Newest photo editing apps allow all selfies to shine


As pictured above, VSCO is a very popular app used to edit pictures before being posted on Instagram. Different tools and filters can be used in the app.

Idell Rutman, Contributing Writer

When you take a cute picture on your phone, your first thought is sometimes “Is this picture Insta-worthy?”  But if it is, the picture never goes straight to Instagram.  First, it goes through the editing process. How do you determine which filters and edits look too fake or give you the best colors?  Trying to find the perfect edit can be a struggle for a lot of us, considering there are a variety of photo editing apps out there.

Perhaps one of the most well-known and popular editing apps is VSCO.  While you can publish photos on VSCO as well, it’s often just used for its unique editing style.  However, instead of publishing it on VSCO, many post directly to Instagram instead.

“I don’t have a VSCO, but I like using it for Instagram because it makes the colors look really vibrant without looking weird.  My favorite filter is definitely C1, which is fantastic for outdoor and food photos,” said junior Taylor Sinett.

Beyond VSCO’s unique filters, it has a lot of cool features that other apps don’t have.  For example, Highlight and Shadow Save makes the lighting less extreme, as well as its Skin Tint feature creates a subtle change in the undertones of the photo, which makes skin look especially nice.

If you plan on going through an entire editing process, VSCO is probably the best place to start.  If you’re just looking for a great all-around photo-editing app, look no further than Afterlight.  Afterlight has tons of options to play around with.  Think of any editing feature you can (except C1), and this app probably has it. In addition, it is great for adjusting the tones of highlights and shadows.

“I love editing photos, so I like to use Afterlight because it has a ton of different ways for me to edit my pictures.  And they always look great afterwards!” said junior Emma Goldman.

Afterlight has countless ways to alter your photo, beyond the standard methods.  However, because it probably has the largest variety of editing options, it can be hard to use at first.  So if you’re a beginner photo-editor, other editing apps may suit you better.

However, if you’re comfortable with your photo-editing skills, then Afterlight provides a variety of great tools beyond the essentials.  However, if photo editing isn’t exactly your forte and you like to stick to the basics, I would recommend the app Aviary.

“What I like about Aviary is that all of the editing icons are labeled, so you know exactly what the icons mean.  I’m not exactly advanced in photo-editing, so it makes it really easy to do a quick change,” said junior Tali Crowley.

While labels don’t seem like a big deal, when you have 4 identical looking icons that apparently all mean different things, those labels can be very helpful.  If you’re looking for a quick adjustment to the contrast, saturation, or brightness, and want to keep it simple, Aviary is a great place to look.

On the other hand if you want to keep it simple, another great option is in-app editing.  After all, why download a whole other app when those tools are equally available on Instagram, or even Photos itself?  People who aren’t very concerned with photo editing sometimes prefer to use the in-app editing on Instagram.  It allows a quick adjustment right before you post, rather than undergoing a whole process.  A quick up to the contrast, make it a little brighter, and bam, it’s ready to post!

“It’s a lot easier to use, and I don’t have to download any extra apps, which is really convenient,” said junior Ashlynn Gallagher.

Lastly, if editing isn’t really your style or you prefer to go all-natural, don’t be afraid to go #nofilter! While posting a #nofilter post among a sea of perfectly edited pictures can be intimidating, maybe posting something completely natural might be a refreshing change.  Also, given our current standard of noticeably edited photos, going #nofilter might even gain you some extra respect among your followers.