Thursday, June 12, 2014

my favorite photo editing apps

I have a *real* camera but I use my iphone for almost all of my photos anyway. It's just easier - it's always with me, and since my cats tend to be my subject 90% of the time (okay, 99%) it's most convenient to grab my phone and quickly shoot whatever adorable thing they're doing. For blog photos I usually end up lightening them up in photoshop on my computer, but for instagram I like to edit right on my phone. I have an arsenal of (what I think are) pretty awesome photo editing apps that help make my pictures bright, sunny and beautiful! Here are my favorites --

Afterlight has been my go-to for the last year or more. It has controls for adjusting things like saturation, contrast, exposure, shadows, fill light, etc. The ones that I tend to fiddle with the most are brightness and exposure, and then I'll usually bring down the contrast a bit, too. This also has tools for straightening crooked pictures, adding white bars to non-square pictures so they'll fit in instagram and tons of really pretty filters (with opacity adjustment, yay.)

One of the first photo editing apps I ever downloaded was Photoshop Express and.. it kind of stunk. I was expecting it to be the best one ever because, well, Photoshop! A couple weeks ago I decided to try it out again and they've definitely updated the app. The exposure control on is KILLER. It comes with some nice filters, too, but you can't adjust opacity so I think that makes them kind of useless. For me this app is totally all about the exposure. I swear it brightens SO well without washing out colors, something I sometimes have a problem with in Afterlight (and even real Photoshop!)

Genius is my outfit posting buddy. I open the Genius app and stick it on self timer with a ten second repeat. It beeps to count down the seconds, and then takes a picture every ten seconds & saves it to the camera roll. Sometimes I use a camera remote but this is usually a lot easier and I'm just used to it now. It has other timed settings (you don't have to choose 10 seconds) and some other nifty features too but it's, by far, the best self timer app I've tried.

A Beautiful Mess is the only app I use for adding things like borders, images or text. In Afterlight you can add white bars to the sides of non-square photos, but I don't like posting them to Instagram that way. I need color! So whenever I have a picture that's formatted like that, I add a pink scalloped border with this app (example). I love that every embellishment has a bunch of color options and the ability to resize, change opacity and rotate. Plus the app designers are sweet and kind of super awesome.

For collage purposes, Diptic is definitely my favoite. I actually use this a lot for personal photos, just to compare pictures -- like if I try on a couple outfits for a trip I'll take photos & put them all in a Diptic to see them at a glance & decide which ones I like best. My favorite feature about this app is that you can delete the borders, so your entire image is just filled with photos. You can also keep the borders if you want, and resize them to be thick or thin. I think you can even change the color, but I love when they're borderless myself. And there are SO many layout options. Like a crazy amount.

Last but not least is Retouch. I can't count how many times one of my cats has done something SO cute but there's a bobby pin laying on the floor right next to their head. Or a picture of my workspace is done-in by a pencil smear on my table. Little details like that might not be noticeable to everyone else but YOU see them and can't see anything else, you know? Anyway, I get rid of tiny imperfections with Retouch. It's kind of like the content aware function in Photoshop except honestly I think it works even better.

And that's it! If you want to see my iphone-edited-photos you can always take a peek at my instagram ;)