Calling all novice and wannabe smart phone photographers—today’s feature is for you! Annie Reeves is here to demonstrate how you can take your phone camera skills to an entirely new level thanks to a handful of her favorite apps and filters. Read on for her breakdown, including examples and photo editing stats, too.
If you’re anything like me, you are constantly searching for the perfect Instagram shot. While there are lots of external factors that go into capturing the image (e.g. natural light, type of phone, etc.), there are many things you can do to improve your image. To help demonstrate this, I selected an image that I took around 6:30 p.m. at an outdoor bar, and will show you how my favorite apps are able to alter the original image. I use a little bit of everything on a day-to-day basis, but my most used apps are VSCOcam and Snapseed. Every app has an overwhelming number of features, so I’ve highlighted my favorite elements and edits below.
The photo-enhancing filters (I’m partial to N1, S3 and C3) are great, as is the in-app camera, which seems to take stronger pictures than the general iPhone camera does.
The selective feature is my favorite. It gives you the ability to adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of one specific point on the photo.
- Details: structure (10), sharpen (5)
- Tune image: brightness (77), ambiance (25), contrast (34), warmth (-10), highlights (20)
- Selective: saturation increase on pepper and lime, saturation increase on champagne cocktail
The ability to add a border, especially if you have a feed that uses them for every single post. This gives you a cohesive Instagram feed as a whole.
- Border added
- Brightness (100)
- Contrast (27)
- Highlights (35)
- Temperature (-14)
- Sharpen (30)
You can layer multiple filters on top of one another, and adjust the strength of each one! You also can save combinations as a “recipe” and use it over and over again.
- Lights on
- Cool it down
The atmosphere filters—just be wary of over-filtering.
- Backlit filter
- Brightness (30)
- Temperature (-10)
- Sharpen (30)
The whiten feature—it’s not just for your teeth anymore! I like my whites to look super white, so I run this tool over the entire photo.
- Increase brightness, contrast and highlights
- Decrease temperature
Instagram has really stepped up their editing game. I steer clear of the Instagram filters, but I like to bump up the highlights and structure right before I post.
Written and photographed by Annie Reeves