Edited at Bazar.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Maybe your telephone storage is full of images that you haven’t watched since taking them, or maybe you are just eager to go out and take some new photos, doing some creative photo editing can be a great way to get the most out of your photography. And it doesn’t even matter if you got the new one iPhone 13 Pro, the Pixel 6 Pro or an older, cheaper phone; The iPhone App Store and the Google Play Store on Android are packed with powerful apps that can give your existing photos a whole new look, all from the comfort of your favorite plush chair.

I’ve rounded up a selection of my top picks, so read on, brew a cup of tea, and sit down for an evening edit. You can even turn your favorite photos into a photo book.

You can also consult these creations ideas for building your photographic muscles at home if you want to shoot and edit something new.


Published in Snapseed.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

1. Snapseed

Free on iOS and Android.

Google-owned Snapseed offers a wide range of exposure and color tools for making edits to your images, but also offers plenty of filter options, from vintage styles to modern, punchy HDR looks. You can overlay the effects to create interesting edits on your image. And best of all, it’s completely free.


Edited in Lightroom mobile.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

2. Lightroom

iOS and Android, some features available for free, or $ 5 per month for full access.

Adobe Lightroom remains an industry standard for professional photographers and the mobile version is pretty much the same. You won’t find any stickers, animations, or emoji here, but you will get fine control over your image and the same set of tools you find in Lightroom on the desktop. This is the app I use the most for editing my own images on my iPhone and iPad, especially because the images sync in the cloud, allowing me to start on one device and continue on another.


Edited in Photoshop Express.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

3. Adobe Photoshop Express

Free on iOS and Android.

Photoshop Express has many of the same features you’ll find in Lightroom, including exposure, contrast, and color editing options, but does away with some of the professional tools and cloud syncing and, most importantly, does away with them. Subscription fees. It’s a great tool for tweaking your images to make them stand out the best they can, but you’ll also find a decent selection of filters and overlay textures, as well as tools for creating cool collages from your images.

It’s not as open to wild creativity as the other options on this list, but it’s a solid editing app at a price that’s hard to dispute.


Published in Prisma.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET


iOS and Android, $ 8 per month or $ 30 per year.

Prisma does not deal with subtle filters and basic image corrections. Instead, its trippy filters will turn your images into often bizarre artistic creations. The results have a painterly effect and indeed many filters are inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Picasso. Filters are powerful and while you can change them, not all filters will work with all images. I found some more suited to portraits while other filters worked better with landscapes.

But it’s a lot of fun to experiment and when you find a photo that works it really works.


Edited at Bazar.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

5. Bazaar

iOS only, $ 8 per month or $ 48 per year.

Bazaart’s editing and collage tools let you combine several different elements – from photos to text to graphics – and layer them together to create a finished work of art. It has tools that let you instantly erase the background behind a portrait subject (I was amazed at how well it worked!) In order to create a new background or overlay multiple effects. It also offers a wide variety of templates to create beautiful collages for Instagram stories.

There are so many different ways to try to compose different images together that the only limit will depend on your creativity. Head over to Bazaart’s Instagram page for inspiration.


Published in Photofox.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

6. Photofox

iOS only.

Like Bazaart, Photofox has powerful tools for removing subjects from the background that allow you to create new backgrounds or apply awesome effects. I especially like the scattering effect of Photofox, which makes your subject appear to be bursting into particles (believe me, that’s cool), as well as the glitch effects and double exposure that overlays two images on top of it. one over the other.

As with Bazaart, there are endless possibilities of what you can do by layering and composing different types of images and applying different effects to each.


Published in VSCO.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET


iOS and Android, limited features for free, or $ 20 per year with a seven-day free trial.

VSCO started creating color grading presets for Lightroom and its roots are clear in the app today. Rather than offering stickers and animated GIFs to Snapchat enthusiasts, VSCO focuses on the neatest filmic color filters. The app offers a huge range of presets, including looks designed to emulate classic film rolls from Fujifilm, Kodak, and Ilford.

It also has a great selection of black and white filters, which makes it a great choice to experiment with if you like your moody monochrome photos.


Published in PicsArt.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

8. PicsArt

iOS and Android, limited features free or $ 48 per year for the entire suite.

PicsArt provides you with a huge range of editing tools, from basic settings such as exposure and contrast, to cinematic color grading and dramatic filters that turn your images into works of art resembling paint. There are many options for the tone and shape of your face in selfies – I won’t go into the ethics of using these tools for “beauty” purposes, but I had fun using them. tools to intentionally transform my features into bizarre proportions.

There is also an Instagram style social sharing element in PicsArt, if that interests you. Personally, I was mostly interested in the editing options.

Make sure to check my guide to creative home photo projects, see our a whole catalog of awesome tips and tricks for better phone photos or see how the iPhone 11 Pro captured the beauty of Scotland on my epic road trip.