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Great Photography Apps

If you just got an iPhone for Christmas (or another electronic object on which there is an App Store in one form or another) let me enlighten you on the subject of what to buy in terms of photography apps. I know that absolutely no one wants to pay for an app (no matter how much it costs) so I’ll keep it mostly free.

INSTAGRAM
Price: free
In my opinion, this is the best photography app there is. It has also been named the Apple App Store “App of the Year 2011”. It’s not primarily for effects but for sharing your photos with friends and other users. Don’t worry about it being a failed social network (like some other apps trying to get off the ground) because there are millions of users and 10 photos are uploaded every second. You select them through your Photo Library and add a filter - you can choose to leave your photo as it is or simply give it a black border if the “neon lights” or whatever aren’t for you. A piece of advice I would have if you are trying to get a wider viewing of your photos is to skip the one-sentence description and tag your photos instead, ie. put “#ocean #sea #beach” instead of “A great day at the beach is shown by the beautiful ocean!” because then when other users are searching through tags, they will find your photo! It also supports social networking like Twitter and Facebook but doesn’t do the dirty deed and offer you extra things if you do.

PIXLR-O-MATIC
Price: free
Optional extras: additional filters are $0.99 each
This is a relatively new photography app that went straight up the Top 25. It’s got brilliant effects and filters with no need to purchase any extra ones. There’s even a Google Chrome version that is also 100% free if you want to go full screen. You can add filters and borders to perfect your editing and I think a good marketing strategy was to name the filters are people (my opinion has been swayed because my name is indeed there). And if you simply can’t choose then there is even a “random” button which will assign effects for you.

RETRO CAMERA PLUS
Price: free
This app won’t take the best photos, it just turns your lens into feeling like some of the older cameras like The Pin-Hole Camera. It’s really a fun app for seeing what it was like taking photos and you’ll come out with some great shots. There’s a hilarious camera you can use which won’t let you see what you are taking a photo of which just shows how much things have advanced. There have been reports of this app crashing but I haven’t experienced this.

PICTURE EFFECT MAGIC
Price: free
I know the name isn’t great but this is a great app for Colour Splashing. For those new to the photo effects world, it’s when you simply swipe your finger across the screen and that part of your photo either goes from colour to black-and-white or from black-and-white to colour. Well, when it works. This app has other effects too but they are stuffed under a menu that is hard to view.

HAPPY SNAPPER
Price: free
This app is HILARIOUS. It gives you a bunch of pre-set stickers that you can slap on to any existing photo. You can change the text on it, adjust the size of each sticker and rotate. Heaps of fun for teasing friends and goofing around.

PHOTOSYNTH
Price: free
This app will let you take a 3D panorama picture of any area by stitching all the photos together. It’s amazing, not really for the quality, but helps you remember a place in its entirely in a single frame instead of a video. You move your iPhone (or other device) around you and tap on the screen to add to the photo. It is not suggested for use when there are people standing in shot because if they move you might find when you stitch it together they suddenly have two heads and an additional leg (funny consequences).

TILTSHIFT GENERATOR
Price: $0.99
I love this app, it blurs the background and focuses on the foreground to make your picture look as if it were a miniature. You can upload a photo and the effects will apply automatically but you can adjust them if it doesn’t look miniature enough for you. I have applied this to some of my photos with funny results and immediately posted them to Instagram.

360 PANORAMA
Price: $0.99
While there is a price for this app, I think it started out as free which is how I got this. It’s exactly like Photosynth so if you are a cheapskate then this shouldn’t be top of your Christmas list. It’s basically the same except that you don’t even have to tap your screen for the panoramic picture to appear on your screen and the quality is (I find) better.

CAMERA+
Price: $0.99
Don’t stress, this app has been on sale for about two months now so I wouldn’t rush into making a decision to buy it or not. You can you this app for taking “better photos” on your device but I find that I only use the effects. They could change the navigation within this app, well, entirely so that it’s much easier to use but once you find the “edit” button on the photos in the “Lightbox” it’s all good. There are some great effects and filters there but I would appreciate if there weren’t so many for purchase after I’ve just paid for this app. 

HALFTONE
Price: $0.99
This app is a bit like Comic Life for iPhone with more of a focus on making the comic strips looks vintage. It’s heaps of fun to make little comics or add captions to your photos and play around with the type of background paper, fonts, little stickers, captions and text bubbles appear on your creation. 

Over all there are TONS of great photo & video apps for electronic devices and really, like this comic does say we are complaining about losing a buck if they don’t work. However if this will be the end of the world for you I would check not only the star rating but the user reviews - they are less common for this type of app but look at a majority of them. And if the star rating is four stars but when you look at the diversity all ratings are either five or one star then it’s probably the fives come from the makers and the ones from the users.

Merry Christmas to those who are still on Dec 25 and Happy Boxing Day to those like me :)

(If you’re having trouble figuring this out, click here =P)

  1. juliaperture posted this