Looking for something to do while in? I have exactly what you're looking for: it's simple, satisfying, and doesn't have to cost you a cent. Your phone's gallery is full of photos you've taken over the years, desperate to see the light of day again and get a fresh new makeover. The iPhone app store on iOS and Google Play store on Android are packed with creative apps that can give your existing photos a whole new look, all from the comfort of your home.
I've collected a selection of my favorites, so read up, make a cup of tea (or that hot new) and sit down for an evening editing session. You can even convert .
You can also check out these creativeif you want to shoot and edit something new.
Free on iOS and Android.
Snapseed, owned by Google, offers a wide variety of lighting and color tools to make adjustments to your images, as well as plenty of filter options, from vintage styles to modern, punchy HDR looks. You can layer the effects to make some interesting edits to your image. And best of all, it's completely free.
iOS and Android, some features available for free, or $ 4.99 per month for full access.
Adobe Lightroom remains an industry standard for professional photographers, and the mobile version is much the same. You won't find any stickers, animations, or emoji here, but you get fine grain control over your image and the same set of tools you'd find in Lightroom on desktop. It's the app I use most to edit my own images on my iPhone and iPad, not least because the images sync in the cloud, allowing me to start on one device and continue on the other.
Adobe Photoshop Express
Free on iOS and Android.
Photoshop Express has many of the same features you'd find in Lightroom, including exposure, contrast and color editing options, but takes out some of the professional tools and cloud syncing and, crucially, scrapes the subscription fee. It's a great tool for customizing your images to get the best out of themselves, but you'll also find a decent selection of filters and overlay textures, as well as tools for creating cool collages of your images.
It's not as open to wild creativity as other options on this list, but it's a solid editing app at a price that's hard to argue.
iOS and Android, $ 7.99 per month or $ 30 per year.
Prisma is not concerned with subtle filters and basic image corrections. Instead, the trippy filters transform your images into often bizarre artistic creations. The results have a picturesque effect and many filters are indeed inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Picasso. The filters are strong and while you can adjust them, not every filter will work with every image. I found that some were more suitable for portraits, while others worked best with landscapes.
But it's a lot of fun to experiment with and if you find a photo that works, this really works .
iOS only, $ 7.99 per month or $ 48 per year.
Bazaart's editing and collage tools let you combine multiple different elements – from photos to text and graphics – and put them all together to create a finished work of art. It has tools that allow you to instantly erase the background from behind a portrait subject (I was amazed at how well it worked!) To bring in a new background or combine multiple effects. It also has a huge variety of templates to create beautiful Instagram story collages as well.
There are so many different ways you can try to put together different images, so the only limit is how creative you feel. Head over to Bazaart's Instagram page for some inspiration.
iOS only .
Like Bazaart, Photofox has powerful background removal tools that let you create new compositions or apply great effects. I especially like Photofox's dispersion effect, which makes it look like your subject is bursting into particles (trust me, it's cool), as well as the glitch effects and the double exposure that overlays two images.
As with Bazaart, there are endless possibilities of what you can do by layering and assembling different types of images and applying different effects to each.
iOS and Android, free limited features, or $ 19.99 per year with a seven-day free trial.
VSCO started making color correction presets for Lightroom and its roots are evident in the app today. Rather than offering stickers and animated gifs to Snapchat enthusiasts, VSCO is all about the more artsy cinematic color filters. The app has a huge range of presets available, including looks designed to emulate classic film roles from Fujifilm, Kodak and Ilford.
It also has a large selection of black and white filters, making it a great choice to experiment with if you fancy moody monochrome shots.
iOS and Android, limited features for free or $ 48 per year for the entire suite.
PicsArt has a huge range of editing tools at your disposal, from basic adjustments such as exposure and contrast, to cinematic color correction and dramatic filters that transform your images into scenic works of art. There are plenty of options for both 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 liked the use tools to deliberately convert my functions into bizarre proportions.
PicsArt also has a very social Instagram-style element, if you're interested. Personally, I was particularly interested in the editing options.
Check out my guide to creative photo projects at home, check out ouror watch the iPhone 11 Pro capture the beauty of Scotland on my epic road trip .