The best must-have apps to edit your Instagram pictures. — Desk of van Schneider

All images are edited directly on the iPhone 6 with the following apps.

Step 1: Cortex Cam

First of all, we start with taking the picture. In case I shoot my pictures on the iPhone, I usually have two options.

If I’m in a rush, I just use the default camera feature from the lock screen.

If I have time and the picture is taken in low light (or even at night) I use Cortex Cam.

Step 2: SKRWT

In the second step we make sure to fix all the basics. SKRWT helps me to correct the perspective or fix the lens distortion. Especially of you’re taking pictures on your iPhone or any other wide lens, you will always struggle with lens distortion. So before even I go into editing the colors, I make sure to fix these things.

Step 3: VSCO

I use VSCO mostly for enhancing colors and applying image effects. I’ve purchased all available presents, so I can’t even tell you which are my favorite ones.

But generally, if it’s nature I usually work within the A, C or E filters. If it’s clean architecture & urban environments I usually navigate more towards the Q or S presets. I personally just like to have a little bit more of a cooler light/tone on my images. But then again, there is no right way to do it.

But one thing I can tell you for sure: I rarely use a filter at a 100%. I always tone it down to around 50–70% and then increase the overall contrast by just a tiny bit.

Step 4: Snapseed

I mostly use Snapseed for more specific image editing such as selective editing where I want to enhance just a certain color, or retouch something small with the “Healing tool”.

For example see below, I want just the green in the tree to pop a bit more, so I select the color and enhance it with a bit more saturation. Snapseed gives you editing tools on your iPhone that you usually only have on your computer with bigger tools such as Lightroom.

Step 5: Lens Distortions

Our picture should be already perfect, but sometimes you want to add a little bit of extra to it. The app Lens Distortions gives me a range of effects such as additional fog, light shimmers or lens blur effects.

For example in the image above, I just wanted a little more fog on the right side. You have to be careful to not overdo it with lens flares or other effects, but if you already have these effects in your image and you just want to slightly improve them, Lens Distortions is perfect.

Step 6: DONE!

This is pretty much my full work flow, and it all happens on the iPhone. In some cases if the image I’ve taken is already perfect enough, I only use VSCO and I’m done.

It seems like a lot of steps, but using a combination of apps on your phone can really improve the image. I go back and forth from VSCO as my image enhancer –  I don’t find it easy to use. My go to camera app is Camera FV-5, which is complicated but on my Nexus 5X delivers decent shots (even by my low standard)!.