Most of my Instagram photos are solely taken and edited with my iphone. People often ask me what applications do I use to edit my photos with or if I use the Instagram's default filters. There are so many photo editing applications for your phone it might be overwhelming to figure out what should I use and for what kind of things. In this blog post I will go through the most common applications that I use and talk a little what do I use it for. There is no one app that does it all for me even though VSCO cam comes pretty close. Whether I select a filter, do color adjusting and basic editing, getting the perspective and lines straight. I use different apps. As a reminder; you shouldn't only rely on the apps making your photo better, try to get the best photo in camera so editing them is much easier!
I haven't used the Instagram photo filters in a long time because they are usually too strong and aren't the style that I have. Despite that Instagram is always improving their in app editing capabilities, which makes Instagram a good tool for basic adjustments to your photo and is the right tool for persons who want to make quick basic adjustments without the need of opening up different applications.
VSCO cam is my absolute favorite app hands down! The filters are on great and they are the look and style that I want to use in my photos. VSCO is constantly making new preset (filter) packages which you can buy or get for free from their store. It's all about creating a film look, the kind of roughness and ambience what only film used to have.
I use VSCO cam for the presets and basic adjustments like contrast, saturation, cropping and things like that. The app also has a great tool for copying your existing edit to other photos which is very great tool if you have photos taken in the same kind of light conditions you can just copy and paste and not waste time re-doing the edit.
Google just released an update to Snapseed and it just made the app even more better. I use Snapseed for color adjusting and sharpening the image. The selective tool allows you to select a color range or an area and adjust the contrast, saturation or brightness of that area. It's a great tool for making the colors pop in your images keeping the effect subtle. One of the new features there is the brush tool. With it you can brush a certain area of the photo and apply an effect there. It works similarly as the selective tool but with different purpose.
I also add structure and sharpening in Snapseed for better quality once I upload it to Instagram.
In Afterlight I dont often use the filters but when I do I take some opacity down from the filters because they are usually too strong for my taste. I like the tools in Afterlight and my favorite is the color adjustments for shadows, highlights and mid tones. You can edit the separately and I find this very handy when I'm editing my sunset/sunrise photos. You can really pop some colors and create different kind of looks by changing the colors. This should be used in good taste because overdoing could ruin the photo.
As you might have noticed symmetry is very important in Instagram photos and also in all photography. When you are taking photos for example a tunnel, a street or leading lines. SKRWT can fix symmetry problems but it can't perform miracles so you should take in consideration these things when you are taking the photo. I use it to straighten my lines and making sure everything is perfect, because with the square crop of Instagram symmetry is even more important!
Here is a few photos which have been edited with these applications.
Afterlight / Snapseed
VSCOcam / Snapseed
SKRWT / VSCOcam
Snapseed / VSCOcam
Snapseed / VSCOcam
SKRWT / VSCOcam / Snapseed