I ditched my point-and-shoot camera ages ago and never looked back. With the proliferation of smart phones, your average photo-taker can now get the same results with a high-end Android, iOS, or Windows 7 phone (most packing 8MP+ rear-facing cameras and at least one LED flash). Along with the (variably meh-to-great) photos themselves comes a whole world of easy to use mobile photo editing apps, many available for free download on the Android Market and in the Apple App Store.
Instagram is arguably, the most popular photo editing app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (with an Android app to be released soon). According to Clive Thompson of Wired, Instagram’s singular appeal rests on its retro filters. The different filter settings allow you to transform an ordinary picture into something ‘unique’ with just the touch of a button.
But more than that, Instagram allows its users to transcend the time, skill, and financial barriers to cool photography. Before the days of mobile apps and one-click photo editing websites, these photo effects were accessible only to highly-trained and highly-practiced photographers with access to different cameras and lens, or later, photo editors with the knowledge and financial means to operate Adobe Photoshop or even the free-but-equally vexing GIMP. Today, anyone with an iPod touch or a computer can transform their photos in seconds.
For more info on creating beautiful photos and video on your mobile device, check out these from the library [Click through to catalog]:
Instagram and More Online
Digital Photography School
Other Free Photo Editing Apps for iOS
Some great photo editing apps for Android
If you want the Instagram effect but don't have access to the Android/Apple apps, try these two free desktop/online photo editting apps: Picasa and Picnik.
Post your best Instagram creation below! And let us know if you'd like us to sponsor an Instagram photo contest or exhibit at the library.