Lightroom CC is a photographer’s saviour. It is hands down our favourite desktop photography editing application and now, Lightroom has a mobile app app-tly (see what we did there?) named Lightroom Mobile. This nifty tool allows you to customise your photos and make almost all the same adjustments that you would on the desktop version.
The app packs all the powerful editing tools similar to the desktop software. Features include split toning (the ability to adjust the colour mix individually i.e. turn that blue hue into more of a turquoise) and applying an S curve, which alters the highlights, midtones and shadows of your images.
One disadvantage of Lightroom Mobile is that it does not allow you to save your custom presets created within the app. We recently found a way to get around this by importing our desktop presets into the app. It does take a bit of work to set this up but once you have your presets in place, you can copy these settings from one image to another.
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If you prefer the convenience of editing photos on your phone and want the same quality as Lightroom Creative Cloud (‘CC’), then VSCO Cam is the app for you. The app has an extensive range of filters that can be applied to your photos. Some are free and others can be purchased for a small price.
The app works best by taking pictures directly within VSCO Cam and applying filters straight away. This is useful for those wanting to apply or develop their own style to their photography as you can control details such as the white balance, shutter speed and ISO. We tend to use VSCO Cam when shooting at sunrise or sunset as it allows us to overwrite the default setting on the iPhone* camera alone.
TIP: Our favourite feature on VSCO Cam is the ability to create a collection. Play art gallery curator from your phone by building a collection of your work. You can also add images to your collections taken by other VSCO Cam users. This is super handy for when you are planning your next getaway or when you’re just after a little destination wanderlust.
* We both use iPhones. These applications reference the iOS version of the application and may differ if you’re using an Android phone.
You can’t do much on the internet these days without involving Google so it’s not surprising that Google has its own photography mobile app. Snapseed has pre-built features ready for you to use but you can also customise these looks and save them for future use (basically what Lightroom CC does on desktop). The app has over 25 different tools so you can perfect images to your liking. If you make an amendment that you do not like, just click the ‘undo’ option (very helpful when we both have different creative ideas).
One of our favourites tools is the curves tool. The curves tool has taken the S curve and includes almost 30 different curve variation presets for you to select from. The S curve is a combination of red, blue and green hues. Find a colour or hue and play around with the highlights scale until you find a look that you like. If you’re wanting to make one of the S curve colours more pronounced, we find Snapseed to be one of the best apps for helping achieve this. For example, when editing golden hour images, the curves tool can help to drop the blues and greens while making the red tones more pronounced.
TIP: Once you’ve finished editing your image(s), export them to Google Photos. Google Photos allows multiple users access to a shared drive to add, delete or edit images. It’s basically like a joint bank account for photos. It has been particularly useful for us to have access to Google Photos as it allows both of us access to the images in a shared folder at any time.
Often you will edit photos and they will look amazing individually but when put alongside other images, there is no theme or the flow seems somewhat disjointed and disconnected. This is where UNUM is your ultimate photography planner friend. Once all the photo editing has been completed, it’s time to publish our images. This is one of our favourite parts of blogging – being able to share our photography with a wider audience and travel communities.
UNUM helps us to plan our posts in Instagram. You can add up to 18 images for free on the UNUM grid. If you’d like to plan further in advance, you can subscribe and pay for additional grids. Play around with the order and look of your feed by dragging and dropping images to your heart’s content. UNUM also allows users to add short captions which is a big plus for us (and any other planners!) when scheduling social media content.
NOTE: UNUM is linked to Instagram. The app has editing features if you prefer to complete all steps in the one app. Statistics are also available for you to assess the popularity and performance of your images.
It is probably no surprise to see Instagram on a list for photography apps. It’s our go-to platform for showcasing our work but also as a social media tool for finding travel inspiration. For beginners or just for fun, Instagram has excellent out-of-the-box filters that you can apply to your pictures.
TIP: Instagram has many creative filters to choose from. Choose the filters you most prefer and then hide the rest. This will ensure you keep a certain look and feel to your feed.
If you’re a long-time user of Instagram, you will have seen its evolution since its launch. No more mandatory square images, the ability to add multiple photos in one post and the growth of video (Boomerang and Instagram Stories) shows that Instagram is listening to its users and unsurprisingly, remains one of the most popular social media tools worldwide. Follow your favourite bloggers, celebrities and more recently, hashtag handles to feed your #wanderlust appetite.
TIP: To ensure you always see photos from your favourite accounts or preferred handles, don’t forget to turn on post notifications.
Once you’ve finished editing your photos, jump onto Instagram. Get posting, liking, following, commenting and hashtagging and become a member of the Instagram community. It is definitely addictive (admit it – you’ve spent soooo much time scrolling through Instagram feeds!) but we find interacting on this platform both positive and rewarding. Although it is increasingly used as an advertising and marketing tool, the communities are largely supportive and willing to provide tips and advice.
Have another favourite app that helps up your photography game? Tell us all the details in the comments below.