Be a Pro Photographer with Your Smartphone

Most mobile phones nowadays seem to be equipped with some kind of built-in camera, although let’s be honest, not all of us are pro photogs (short for photographers, with the attempt at being tech-savvy). Forget crafty digital SLRs or the bygone costly Polaroid and embrace your smartphone as the straight shot to pro photog-dom.

Thanks to the speed of technology, it’s now easier to take, tweak, share and display photos than it ever was in the pre-app world to give your typical camera photo some extra oomph. Even social network giant Facebook is intimidated by these easy-to-use mobile photo apps, with plans to add a series of photo filters to its mobile application in the coming months, according to the New York Times’s Bits blog.

With this in mind, jump on the app-wagon of the latest photo sharing – ahem, tweaking – tools to create and master any effect on the everyday mobile-snapped photo:

Instagram, Free

Transform everyday moments into works of art with one of a handful of artsy filter effects you’ll want to share with friends and family. Create a profile and share your talent in a simple photo stream with other Instagram friends or via all your social media streams with the click of a button. Enjoy the continuous photo stream of photos from your friends where you can “love” and comment away. A favorite of the fashion and style set, follow such profiles as @bergdorfs, @Nylon Magazine and @Anthropologie.

Camera+, $0.99

Camera+ offers a widely varied set of enhancements to the feature set of the basic Camera app. Have fun with the recently developed Clarity filter, and transform your traditional camera photo with contrast and levels adjustment. Anti-shake features and the ability to set exposure and focus independently are also reasons to add this one to your kit.

Procamera, $2.99

If you’re looking for an app to use when you’re whipping your phone out of your pocket to grab a shot quickly, Procamera has the edge. It also features RapidFire Mode, where full-resolution photos can be snapped at a mere 12 pictures per second, while the special white balance lock helps to set your color tone.

Magic Shutter, $2.99

In dark situations mobile phone cameras are futile, especially when taking a picture of anything not easily illuminated with flash. Magic Shutter allows you to leave the sensor of your iPhone turned on to record light for a longer period than normal, allowing the exposure to build up and dim subjects more fully.

ShakeItPhoto, $0.99

The classic Polaroid 600 lives on with this tech-adapted app. Embrace your inner hipster and watch your image develop and shake just like a real Polaroid photo, complete with sound effects and a slowly revealed final product. The faster you shake the phone, the faster your image is processed.

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