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iphone-photo-editing-apps Gear & Apps

Best Photo Editing Apps For Under Five Dollars

By Michelle Bird on November 11th 2014


Photo: Ashton Pal

Grabbing our smartphones to snap a quick photo has become the norm in today’s society. Even top photographers find their iPhones and Androids to be extensions of themselves. Although our smartphone’s camera doesn’t match up to DSLR caliber, we can still achieve excellent quality by simply applying some photography techniques we use regularly while on the job, and of course, a little bit of editing to top it off. Next time you take a portrait of someone with your smart phone, take a step back to compose the shot, and throw it into one of these editing apps before posting it up on Facebook or Instagram.

[REWIND: How Custom Mobile Apps Can Help Take Your Photography Business To The Next Level]


Snapseed – (Free) Android, iOS

Snapseed is one of my go-to iPhone editing apps. It provides such a great deal of control over your photos and holds many advanced features including: selective adjustment, details and sharpening, HDR, vignette, blur, tilt-shift, etc.


Facetune – ($3.99) Android, iOS

If you like to take a lot of portraits and need to touch-up some blemishes, perhaps emphasize the eyes, or smooth the skin a bit, Facetune offers those features and more.


Afterlight – ($0.99) Android, iOS

Dive into the world of filters. Afterlight offers 59 of them, plus 66 textures, cropping and transforming tools and 15 uniquely made adjustment tools. One of the great things about the filters is that you can combine them, and adjust their intensity as well.


Picfx – ($1.99) iOS

Are you a fan of actions and presets when editing on the computer? Then you’ll definitely enjoy editing with Picfx. You can apply over 100 effects, and all the effects are grouped into sets– which makes them easily identifiable. A great plus is that you can adjust the opacity, and layer them up.


VSCO Cam – (Free) Android, iOS

You want sleek and stunning, that’s exactly what VSCO offers you with their incredible presets. They’re always updating their preset packs, so you will always have a nice variety to choose from. Apart from presets, they have efficient editing tools and a free photo publishing platform called the VSCO Grid.


If you want to get more of an idea on the results you can achieve, you can go follow me on Instagram here (@spreadthabird)– I post a great deal of my mobile, as well as some DSLR photography. An extra tip I’ll give you, is that you can also edit the picture through various of these apps combined. For example: drop your photo into Snapseed, once you’re done there, save it, then open the newly edited image up in Afterlight or Picfx.

What editing apps do you use? Leave it in the comments section below.



[via] Telegraph

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Michelle Bird is a Southern California based freelance photographer and writer, with a strong focus on music, editorial and portrait photography. She is the founder and creative force behind the music+culture online blog Black Vinyl Magazine, and can often be found in the photo-pit shooting the latest concerts in town. She has a strong passion for art, exploring, vintage finds and most of all animals. Connect with her through Email,
Instagram , or Facebook

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dmitry Fedorov – iOS Lens and arhitect correction tool !
    TouchRetouch – retouch tool from smartphones: – iOS – Android

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  2. Ipek Amdahl

    I think my favorite is certainly the vsco cam.

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  3. Ryan Orcullo

    I’m just using my built in Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos photo editor and it’s quite good. Anyway, It’s how you edit your photos in your phone in order to make photos look unique from others :)

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  4. Greg Silver

    I’m liking Photo Editor for Android (

    Not a great looking interface but get’s the job done and doesn’t seem to have the size limitations when importing photos as the other editors I’ve tried have.

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  5. Eric S

    No love for Aviary on Android?

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  6. adam sanford

    Correction: it’s PS Express on the iPhone, not Photoshop Express. Made by Adobe.

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  7. adam sanford

    I love Photoshop Express on my iPhone. Free unless you want to unlock the Clarity or Noise reduction sliders.

    It’s loaded full standard crappy phone photo effects filters, but it has a proper battery of ACR-like sliders for shadows, highlights, sharpening, vibrance, WB (via separate temperature & tint).

    I like it. It won’t save the dark concert shot you took, but that’s not the app’s fault. :-)

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  8. Matthew Riley

    I’m upgrading my phone soon and will check these out.

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