2017 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2017 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!


Monday, March 31, 2014


Sure you know that the smartphone is more than just a cellphone but it can also open an incredible world of art exploration.

CLICK. With the camera, you get an instant digital picture. But wait, it’s not quite what you wanted. You’re thinking the colors are wrong, lighting could be better, and, well, boring in many ways. STOP. There are apps to simply enhance or dramatically transform your photos. Go from color to black and white with a touch of the screen, blur edges and opacity, choose your favorite color and paint with your finger, put your favorite person on a faux cover of PEOPLE magazine and much more.  It feels like a magical world of Photoshop tools on a miniature palette and there is a plethora of apps that can make this happen.

You can take a photo and work on it right away, choose one that is already on your phone or often just use one from the app site.  It can be remarkably simple or more complex depending on your needs, skills and time available to delve and experiment. The following apps are FREE, Compatible with Android & iPhone and recommended by many users although I also encourage you to explore additional offerings online.


Comprehensive photo editing program includes drawing, magical effects, photo sharing and much more.


Another excellent photo editing app. Google owns it so photo sharing is given a big push thru Google+

Lots of editing options and with over 600 effects, you can even whiten your teeth in a photo!


I love the hilarious photo options offered in this app. Easily and quickly, you can place your photo inside a magazine cover or a hat on a friend. On the other hand, just beautify a photo for fun.


Developed by the giant Autodesk software company, this app offers lots of sketching tools to replace those urges to draw on paper napkins. 
Check out Eric  Molinsky’s portrait drawings. He uses this app and only his finger to create wonderful caricatures of people he sees as he travels the New York City subways!

It’s important to know that
• While some apps are free and others cost just a few dollars, many try to engage you in upgrades for a fee. For example, pho.to.lab is free but if you want to use the animal morphing feature to merge your face on an animal, that will be extra.
• Not all apps are available on all platforms so it’s important to read whether it is available on your Android, iPhone or Windows phone.
• Be prepared to see advertisements because if your app is not charging you then they may be selling their traffic to advertisers.
• All these apps encourage photo sharing and engaging in an art community. It is interesting for the user and his/her circle and also is a soft promotion for the app.

Post photo editing suggestions in addition to sharing them digitally:
• Use a greeting card template to create a card. Some apps may offer this option.
• Place it alone or as part of a group in a calendar
• Create “wallpaper” 
for your smartphone; some apps have this function available 
• If you have a wide format printer, tile your photo and create wrapping paper
• Print on specially treated paper or fabric to utilize in a craft project
• Upload it to a website that will process it on a plate, cup, etc.

It’s a new mobile world of photo transformations on the fly. So spread your creative wings and get moving!

“ You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” - Ansel Adams