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10 Must-Have Apps To Up Your Travel Photography Game

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Qazzira Kamaluddin  •  Dec 20, 2017

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[Updated: 4 Jun 2019] Let’s get real. Most of us are novices in photography. I mean, we are already splurging on our vacation and now we have to spend on expensive photography equipment?
Credit: Giphy Fret not, with the help of technology, you too can take NatGeo-worthy photos on your phone! With the help of a few photo-editing apps of course 😉
1. VSCO
VSCO Cam has clinched its popularity among photographers due to its soft filters, almost resembling the unedited photo. Though it does offer a wide set of photo editing settings, it is still known for its natural-looking filters. I personally love the filter C5 as shown in my edited picture when I was visiting Bali this year, as it gives the picture more depth and contrast. Hence, you’re able to save time on adjusting sharpness and contrast. And hey, if you’re lucky, your photo might even be featured on VSCO’s feed!
Credit: @jordan_is on Instagram However, you might have to purchase some in-app filters. If you’re constantly around the globe, seeking out different ways to showcase your photo, then this is the app for you!

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After

Pros:
  1. Simple to use
  2. Allows photographers to gain recognition through feed sharing
  3. A variety of filters
Cons:
  1. Some filters requires in-app purchases
FREE! | Available on iOS and Android
2. Snapseed
Ideal for basic image enhancements, Snapseed has the classic adjustment tools – tuning, cropping and sharpening. You are able to carefully adjust the image’s exposure and temperature to your preferences. What we love the most about this app is its ability to zoom in to a particular area in the image and adjust the brightness, saturation and contrast of the area.
Credit: @abel.j.rojas on Instagram And, if you are ever in doubt on how to operate the app, Google created a dedicated support page just for us newbies!
Pros:
  1. The ability to adjust even the smallest details in the image
  2. Simple to use as well
  3. Supports editing of RAW & DMG files
  4. A variety of filters such as grainy film and retrolux
  5. Various save options at the end so you can retain the original unedited version
Cons: Not applicable. Yes, that’s how much we love it! FREE! | Available on iOS and Android
3. Afterlight
Afterlight is the combination of everything mandatory with regards to photo editing. With 4 different sets of filters, adjustment of exposure and brightness to straightening and cropping, you’ve just equipped yourself with an all-in-one photo editingapp.
Credit: afterlight on Instagram I personally love the dusty effect on the images! It gives a refreshing (how contradictory) and a hipster feel to my images, as seen below.

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Do note that you might have to purchase some filters though. Pros:
  1. Able to layer on different presets and filters in one image
  2. You’re also able to flip your edited images!
  3. Integrated with social media apps
Cons:
  1. Lacks volume button shutter control (for iPhone users) hence you have no other way but to use the on-screen capture button
FREE! | Available on iOS (now called Afterlight 2) and Android
4. Huji Cam
Film photography is definitely making a comeback in 2017. So what better way to relive the 1990s than by capturing your travel photos in film? And, no, we’re not talking about purchasing a Leica. Have a go at film using Huji Cam!
Credit: Huji CamThe app is also really simple to use. Snap your image and the app does all the processing for you. The 3D touch in the app allows you to preview, share save or delete your images. You are also able to change the date stamp on your pictures. 1998 or 2017? Your call! Best of all,it’s free!
Credit: @arisazumi on Instagram Pros:
  1. The ability to change your viewfinder in the settings
  2. The ability to change the date stamp
  3. You have the flexibility to decide your quality image and whether you want classic light streaks!
Cons:
  1. Works more as a filter
  2. Have to purchase for full access to all functions (uploading, mass saving, etc.)
FREE! | Available on iOS [ P.S. Check out more photo editing apps every traveller needs here! ]
5. Picsart
Picsart is perfect for the quirky and cute. What makes this app unique are the quirky text and clip-art selections that you can input into your images. From quotes, hipster stickers to stunning visual effects, you can count on this app to inject a creative edge to your overall picture.
Credits: minimal_scapes and picsart on Instagram
Credit: @sahim_dabir on Instagram Not to worry, Picsart also has different filters to choose from. All you have to do is select the filters and input your text! Do note that some filters and clip-art require purchases in the app.

