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Shoot better travel photographs- editing with your iPhone – the apps

This post is a indept on editing tools when abroad- for my overall guide check out ”Shoot better travel photographs” which have short tips for editing in the end.

I think we can agree that when abroad we are fighting the clock and don´t have much time during the day to edit so we have to take shortcuts to be able to enjoy our stay as much as possible even though we like to update our social media forums on a regular basis. I spend as much time editing my photos abroad as other do reading the newspaper. I do it when I am back at the hotel, when others sleep. Since I am as tired as my traveling partners the editing can only take around 10 minutes tops.

When abroad I bring my computer, which make editing quick and easy. I import the photos into folders and then into Lightroom. Next step is to develop one photo and copy the same settings to the rest and then export the photos and upload them to my blog. I cover this step by step in the post: Basic editing in Lightroom- Folders, importing, basic editing tools and exporting the photo. This editing process on the other hand, demands that you bring heavier equipment. In this post I go through the editing process using only apps.

this post only covers apps compatible with iPhone therefor downloadable at the appstore

Before starting

Before starting the editing process you need to transfer the pictures to the phone. I do so using Lightroom from my computer since I don´t shoot only with my iPhone or have a camera with a built in wifi. But all the latest models of DSLR and compact cameras today basically have wifi. Some even have the smart function of editing in the camera.

All the Adobe apps requires an Adobe account, some of them is possible to use with the free Adobe account, but some probably needs extended versions of your account. I use Adobe Creative Cloud which is a paid account, the most expensive one, that give you almost all Adobes programs and apps.

Basic editing

Down below you can read about the different features in the different apps and see how I edited the example photos. I have highlighted my settings with in ( ) after the different features.

Photoshop Express

– free, but also possible to access with your Adobe accpount and have free and paid features within the app

  • Manually you can adjust: Clarity (+26), Sharpen (+38), Reduce Noise (not included in free version), Defog, Exposure (+15), Contrast (+12), Highlights (-23), Shadows, Temperature, Tint, Vibrance. You can also manually crop your photo and change the ratio to 1:1 for example (for instagram and other social media that use squares or other ratios).
  • Filters: There is a big variety of fixed settings and effects. Down below I chose to show one normal Black and White filter from the menu Looks (which I think is for free) and one from the Premium Looks, which I guess you have to pay for in the long term but might be able to get for free for a while.

Lightroom app

– necessary to log in with your Adobe ID

My favorite app, is of course the lightroom app which have a lot of features. I synchronise this app with my Lightroom in my computer and just drop the photos I wan´t to edit in my phone from Lightroom on my computer

  • Manually you can adjust: White balance (in the edit below I chose auto) temperature (I switched the settings more to the blue area), Tint (+30), Auto Tone, Exposure (+46), Contrast (+25), Highlights (-17), Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Clarity (+20, but be careful), Vibrance (+13) and Saturation (+2, be careful). You can also manually crop your photo and change the ratio to 1:1 and other as well.
  • Extended editing: Creative (eight different ”filters” named sepia tone, old polar etc), Color (Nine different types of colours as Cool, Low contrast and so forth), Black & White (ten different black and white settings/filters, my favorite being Portrait Black and White), Detail (as noise reduction), Effects (as vignette and grain).

Apples in bowl – shot with Canon 5D Mark iii and Sigma 50mm Art lens.



Free- possible to buy additional filter packages inside app

An editing app with a free filter collection. Here I love the T1 filter, a cold filter. I don´t use this app so much since I have both Photoshop Express and Lightroom and the extended versions of both work for me but this is a alternative for those who want a free app for editing that doesn´t have disturbing commercials in it. There is also additional packages of free filters to download and the possibility to synchronise in-between apps.


Free- not just filters but lot of posibilites

  • Basic diting: In picLab you can do all your basic editing.
  • Filters: In PicLab you find the different filters under the menu effects. Here I like more than one, but favorites are Avenue, Dean, Boardwalk and Sage, but it depends on the photo.
  • Extended features: add stickers like a pair of glasses etc, text and a frame like on the below photo where a frame was added to make the photo look like a negative. Kind of nifty, don´t you think?

Mom and Martin-  shot with my iPhone 6

Martin at Ikea – Shot with my iPhone 6



– Free

Text: This app specialises in text and have very nice fonts. My personal favourite is Mensch and Wind Song.

Filters: Even though I never use the filters in this app it has a big variety of very nice filter for free.



There is many apps and possibilities to resize your images. In the app InstaSize you can do just that but in the app Resize Image you can make the pic smaller in pixelsize- choosing for example 1000 x 667.

Mixed / extended editing tools

Split pic

– Free

One of my favorite apps are the split pic app. It surely is a creative tool where you can mix more than one photo in the same picture or just split one in several parts and redesign colors.

Filters: The app comes with filters.




– Free but requires an Adobe account

Basic editing: Have a limited range of basic editing tools as exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation.

Filters- Have a range of filters and the one I use the most is the cold light filter named ”Kalltonig” in the Swedish version.

Extended: The possibility to use a selective tool to cut and selectively add filters in different parts of the picture.


An app with just effects, for example the below ones where you just add the effects to your photo and choose how strong the effect should be.

A minus is that it adds a watermark when saving the picture and have annoying adds


Color effects

– free

Color effects is a cute app that I don´t use that much. But if you have some time like when on train, waiting at airport or on the plane, this is the best amusement there is. When in Lima Peru being lazy inbetween studying I shot a photo of my legs and painted them pink..


Adobe Ideas

– free

I sketch when I am bored and when heading to Lima last year I sketched the below. It is a drawing of one of the flight attendants on the plane from Heathrow to Miami, drawn onboard. There are several sketch apps but I have only used Adobe Ideas, an app that use vector grafics. It is easy to use, and have the layer function of the Adobe programs. I use a iPad pencil when drawing.





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