Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Phone Photography Tip #10: Finding the best editing app

Welcome to Tip #10 in our series of “Getting The Most From Your Smartphone Photos.” Each week we are bringing you an easy-to-use tip that will take your “unshareable” smartphone pictures and turn them into photos you’ll be proud to hang on your RV wall.

This week, we’ll talk about what phone apps you can use to make your pics even better, and have a little fun along the way.

There’s lots of options when it comes to editing apps.

Tip #10: The best photo editing apps to use

You know that feeling you get when you step into a Ross Dress For Less store and are assaulted by 150 pairs of off-brand blue jeans (all in your size)? That’s the way I sometimes feel when it’s time to select the right app to edit my smartphone photos.

So, let’s see if we can keep this simple.

Photoshop Express: Some of the best phone photo editing apps are actually cut-down versions of high-end desktop photo editing software. One of my favorites is Photoshop Express from Adobe. This one is really great for facial portraits. It does a great job of retouching, smoothing skin, even adjusting smiles. There is a cost involved, but you can start a free trial first to be sure it’s worth it to you.

Lightroom: This is another trimmed down editing app from Adobe and will also cost you a small fee. This one has more than 70 editing presets to let you choose quickly what makes you photo look best. It also helps you store and organize your shots.

Snapseed: This app comes free at the App store. It also has an impressive array of presets, along with a strong selection of tools to let you fine-tune your shots. If you’re going to start with a free app, this one is my pick.

The “just for fun” ones

Part of the fun of smartphone photos is the ability to have a little fun with them before you share them via email or your social media channels. There are a ton of options, but here are a few of my favorites:

Color Splash: This one lets you take a color photo and turn everything but your subject to black and white (or vise versa). It’s a great way to call out your subject and make the photo a true piece of art. And it’s free.

Prisma: This one comes at a small cost ($14.99 for a year), but it does amazing things. It applies wonderful effects to your shot to make it look like it came from Andy Warhol’s paintbrush.

Carbon: If you’ve ever fallen in love with black and white photography, this is the app for you. It turns your color photo to very high grain, great contrast, black and white. It will be all ready for your next gallery show.

There are obviously a lot more options available when it comes to smartphone photo editing apps. If you’ve got a favorite that I didn’t mention here, share it with us in the comments below.

LAST WEEK’S TIP: “Your flash isn’t really a flash”
NEXT WEEK’S TIP: “Take advantage of the ‘Golden Hour’”

Mike Gast was the Vice President of Communications for Kampgrounds of America, Inc. for the past 20 years. Now, he’s the Managing Editor for His series of cell phone photo tips come from a lot of trial and error after 50 years of taking good (and also very bad) photos.



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