Sifting through the iOS App Store can be overwhelming. You want to spend your money wisely on something you’ll use time and time again. With so many interesting photo editing applications to choose from, it’s easy to make a quick decision when purchasing apps, but will you really get a lot of use out of it? I’ve purchased numerous apps over the years and some of them have been complete duds. The six applications I cover here are worth the money since I’m still using them today; although one could use some new content. Something to consider before you go snapping a bunch of photos is how much storage space you have available on your iOS device. If you’re near capacity, you’ll need to free up some storage space on your device before you get trigger happy with your new photo apps.
HDR combines over exposed and under exposed HDR photos to create stunning images. This application gives iOS users new confidence when taking photos. After using HDR, snapping standard images with your iOS camera will soon feel boring and unimpressive. Using HDR is extremely easy and you’re able to take control of your photos. To modify the dark and light exposures captured by HDR simply hold your finger on the screen to unlock the two control options. Drag the light control to the area in the photo you want to represent the light exposure, then drag the dark control to the dark area you want in the photo. Double tap the screen and take the picture. HDR will merge the light and dark exposures and give you four mix options to choose from: Auto, Optimized, Vivid, and Contrast. If you’re looking for a camera app that will make you feel like a professional photographer, your search will begin and end with HDR.
TadaaSLR provides great control over your photos by adjusting the depth of field and bokeh. Import saved photos or capture new ones to edit with ease. Once you’ve selected or taken the photo you want to use, you’re able to edit the image by masking areas you don’t want altered, use linear or circular blurring, or blur the entire photo – it’s totally up to you. This application unlocks great editing tools for your photos. These tools allow you to produce professional looking and truly unique images without the use of an aperture lens. TadaaSLR also gives you the control to blur focus within your photos through the use of linear and circular focus regions. Use linear focus to blur everything in the photo except for a central region of your photo or move the linear focus to another area of the photo. Circular blurring is utilized the same way as linear blurring. Everything you’ll need is right at your fingertips allowing you to take your photos from ordinary to extraordinary in minutes. Enjoy some of the same characteristics of a digital SLR camera without spending hundreds of dollars on the equipment.
Camera+ is arguably the most popular application discussed here. With over 10 million downloads it’s hard to pick-on something this popular, but I have a couple minor issues with it. Of all the photo editing applications I have, Camera+ takes first place in the amount of photo editing options available. When you select some editing functions, other menus emerge revealing a sliding bar to edit a function even further. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining there are too many functions, but it feels like you need to take notes on what your favorite functions are. If Camera+ allowed users the option to save their favorite editing functions it would make it much easier to quickly edit photos. Instead, users must recall from memory their favorite editing features used in previous photos. Since I like importing edited photos across many different applications, it’s hard for me recall what features worked best in Camera+. Camera+ has great functionality, but the overall ease of use for what I like in my photo editing apps suffers. I still utilize Camera+, but probably not to its full potential because of this obstacle.
Typic+ has quickly become one of my most coveted photo editing applications. When I first purchasedTypic+ I immediately regretted my decision. Adding text to photos felt…well…girly or childish at first. I tried and tried to like this application, but it seriously felt like I was trying to express my feelings through the text I was adding to my photos and it didn’t feel genuine. I finally started enjoying Typic+ when I realized how I could use it to add text to photos I use on my website. Now Typic+ and I are as thick as thieves. Recently I realized how much money we are wasting on groceries so I started tracking the freshness and expiration dates of our groceries with an iOS application called FreshBox. When I posted the first trip to the grocery store I took some photos with my iPhone and posted them on Steller, a new visual story creation application. I used an original photo for my blog post and thought it would look much nicer if I were able to add text to the photo. A lightbulb went off in my head and I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to use this application all the time.
Within Typic+ there’s a plethora of things to do with your photos besides just adding text. Add filters, frames, effects, design elements, text, change text color, and share your creation instantly on Facebook,Twitter, or Instagram. Typic+ offers additional frames, text fonts, design elements and a custom logo pack at an additional cost. Originally I only used the design options it came equipped with, but eventually purchased the additional text fonts and design elements. I felt a little bad how our relationship started out and figured this was a peace offering. Joking aside, I’ve really gotten a kick out of Typic+ after realizing how useful this application can be.
Mextures will always hold a special place in “the Critic’s” heart. It was the very first application I reviewed when I started iOS Etc. Mextures isn’t free from criticism though; it hasn’t been updated since its inception. When I first started using Mextures I was impressed with the different layers you could add to create a unique photo. This application seemed to know exactly what I was missing from Camera+; the ability to save my favorite creations in a folder called “formulas.” When it comes to adding the finishing touches to photos,Mextures is my final stop. I’m disappointed with this application because there hasn’t been any updates adding anything new. The formulas option within Mextures is a great place to save your favorite creations, but there are some formulas within this tab that come preloaded. There haven’t been any new formulas added and I wish Mextures could give us more inspiration. I’ve used the “Fall Formulas” so many times now it has become boring in my photos. Hopefully there’s an update coming soon since I don’t want this application to reach the end of its useable life on my iOS devices because of lack of depth.
Waterlogue is one of my two most recent discoveries and I’m blown away by its greatness! I should put a few things in context though. Let the record show that I have not been blessed with the ability to draw or paint in any way, shape, or form. I have always marveled at those who posses the ability to draw and paint well.Waterlogue has given me the ability to turn my photos into awesome looking paintings in seconds. Once you open the application you have the option to take a new photo or select one from your photo library. There are nine different watercolor transformations to choose from. You can lighten or darken your creation and add a border if you desire. Waterlogue gives iOS users the ability to create something they might’ve never been able to accomplish. It’s very rare that I’m blown away by an application, but Waterlogue has me saying WOW after each painting it creates with my photos.
Smartphones in general have come a long way over the years. Newer iPhones come equipped with a great camera, but third party applications available in the iOS App Store give users the ability to create something truly unique. My wife and I are expecting our first child and I recently felt the need to work on my photography skills to capture some great shots over the next few years. I have a digital SLR camera I plan on using, but my iPhone 5 will be the go to option for unplanned events or candid shots. When I started diving deeper into my photo editing applications I figured I’d share some useful information on six iOS applications I frequently use. One suggestion I have for anyone looking to maximize photo editing is import your creations into other photo editing applications you have. This practice allows you to utilize editing features unavailable in other applications. If you have a photo application you like, please share it with me in the comments section. I’m always looking for new photo editing applications to use.