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This list of great apps by +Jacob Dix will help you enhance the photos you take with your phone.

Thanks to +Johan Horak for sharing this.

Reshared post from +Jacob Dix

Review of Mobilography Apps

For Android

If you are looking to get into #Mobilography (and you are on an Android phone – #Droidography #Androidography ), there are a few apps you might want to look at. I'm no expert in Mobilography, but after practicing my hand at the art for a while now, here are some of my suggested (and preferred) apps for enhancing the photos I take with my phone. I do know that some of these apps are available for iPhone. Other's will have to instruct in that regard.

Some basic rules I go by as a preliminary to using all of these apps are 1) Don't over-process or damage your images. 2) Try to get shots that could stand alone. 3) Use the rule of thirds. 4) Simple is better. 5) Don't lean on your apps!

These rules are the basis for my pallet of apps, and mean that, while I can make extremely abstract and colorful photos (which I sometimes do) , and which are heavily influenced by the apps themselves, I like to use app effects (in best case scenarios) only to bring out those subtle aspects of an image that are already there to begin with. I don't intend to rely on apps to make for enjoyable imagery. This is an art, and it takes practice.

So the apps:

PicsArt – Photo Studio (http://goo.gl/TBCeU) would have to be first on my list. It is free, and has tons of features. It has its own camera, can make collages, allows you to draw, and has a whole slew of effects. Going to the gallery, one finds even more options. You can select images from anywhere, and save them anywhere. You can Rotate, Crop, Free Crop, Shape Crop, Flip and Resize the image. Effects include Filters, categorized variously, and numbered upwards of 100+. The benefits of these are that you can add as many of these as you like. There is a suite of masking effects which (unlike most other apps) allows you to rotate the mask over the image. Another great feature is the ability to add another photo as a mask over an image. You can enlarge, rotate and choose the opacity of the image over the base original. You can even apply all of the app's effects to that image before adding it over the start image. All around, a great app.

PicShop – Photo Editor is next on my list (http://goo.gl/Abmxr). Though the free version is almost as good as the paid version, the paid has some advantages, such as saving at a higher resolution. The added frames and extras that the paid version gives are negligible. This app is one of the few I've found with a crop tool that has an aspect ratio to determine a fixed shape for the crop. The focal point tool is excellent in that it allows you to select where the focus on an image is, the size of the focus, the strength of the blur, and well as the color shift that the blur creates. No other app I know of provides that versatility. The tilt shift feature is also exceptional, having both a blur strength and color shift feature. With 18 filters (and some options within each), this app is a good one, worth the cheep price. It has been known to crash a couple times!

Pix: Pixel Mixer (http://goo.gl/zy2fD) is an app with your standard effects, filters, and frames. The frames are limited to white and black borders (which I try to avoid), and the filters and effects are not that many. However, you can choose up to three filters (some of which have about three degrees of strength apiece. The combinations are a good addition to any pallet. A nice, free app.

Photo Art – Color Effects (http://goo.gl/IGBT4) is a great app. It is free, and it gives you the ability to apply various effects to specific regions of your photos. The photo you select starts in black and white, and you can paint (with your finger) the whole image into color again. You can erase, and zoom for better detail. You can change the brush size and shape, as well as the opacity of the brush. These, combined with numerous effects, allow you to blur specific areas of an image, in different blur strengths, allow you to alter specific spots for brightness, exposure, tint, saturation, and many other features. You can also apply effects to the full image, but other apps do this better in my view.

After Focus (http://goo.gl/Mik3K) is a must have app. Select with your finger what you want in focus, what you want to be mildly blurred, and what you want to be background. The app automatically selects between these lines you draw to determine where the blurring occurs. You can zoom and erase. Aside from focus, the app does nothing. Photo Art, mentioned above, can do what this app does, so it is a question of preference. It is also free. I have not used the paid version.

Adobe Photoshop Express (http://goo.gl/WWS1L) is a fairly good app. I can't say I use its effects that often. What I do like about this app is the ratio cropping (which PicShop can also do), detailed straightening of an image, and its small but detailed set of algorithms for Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Black & White, Contrast, and Brightness. Unlike other apps that give you four degrees of variation in saturation, this app gives you 100. Exposure goes from -64 to +64. Contrast from 0 to 400, and brightness from 0 to 100. The algorithms all modify slightly different aspects of the image. I do feel even slight modifications damage an image, and the save resolution isn't always exemplary, but using these features wisely, you can produce images like this: http://goo.gl/Yg9oz

Photo Editor (http://goo.gl/UxRGf) is a nice app, free, and easy to use. It has a good set of effects. You can change the Hue, saturation, contrast, and brightness manually (though not as detailed as Photoshop Express), or you can change the color of an image using a decent image curves tool. The filter effects aren't many, but like PicShop, you can vary the degree of strength within almost all of them. Frames are extremely limited. Cropping also has ratios as well as a manual and unlocked crop. This app has the great feature of resizing the pixels of an image. I wouldn't say it is a stand alone app, but combined with others, it's a great tool.

Pixlr-o-matic is a great app (http://goo.gl/qnMJz). It is both a starter app for people new to mobilography (because easy to use), and also a great tool for those that know what they are doing. This was a first app for me, and with all the filters, masks, and frames it provides (all easy to use), I found it simple enough to modify my images to get the feel I wanted. It is easy to rely upon too much however. These days, I know what it can do, and use it only after processing my images elsewhere, if at all. The app filters are constantly being added to (and there are 100s!) so that it makes for a versatile pallet. It cannot crop, reshape, distort or modify images, nor can the filters be rotated. In that regard it is limited. Still, a good addition for any artist.

There are other apps that I have used, but not often. Among them are:

PicsPlay – FX Photo Editor (free version: http://goo.gl/r4evU) for all around post processing.

PicFrame (paid: http://goo.gl/jKf35) which is a nice and easy way to make frames collages of multiple images. It isn't something I do often, but when I want to it's handy.

Stack Collage (http://goo.gl/UQzWQ) which allows you to resize, overlap, and rotate as many images as you like. It is limited otherwise, but sometimes useful.

~ ~ ~

Then there are cameras…..

We'll leave things here for now. In any case, these are the tools I use for my Mobilography. They are a wide enough selection that I can create what I like without relying too heavily on the apps themselves, while also not feeling limited in what I can do with any one app.

Some of these apps do not allow you to save a new image directly into the phone gallery, but into a folder for that app alone. To combine apps means then manually moving the files from one place to another. It also means moving them to the phone's gallery for instant upload.

If you'd like to see some of my Mobilography work, you can find it here: http://goo.gl/pPOfC

Please feel free to share this for sake of those new to the art of Mobilography.

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