What's a holiday if you don't have pictures of those lovely sea waves, the splendid sunsets, the white beaches or even the less-travelled forest clearings that you can show to your friends and preserve for your later generations. Digital cameras have been the go-to gadgets for travellers since ages, capturing once-in-a-lifetime shots that people saved their money for. With smartphones letting people capture photos and videos and then uploading them instantly with marked precision, what we sorely needed were photo-editing apps which would overcome the low-res profiles of pictures clicked on smartphones.
Thankfully, a bunch of apps are now available for such travel snappers who want their pictures to look more beautiful, the nature's colours more vibrant and their selfies oozing the fab factor. If apps can do it, who needs a digicam anymore. While smartphone cameras come with their own settings and features, no matter where you take pictures, photo-editing apps make them worth the effort.
With summer holidays around the corner, we made a list of the best photo-editing apps that would suit you best and which you can try out at home before making them your travel partners.
There aren't many travellers who haven't heard about VSCO. Such was its popularity that its app got downloaded a million times in its first week on iOS. Two years later, it is still as popular. What makes it so are filters that make photos look more real and not flashy, colourful or out of this world. The app replicates the quality of films like Fuji film stocks or Kodak Porta but does not interfere with the original character of photos.
What the app does is that when you look at pictures after a trip, it makes you awe in wonder when you see the highlighted natural tones in them. The range of filters in the app will give you just the quality that you would otherwise expect from high quality film stocks.
If you prefer your recent travel collection to be a collage of tiny videos rather than stills, then Boomerang from Instagram is the right app for you. The app takes a series of stills in burst mode and then creates a high-quality mini video out of them. What's more, the app can even make reverse videos to bring out the fun in anything you did during your vacation. Like, for example, pulling you up from the pool and landing you on top of the diving board.
Every video that Boomerang creates, in both portrait and landscape modes, gets saved automatically on your camera roll. However, the only things the app does is creating funny little videos, so if you need to edit your pictures, you'll need to download a different app.
Just like most photo-editing apps, Retrica comes with a range of live filters and layouts to let you edit pictures the way you want, principles aside. Like Boomerang, it can create GIFs and like Instagram, it can help you build collages. At the same time, if you don't remember where you took a particular picture, each photo comes with precise location data of the place where it was captured.
With over five million users, Retrica has featured among the best photo-editing apps for a while, and while it doesn't do anything different that what other apps do, the best thing about it is that it basically includes everything that you would need from a photo-editing app.
Almost as popular as Instagram itself, the new Snapseed 2.0 app lets you enhance pictures using swiping gestures for additional effects. Once you've added an effect, it's very easy to revert to the original image or to save the setting so that the same tone can be applied on other pictures as well. Brilliant for those who like to see pictures of their travels in a single shade.
You can also use several special effects on your pictures like Drama, Grunge, Vintage, Center-focus, Frames, and a Tilt-shift. The new 2.0 version has also brought in image filters like lens blur, glamour glow, HDR scape and noir. With such an amazing range of filters and effects, who wouldn't want to own this.
Available on both Google Play app store as well as Apple's App Store, Afterlight comes with 15 adjustment tools, 59 filters, out of which 27 are fully adjustable Original Filters, 66 textures of real and natural light and simple film textures to give your pictures that real look.
The tools in Afterlight will let you crop pictures, tilt them vertically or horizontally and then frame them from a choice of as many as 77 frames. Overall, its a no-frills, simple app which you can easily use if you've tried your fingers on Instagram before. At the same time, if you have all the time in the world to edit your photos, you can take a look at the large number of tools and filters that the app contains.
To see the rise and rise of photo editing apps, you only need to turn to Instagram. The shining example of how photo filters and narcissism can make you money. With more than 400 million users and 40 billion photos, it has paved a way for millions of photo editing apps on all mobile platforms. From Lumia Photos on Windows phones to Retrica on Android and Snapseed on iOS as well as native filters that all mobile devices come packed with, they have become part of our lives as much as mobile phones and Facebook have.