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Photoshop Express: A free app for your phone worth downloading

Collage Photoshop Express by Rick Sturch
Collage created with Adobe Photoshop Express. All pictures are also colour corrected in the App.

Recently I blogged about the inadequacy of auto mode on modern day digital SLR cameras. While this is somewhat of an exaggeration, as auto mode is usually "adequate", it's certainly not ideal.

That being said, there will always be a situation where you see a great shot but you don't have the best camera with you. Perhaps you have a smartphone in your pocket. The newer cameras on those devices are pretty good in such a squeeze.

However, there are certainly times where your cameraphone will disappoint. What do you do then? You can either take a dozen shots, and hopefully one of them turns out alright, or you're out of luck.

I'm going to give you a brief summary of why you should download Photoshop Express. If you've used the full desktop version of Photoshop, you know that it is the industry standard application and that it has a lot of great features. The Express version gives you many of those features, FOR FREE.

I went through my phone and picked out some of the worst shots (in terms of how the picture turned out - graininess, low light, fogginess). Then I tried to improve them in Photoshop Express, on my phone.

The first shot was in downtown Toronto. I was out for a walk and thought these buildings looked interesting with all the lights on. Clearly it turned out awful, but with a little manipulation in Photoshop, it looks a bit better.

Exhibit A.

Now it's still not a great shot, but the adjustments help. I was able to change the contrast, saturation, vibrance, and lots of other things manually. Conversely, I could have just applied a generic filter similar to Instagram.

Here's another example where the lens on my cameraphone appears to be a little foggy. It goes from a totally unusable shot, to ... not bad. Pretty, pretty good.

Before and after shot Adobe Photoshop Express. by Rick Sturch
Exhibit B. of terrible before to meh after.

Photoshop Express has a great collage creator, and a host of other useful features. You can crop, remove red eye, transform, heal, adjust the edges / create frames, and so forth.

This app is only about 30 mb on Android, and free. You will have to create an Adobe ID to use the app, but this is really simple to do. What do you have to lose?

While there is no substitution to using a great camera with the right settings, Photoshop Express can help touch up the ones where that's not possible. It does lots of other great things too!

by Rick Sturch


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