A desert sunset in shades of orange you swear you’ve never seen before. Modern architecture that bends the imagination. A city market bursting with color.
Smartphone in hand, you’re quick to capture these breathtaking travel moments. But back in your hotel room, you’re bummed to see that the images don’t quite match the moments.
Fear not! Photo editing apps to the rescue. We focused (see what we did there?) on apps that are available for both iOS and Android and can be enjoyed by beginners and experienced digital photographers.
One of the best photo editing apps for novices, Snapseed is popular because it’s intuitively easy to use and full of tools — from your basic crop, rotate and vignette functions to more detailed tweaking like double exposure and skin-smoothing tools for portraits. Single-click filters like drama, vintage, grainy and grunge let you change the vibe of a photo with just a tap. You can even “tilt” the position of your head and adjust your smile to your liking.
The variety of filters is a main attraction of VSCO. More than 170 trendy pre-set filters can be copy-and-pasted for multiple images, so you can have one cohesive look for your Austin adventure and completely different look for that road trip to Vermont. Basic edits include the usuals: contrast, saturation and grain, but advanced tools do require a subscription. VSCO has an active community of creators, giving you another platform to share your images as well as inspiring glimpses into how other people are using VSCO’s editing tools.
Feeling extra artsy? Prisma Photo Editor transforms your photos into painterly masterpieces. Add a little Picasso or Dali vibe to that shot of you with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, or lend an Impressionist feel to your favorite landscape. Ocean imagery can take on the unique look of Hokusai’s famous painting “The Great Wave.” Other photo editing apps we like in this category are Deep Art Effects and Waterlogue, each available for $5 or less.
Polarr is impressive for its unique array of realistic weather effects, light flares and “leaks” — which used to be considered a flaw, but are now a coveted look. With Polarr you can do the basic adjustments like cropping and exposure, plus take it a step further with correcting perspective and even blending two photos and creating your own filters.
As your skills advance, add Adobe Lightroom to your editing repertoire. Lightroom’s powerful editing tools give you a huge variety of adjustments in both its free and paid versions. We love the pro-quality look it produces, and the library-style organization is super convenient. The paid subscription offers raw editing and cross-device syncing, so it’s really an app that can expand with you as you get more into documenting your travel adventures.
Now that you’re in the know, go forth and chronicle all your adventures in beauty and style!