Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not the only one

With all the whoha! about the purchase of instagram by Facebook, you might get the impression that it is the only photo sharing option for mobile phones. That is not true there are plenty other and many of them give you even more features & options. Instagram is however clearly popular, and especially so on iPhones (there is an android version, see grey button here). The beauty of the system is its simplicity, once you have taken your photo you choose and “filters” to modify it (rather than having to learn new editing tools, you scroll across a set of pictures,with strange names, and pick the images that looks like the edit you want to do), you can add a caption and then finally you “share it”, either by email or to one of Twitter, Flickr or Facebook.

Maybe I’m wanting to be too creative but unlike flickr (which still shows heaps of originality and clever use of photographic methods). the instagram site is very much a “me-too” copy copy place where everything looks the same and the fashion for the latest look and filter last just a day or so. I did download Instagram and tested it out but soon removed it to make room for different photo apps on my wildfire, which isn’t over endowed with spare memory.. Obviously a lot of people want to be part of the hottest newest thing, but please don’t stop there. Here are a few more web & phone apps that might just make you mobile phone photos just as nice or even nicer and be equally as simple to use as instagram.

The best place to start , now that there is no longer any place to Picnik. is Aviary. Aviary is well established as a series of web base photo editing tools. Its big power is that Aviary editors are embeddable, and can be added to any website or mobile app with just a few lines of code. Flickr have switched their popular picnic action over to Aviary without a hitch. Its auto Enhance filter is truely amazing and will add punch to almost any mobile phone snap. It also supports facebook uploads and direct edits. The downside is there is currently no instagram like app to download to your phone, but plenty of other apps have aviary editing functionality already, expect more.

Yes i am actually recommending a photoshop application!. This one is free on android phones and is just as easy to use as Instagram, ok it doesn’t have as many filters, but its simple editing tools (crop,,exposure, tint, contrast, saturation & brightness) are really nice finger controlled sliders. There are some fancier features, like soft focus, special “effect” filters and borders. The sharing is just via email Facebook & TwitPic, and the ability to upload to a personal photo library at Photoshop.com.

If you want to play on the more fun and perhaps cheesy side then have a look at these.

Photofunia, is an app from a popular web based service that allows you to do some amazing photo montages, with particular emphasis on the funny face approach, getting your head on a billboard, stamp or art work. It magically finds any face and seamlessly inserts it is many many, templates. This is a FUN app, but it does take time to upload your photo to be processed on-line.

These last couple of apps actually do the special effect “live” so you can see the effect on the screen before you create the final effect when you press the shutter.

Camera Fun Free, there is also Pro version, was probably one early “live” photo phone applications, and I certainly have had a lot of fun with mine. An Alternative is  Cartoon Camera, there is also an ad free Pro version, which is perhaps a little cooler (it describes itself this way) and more cartoonish, drawing and sketching like.

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