My Favorite Photo Editing Apps For Android
Just the other week I someone asked me what I use to edit my photos on Instagram. Currently I work as a photo-retoucher at one of my day jobs, so it makes sense that that same obsessive compulsiveness to fiddle around with a photo carries over to pictures I take with my smartphone (a cheap Cloudfone Thrill 500g). I still use my Samsung Galaxy GT i550’s camera sometimes (takes pretty good daytime photos even from a moving car) and then I import the files to my bigger 5-inch phone for easier editing. I don’t really have a fancy setup, my phones are budget-priced and their cameras are average (leaning towards terrible, in the Cloudfone’s case).
Of course, the art of phone photography (whether it’s an art is debatable, lol) involves finding the perfect apps that allow you to be more creative and adventurous when post-processing them. The difference between professional (ish) photos I take with my DSLR and grainy phone pics is that I don’t need to hold myself back. It’s ok to have unrealistic, blurred, grainy, color-graded or over-vignetted photos on Instagram, it’s “creative”. Purple sky? Yes please!
FILTERS AND OVERLAYS: PIXLR EXPRESS
If it’s a pretty decently shot photo with not much change needed for exposure, brightness or contrast, then I simply head over to Pixlr Express (which seems to be a souped up version of Pixlr-o-matic).
It has a bajillion filters and plenty of features for corrective and creative editing. I especially love that it allows me to apply an action in percentages, so I can go light or heavy-handed when it comes to applying a filter or action (just like the FADE feature in Photoshop). It also has a lot of overlays (fake bokeh, light leaks) for when you’re feeling more retro than usual, lol.
One thing it DOESN’T have though, is curves, which for me is the clincher for a photo editing app.
HARDCORE PHONE EDITING: PHOTO EDITOR by MacGyver
If there was ever a harder app name to google, this is it. :| They could have picked a more unique name, you know? But this app is the BEST app in the entire app store for me because it has everything I need to make a picture awesome, including that mystical, almost impossible-to-find feature CURVES.
Here I’m just using a photo of the sky taken through the grubby window of a moving car.
Histograms are provide for the OC.
You can choose how many points to use for that particular Curves session, too.
It has all the features other apps have, and more. I love the fact that I can create actual workflows, and save them, just like actions in Photoshop. It’s such a powerful tool that I don’t know why this app isn’t more popular.
Here’s some that I created:
It gives you the ability to create your own personal filters rather than forcing you to depend on Instagram’s limited image-quality reducing stock filters. It also has an option for you to save in maximum quality. It has the fade option for actions and filters. It has mirror capability for creating symmetrical collages. It has resize for sharing to Instagram’s square format. It even has the clone tool. I love this app, and if I had to delete every photo editor I had and keep only one, this would be it.
SQUARE FORMAT WORKAROUND: INSTASIZE
Hands down easiest to use resizing app. All it does is resize a photo to fit inside the Instagram square frame, and sends you straight into Instagram to finish the posting. Dead simple, and I use it for 90% of my photos because most of the time I prefer to shoot in a non-square format. I also use Photo Editor for resizing, but I use Instasize for non-edited photos.
COLLAGES: PHOTO GRID
For when I want more than one photo in a single frame. GRID HD is a cool feature that allows you more customization when framing (border thickness, background).
The backgrounds are pretty cute (I hardly use them, but I imagine people who love scrapbook-style collages would).
I especially like taking 9 photos and putting them in this all-square grid.
It’s very cool to see all the photos you took over a period of time, and it’s useful for blog posts and DIY compilations on days when I’m too lazy to use my dslr.
CORRECTING: TOUCH RETOUCH
An app that seems to have perfected a hybrid of the clone and heal tools for mobile use.
You just brush over the offending blemish (I mostly use it for phone lines obscuring an otherwise perfect sky) like you use the mask option in Photoshop, and click Start.
Presto, imperfection gone. Certainly useful for vanity/beauty purposes, but I like it for urban shots that need a little tweaking to look perfect.
Mostly a matter of preference, but I really like making symmetrical photos. I prefer Photo Editor’s Mirror Effect since it doesn’t reduce image quality).
A hipster’s dream, lmao. For when I’m feeling goofy (which is all the time). Seriously though, CATWANG is a really unique app. I’m surprised there aren’t more knockoff apps following in its footsteps.
"Chillin Like Nabilin"
VANITY: PHOTO WONDER (forgot to take screencaps)
Photo Wonder is what I use when I take photos of myself (I hate the word selfie, but it is what it is), my mug, or my hair. It helps even out unflattering skin tones and if you want to make your boobs bigger (WHY?!) it has options to do that as well. Want to be unnaturally skinny? Photowonder is da app for it.
Those are pretty much my picks for editing on my less than stellar phones, what are yours? Lemme know!