Top 5 iPhone photo apps

Photo taken using the iPhone 4 stock camera and edited with Camera+ and Adobe Photoshop Express (photographer: me)

Photography has come a long way since its beginnings, as more than 250 million photos are uploaded per day to Facebook alone (source Facebook statistics). Smartphones have become so popular that even professional photographer Annie Liebovitz recommends the iPhone as the camera to buy:

“When friends ask famed photographer Annie Leibovitz what camera they should buy, she suggests the iPhone. Appearing on NBC’s new Rock Center news program, Leibovitz suggested the iPhone because it is ‘the snapshot camera of today’, saying it is ‘accessible and easy’” (source MacRumors).

The artistry of photography has also evolved significantly as photo editing applications are available for free or for pocket change, and are very easy to learn and use. You can see some stunning examples of how far you can really go with these applications on iPhone Art, a collaboration site dedicated to iPhone photography.

The following are my top 5 favorite photo apps, and while there are a lot of great applications to choose from, these are the ones I use the most. I generally use more than one application when I edit my photos as each app has something that another doesn’t have, or it’s easier to use on one than another. I also tend to buy most of the in-app purchases, which are inexpensive and I use them frequently.

Camera+ $1.99 USD
Best features: Everything. This is my favorite all-around application, it’s very easy to use and has a lot of choices. The features I probably use the most are Clarity (which sharpens the image) and Vibrant (which enhances the image’s colors), but I use a lot of the other filters as well. This is the app I go to first when editing my photos.

Adobe Photoshop Express Free
Best features: Straighten (fixes my crooked horizons) and Reduce Noise (gets rid of grainy speckles). It has a lot of other great functions and filters but those are what I use the most.

Snapseed $4.99 USD
Best features: Center Focus. This function allows you to choose any part of your photo to focus on, then you can adjust the radius and choose from a few different textures to work with. I’m also quite fond of the Grunge filter set.

Example of the Center Focus function, you can choose where you want to focus and adjust the radius, then add a variety of textures to the unfocused area. Source: my iPhone

Tiny Planet Photos $0.99 USD
Best features: I can only describe this by showing an example

Before and after using Tiny Planet Photos (photographer: me)

Photojojo external lenses (macro, telephoto, fisheye) $49.99 USD for all 3
Not an application, but these are external lenses that you can attach to your iPhone. They’re great for getting shots in better focus than what you can get with the stock camera or any of the applications I’ve tried, plus the fisheye is just plain cool. And not only are they reasonably priced, but they ship internationally which is a big plus for those of us who live outside of the United States. You can also buy the lenses separately for $20-25 USD each.

Photo courtesy of Photojojo

Some additional links of interest:

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