November 17, 2015

November 17, 2015
The Best Non-Instagram Photo Editing Apps

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is back home and resting up for another busy weekend coming up. So stay tuned for more pictures soon.

Talking about pictures, I have been taking pictures with Dab the AIDS Bear since the 80s and a lot of things have changed over the past 35 years. While I first started taking pictures with old time cameras, I have been using digital cameras since the mid-90s. Shortly thereafter, we started having the first photo applications to process pictures.

Instagram may be the most popular photo-based social network, but it's not the best app for editing your pictures. Here are five free photo editing alternatives to spruce up your pics -- even if they don't end up on Instagram.


Google's photo-editing app Snapseed (Android, iOS) is one of the best photo-editing apps around, thanks to the incredible control it gives you over your pictures. Snapseed offers nine editing tools for tweaking your photos, including a brush tool that lets you selectively adjust exposure, saturation, and color temperature; and a healing tool that lets you remove blemishes or erase objects from photos completely. Snapseed also has its own set of filters (sorted into 11 different categories, including Retrolux, Noir and Glamour Glow). Unlike Instagram, Snapseed lets you fine-tune filter effects by modifying attributes like brightness, saturation and texture strength.


Pixlr (Android, iOS) is a photo-editing and filter app that lets you build your own Instagram-like filter with effects, overlays and textures. Pixlr has a variety of photo-editing tools, including a red-eye fixer and exposure, temperature, contrast, brightness and saturation adjustments, as well as brush tools for selectively brightening, darkening and pixelating parts of your photo.


VSCO Cam (Android, iOS) isn't just a photo-editing app -- like Instagram, it's also a social network (sort of). VSCO Cam has more of a minimalist vibe, which means that, like Instagram, its actual editing capabilities are a tad limited. It offers sliding adjustments for brightness, contrast, clarity, sharpness, saturation, highlights, shadows, temperature and skin tone, as well as options to tint your photo different colors or add grain or vignette effects. VSCO Cam comes with several free filters and also offers filter packs for purchase in its shop.


Darkroom (iOS) is a relatively simple filter-based photo editors that lets you create your own filters (from the presets that are included with the app). Unlike some of the other apps we've mentioned, Darkroom isn't a full-fledged photo-editing app. Your editing tools are limited to cropping and adjusting a few different facets (brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature, fade, vignette and sharpness). But the neat thing about Darkroom is that once you've adjusted a filtered photo to your liking, you can go back to the filter menu and create your own filter with those adjustments included. Darkroom offers more advanced editing tools for an upgrade, as well as extra filter packs (sold separately in the app's store).


Litely (iOS) is one of a few photo-editing apps (Pixlr is another) that supports iOS's photo-editing extensions, which means you can use it directly from your Photos app. Litely is a very simple filter-based photo editor -- like other filter-based apps, its editing tools are limited. The app has sliders for exposure, contrast, vibrance, temperature, vignette, highlights, shadows and sharpness, as well as a cropping tool. The app comes with nine filters, which are actually just three filters with three variations each, but you can purchase additional filters in Litely's store.

Hope these apps and tips help you make your pics the best ever and you have a beary safe and great Tuesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab