The best camera is the one you have with you, and these days most of us carry one with us almost everywhere. Your cell phone can take some great pictures, and they’re getting to the point where they’re challenging traditional point and shoots. Using your phone as your main travel camera also means one less item to pack!
If you like snapping a picture and sharing it with friends, then more power to you. But if you like to tinker, edit, and tweak your images to give them a little pop (or fix a small mistake), you’ll want to open them in a photo editing app. There are thousands of apps out there, so where do you start? Here are our favorite photography apps for travel:
A great app that has been around for years, this photo editor was so good that Google bought them up and made it free. While Snapseed has some great filters, the real power lies in its standard photo editing capabilities. Adjusting the color temperature, straightening your horizon, and sharpening your images are easy to do. Their auto-correct is (usually) a great start, and you can even adjust selective parts of the image or add a tilt-shift to your landscapes.
VSCO Cam’s strength lies in its film emulation. If you miss the look and colors of old film stocks (i.e. Kodak, Agfa, Fuji, and Polaroid films), then run your photos through the many filters VSCO Cam offers. You can edit the filter’s intensity, as well as sharpness, grain, vignettes, and fade. You can also selectively edit the hue of the highlights and shadows to create your own look. Post your creation to your favorite social network right from the app, or the VSCO Grid – their own showcase of photographers who use the app.
Camera+ has long been the go-to upgrade from the basic camera app included in iOS. It includes features that should be standard when taking all of your photos, including a horizontal level to make sure your photos are straight, a refined digital zoom which produces better results, and a front flash for taking selfies in a darker setting. The ability to set the exposure separately from the focus is a killer feature that you will use more often than not. Camera+’s filters are a little heavy handed for me, but for taking great photos – it’s hard to beat.
Camera ZOOM FX
As Camera+ is to iOS, Camera ZOOM FX is to Android. If you wish your default camera app had a little more “oomph”, install this app and never look back. The app comes with a voice-activated shooting mode, a stability mode that waits until the phone is steady before it shoots, and Golden Ratio overlays to help put together that perfect composition. There are also a ton of add-ons to customize the app to be just the way you like it.
$2.99 for Android
Adobe Photoshop Touch
If you’re familiar with Photoshop on the computer, then you’ll fit right in with Photoshop Touch on your phone. Really take control of your photo editing with layers, selection tools, and adjustment layers. You can embellish your photos with text or brush strokes, and even combine multiple images together. It is a lighter version of the world’s most powerful imaging software right in your pocket.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on camera gear to get some great travel photos. Shoot away with these apps and be sure to share your images on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, etc.
Did we miss your favorite photography app that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below.