In fact with so many hazy and grainy images from Instagram jerks flooding our photo feeds, a naturally edited photo--free of preset effects--really stands out.
The Instagram app (available for Android and iOS) does deserve some credit. It's a great way to get people to think photographically about the objects and scenes around them. In a world where anyone can snap a photo at any time, Instagram provides an easy-to-use entry into the world of image manipulation. But once you begin to get serious about taking pictures, you need expand your horizons and move beyond using preset filters.
Editing on the Small Screen
Photo editing on small smartphone screens presents some challenges, but a few apps on the market make the process much easier--and even enjoyable at times.
One great option for natural, preset-free photo editing on the go is the Adobe Photoshop Express app, available for free in Android and iOS versions. This surprisingly powerful app packs many of Photoshop's industry-standard photo-editing features into an easy-to-use touch interface, including adjustments for exposure, saturation, contrast, tint, cropping, and more.
Adobe Photoshop Express also provides shortcuts for sharing your touched-up photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Photoshop.com.
Another option for iOS users is PhotoForge 2. This app will set you back $3, but it supplies the same basic editing tools as Photoshop Express. PhotoForge 2 also provides a number of relatively advanced features such as layers and masking, giving you more freedom to doctor your photos. Like Photoshop Express, PhotoForge 2 has built-in social media support for sharing your photos on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and more.
The HDR Camera app for Android devices and the HDR+ Camera app for iOS devices--both made by developer Almalence--offer yet another tool for making your mobile images look great. Each app lets you combine multiple photos into one HDR image, which is great for photos taken outdoors, where numerous differences in lighting may affect a shot.