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The Best Travel Photography Apps

February 23, 2017

Sorry, no Instagram here.

I get this question asked so often that sometimes it actually astounds me: “What editing app do you use, or what are some good ones that I can try?” After trying out a bunch of them, I’ve come up with the top 5 photography editing apps, for all of those times you’re traveling and can’t haul a studio’s worth of heavy equipment around with you.

1. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe's Lightroom App is what I personally use to edit the majority of my photos, but there is a small downside, you do need a subscription to Creative Cloud in order to really access this app. That means you’ll need to download one of the Creative Cloud plans. There are great options for businesses, photographers, and students, starting at just $9.99 a month, plus then you’ll have access to many other programs on your computer which can be beneficial in other areas of your creative life. But that’s totally up to you!

The Lightroom App allows you to edit everything from contrast to color to lighting with the slide of a bar, and also gives you a plethora of saved filters, also with the ability to create your own, to help your Instagram look perfect as a whole. With this app, you can also use some other apps such as Photoshop Fix to adjust the little things that you can’t in Lightroom, as well as sync them to Lightroom on your computer for when you need a bigger screen to adjust your settings. This app has a bit of everything and is very simple to use and to upload your content immediately from the app!


I would consider VSCO to be probably the best free photography app currently on the market, a lot of people refer to it as “what Instagram used to be”, probably due to all of the filter options it has, the same staff that built the filters for VSCO built filters for Adobe Lightroom, so you know that the quality is there!

VSCO is the app that is most often used by professional mobile photographers, and the Instagram community alike, it is very easy to use, and just as easy on the eyes as all of the photographs that you will create will be!

3. Snapseed

Snapseed is an all-around editor in the most basic sense. You can retouch your photos, crop, rotate, brighten, whatever your heart’s desire. This app also has a healing brush to help with anything that is unwanted in your photograph, whether that’s a blemish on your face, or an unwanted photo bomber. It also has a bunch of filters

My favorite thing about this app is its selective feature, it gives you the ability to adjust anything – brightness, contrast, saturation – to just one specific point of the photo, so that your entire photo can look cohesive and various parts can be edited in different ways to look their absolute best.

4. Touch Retouch

Touch Retouch is the ultimate app for fixing any unwanted content in your photos. This app will help you get rid of any unwanted blemishes you may have, they can get rid of the unwanted photo bomber, or all of the tourists that are taking up your perfect travel shot. Rather than just using a healing brush like so many other apps do that can create a blob of very noticeable color, the Touch Retouch app has brilliant technology that takes cues from the background to replace the unwanted area. Great app to use alongside all of your others

5. Afterlight

Afterlight has a great camera interface to start, using the camera on this app, you can use various grids such as the rule of thirds to get your composition set up just right. The alignment tool is also available to help get those cityscapes looking perfect.

This tool has a bunch of editing options in addition to the traditional ones, so that you can get creative with your photos, as well as a lot, and I mean A LOT of filter options that you can layer and adjust to your heart’s desire. Another big thing that Afterlight has to offer is a huge library of frames, some basic, some silhouette or typeface frames, all of which can make your photo look wonderful, and can add a good theme to your Instagram feed!

With hundreds of editing apps available online, it’s hard to choose just one. The best way is honestly to pick a few and play around with them until you get in a groove and find your favorite. I’ve outlined just a few, but there are a lot more for whatever creative theme you’re trying to get in. Have fun, and happy shooting!

Ashley Murphy

My name is Ash, I am a designer, photographer, writer, and above all an explorer. My addiction for traveling began back when I went abroad to New Zealand for six months spending every weekend venturing to a new place. Since then, the travel bug has hit, and the place I am tends to change as much as my hair color. Though the majority of my savings gets spent on experiencing new places (much to the demise of my frugal accountant mother), I would love nothing more than to travel to every corner of the world, experiencing all that it has to offer with the small amount of time that I have here.

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