3 of the Best Apps for Editing Your Summer Photos

Since Instagram became the ultimate platform to share everything — from creative endeavours to the eternal search for the best burrito — photo editing apps have stepped up their game in a big way.

For an app to be a cut above in the photo editing stakes, it has to meet five criteria. An easy to use interface; one-tap filters; advanced tools for those who know how to use them; high quality exporting; and most important — easy Instagramming.

In no particular order, these following apps ticks those boxes — and while they won’t be replacing Photoshop, they can produce some high quality finishes for your holiday snaps.


tl;dr: cross platform, frames, high quality export, one step publish to social

Afterlight is a popular choice, and has a easy interface to navigate. The usual colour adjustments of brightness, contrast and exposure are there, as well as editable high, mid and shadow tones (with RGB levels). There are 54 quality filter presets, with further packs to purchase (you can preview first). As for aesthetic vintage effects, (including light leaks); 44 to get you started, and with more to purchase. On top of all this, there’s the usual cropping tools, and then Afterlight’s point of difference — frames and wallpapers. The wallpapers and frames manage to avoid kitsch and can be really lovely.


tl;dr: sync across devices, cross platform, greater in-camera control, photolibrary tool, free, one step publish to social, high quality export

VSCO Cam comes from the developers of a series of plugins for Lightroom, which might explain why the app is so widely used and loved. There are three individual points of in-camera control; focus, exposure and white balance — all individually lockable. The filter presets are displayed with a live rendered thumbnail, with a further 12-step sliding scale to adjust to your liking. All the usual cropping tools are there, with extra vignette, grain and vintage features. Edited photos are displayed on a grid, and you can also collate your snaps into a photojournal. What really sets VSCO Cam apart is the elegant, minimal interface (great use of iconography), the ability to sync library and presets across devices, and the photolibrary tool (which allows you to apply a filter preset to an entire library). Genius.


tl;dr: versatile camera function, peer interaction within app, free, cross platform, collage feature, one step publish to social, high quality export

Fotor is a neat app that addresses all basic editing needs, as well as a few pro features. The filters easily rival any other app, the editing tools allow everything from cropping and colour adjustments to in depth tinkering, and there are extra fun effects with text, frames and stickers. Bonus features include clean minimal interface; the in-app camera — you can set a timer, take pictures guided by grid, golden spiral or trisec lines and more. However, the real difference with Fotor is the peer interaction. Through the ‘Visions’ function, you can display your pictures within the Fotor community, interacting with amateurs and professionals alike, even enter in competitions. Extra incentive to make those shots perfect.

Special Mention:

DSCO by VSCO is a ‘pop-up’ app for creating GIFs. Made by VSCO Cam crew, this is a pure fun summer app, with a great interface. And it’s free — what a time to be alive!

Filterstorm Neue is pretty technical, so some knowledge of photography and editing is advised — otherwise it may confuse the hell out of you. Includes powerful masking tools, multiple format exports, option to use RAW files and a whole bunch of filters.

If you want to take your photo editing skills to rockstar level, our Double Diploma+ options include a Diploma of Photo Imaging. Enquire now, places are limited.

Originally published at www.tractor.edu.au.

Like what you read? Give if academy a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.