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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Enhancing Your Photos with Built-In Filters



By Robyn Wright

In 2012 at DigitalK, Vesa Jutila of Nokia estimated that about 1.4 billion photos are taken with mobile phones each day. That is a huge number and I would imagine it has increased dramatically, as so many more people now have mobile phones. What I love about smartphone cameras is that you don’t have to be a great photographer. Anyone can snap a picture!

Unfortunately, not all the pictures we take are great photographs. This really doesn’t matter to most people, since we are just trying to capture a moment in our lives. We don’t need it to end up in a gallery. This gives us the freedom to play around with the photos and make them even more unique. Using apps and filters on your smartphone allows you to easily transform your photos.

This is a photo of my adorable cat, Peaches. It was taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 device with just the regular automatic settings. As it stands, I think the picture is wonderful.

But…by just using the built in editing features on the phone I can do quite a bit to change this photo. While all smartphones are different, they all have some available editing options. None of what I am showing you required any additional apps to be installed.

Cropping is a way to trim off the parts of the photo you don’t want. This photo is rather long and I do not really want to see the post or little toy hook that is on the bottom. So here it is cropped a bit closer.

Filters, sometimes also called effects, give the entire photograph a different look. Here is a cartoon filter applies to the same photo of Peaches.

Another great filter is one that makes your photo look like a sketch drawing. These have improved substantially over the years and I really like the way they look now.

Adding a frame is just as easy. Just go into the frames section and select which one looks best on your photo. I love that I can “try them on” the pictures to see which frame I prefer before saving.

Now if you want to get a little more creative and fun – the kids really love this – try changing the color of the photo. I have always wanted a green and white cat – it must be the Irish in me.

Some of the filters are difficult to understand when you read the name. That’s okay. Just go ahead and click on them to try things out. Here is the “negative” effect on Peaches. It is kind of a creepy look, but cool.

To go even crazier, add stickers and text features to your photos. Here, I gave Peaches a pink mustache and a gold crown and I titled her “Queen Cat”.

You can combine all of these different effects as well. The best way to learn about your editing features is to open a photo and start playing with it. There is no right or wrong way; it’s all about what you like. If you are feeling a little uninspired, ask your kids for help because they are great with these creations.

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!



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