Mobile photography has paved the way for many technological advances providing a constant flow new tools to both inspire and educate. Smartphones are now the camera of choice for many and not just because they are handy and available. Although they are fantastic cameras, with the right toolkit and a few finger swipes small works of art can be created. Listed below are some of my favorite photography apps for use on most smartphones. These apps will add many creative features to your photos. These toolkits come in form of small software programs known as apps. Creative features aside none of these apps will replace your DSLR camera but that’s not their purpose. Some of these names will be familiar and some you may have never heard of before. Most of these are designed for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Photoshop Touch ($4.99) – This app bring the power of Adobe’s Professional Photoshop program to your phone. You can bring all your artistic vision and creativity with you wherever you go. Using this program in conjunction with Adobe’s Creative Cloud allows you work on your photos on all your devices including your desktop. There is also a free version called Photoshop Express. The iPad version costs $9.99.
Snapseed (free) – Originally released by NIK software now owned by Google. This is my go to app after each photo snapped on my iPhone. Standard editing controls like contrast, saturation and exposure plus more creative controls like HDR, grunge, drama and black & white make this a very versatile app. This app gives you total control to realize you photo vision plus, you can’t beat the price.
VSCO Cam (free) – Think of a cross between Snapseed and Instagram. This app is favorite among those most interested in producing interesting artistic based images with a mobile device. It offers a free photo publishing platform where your mobile images are posted to your web based grid which is visible to anyone. You are free to explore others grids and follow your favorite photographers. The app comes with numerous filters which offer you multiple creative options plus you can purchase many more via the app itself. Beautiful imagery trumps social clout on this site which is why comments and likes are absent from the site.
Mextures – ($1.99) this original app allows you to add over 80 different textures to your photo. It also lets you work in layers to add multiple textures to one image and save that combination of textures as a formula for easy access the next time you wish to apply that “look” to a future photo. This app works quickly and your images are ready to post in a matter of seconds.
Camera Noir – ($1.99) If Black & White photography is your thing Camera Noir is your app. It can help you achieve the rich monochromatic tones desired for this type of photography. Black & White photography is popular and this app lets you create interesting images that are ready to post with just a few fingers swipes.
Big Lens – ($.99) this app bring DSLR like aperture control to your iPhone camera. You are able to control the foreground and background separately in your images by controlling focus and blur very creatively. You can make your photos look like they were captured with an expensive professional camera. You can also apply over 18 different filter effects along with many focus/blur presets to help make the image making process clean and quick.
Camera Plus ($.99) – Along with a whole host of editing features (some of which are very new and unique) and filter and sharing options this app also includes a feature called AirSnap. AirSnap allows you to control a second iOS device though the application. This allows you to remotely control your iPad’s camera via your iPhone allowing you to take photos from afar. This is fun for group photos in which you would like to be included.
AutoStitch Panorama – ($1.99 Apple devices only) the panoramic feature included in your smartphones software does an adequate job. This app is strictly for creating high quality full resolution panoramic images. AutoStitch is the only app that can stitch photos in any order or arrangement, including vertical, horizontal or mixed arrangement. The built in guide helps you stitch up to 40 separate images in any order to create seamless large prints or photos you can print or share on social media sites.
Picfx – ($1.99) this app provides you with over 100 different effects that can be layered and stacked to give you even thousands more possibilities. There are additional features that allow you to refine your photo to your exact expectations.
This is my list of interesting and helpful apps to get you started and help you explore the creative world of mobile photography. For a combined price of $15 you can own apps.