Good visual content means good photos. Especially on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you may be charged with representing a brand or idea visually armed only with your mobile phone. However, not all smart phone cameras are created equal! It’s ok to admit that sometimes the colors of that panoramic view don’t pop like they should when taken on your dilapidated iPhone 3. Rest easy, because we’ve scoured the corners of the Earth (or at least, our office) to bring you a small sample of great iPhone photo editing apps to help improve your personal and professional photos on the go. Prepare to put the power of modern photo editing in your pocket, on the cheap:
Over ($0.99 / sometimes free)
While some apps focus on actual photo quality editing, Over is an invaluable app that really shines at adding text overlays to your photos. Create your own memes or funnyisms by crafting some clever text over a photo, sometimes completely eliminating the need for a caption on social! You can find it for free on the App Store, but it typically costs $0.99.
Once you get used to it (the app lacks a substantial tutorial), you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to switch between multiple layers of text and add graphics. The creators of Over have taken a typically complex task such as managing multiple objects on the screen and simplified it.
The app has a limited library of photo editing options, and onlyincludes the most basic (brightness, contrast, hue etc.) adjustment controls. Most of the starter graphics and fonts will start to feel old quickly, and give you an itchy trigger finger when it comes to buying new ones. Luckily, packs are only $0.99. But really, can you put a price on beautiful content?
For what it does, Pixlr-o-matic presents an excellent value: photo and lighting effects, frames, and cropping. This app will give you the basics of photo editing and let you super saturate photos to your heart’s desire. Pixlrmatic comes with an intuitive interface for changing film types, lighting effects, and frames of your photos. The one-button cropping tool gives you one preset square option, but doesn’t allow control of where you crop the photo, requiring extra effort when lining up the shot.
Overall, though, the amount of editing you can do to a photo for free is definitely beyond what a program like Instagram offers. It’s free, but it’s free for a reason!
Camera+ requires an initial investment of a couple bucks, but pays for itself over time with its slew of features and wide range of photo customization options.
Boot it up and you’re greeted with a fully functioning camera interface with image stabilization, self-timer, burst-fire mode, horizon level, and dedicated editing workspace – all features that help make Camera+ a quick favorite. If you have a steady hand, the powerful digital zoom (up to 6.0x) + stabilizer combine to produce surprisingly crisp macro images. Not bad, for an iPhone! It’s easy to import photos then work your magic with color balance options, cropping presets, and effects and borders.
Social sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are built in, with the option of creating a web link to your photo for manual sharing. The app doesn’t come without a few drawbacks, though. There is no direct sharing with Instagram, creating an extra step (Save to Camera Roll) to get your masterpieces on the highly trafficked network. You also won’t find any versatility for captioning photos or adding and editing overlaid text.
Afterlight is a great little app that allows you to import your photos for many of the basic adjustments you would find in a fancier program like Adobe Lightroom. It also allows you to import from your uploaded Instagram photos in case
you want to touch anything up, or if that Hefe filter just didn’t turn out right. The easy user interface makes it a breeze to adjust everything from brightness to red/green/blue color saturation in the blink of an eye. One major benefit to Afterlight is that it allows you to export the photo in a variety of sizes and to a number of different options such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Email, “Postcard,” or even to other suitable apps. Yes, the app actually saves you time by searching your phone for usable apps (like Over and Camera+!) so you can finish editing there. For $0.99, it’s a great addition to your digital dark room.
The App Store is littered with the bits and bytes of useless or dead camera apps, so use these suggestions as a compass when making your choice. If photography is a huge portion of your content library, then it might behoove you to throw down $10 to try them all, just to come up with one that suits your work flow and project needs. Either way, it’s cheaper than dropping the cash for Photoshop or bugging your designer all week to tweak your photos!
This is admittedly only a snapshot of iPhone apps, so what do Android users use? Suggest additions to the list or comment on our choices above – we’d love to hear from you!