Some photographers turn their noses at anything digital, while others are embracing the innovative technologies bubbling up in the digital photography world. These technologies allow photographers to use their artistic skills past the first snap or the exposure process.
Particularly, filters enable photographers to change colors in their photos, rewind time to black and white, and emphasize the color of one aspect of the photograph while dulling out the other colors. These following seven apps extend past your basic Instagram or Facebook filters to let serious photographers play with their photos on smartphones or computers.
iOS/ Mac or PC, $2
This app is the second release from Camerabag. They reanalysed their app and realized it needed some updates, including the new analog engine allowing fast image processing and more authentic, vintage-looking photos. It claims that the new engines allows for the "happy accidents" of analog film to filter your digital photo. This app comes with 100+ adjustable filters and 25+ professional controls.
Unlike many apps that make you painfully click through every single filter to see what your photo would look like through them, this app lets you view your image through every filter at once, with options to enlarge the photo through your favorite filter. Other tools include simple exposure, vignetting, color correction, cropping, and curves. If you enjoy viewing your photos through the larger screen on your computer and not on a smartphone, then this app is perfect for you. Or find the new mobile friendly version of it on iTunes.
Vintage lovers unite, for this truly cool Vintage Camera app is available for the iPhone. Choose to upload a photo from your camera roll or snap a photo on the spot through this app. The many vintage style filters create photos that feel like a daydream of simpler times and different light filters.
Whether you enjoy filtering your selfies or editing landscape photos, Snapseed has unreal, easy-to-use filtering tools. Instead of cluttering your screen with a bunch of tools, this app allows you to edit everything through the swipes of your fingers. It won’t take long to learn how to adjust the brightness, color, frame, and other aspects of the photo with the swipe of your fingers. This tool allows users to (quite literally) have a hands-on-approach when it comes to photo editing.
The Camera+ app has an endless amount of photo editing tools. Control the lighting of your photo with the touch exposure, focus, and photo flashlight. This app comes with a stabilizer so that your photos turn out crisp. The 6x zoom with advanced digital processing enables zoomed photos to stay clear. There’s even a folder named Lightbox which stores your photos, from which you can then save to your camera roll or the iCloud. The effects, brushing, and layering add many options to filter and edit your photos.
Available on phone plans and platforms like iOS, Android, Windows 7, 8, Vista, or XP, this free photo editing app, Pixlr-o-matic, adds retro effects to your photos. With lighting options, borders and frames, and a randomizing option, you photo results are endless. Choose from different focusing effects, color splashing, and cropping options. Turn any dull photo into a masterpiece with all these editing options.
Take a photo, then insert it into the phototoaster, and presto, a crunchy, browned image comes out — just kidding. The PhotoToaster app provides so many filters, textures, and pixle options, you’ll spend hours editing your photos. Equipped with 60+ effects, 80+ settings, 26 live slider controls, 45+ borders, and 20+ texture overlays, this app leaves nothing out. This app comes with the unique feature of tracking and saving your photos, by showing what time your last edits were.
Emphasizing a color in a photo just got easier with the Color Splash app available for the iOS. Whether you want your background to be in color and a foreground object to be in black and white, or the opposite, the choice is yours with this app. Equipped with four different bushes, the app allows you to paint parts of the photo to either erase or add color to it.
If you decide to stick to film, that’s your choice as an artist, of course. However, as you might see from this selection of apps, you’re limiting yourself from exploring, learning, and using all the filter apps that can transform you photos and take your artistic skills to new places. Which is the coolest filter app?