Year after year, iPhone cameras continue to top the list of Flickr’s most popular camera, above even dedicated SLR cameras. So it’s not a surprise that the large user base will give birth to tons of photo apps in iTunes app store. While more professional photographers will lean towards more serious camera apps, there are a handful of fun and unique photo apps that you can use. Here are few selected ones that you can try.
Selfie is taking the world by storm, thanks to the growing popularity of cameraphone. And in 2013, the word became yet another tech-related terms added to English vocabulary. If you are reading this article, I have no doubt that you are a tech lover that “occasionally” takes selfies. And as Steve Jobs famously said, “There’s an app for that.” Many apps to be exact.
The main feature of selfie apps is to make your self-photos looks the best. Each app comes with its own twist, but the most unlikely player on the field is Redmond’s tech giant. Microsoft released Microsoft Selfie (free) that uses the face recognition technology to analyze the face and enhance the result. We’ve come across this technology with the website How Old that guesses your age from your photo.
Another famous veteran in this field is Camera 360 (free) that already have 500 million users around the world. Other that auto-enhancing feature, the app also comes with fun stickers, photo challenges, photo filters, and advanced editing.
Creating Cartoon and Comic
If you think merely taking selfies is not enough to express yourself, you can try to turn your photos into cartoon and comic. With over 300 million users, MomentCam (free) is a popular app that will turn your photos into fun cartoons. It lets you add funny features, backgrounds, and text bubbles. You can also change your facial expressions and share the result with your friends.
But if you prefer to make a comic-book-style collage of your photos, you can try Halftone (US$ 1.99) or Halftone 2 (US$ 2.99). Both come with more or less similar abilities: add comic-book-style stickers, various types of captions and text balloon styles, and many frame templates to choose. Halftone 2 has more features than the original – most notable is to create videos from your photos.
Turning Photos into Work of Art
Another fun thing that you can do with your photos is to make them as if they’re work of art. Several types of apps fall into this category.
Try My Sketch (free), Sketch Me! (free), or Sketch Me! Sketch&Cartoon (US$ 1.99) to turn your photos into pencil sketches.But if you prefer to expand beyond pencil, you can try Photo Art Maker (free) or Photo Lab, (free) that can help you create antique oil paintings, watercolor paintings, street graffitis, impressionism paintings, and more, from your photos.
Speaking of graffiti, you can try Graffiti Me! (US$ 1.99) to create your next Banksy-style street art, complete with the wall and spray painting text.
You can also caricature your photos using Caricature Me (free).
One of the favorite ways to present your photo collection is to arrange them into sets of collages, similar to the old-school photo album. That’s might be the reason there are tons of collage apps in the app store.
These apps do more than just put several photos together into one collage. They also offer ways to apply styles to the layout, add stickers and backgrounds, use different borders and frames, add labels and patterns, use templates, and many more.
To create collages, I use the simple and free Pic Jointer. But there are lots of free alternatives (with in-app purchases) out there such as Photo Collage, Photo Collage Maker, Pic Stitch, and Photonia Photo Collage Editor. There are also paid alternatives with no in-app purchase that you can try such as LiPix Pro (US$ 1.99) and Photo Frame Maker (US$ 1.99).
Coloring Parts of the Photo
Another popular photography trick to emphasize a certain part of the picture is to put color only on that part and leave the rest as black and white. This trick is also a fun way to enrich your photos before sharing them with your friends via social media.
I’m no expert in photo editing, but I assume creating that effect is not a walk in the park using traditional photo editing software. But thanks to the growth of mobile apps, there are many apps designed specifically to help us do just that.
I use Color Effects (free). Not only it can create a black and white photo with colored parts, but it can also change the color of any parts of your photo. Other alternatives are Dash of Color (free), Photo Splash (free), Color Splurge (free), Color Blast (US$ 0.99) and Color Splash (US$ 0.99).
Creating Poster with Text and Artwork
You can also use your photos as the base to create posters with text and artwork. This kind of posters is perfect to use as holiday greeting cards, banners for your business, self-improvement quotations, magazine cover, or anything else that you can imagine.
And there’s nothing better to start exploring the art than Adobe Post (free). Dubbed as the app to create beautiful social graphics, Adobe Post comes with auto-adjusting typography, stunning design filters, professional design templates, and half a million free stock photos that you can use to create your graphics on the fly.
How do you feel to see two (or more) of yourselves in one picture? Amazing, right? Again, what was once a tedious process to do in traditional photo editing softwares, is now as easy as taking few snaps on the phone. But different from other photo apps mentioned earlier, cloning yourself is not only a process done after taking photos, but also involving special steps while taking the pictures.
The basic steps are placing your phone in a fixed position, and taking several pictures of yourself in different positions with the same background. After that, you can combine yourselves into one picture with the help of a light image editing.
My recommended app to clone yourself is Clone Camera Pro (US$ 1.99). It comes with a special photo shooting feature that will set several auto snaps with a timer. So, all you have to do is place the camera, set the timer, and do several poses. You can also upgrade to get the special tutorial that will teach you how to create amazingly impossible images using the app.
Using Front and Back Camera
Most modern smartphones come with front and back camera, so why limit yourself with photos taken with either one of them? Why not use both of them to take a picture? You can use them to take a group picture without excluding the person who takes it, or take a photo of a beautiful sunset and show the world that you are the one who take it.
Some apps can help you take two pictures, one using the front camera and the other using the back camera, then combine them in one photo. Due to hardware limitation, I have yet to find an app that can do it simultaneously. But the apps make it easy to switch between cameras. First you take a photo using the back camera, and then you snap your picture using the front.
The one that I use most is Selfback (US$ 0.99). It allows you to arrange the two pictures the way you want. You can put your picture as a small circle on one location of the central image, or you can also put the two picture side by side.
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These unique photo apps can help you use your iPhone camera in a fun way. If you know other apps not mentioned here, please share using the comment below.