Instead of doing a weekly “fashion Friday” post (I’d run out of interesting clothes pretty fast!), I’m going to try to post a blog about five related things on Friday. Maybe it’ll be five links, maybe it’ll be five things I learned or five new things I tried. This week, I’m going to post about five iPhone photography and editing apps I’ve been using a lot lately. All of this post’s app links go to the iTunes App Store.
Lately I’ve been doing a TON of iPhone photography. (It’s just such a pain to haul out my “big camera”, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, on a whim.) I’ve had an iPhone 4 for about a year and a half, and took an instant dislike to the stock camera app. I’ve been using Visual Supply Co’s VSCO Cam since the summer of 2012. Back then it cost a dollar, which is very reasonable for an app that was doing so much. VSCO recently released VSCO Cam 2.0, and it definitely is an improvement over the old version. It still has a few issues (most of my problem is that sometimes when I take a picture the app will turn it another direction, so I have to flip it around). I like taking pictures with my phone, but I like how they turn out even more now than I did before–and the fact that it’s now a free app is pretty awesome (you can buy several preset filter packs for about $1 each). But VSCO Cam doesn’t have a lot of the editing features I wanted, so I generally feed pictures taken with VSCO Cam through other apps.
I think the editing app I use most is AfterLight. Formerly known as AfterGlow, I am in love with the range of edition options this app offers. Generally AfterLight is the first place I go with a picture exported from VSCO Cam. I can fix brightness, contrast, highlights/shadows, color saturation, temperature, and sharpness, among other things. AfterLight also has filters and textures, though I don’t play with those much at this point (there are other apps with filters and effects I like more). I also love the frames and borders, especially the Instant Film pack they’ve just released. Between the app itself and the Instant Film pack, I’ve only spent $2 on this app, and I use it pretty much every time I take a picture and want to share it with other people.
For added effects, I use Picfx. It comes with preset color filters, filters that look like old-school film, cross-processing, textures, and light effects like bokeh and nebula. Best of all, you can layer multiple filters and effects. Picfx is a little more expensive than other apps ($1.99), and some users have complained about issues with the app force-closing or not exporting pictures, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with this app–and considering that Facebook crashes on my phone every second or third time I open it, that makes me feel good about recommending it.
When I want to post two pictures together as one file, my go-to app is Diptic. There’s a huge variety of frames in different shapes, and you can customize the dimensions of the individual images in each layout. Some of the layouts are really fun! At about $1, it’s a steal.
I got a card at Starbucks a few weeks ago for a free download of the app Over (regularly $1.99, though recently Apple gave it away for free through their “5 Years of the App Store” promotion), and now I use it for adding text to pictures. Over also has “artwork” (images and pre-made text that look human-drawn) you can add, and though a lot of the extra fonts and artwork packs cost money to unlock, the couple of extra bucks are totally worth it.
You can see images I’ve edited with these apps on my Instagram:
- VSCO Cam, no filtering or additional effects
- AfterLight, with a border from the Instant Film pack
- Over (I also used Image Blender, to make the background image)