Better photos with free photo apps

If I were a truly awesome blogger, I would take all my photos with an actual camera in natural filtered sunlight. But given that it’s the middle of winter, sunlight isn’t always easy to find when it’s time to take a photo. And it’s easier to upload photos to the web using my phone than with my actual camera, so I use my phone.

So I use photo apps to make up for my lazy shooting. I do most of my photo editing on my phone using the free Photo Editor by dev.macgyver Android app. It has tons of useful features, my favorite of which is white balance, which can be used to remove the weird blue tint that my phone flash tends to give to pictures. Since discovering it, I never post pictures of food without first doing a white balance. They always look better after.

Here’s a walkthrough of some ways I use the app, featuring everyone’s favorite wool-eating cat, Lilo.

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I open a photo in Photo Editor and scroll right through the menu options until I see “Correction” (center), which I then select.

As you can see, there’s an ad at the bottom of the screen. Frankly, I don’t notice these at all when working. If they irritate you, you can upgrade to a paid version of the app.

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Once in “Corrections,”  I select “White Balance.” The app prompts me to select a point on the photo that should be white. It then rebalances the colors accordingly.
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This is the photo after white balance has been applied. The colors are closer to what I see when I look through my own eyes.
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I then crop the photo and adjust the temperature to make the colors even warmer. But the bit of trashcan visible in the upper right corner is bothering me …
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So I go back to the main menu and selected “Rotation/Straighten” (center).
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I rotate the photo clockwise until the trashcan is no longer in the picture.
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Here is the final result, with better colors than the original and more of a focus on Lilo being adorable.

If you prefer editing photos on your computer, a great free resource is Pixlr.com. It has lots of advanced options and an interface that’s similar to Photoshop’s – but on my computer it works a heck of a lot faster than Photoshop does. And it doesn’t require you to create an account, which is always a plus in my book.

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