August 22, 2013
With app downloads numbering in the billions, it’s clear we’ve gone mobile in a big way, and there are plenty of imaging apps for professional photographers. We’re not talking about Instagram and other slap-dash filters. Rather, we put together a quick roundup of mobile imaging tools that can edit on the fly, simplify workflow and don’t require a huge financial investment.
Adobe Photoshop Touch
Available for tablets and smartphones (albeit via separate apps), Adobe Photoshop Touch’s tools are immediately familiar to Photoshop users. There’s a short learning curve on these mobile apps, but nothing that can’t be easily overcome. And the reward is a surprisingly broad complement of features and functions from layers and selections to clone stamp and other tools, including photo adjustment staples such as brightness and contrast. If you need more, you can send the files to the full version of Photoshop (Creative Cloud or a desktop version). The tablet app is easier to work with due to the larger screen size, but we recommend using a stylus for both versions. Either way, it’s a great app for on-the-fly or in-the-field image editing.
Price: Phone $4.99 iOS 6.0 or later (iPhone 4S/5, iPod Touch fifth generation or later); Android 4.0 or later
Tablet $9.99 iOS 5.0 or later (iPad 2 or later, iPad mini); Android 3.1 or later (minimum 7-inch, 1024 x 600 display)
Filterstorm Pro 2.6.1
This full-featured image-editing app offers a wide range of tools for adjusting pretty much every parameter you can think of, from brightness and contrast to hue and saturation. Curves, levels, noise reduction, red-eye removal and cloning are also part of this app’s heavy-duty arsenal of tools, as are an assortment of cropping and resizing options. Familiar tools such as Levels and Curves are available, too, and adjustments can be selectively applied via masks and layers. Batch processing and digital asset management add value to this pro-level app, and when you’re done with your adjustments, Filterstorm Pro offers extensive export options including email, FTP and social media sites. It’s available only for iPad, but if you don’t need batch processing and/or want a universal iOS app, check out the less expensive Filterstorm 4.6.2. Both are incredibly powerful, intuitive imaging apps that won’t disappoint.
Price: Filterstorm Pro $14.99,
iOS 5.1 or later (iPad)
Filterstorm $3.99, iOS 5.1 or later
(iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
Athentech’s Perfectly Clear is an intelligent, effective, universal app (tablet and smartphone) for one-touch automatic photo corrections, such as an overall “fix,” exposure and tint adjustments, and an auto Beautify icon that all actually work quite well on their own. But this intuitive app goes far beyond the single-tap with a series of more specific, user-adjustable options, including sliders for core parameters, such as exposure, vibrancy, sharpen and tint, along with more portrait specifics, including but not limited to eye enhance, eye enlarge and skin tone. A movable divider lets you see the before-and-after versions so you can fine-tune your adjustments. It’s quick, easy and surprisingly effective, and can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Price: $2.99 iOS 5.0 and later; Android 2.3.3 and later
Although designed for wedding photographers by wedding photographers, this app’s organizational tools work for a wide variety of photographic genres with 21 categories ranging from Adventure and Advertising to Concert, Food and, of course, Wedding. Designed to keep you on track with important information at your fingertips such as the maid of honor’s name and event location (with access to Google Maps so you don’t get lost), there’s a timeline with details of the day’s shoot, a shot list, gear list and more. You can also check off tasks upon completion and then sort the list to highlight those that are still pending. There are even sections for pre- and post-wedding (or shoot) tasks so you can easily follow up afterwards.
Price: $6.99; iOS 5.0 or later (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Support system accessible via iTunes
Top Model Release
Traveling with sheaves of paper model releases is just so old school, thanks to Top Model Release. Designed by photographer Catherine Hall and approved by leading U.S. copyright lawyer Bert Krages, as well as stock photo agencies Getty Images and iStockPhoto, this is an incredibly useful—and convenient—app for photographers who photograph people or places that require releases. A trio of standard releases for adults, minors and property are available, but you can easily customize your own. The app offers all the information needed for a proper release, the ability to automatically populate fields with data such as your name, and more. You can even take a quick photo with your iOS device for your records before the review sign process. Then email a PDF to yourself and the model, and you’re good to go. It’s quick, simple and effective.
Price: $8.99 iOS 5.0 or later (iPad and iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch third generation or newer)
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