Editors Note: Hanna Hetherington is a Design Student from Sydney. She can be found on Instagram.
For the last 3 months Hanna has been working with the ManageFlitter team in an intern position, helping us with a variety of ManageFlitter projects. Hanna has a strong photographic background and we thought it’d be great for her to give our users some insight into her favourite mobile editing apps.
With the abundance of photo editing applications available it can be difficult to decide which apps to use. This article reviews 3 useful (and free!) photo apps for Instagram photographers.
Snapseed is a popular photo editor available on the App Store and Google Play. It allows users to import images from their existing library or to capture new photos within the app. Snapseed comes with a decent range of tools and filters and does not require any in-app purchases.
Examples of Snapseed’s Interface
With gesture based controls, Snapseed is not particularly intuitive for beginners. Users must familiarise themselves with the following before they can appreciate Snapseed’s powerful editing capabilities:
- Swipe Up and Down to the change the adjustment feature.
- Swipe Left and Right to increase or decrease the intensity.
Snapseed uses layers to make reverting changes easy. Similar to Photoshop, the user can re-edit or delete individual layers. You can also recycle these layers and apply them to future photos for a consistent workflow and aesthetic.
There are also a number of handy features such as the histogram tool. Located in the bottom left of the interface, the histogram tool lets you monitor edits and exposure. There is also the option to toggle between the original and edited state of an image by clicking in the top right of the interface. For those photographers looking for a quick fix, Snapseed also includes an auto correct feature which quickly optimises the brightness, contrast and sharpening of your image.
Users must familiarise themselves with Snapseed’s gesture based controls.
Overview: Fused is a mobile app that merges photographs to create double exposures. Inside the app there is a range of different blend options such as:
This app also has a square crop option that allows you to create Instagram-ready photographs.
Example of 2 images being Fused together + Fuse’s In-App Store
Free features are limited in Fused. Users initially have access to exposure, brightness and contrast settings. However, if they seek greater control over the creative output, users must purchase additional blending modes, masking filters and tool sets inside the app. Fused is also missing an undo button. If you make a mistake you will be starting from scratch.
To get you started, Fused offers downloadable Artist Collection packs for free. These include some great portraits and landscapes, however it is best practice to use your own images. Combining photographs of people and landscapes produce the most effective results.
Example of a double exposured image using Fuse
VSCO provides users with professional grade film stock presets to apply to their photographs. It is effective in giving your mobile photos an analogue feel. Initially developed as an add on for Adobe Lightroom, VSCO is now a free to download app.
Examples of VSCO’s Filters
The Downside: Not all of VSCO’s film stock presets are free. Users have access to 10 built-in presets with extra packs available from $0.99 upwards. VSCO also has its own content publisher; however its reach is severely limited and the ‘Find My Friends’ feature is only available on iOS.
Online tutorials and videos are available on the [ VSCO website](https://support.vsco.co/hc/en-us/articles/202904010-VSCO-How-to-use-VSCO VSCO website for first time users.) for first time users.
VSCO provides a non destructive editing process and users can undo any edits made by using the revert arrow. Extra tools for saturation, cropping, contrast and more are all free and accessible through a simple sliding menu. The strength of the presets are easily adjustable, which allows users to produce a consistent quality across different photographs.
Examples of VSCO’s paid Preset Packs
Have we missed anything? Let us know your favourite editing apps in the comments below!