My digital camera sits in a drawer at home collecting dust. I don’t even remember the last time I used it. Sound familiar?
Our smartphones have become more convenient to use than the digital cameras we might have bought just a few years ago. My BlackBerry Z30 lets me take photos, edit them and share them online in one fell swoop. No wonder there’s a near-perfect correlation between the increase of smartphone sales and the decrease in digital camera sales. Most of us would prefer to carry only one device, so it makes sense that we’ve chosen our smartphones to be our cameras, too. I’ve taken some beautiful shots with my Z30’s 8MP camera; I can only imagine what I could do with a BlackBerry Passport and its 13MP camera.
But no matter how great our pictures are, most of us want to tweak them – rotate, adjust the contrast a little, crop out an object. BlackBerry 10 comes with an app for that: the (aptly named) Picture Editor. It puts great picture-editing options at your fingertips (or thumb tips — I don’t judge). Just open a saved photo or use one just taken, and tap Edit to pop up several options that you can experiment with to make your images really stand out:
- Ten different filter options range from cartoon to sepia.
- Eight frames to put a finishing touch on your photo, including “filmstrip” and “old TV.” (The fact that I remember these old TVs makes me feel old.)
- Fine tune your images until they look perfect. Eliminate red eye, adjust contrast or tweak saturation – these are just a few of the standard options. Then there are the extra-creative ones, like the glamourous Beautify (add some color in the cheeks of this pale ginger, for example) and the eye-popping Big Eyes.
The BlackBerry Picture Editor is more than enough for my everyday picture-editing needs, and sharing is incredibly easy. But there’s an army of other photo-editing apps available for download in BlackBerry App World and the Amazon App Store that you should check out. Some of these apps are full suites; others focus on just a few features. Personally, I’m waiting for an app that can give me even bigger eyes, or a six pack instead of my keg. Until then, here are some of my favorites.
Adobe Photoshop Express, Free
The name says it all: Photoshop Express is for making quick adjustments to your photo before you share it on Facebook or Twitter. You can crop, rotate, flip or straighten the image; change the exposure, tint or brightness; and add effects or borders.
Autodesk Pixlr, Free
This Android app has lots of interesting filters and adjustments from which to choose. The overlay function, which places graphics on top of images, provided some great effects. For instance, I was able to add glowing red and yellow lines of electricity to make the comic book hero The Flash look like he was moving even faster. Another feature is the ability to add texture to images while taking them. In order to get full access to all of the features and tools, you do need to create a free Pixlr account.
Effetica Pro, $3.99
This BlackBerry 10 app offers dozens more filters and effects than Picture Editor. For instance, you can make your image appear to be placed on a brick wall, or blend it with another photo. There is a free version of Effetica called Effetica Social but it does not preserve the EXIF information of the photo and it doesn’t work with images larger than 600 by 600 pixels.
Photo Studio, Free
With more than 130 filters and effects, Photo Studio is one of the best BlackBerry 10 image editing apps. Its Color Splash Editor, for instance, lets you remove or replace colors to drastically alter your images. It also includes multiple templates similar to picture frames. The collages option lets you to rotate, resize and place images in a customizable collage layout. Photo Studio Pro, $3.99, has additional filters, frames and other tools.
Photo-Sketch HD, Free
We’ve all tried to sketch from a photo at one time or another. Photo Sketches HD takes all of the work out of it. Experiment with different brush sizes, softness and colors until you achieve a beautiful rendering of your photo. Think of it as pencil drawings without the smudges (especially if you’re a lefty like me). You can rotate, flip or add text.
PicsArt Photo Studio, Free
PicsArt not only provides image editing tools but an online gallery where you can share your masterpieces with other PicsArt users. You can browse others’ photos in several convenient ways, including by most recent and most popular. You can create collages or even draw on photos with your finger using the basic built-in paint program. There’s a wide variety of options to sift through — more than most editing apps provide. Alternative sharing options include Facebook and Twitter.
Which image editing apps do you use to turn your selfies into masterpieces? Let us know in Comments!