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Pros:
  1. The myriad of photo editing and collaging tools – brings out the creative genius in everyone
Cons:
  1. Some text and clipart options require in-app purchases
FREE! |Available oniOS and Android
6. Pixlr
This one tops the list for having the most filters and editing features. Pixlr has a combination of 2 million effects, over lays AND filters! A great selling point about this app is the overlays, which allows you to create a completely different feel towards your images.
Credit: @gargijoshi12 on Instagram You are also able to create double exposure effects, remove red eyes and design your very own photo collage. Another unique feature is basing your image on only one colour with the splash tool!

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After

Pros:
  1. Consistent and simple interface
  2. Variety of special effects and borders
Cons:
  1. The overlays can tend to be overwhelming.
  2. No control over individual editing elements.
FREE! | Available on iOS and Android
7. Litely
Litely is developed by Cole Rise, who is also the mastermind behind Instagram’s key filters such as Sierra, Hudson and Rise. For those who have been obsessed with Instagram’s filters, the app comes with six cinematic-style starter presets – Argyle, Heather and Linen.
Credit: @johnmcampos on InstagramThese presets also come with their own variations such as the Argyle High & the Hepburn Faded. In addition to that, they also have basic photo editing functions such asadjusting your exposure and cropping images. This app is perfect for those who want a subtle finish to their images.
Credit: Litely Pros:
  1. No harsh filters.
Cons:
  1. Heavily dependent on in-app purchases, most filters come with a price.
FREE! | Available on iOS
8. Camera+
Forget the bulky DSLRs and let Camera+ take over. One of the few apps that have the inbuilt stabilizer function, it allows you to snap sharp photos and zoom in up to 6x. Camera+ also has 30 filters to choose from, based on your different preferences.
Credit: @phrystile on Instagram Another prominent feature about this app is the clarity function that transforms all iPhone pictures. Yes, ALL. So yes, snap all you want when you’re paragliding but be sure not to drop the phone of course!
Credit: Gadget Guy Pros:
  1. The macro and stabilizer modes reassure you that you don’t need a bulky camera to carry along with you.
  2. The developers of the app recently added The Lab which allows consumers to fine-tune their images with the help of new effects and wheels.
Cons:
  1. Does not allow live previews of effects before you snap the picture.
$2.99 | Available on iOS
9. Foodie
Admit it. When you’re travelling, you will have the slightestdesire to show off the different kinds of delectable dishes that are spread out in front of you to your family and friends. From renowned cafes to street food, Foodie allows you to take photo-editing of food to a whole new level with 26 filters and other editing features such as adjusting of exposure and contrast.
Credit: Foodie – Delicious camera for food With specially created preset filters just for that perfect ice cream cone or moist slice of cake, your food photos will be looking more Insta-worthy than ever!
Credit: @miam.yam on Instagram Pros:
  1. Dedicated filters for different food items – e.g. ice cream, sandwiches
Cons:
  1. Does not support editing features such as cropping or colour tweaking
FREE! | Available on iOS and Android [ P.S. Here's 14 travel tips every Muslim globetrotter should know! ]
10. Cinemagraph Pro
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes videos tell our stories best. And what other way to enhance your video than by using the Cinemagraph Pro? This powerful creation tool is perfect for those who have shaky fingers (provided you have a handy tripod with you) and you can shoot up to 4K using the app! [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BLycDvggCnT/[/embed] What's really interesting about this app is how you canselect a portion of the visuals in the video itself and play it on a continuous loop, similar to that of a gif. All you have to do is to record a short video (up to 10 seconds), select the part of the video you want to show motion, whereas the rest of the visuals remain as still footage. You can then select how many times you want the visual to be repeated, and the video can also be optimised for different social networking sites. [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb9f2ESlzas/[/embed]Pros:
  1. A fantastic, mobile alternative to most video editing softwares
  2. Lots of effects to play around with
Cons:
  1. Prices for filters and functions varies, the licensing fee is quite expensive as well
  2. Free version has a watermark
FREE! | iOS So there you go, folks! 10 apps to utilize while you’re on the go, seeking out new perspectives with your eyes and your smartphone. After you’re done editing those dreamy mountainous landscapes and beaches, do remember to put down the phone a while to immerse yourself in everything the destination (and life) has to offer ☺️