Transform Your Travel Photos with These Six Fun Mobile Apps

Image of ferris wheel in ViennaWhen it comes to my photography I’m pretty straightforward. I don’t use filters or fancy overlays for my blog posts and I don’t manipulate them in Photoshop. I edit my RAW files in Lightroom and that’s typically the extent of my post-production routine.

But every once in a while I love to play, and there a few mobile apps that tickle my fancy. I don’t mean editing apps like Snapseed (love it) or Lightroom mobile (great when you want everything to sync up in the cloud), I’m talking about apps that transform your images into something very different, or enable you to add text and graphics in an easy yet interesting way.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Tiny Planet

I’ve written about Tiny Planet before and it still delights me and since my last post, it’s added some bells and whistles. The app takes your photos and bends them into little spheres, hence the term “tiny planet.”  There’s also a rabbit hole effect that twists your image to look as if you’re looking down…..wait for it… a rabbit hole. For a $.99 upgrade, the app provides sliders that fine-tune the look by rotating, zooming in or out or morphing the image up and own. You can create short videos too.

Sometimes I use this app to entertain myself. You never know how an image is going to turn out and that’s what makes it so fun. (Tip: I save the image to my phone’s library and give it a little more punch by tweaking the color and contrast with my iPhone’s native editing software.)

Cost: Free (with an in-app purchase of $0.99 for more capabilities)

Available on: iOS & Android devices


Prisma is a new app that launched in June on iPhones and on Android in July. It morphs your photos into “artworks using the styles of famous artists: Munk, Picasso as well as world-famous ornaments and patterns.” As with any filter, just tap the icon of your choice in the scrubber bar at the bottom and it will convert your photo in a few seconds. By dragging your finger left and right on the LCD you can adjust the degree of transformation.  Prisma also lets you bisect your images diagonally, vertically or horizontally for a cool before and after effect. The only bummer: Prisma doesn’t let you watch your pictures change in real-time, you only know your photo is ready by watching a yawn-inducing progress bar.

Cost: Free

Available on: iOS & Android devices


Waterlogue is a relative oldie but a goodie. It changes your realistic images into works of watercolor art. There are 12 filters to choose from and its worth trying each and everyone to see what looks best on your photo. Like Tiny Planet, Waterlogue gives you the satisfaction of seeing your images “painted” in real-time.

Cost: $3.99

Available on: iPhone, iPad & Android phones

Image Blender

The name says it all. Image blender enables you to layer photos. It’s not as intuitive or as easy to use as the other apps but if you take the time to play around with it you can make some pretty interesting looks.  I’m still fiddling with it but I think it has a lot of potential for some fun social posts.

Cost: $3.99

Available on: iOS & Android devices


If you’d like to add some life to your images, add animated text that you can download as a six second video or a Gif, with Legend. If  you’re at a loss for words it’ll even serve up short quotes for inspiration. It’s very easy to use, just upload your photo, type in your text and then Legend will give you 18 different animated layouts to choose from. You can further customize by switching background filters and type colors.

Cost: $1.99

Available on: iOS & Android devices

The Insatiable Traveler selfie converted in Prisma with animated text from Legend.

A selfie converted in Prisma and then spiced up with text using Legend.


Speaking of text, Typorama lets you add text to your images with a plethora of layouts and font styles that you can manipulate in many different ways. First, choose how you want to crop your image. Typorama’s buttons will automatically crop your photos to fit  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook post or Facebook cover image, or keep your photo’s original dimensions. You can also customize text color, placement, angle, size, and opacity, plus there are plenty of filters and overlays to spice up your creations.

Cost: Free

Available on: iOS & Android devices

What are your favorite photo apps? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to tell me why you like them. If I get enough suggestions, I’ll do a follow-up post.

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Six fun apps to help you create beautiful art-inspired images!




120 replies »

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! Another app I love using to add text is Phonto. Lots of easy to use features and an amazing variety of fonts to choose from!

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  3. Awesome, I’ve downloaded a few of these to try out myself, thanks for the info, and the great blog. I am rather new to this, and just started up myself, so if you wouldn’t mind heading over to mine, I would be forever in your debt! Thanks again!

  4. Photo editor pro is my go-to app. But when I’m fantasizing about being a painter, I use paper artist to transform photos into water colours & other such. Then I touch up with photo editor pro.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely going to try out Tiny Planet

  5. Thanks for sharing these useful apps! I’ve seen pictures like Tiny Planet before, but I had no idea how to make them myself. Now I finally know! Unfortunately this app can only be downloaded if you have IOS 8 or more on your iPhone. Since I have an iPhone 4 (which has IOS 7), I can’t try out Tiny Planet. I’ll have to wait until I can purchase a new smartphone.

    • Absolutely, I love Snapseed and I mention it at the beginning of the piece. For this post however, I wanted to go with apps that by their nature were a bit extreme in their transformation of images. With Snapseed you can get crazy, no doubt, but on the average, I think people use it as a straight forward editing app..

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  7. Uhoh, since reading this post, Tiny Planet & Waterlogue are now on my iPhone and I’ve just spent an hour Tiny Planeting my photos- wow, what fun and fantastic results! Thank you so much for writing this, I will probably heading over to the other apps soon!

    • LOL.. Tiny Planet is very addicting. It’s my favorite bored-waiting-in-line app to play with. Thanks for checking out the post. I appreciate it.

      If you have friends or family that you think might enjoy it, please share.

  8. Thank goodness I read such an incredible photography blog:) the apps you have suggested in this post are well described. I will soon use Waterlogue and Image Blender for my photography.

  9. Snapseed is my personal favourite. I love it’s HDR scape, lens blur, tranform features. Though I post my photographs completely RAW on my blog, as sharing raw photographs can only satisfy me.

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