No matter who you are, you’ve probably taken a picture on your smartphone. Some people are really good at it. Others, not so much. Whatever your skill level, it’s fun to capture special moments and memories in a photo. Thankfully, multiple photo editing software options can help amateurs and seasoned mobile photographers alike improve their snapshots.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can transform a mediocre photo into a brilliant one using any of these five apps.
VSCO is a popular app that offers a broad range of filters and presets. Some software presets can make a photo look “gimmicky,” but not VSCOs. Images are crisp, and the editing tools are easy to use. Many presets are free, and a VSCO X paid subscription unlocks more.
Plus, all the basic editing features like cropping, contrast, and fixing exposure are pretty intuitive. We’re not saying you won’t fall into the stereotypical Instagram “vintage” pitfalls. However, there are so many presets for vintage Kodak and Fuji films, as well as additional built-in presets, that trying all of them is a fun exercise in itself.
Depending on who you ask, Lightroom has surpassed Photoshop as the go-to photo editor in the Adobe Creative Cloud. That’s splitting hairs, though, as they each have strengths and also work pretty well together.
Lightroom made our list because of its ease of use and how simple it is for beginners to jump in and begin editing their photos. There’s a one-touch editing feature, and you can tweak colors, make aspects of photos “pop” and so much more. Lightroom is robust, intuitive, and the mobile app nicely bundles the desktop features into one powerful package.
If you don’t want to get tangled in the Adobe web, there are other photo editing apps out there. Darkroom is one excellent choice. Touted as “the fastest, easiest, most powerful photo editor for iOS,” the app packs a lot of cool features.
Pulling photos from your library into the darkroom for editing is simple via a convenient drag and drop function. Along with the usual tools, Darkroom can handle large and raw photos. The app also offers iPad support, and if you take the plunge, the premium version includes a surprisingly solid curve and color adjustment tool.
Camera+ hit the app store eight years ago and was an instant upgrade from the dinky camera app preloaded on your phone. It felt serious. It felt like you were a legitimate photographer, albeit one who only used a phone to take pics. Since then, Apple upgraded their Photos and Camera apps, adding many features of other photo apps while slowly making apps like Camera+ obsolete.
But the boys are back, and now Camera+ 2 has taken things to another level with their new camera photo-editing bundle. This latest iteration of Camera+ has added focus peaking to help with focusing subjects and also gives you full control of your camera operations, allowing users to go full manual, selecting the ISO, white balance, and shutter speed, depending on the context. And, if you don’t feel like taking the photo, Camera+2 now features hands-free voice active controls that allow Siri to take the picture for you.
Notable Mention: Instasize: Another notable mention here for photo editing apps that also double as a video editor is Instasize. The app has received rave reviews (currently 4.6 out of 5 in the Apple App Store) and we can tell you from personal experience here at TBI: This app is worth it!
If the photography bug bites you hard, taking a class never hurts. SkillShare’s online courses will enable you to learn at your own pace for a reasonable price and help you advance your skills to the next level. Session titles include “iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone,” “Fundamentals of Photo Editing,” and more.