The pursuit of app-iness

Samantha Gross and lakecentralnews

In today’s world of social media addictions and smartphone culture, photo-sharing applications have become almost expected of anyone able to post. Instagram, one of the more popular applications, is an online photo-sharing service that allows users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

Instagram offers users a fairly wide selection of filters and effects to choose from, but many third-party photo editing applications exist to give amateur smartphone photographers a larger (and often free) realm of digital editing software.

With over 600 effects to choose from, Autodesk’s PixlrExpress+ may seem a little overwhelming at first, but easy-to-use interface and well-organized design simplify the tools for anyone to use. The effects are divided into six categories: Adjustments, Effects, Overlays, Borders, Type and Stickers. This app is free in both the Apple App store and the Android market.

HarrisShutter, inspired by Robert Harris of Kodak, is an app which allows users to create their own Harris Shutter effect photos with their smartphone camera. The Harris Shutter takes a sequence of three exposures on the same frame, with a cyan, magenta and yellow filter used for each. The outcome is an authentic, retro-looking photograph. This app is free in the Apple App store.

A problem one often comes across with Instagram is the fact that the square-shaped photo template frequently cuts off content in a rectangular-shaped picture. Squaready is an easy-to-use utility that crops a photo into square shape, then lets you easily share it straight to Instagram. It not only crops down, but lets you shrink full landscape or portrait photos into the frame and creates a more visually pleasing white matte. This app is free in both the Apple App store and the Android Market.

There are thousands of photo-editing applications available to budding smartphone photographers, it’s just a matter of finding the ones that you like best.