Android Photography Apps / Editing

Hi, I know photography is important for a lot of people on their android devices, so I thought I'd share a few of my app recommendations and invite you to share yours.

Obviously, people's taste in photography varies. My taste usually leans towards the style produced by VSCOcam on iOS, check here for examples. But as that's not on Android (yet !), I've looked for alternatives.

I'm not into gaudy, supersaturated, 'funny' stickers or extreme HDR, so you won't find these, but feel free to contribute those if you want.

I use a Nexus 4, which has an average camera, I set it to autoupload to private G+ albums, and then do most of my processing on my Nexus 7.



Extras - Overlays (grain, colours, patterns)

Now I'll go into a bit of detail on those apps;

Snapseed - Very intuitive interface. For photo adjustment and improvement it is difficult to beat, the preview functions, the selective adjust. And it's very very well made, android needs more apps like this. The filters on Snapseed are OK, but need turning down a lot. Stick to the Vintage set, turn style and texture strength right down to zero and you have some nice subtle effects.

PicsArt - I generally ignore most of the features of this app, they're for the captions and stickers crowd. But what this app does well is image overlays. Using the overlays I linked above, you can add textures or patterns to a photo, it sounds weird but can look great. See #mextures , #ndpatterns , #lumiforms for examples. Download the overlays to your device, open your image in picsart, choose 'Add Photo', choose your texture. choose no effect and no borders, then resize your texture to fit over your image. Turn the mode to 'Screen' and play around with the Opacity slider until happy.

Photo Squarer - Instagram only allows square photos. But there is a way around that; Photo Squarer lets you put your photos of any shape on a blank background so you can fit the whole image on instagram without cropping.

Picasa Tool - As I said, I upload to G+ and edit on my tablet. But for some reason, you still can't edit your online albums through the Gallery. Picasa Tool lets you organise your online photos, it's functional rather than pretty.

PS Touch - Undoubtedly the most powerful app here in terms of features, but I use it rarely. It has a very slow and cumbersome method of importing and saving photos which just doesn't suit me. It's there as a backup though, and may find use with people.

Photo Editor - An ugly app. Even the standard of most android apps. I use it for one purpose only, and that is that it does Curves faster and easier than Photoshop Touch does. For the VSCOcam look, here's a quick trick; open your image and choose Color Curves, drag the bottom left circle about 1/5 of the way up the left side, and drag the top right circle down 1/5 of the right hand side. Easy analog film-like effect. There's a detailed tutorial out there but I couldn't find it for this post, sorry.

So generally here's how my photo process works. I take a photo on my N4 and it upload to G+, or my DSLR, which I import to my PC and send to G+ through Picasa. I open my Gallery on my N7, find the photo and send it to Photo Editor (sometimes Snapseed first). I do the quick Curves trick for a film effect and save it. Then I open it in Snapseed, here I can adjust certain areas with Selective adjust, maybe apply a Vintage filter, and crop the photo, then save. Then I might send the photo to PicsArt, and add a texture, perhaps a bit of grain or concentric circles round a sunrise, and save it. Finally, if the photo isn't square, I put it through Photo Squarer, and then post it to Instagram.

So there are a few of my apps and tips for Android photography. Sorry it was a long post, but I was frustrated with achieving the same effects that can be got in a single app like VSCOcam or AfterLight on iOS. So I had to figure it all out myself, but thought I'd make your lives easier.

Please post your own tips and apps below!