, border options and adding your extras such as text or stickers. The options for the photo editor have a few functions such as enhance, effects, crop, adjust (which includes brightness, contrast, warmth, highlights, shadows and more), orientation, text, draw, sharpness, blur, blemish, red eye and so on. My two favourite features on this app include whiten and splash. Splash is used when you want your background black and white however you want your main focus to be in colour, while whiten brightens up your white background. This app is amazing for their filters with almost 80 free filters to choose from! Some filters even including some brokeh lighting effects which is always a bonus. So if you are wanting the one app to do it all then this is the app for you!
I do not use this app very often however I think that there a couple of outstanding tools in this app that other photo editing apps just don’t feature. The Selective tool is used for very specific, selective editing using brightness, contrast and colour saturation adjustments. It works by making adjustments to certain areas to your liking on the photo. Once you’ve selected the area you want to alter, swipe up or down to select the adjustment you want to apply to the selected area, e.g. Brightness, Contrast or Saturation. Then swipe left or right to increase or decrease the effect. Then there is also a spot repair tool which is quite like a blemish remover tool but a whole lot better! It removes an unwanted item in your photo such as a blemish on your face or a dirty mark on your wall. Although it only works best when the item you are trying to remove is surrounded by empty space.
Do you have a favourite photo editing app that you think should be in my top 4 list? Leave me a comment! X