How To Turn Your Smartphone Into a Professional Camera

Smartphones have created new possibilities for photography, for both professional and citizen journalists. Pictures taken by today’s smartphones are of sufficient quality to be published on all media platforms, from digital to print, and photo-editing apps for smartphones have become powerful accessories for both amateur and professional photographers.

Of course, nobody claims that smartphones have better camera quality then DSLRs. DSLRs enable minute control of aperture, exposure etc, and allow for an element of chance, which many photographers enjoy. However, in terms of convenience and affordability, many people may prefer a smartphone, which they already have in their pocket, over a DSLR.

People can use smartphones for quick, candid pictures where they only get one chance to get the right shot, without thinking about lighting or settings. After the photo is taken, there are lots of ways to turn smartphone photographs into photographs of a professional standard; plenty of apps, cases, attachments and tools exist that boost the photographic performance of your smartphone.

The apps below allow for, not only high-quality photographs but also add features to smartphones that DSLRs will never have. For example, some automatically adjust photographs, others have filters, and all allow for editing immediately after taking a photograph, without need of a computer

1- Snapseed

Supported on: Android and IOS

Price: Free

This app comes with a setting that automatically adjusts photographs as well as settings for manual adjustments, such as tuning, cropping and straightening.

Besides having a suite of basic editing tools, Snapseed also has a number of filters to give you more creative control over photos. Filters allow you to create many different kinds of look, including converting your photos to black and white, giving them a grungy or vintage look, or smoothing skin and brightening eyes in portraits.

  1. VSCO

Supported on: Android and iOS

Price: Free

VSCO is among the most widely-used photo editing apps for smartphones. The app offers tools to help you edit photos easily with customizable filters, tweak saturation, grain and more. It comes with a range of presets, which are customizable with additional adjustment tools. Its built-in camera features split focus and exposure on certain devices, which elevates the experience of taking pictures with cell phones.

  1. Pixlr

Supported on: Android and IOS

Price: Free

Using Pixlr Express, you can crop, resize, fix contrast, remove red-eye, sharpen, adjust, blur, and do a lot of other things with your images. Besides these traditional editing features, you also get to choose more than 600 effects, overlays, and borders to enhance your images.

  1. Hipstamatic

Supported on: IOS

Price: $2.99

This app uses the phone’s camera to allow the user to shoot square photographs, to which it applies a number of software filters to make the images look as though they have been taken with a vintage film camera.

  1. Image Blender

Supported on: IOS

Price: $3.99

This is a simplistic and creative app for combining images with masks and different blend modes on your iPhone and iPad.

  1. Photogene

Supported on: IOS

Price: $0.99

Photogene is about improving your digital photos and having fun while doing it. This intuitive application offers a comprehensive set of professional editing tools (crop, straighten, retouch, resize, adjust colour) and special effects.

  1. Marksta

Supported on: IOS

Price: $1.99

This app allows you to watermark photos right on your iPhone before posting them to Facebook, Instagram, and other places where they may be easily stolen.

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Iclal is a journalist currently based in London. Previously she was based in Istanbul, working as an editor and producer for Turkey's leading news outlets, such as Haberturk and 24 TV. She holds an M.A. in Interactive Journalism from City University of London.


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