Summer means road trips, barbecues, vacations, and, therefore, photos. Piles and piles of photos. If you want yours to stand out from the flood of others, or you want your Instagram to be that much better, try these five apps.
Think of VSCO as a fancier, more powerful version of Instagram’s app. Free to download, with tools and filters you can buy to tweak your photos in the app, it’s long been the best kept secret of Instagrammers and pro photographers using their camera for snapshots. Of particular interest to hardcore shutterbugs is that the camera has full manual controls, letting you nail it on the first try without filters, and also allows “raw” editing, where you can look at the photo absent any algorithms, just you and the light.
If you want to turn your smartphone into a full-fledged camera, though, you should try Open Camera, currently only on Android. It’s an open-source, community developed camera app built by photographers for photographers, and it’s absolutely packed with features from manual controls to voice commands. You can even switch its handedness. It is, by far, the most detailed app, but, like a lot of open source software, it’s designed more for pros than amateurs, so you should download it and try it out to get the hang of it first.
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If you want editing tools for after you snap, Snapseed is the best you can get on a phone. Snapseed is a free and complete photo editing suite that will let you change your photos before you post to your heart’s content, whether you want to just make an image pop out of the foreground or if you want to adjust some colors to draw the eye to an important detail. While not every photo needs a tweaking, sometimes you need to either save a shot, or you want to give it that extra artist’s touch.
Everybody has an Instagram account, so mentioning Instagram on this list would be cheating. But, as annoying as Facebook’s tendency to “unzip” apps is, Layout is actually worth downloading. It only does one job; collaging photos. But it does it quickly, intuitively, and efficiently, with plenty of different layouts to choose from, from the simple multiple panes to layouts that let you mix close-ups and panoramas. So if you want to fit a bunch of vacation snaps into one Instagram, or you’ve got a series of photos you want up, it’s a perfect quick solution.
While the selfie may be controversial, among people who don’t take them anyway, you’re probably snapping a handful of them on vacation. YouCam lets you take better selfies, whether you want to airbrush that zit or just show yourself off, unvarnished, to the entire world. Also incredibly useful are its on-the-fly collage options, which will let you cram more selfies into that Instagram square.