Digital cameras have become an integral part of the smartphone experience, and the quality of its shooters—more often than not—play a big role in the success of a mobile device. It is no wonder then, that manufacturers are constantly innovating to improve camera performance. While some brands like Nokia and Vivo partnered with lens makers like Zeiss, others such as Motorola and OnePlus tied up with legacy camera companies like Hasselblad for improved snappers.
Now, while hardware—the size of the camera sensor, the quality of the lens, and improved technology in optical image stabilisation—plays a big role in how photos turn out, a lot can also be achieved in post-production.
But for that, it first becomes important to realise that there is no one single colour tone that is liked and preferred by all. While some people love vibrant saturated colours, others might prefer accurate shades. Some might prefer a warmer hue, while certain pictures look better in cooler hues. The idea is for you to discover your personal preferences. You can then work towards getting the most out of the smartphone you already own. How? There are apps for that…
Snapseed is a free powerful photo editor developed by Google and, surprisingly, the company has not made it part of its standard Android installation.
For most users, this one app packs everything you would ever need for colour correction and other photo edits, and this—by itself—will help improve your pictures
Snapseed, which works with JPG and RAW images, comprises 29 essential tools to adjust exposure and colour, bring out details, crop and rotate images, fix skewed lines of horizons or buildings, selectively retouch sections of images, add a soft darkness around the corners like a wide-aperture would do, boost details in the shadows, mid-tones and highlights, add bokeh or fine glow to images, portrait modes and face enhancing features, frames and borders, and so much more.
With a combination of these tools, you can practically compensate for the shortcomings of your smartphone’s camera hardware to create fantastic photos. So if you are a smartphone photographer, and don’t have Snapseed yet, it’s time you tried it out.
Adobe is a leading company in the world of image editing and it brings its years of experience to its Lightroom app.
You get easy image-editing tools like sliders that allow you to retouch full-resolution photos, apply photo filters, and start photo editing wherever you are.
With Lightroom, you can improve light and colour, apply photo filters, crop and rotate images, adjust the perspective with upright, guided upright, and Geometry sliders.
Lightroom lets you remove blemishes with the touch of the Healing Brush, adjust hue and saturation with precision and even achieve professional results with presets.
The app also comes with a built-in Pro-level camera mode that gives you granular control over exposure, timer, instant presets, raw and more. You get an HDR mode, as well as powerful AI to tag and organise your photos based on the objects or people that are in them.
Besides, you get Group Albums that let you invite others and collect everyone’s photos in one place. You can even share your creative process with others in the Discover section so they can see how you got from start to finish. You get Lightroom galleries that showcase your photos online but also sync your photo edits so that your online album is always up-to-date.
And last but not least, you can also access easy, interactive tutorials from fellow photographers that will teach you to use Lightroom to its potential.
Lumii by Inshot Inc
If you simply must have a third photo-editing tool, try Lumii. You get all the usual picture-editing features, such as crop, rotate and skew tools; you can adjust exposure, contrast, tone, grain, hue, saturation and brightness; add a vignette, create an ambience; sharpen, denoise, and add details; adjust colour temperature, vibrance, saturation and even skin tone.
You get access to special effects, text tools, stickers, borders and frames, and even add adjustable bokeh to your photos to separate the foreground from the background.
You even get access to the curves tool that provides you with a sophisticated way to work on the tonal range of your captures.
Some of the features on this app are only unlocked when you pay for Pro features, but you still quite a lot of functionality from the free version to make it well worth your while.